Over the past few days I have been treated to a live streaming feed from (of all things) the New Zealand Brass Band National Championships – this year bought from the deep south – Invercargill!
And what in particular has piqued my interest in this competition? Son #2 has been competing (in 2 bands, none the less).
Of course, as a proud father, I feel that I have to share.
All joking and biased thoughts aside, there is often something magical about a brass band, and the music they produce for the songs they play.
In the competitions (marching aside), they have to play 3 peices – the first is the “Test Piece” that all participants play, then there is the Sacred Item that each band chooses. Finally, each band is allowed to choose one piece that they feel showcases their own band in the best possible light.
Last year, youngster played (soprano cornet) for the Auckland City Brass Band, who after a few years of not competing had managed to get back into the B grade section. With the move to Wellington this year, he joined up with Wellington Brass – one of New Zealand’s premiere bands (they won the championships last year) – playing cornet.
And this year’s results?
Auckland Brass (B grade): 2nd in the test piece, 1st in the own choice (“The Plantagenets”), and 2nd in overall B grade Championship. (Youngster was playing the timpani for them). Congratulations to the Auckland City Brass Band on this wonderful result. Won’t be long until they are back into the A grade again.
Wellington Brass (A grade): 1st in the Sacred Item, 1st in the Test Item, and 2nd in the Own Choice, giving them 1st overall, and the title of New Zealand’s Champion Brass Band for 2014 (and defending champions form 2013!)
Needless to say, I have to skite a little bit.
Next week, he is playing (trumpet) with the National Youth Orchestra in both Wellington (Friday night) and Auckland (Saturday night) – so be prepared for more skiting.
And here is a little big band action from when he was palying with them (just look for the santa hat)
Live, laugh, love!