Band News

Canterbury Provincial Brass Band Association
Solo Competitions

15 May 2016

C/D Grade Solo Air Varie Winner – Jim Hill (Trombone)



On Friday 18th October the New Brighton Silver Band hosted the Blaskapelle Hemslingen Band.  Hemslingen is a small village of 1500 people just out of Hamburg in Northern Germany and the band is largely family orientated. About 40 people, including supporters, travelled to New Zealand and have spent two weeks travelling through both Islands enjoying sight-seeing and performing concerts. Previously the band has toured Brazil and South Africa.

New Brighton Band members provided a delicious meal of home cooked food and enjoyed a sociable get together before the concert began. A good crowd of band enthusiasts and supporters also attended the evening concert with about 120 people filling the bandrooms.

The Blaskapelle Hemslingen Band played the first half of the concert and New Brighton the second half. Both bands played selections of popular music with lots of audience participation and enjoyment. At the end both bands joined together to play Pokarekare Ana.

After supper our guests entertained us more by singing several songs with much humour. Later they boarded their bus and the New Brighton band members formed a Guard of Honour for the bus to pass through. This evening was very special, highlighting the universal appeal of music and bringing two groups of people together from opposite ends of the world to enjoy each others company through music.  – GN

Blaskapelle Hemslingen vist 2013 -9web


Christchurch Festival


On Sunday 29th September the band participated with all the other bands in Christchurch City and Joined the New Zealand Army Band in an outdoor concert in Hagley Park. The programme opened with the Army Band performing the marching display they had presented at the recent Edinburgh Tattoo. They then played a selection of popular tunes and were progressively joined by all the Christchurch bands with each group combining and playing selections until all seven bands were on stage amounting to approx. 170 bandsmen and women. New Brighton Band played seven combined items and Conductor Craig was the only non-Army Band person to conduct the mass bands. It was a great occasion and thoroughly enjoyed by all including a large crowd sitting on the grass.

Perhaps the best thing about the concert was the opportunity for our band members to play alongside some of the top brass musicians in the country.  – GN

Canterbury Provincial Brass Band Championship


This year the Canterbury Provincial Brass Band Championships were again held at the Middleton Grange School. We played the hymn ‘Deep Harmony’ and ‘Pacific Dream’ as a test piece. We were placed third in both sections with only two points separating the top three bands. Sumner band won the hymn section and Rangiora the test. While being disappointed with the final result the band felt they had played well.

NBSB 2013 Provincial Contest - web

New Brighton Silver Band – 2013 Provincial Contest

The entertainment section however was another matter with the band gaining first place thanks to a great effort from Drum Major Jim Hill and his rendition of ‘The Laughing Trombone’ and some superb singing of ‘Just One Look’ by bass player Nadine Williamson. The band finished the performance by playing the old favourite march ‘Castell Coch’.   – GN


Committee room earthquake repairs and upgrade


It is pleasing to see that the earthquake damage and general upgrade to the committee room is nearly complete. While there is still a lot of work to do to bring the remainder of our wonderful facilities up to scratch it is reassuring to now have one room that is finally done. Not only will it be used for the regular meetings of the band executive and supporters club but also as a room for individual music lessons for some of our learners.

The band is most grateful to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust and the Vodafone Foundation for their generous financial support of this project.

Band Committee Room 1 web

Committee Meeting

Band Committee Room web

Trying Out The Acoustics











2013 Festival of Brass


On Sunday the New Brighton Silver Band joined the Sumner, Kaiapoi and Rangiora bands for this years ‘Festival of Brass’ at Rangiora. It is always good to catch up with our mates in other local brass bands in a non contesting environment and to get a bit of a ‘heads up’ on what sort of competition we will face at the forthcoming Canterbury Provincial Contest.

This year it was particularly pleasing to hear some new musical arrangements played, some of which featured some very talented soloists. I think it is probably just as well that the New Brighton band’s contest build up starts from today with TWO rehearsals a week! Retaining our provincial ‘D’ Grade title this year wont be easy!

Thank you to our hosts at Rangiora for an enjoyable afternoon of music and fellowship.

Sumner Band 1

Sumner Silver Band – Rangiora Festival of Brass 2013


Coast to coast


On Friday 26th July 31 band members and supporters left the band rooms on their way to Hokitika. Our journey over the mountains proved to be both interesting and challenging with stops for a hot pie at Sheffield, fresh air at Springfield and lunch at Arthurs Pass. However our climb to the top of the pass was punctuated by heavy breathing accompanied by clouds of black smoke from the engine and many raucous sounds from the gearbox. It is rumoured that the percussion section are about to patent some of these sounds for use in future band concerts.

We eventually arrived at our destination in Hokitika and quickly changed into uniform and made our way to the Theatre Royal Hotel at Kumara. Here we were met by three other Band members and the fourth estate who interviewed and photographed Allan Lilley while the rest of the band looked on and assisted by providing some alternative answers to his questions.

We assembled to play in rather cramped positions. So cramped that a particular trombone players slide kept hitting a tenor horn player which frustrated the trombone player so much he released his water key into the jacket pocket of the horn player.

The concert was a great success and our programme well appreciated by the patrons. The venue itself had been recently refurbished to period time and we spent a happy hour mingling with the patrons and learning something of the history of Kumara.

Next morning we were all up early to secure a photo of Alan in the local paper. Later we boarded the bus and headed to Shantytown for our next concert. Shantytown were our hosts and put on a lovely luncheon and gave us freedom to roam the setting including a great ride on the old train.

The concert was a combined effort with the Greymouth Municipal Band.  We played first and were joined by a couple of bass players. Later we did a few combined numbers and then Greymouth had their turn. We played in the replica dance hall /theatre to a large audience who responded really well to the programme. Afterwards we shared tea and scones with raspberry jam and cream with them and had lots of very positive feedback. Again the playing conditions were rather cramped, to the point where Craig, the conductor, had to stand on a chair in the body of the hall while the cornets were lined along the front of the stage and the rest of us followed the beat in trepidation of Craig getting over enthusiastic and disappearing from his chair, no doubt with a flourish. However he managed to steady himself and survive the ordeal.

That evening we travelled to Woodstock Hotel and thanks to the generosity of the Supporters Club enjoyed a great spit roast meal with all the trimmings. Later we adjourned to the bar to watch rugby and still late back to the dining room for a Pub Quiz. This was conducted by Mine Host and the teams arranged according to instrument sections plus a supporters team. We had to choose team names and it seems appropriate that the cornet section chose ‘Russian Spies’ and proved to about as efficient by coming a very, very long last. The Trombone section saw themselves as being ‘Gorgeous’ and narrowly won the quiz. It is with some truth then that we can claim to be the only Band in New Zealand with a ‘Gorgeous” Drum Major! – Yeah Right!!!!!

Sunday saw us heading home accompanied by the same sound effects as on the way over, but all went well and we managed the Otira Gorge, albeit slowly.

At Arthurs Pass we gathered together, and with an audience of Kea, celebrated Letitia’s 18th Birthday and Niki Hill’s something birthday with a stunning carrot cake and a delicious chocolate cake. A really nice way to round off a superb trip.

Special thanks to Viv, Brent and Craig for organizing the various aspects of the trip and to the Supporters Club for funding our Saturday night dinner.  –   GN

[album: Coast Trip – July 2013/]


National success at the 2012 NZBBA solo competitions in Timaru


Last week two of our keen young band members, Matthew and Rebecca Harris competed in the solo competitions at the NZBBA National contest in Timaru. After two second placings at the Canterbury Provincial Brass Band Association solo and ensemble competition in April, Matt was keen to go one better and that is exactly what he did!  In the Junior Bass ‘Own choice’ solo event Matt was competing against four other talented young musicians for the David Johnstone Trophy. Matthew won the event from Jordan Seaton (2nd – Woolston Brass) and Jarrah Dowrick (3rd – Nelson City Brass). The Adjudicator was Jeffrey Mulraney.

After success in his Bass solo event Matt was encouraged to compete in the Open competition where he received some very positive comment from the adjudicator.

Matthew’s sister Rebecca was also involved in the National solo events playing her trombone. She was one of fourteen competitors  in the Under 15, Group 2, ‘Other Instruments’ category. Although unplaced, Rebecca is only new to brass playing and at only 12 years of age she must surely be one of the youngest competitors ever to compete in the National event. We all admire her confidence and courage in taking part and you can be sure that she will be a young musician to watch in the future.

Well done Matthew and Rebecca! The band are very proud of your achievements.


Working bee at the band room


It was just terrific to see such enthusiasm from so many band members and supporters at the working bee at the band room last month. With the band’s available funds currently being stretched over a number of different projects we couldn’t have achieved a fraction of what we have in recent months without that commitment and we thank you for it.

As we slowly work through the process of assessing the earthquake damage to our facilities and then making the necessary repairs it is the perfect opportunity to give things a long overdue face lift. The band committee are making the most of that opportunity.  A new display cabinet on the eastern wall makes a world of difference to what was otherwise a rather dreary space and the knowledge of knowing that our archives and historic material is now well protected should see new bits and pieces slowly gravitate toward the cabinet from the band community. The life members boards dating from 1910 that were hidden away in the darkness have found a new home on the memorial wall where they can be appreciated and our extensive collection of Christchurch Brass Band photographs now shows some sense of order on the display wall.

At the working bee Geoff B was tasked with the job of slowly and methodically working his way through the pile of loose photos that we have, recording dates, places and names where possible. The band is very fortunate to still have within it’s ranks someone with such banding experience and in particular, an extensive knowledge of the history of the New Brighton Band. It is important that we capture that knowledge for future generations of Brighton bandsmen and women.

New storage space is currently in the process of being built to rehouse band uniforms and instruments and after the next working bee (31st March) we should have most of the main internal walls painted with the exception of the stage area. Rest assured, Brent our band President will be well supervised at the next working bee to ensure that this time he gets a bit more paint on the walls and a little less on his clothes. Also, I must say that it was great to see a young man with an iron in his hand and a smile on his face!

[album: bee 2012/]

In Memoriam


It was with incredible disbelief when we all learnt last week that sadly, another of our members, Don (Arthur) Haggitt had passed away after a long period of ill health. It has been a torrid twelve months for many band members with the aftermath of the recent earthquake events and for Don and Helen, the uncertainty over their home and Don’s ongoing health difficulties must have been very trying.

In recent months Don has played an important pivotal role as a mentor to Craig Williamson in the transition process of Craig becoming the band’s new Musical director. Don was the temporary conductor as well as tutor to the learners group, band committee member and a wonderfully talented Euphonium and Eb Bass player.

Don led a full and varied life and had an extraordinary array of personal interests which included motorcycles, aircraft and boating, boxing, rugby and cricket and fishing and hunting. His love of the theatre and music (particularly Jazz) began at an early age and saw him move from a string bass player in small Jazz bands to a Euphonium and Bass player in various Brass Bands including more recently the Steadfast and New Brighton Silver Bands.

On a personal note, I will treasure the memories I have of Don, sitting beside him in the Euphonium section. He always had a joke or silly story to tell and we all benefitted from his extensive musical knowledge and listening to the passion and style with which he played his music. – Farewell Don. Our thoughts are with you Helen & your family.


In Memoriam


The band sadly lost another of it’s real stalwarts recently when Laurie (Lawrence) Reid passed away suddenly at his home on 16 September. Laurie has been a loyal and valued member of the New Brighton Silver Band for many years and his cheerful and happy disposition is something we will all miss.

It is a blessing that he was able to continue his interest of Brass Band music right up to the last, transmitting his final radio broadcast from the Radio Ferrymead Studio on September 11 and attending Band practice just prior to his death.

Our kindest thoughts are with Laurie’s family at this sad time.

CCBA Junior band camp


The CCBA Junior Band Camp was held on September 3-4 this year at the New Brighton Silver Band Hall due to the earthquakes. Twenty students from Woolston, Addington and New Brighton bands participated in this highly enjoyable weekend.

The weekend was a great time of learning, with team activities as well as band practices. In the breaks the students gobbled down yummy food and played outside in Rawhiti Domain.

Putting many hours of practice in over the two days, Davey Boyes (Conductor) and the students managed to produce a top quality concert. Also, ‘Twisted Brass’ were invited to play at the concert and they gave an amazing performance, showing the students and parents alike what can be achieved with focus and dedication to brass music.   – Kath. . .[album: Band Camp 2011/] 

‘The Eastern suburbs in tune’


The combined concert of the South Brighton Choral Society and the New Brighton Silver Band, held yesterday at the Roy Stokes Hall was a tremendous success. I’m sure it did much to lift the spirits of those who attended, allowing us all to briefly focus on something other than the difficulties that we all face following the recent earthquake events. From a band members point of view it is always a thrill to combine with other folk who are passionate about their music, particularly when that music is the gift of ‘voice’.

The Choral Society, under the Musical Directorship of Chris Graham performed a varied programme of sacred items and contemporary pieces with individual items by both the Ladies and the Mens choirs. Many of the great composers were represented in the programme including Vivaldi, Mozart, Rutter, Bortnyansky and Gilbert & Sullivan.

The Silver Band began the concert with the march ‘St Kilda’ and then supported our new soloist (and band supporter) Nadine, with  ‘Singing in the rain’ and a stirring rendition of ‘You’ll never walk alone’. A singalong with the audience completed the afternoon concert.

We offer a sincere ‘thankyou’ to the South Brighton Choral Society for inviting the Band to join with them on this occasion and also to the Eastern suburbs communities for supporting the event.  – Admin. . .[album: Choral Concert/]

In Memoriam

It was with tremendous sadness that members and supporters of the New Brighton Silver Band gathered together this week at the funeral of one of the Band’s most valiant and loyal supporters, Marion Stamler.
Marion died peacefully in Christchurch Hospital on 3rd August 2011, surrounded by her beloved family and friends.
 As a special tribute, the Band formed a guard of honour at her funeral in recognition of her many years of enthusiastic support for our organisation. We will all miss Marions smiling face and happy disposition. 
New Brighton Silver Band members Margaret and Errol Miller spoke on behalf of the Band and supporters Club at the funeral and recorded below are some excepts from their address:
. . . ‘In reading through the minutes of the Supporters Club it is noted that Mrs. Marion Stamler attended the inaugural meeting on May 22nd 1979. An apology was received from Mr Stamler but he attended the next meeting – very good!
Keith was elected the man at the helm – namely President in 1982, therefore Marion became first Lady (not the Presidents wife). This position Keith held until 2010. During all that time Marion was by his side at our activities – namely meetings, church services at which the Band played, stalls, chocolate wheels, newspaper drives, collecting for caroling, barbeques, social events, trips away, raffles and selling pies and lamingtons. There was always a great sense of camaraderie among those who participated and wherever Marion and Keith went representing the band, they always wore their supporters jacket with pride. Marion was a very talented lady with her card making so if a special card was required to be sent from our group – the lady came up with a very creative original. Pot luck teas were an event always enjoyed at the Stamlers – Marion was always the perfect hostess. These were fun nights, happy and joyous with delectable food to choose from . . .
Marion and Keith were members of the Supporters Club, delegates to, or on the Management Committee. They also rendered their services to the Canterbury Brass Band’s association, being our representatives several times over the years. At contest times, both volunteered to assist at Provincial and National level as helpers or assistants as required. We have appreciated their company when the band has played as various venues in the city. They have also been with us on visits to Australia, the Chatham Islands and more recently Hanmer and Picton as well as supporting the band at many provincial towns which have hosted competitions. Both Marion and Keith have been honoured by being made Life Members of our band in recognition of these services.
All of us in the New Brighton Silver Band will miss Marion’s cheerful presence and sincerely express our sadness at this time to Keith and his extended family. .                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                Margaret & Errol Miller . . .

Festival of brass – Rangiora


It was nice to be able to focus on something other than the earthquakes we have all been enduring and to renew old band aquaintances at the recent Festival of Brass in Rangiora. It seems like an eternity since the Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Sumner and New Brighton bands were last gathered together for an afternoon of music. The occasion was even more special from a New Brighton Band point of view as it was our new conductor’s first major concert as leader. A few nerves saw to it that ‘The Impresario’ went at the tempo that it aught to and to have Nadine involved in the programme as a soloist (voice) and as compere was just terrific.

Thankyou to the Rangiora Band and community for their hospitality – the occasion was just what our band members needed as we look ahead to our next concert with the South Brighton Choral Society in a few weeks time.

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