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Brass-Band

The City of Sails Brass is gearing up for a big season at it prepares to celebrate its centenary next year. 

Founded in 1919 as the Auckland Watersiders Silver Band, and based in Captain Springs Road for most of the last 100 years, it has been through many different names. Most famously in the 1980’s, it was the Continental Airlines Brass Band and won the World Brass Band Championship in 1981. There have been numerous New Zealand titles since its first title in 1957, and a couple of Australasian titles.

In 1998, it became the Dalewool Brass Band. However, the death of its principal backer, Peter McDermott, saw the end of the Dalewool sponsorship, and they have not been able find another sponsor since. In 2017, they renamed themselves the City of Sails Brass.

Unfortunately, the loss of the Dalewool sponsorship has had a major impact on the band’s finances. It was unable to compete at the national championships in Blenheim this year, as it could not afford the travel and accommodation costs for more than 30 of its members.

Secretary Jennifer Carey says, “The band has had to re-invent itself.” It has been performing in local retirement homes, and carries out musical workshops with local schools, to try and encourage more children to take up an instrument. 

Although the band has received grants from Foundation North and the Maungakiekie Tāmaki Local Board, Jennifer says they are still looking for a core sponsor. The grants only cover the cost of venue hirage and some administration expenses,  leaving members to pay for all their travel and accommodation. 

The band’s centenary year will start with a concert at Centrestage in Orewa on the 19th of August, then Papakura’s Hawkins Theatre on the 23rd of September. The Christmas programme is still being finalised and will be published on the band’s website 

Fortunately the nationals are in Hamilton in July next year so the band will be able to attend. Then the culmination of the centenary celebrations will be a special concert in October next year. 

Go to www.nzbrass.com  to find out more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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