[ Return ][ Other news articles ]
Brass bands excell at weekend of music
May 28th, 2012
[by David Armstrong]
Anyone telling you that brass bands are a dying breed won't have been present at the concert put on at Motueka High School on Saturday night by the Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Brass Bands Association.
Along with the street march earlier in the day, the evening concert was a highlight of a weekend's playing and socialising by a mix of national-level musicians and learners in the host town of Motueka.
About 300 people at the concert in the high school auditorium were treated to an entertaining and musically rich and diverse programme of band music, and went away convinced that our provincial brass bands are getting better by the year and attracting some outstanding young musicians.
Although the concert was part of the weekend competitions, points were scored by judges equally on musical excellence and stage and audience appeal, which in particular allowed the West Coast bands to compete with the two well-resourced powerhouse bands from Marlborough and Nelson.
The Motueka District band hosted the weekend, with a tight organisational effort led by band member Helen Rimmer. The street march, taking in Greenwood, Wilkinson and Wallace streets, attracted about 100 onlookers, and Mayor Richard Kempthorne then opened proceedings at Decks Reserve. He then conducted the combined bands playing Colonel Bogey. (See photos below.)
The evening concert was far more than value for money ($10 admission). Six bands played a selection of songs aimed at showing not only musical skill but also variety of genres and entertainment value for the audience.
Items ranged from some beautifully rendered classical pieces including Antonin's New World and The Reunion and Finale from Gettysberg, through several jazz/swing numbers and energetic marches to Abba and Beatles numbers, and even a beautiful voice and orchestra rendition of Crowded House's Better Be Home Soon.
Most bands also made the effort to dress for their acts, including the Westport Municipal's (who were placed second overall) Sandpaper Ballet played by mock workmen. They also got audience participation while belting out modern songs YMCA and Hey Baby.
The Takaka Citizens Band played a long medley of World War II songs with audience singing ably led by TDC Councillor Paul Sangster. Our own local band played, under the baton of 'spider man' John Rimmer (you had to be there), lifted their work to a higher level while playing a selection of songs based on the horticulture and environment that characterises our part of the world.
Sweeping all the prizes was the outstanding Marlborough District Brass, surely one of the best in the country. They ensured everyone went home with a smile on their face with their final number, Cartoon Music, showing off a vast array of unusual, fun and subtle sounds that go into making the background music for cartoons like Tom and Jerry.
And the overwhelming impression gained by the audience was the wealth of talent coming through with young musicians. Most bands included many players in their teens and twenties, several of whom featured in solo items that took your breath away.
Are brass bands for old geezers and young geeks? No way! Not by last weekend's showing.
The Motueka District Brass in Wilkinson Street.
Mayor Kempthorne conducts the combined bands in Decks Reserve.
The bands follow the mayor's baton, playing Colonel Bogey. Motueka Brass is nearest the camera.
Motueka District Brass perform at the evening concert.
>> Email a comment on this article, to be added to the page. [If this link doesn't work, use this form instead]
[ Return ]
[ Other news articles ]
© Motueka Online. To reproduce all or large parts of this article, please ask the editor for permission, and attribute the story to Motueka Online.
We wish to thank these local community-minded businesses who generously sponsor our site. They recognise the value of supporting this community asset, and in return Motueka Online is pleased to use and recommend their services whenever appropriate.
Ray White Motueka, Parkes Automotive, Motueka Floral Studio, Nelson Building Society, House of Travel