The National Band of New Zealand
The National Band of New Zealand
22 August, 2014
The National Band of New Zealand is an entity owned and controlled by the Brass Band Association of New Zealand (BBANZ) to showcase New Zealand’s best brass and percussion players and New Zealand’s unique brass repertoire at international concert and contest events. The National Band is formed periodically for specific purposes by auditioning top brass and percussion players throughout New Zealand. It is truly a New Zealand representative band. It was first formed in 1953 and has a considerable record of international success since then. The last National Band formed in 2009 attended the World Brass Band Championships in Kerkrade, Holland.
This year the National Band has been invited by the China Performing Arts Agency (CPAA) to perform concerts over a ten-day period in South-East China from 4 to 14 September and by the Korea International Wind Band Festival (KIWBF) to perform two concerts at the 2014 Festival in Seoul from 16 to 19 September.
There have been eighteen national and international tours visiting Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Greece, Japan and Australia. The National Band’s performances have won rave notices from critics at many of the world’s foremost attractions. Among the most notable of these events have been: the 1953 Coronation festivities in London, including a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, the Edinburgh Festival, New York’s World Fair, the Los Angeles County Fair, Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, the Canadian National Exhibition, the 1974 and 1990 Commonwealth Games, a joint concert with the New York Philharmonic in the Lincoln Centre and Tattoos and Festivals throughout the world.
Contest successes include three times winning the Brass Band section of the Music Festival at the World Music Concourse in the Netherlands; winner of the International Band Festival in Toronto, Canada; first place in the British Open Championship at Belle Vue, Manchester and winning the Edinburgh Festival Brass Band Championship. At the 1978 World Music Concourse the National Band was awarded three gold medals with distinction, the highest number ever awarded; and at the same competition in 1985 the National Band gained the highest points ever given and was accorded a standing ovation, not only by the capacity audience but also by the panel of international adjudicators.
The highly professional standard attained by the National Band makes it difficult to realise that the members are mostly amateur musicians, selected from 52 community bands throughout the nation and representing all walks of life.
The 2014 National Band of New Zealand and Kapa Haka group will perform one concert in New Zealand before departing for China. The contest will be held on Monday 1 September, 7.30pm at the Dorothy Winstone Centre, at Auckland Girls Grammar School. Tickets are $20 and available at the door.
Nigel Weeks of Auckland was appointed as the musical director of the National Band in February this year. He has considerable conducting experience both here in New Zealand and in his native Wales.
He has been the musical director of Dalewool Auckland Brass Band since 1994. During this time the Dalewool Auckland Brass won the New Zealand Championship title on four occasions as well as winning the Australia Championship three times. Nigel Weeks was the chief adjudicator at the 2014 Yamaha Australian Band Championships in Brisbane in April. He was the Musical Director on the National Youth of New Zealand from 1998 to 2003 and initiated the formation of the National Secondary Schools Brass Band in 2001 leading the band until 2004.
Academic and professional experience.
2007 to current HOD Music Macleans College, Auckland
2008 to 2012 Musical Director on the Howick School of Music.
2007 Received a Master of Arts (performance) from Salford University, Manchester
2001 to 2004 HOD Music Kings College, Auckland
1994 – 2001 HOD Music Manurewa High School
1978 – Graduated from Caerleon College of Education, Wales