What is the National Band?

First formed in 1953, the National Band of New Zealand has assembled periodically since.

There have been twenty national and international tours visiting Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Greece, Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia.
The National Band has thrilled millions of listeners and 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 British 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 of New Zealand 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. In 2017 the National band placed second at this international competition.

The highly professional standard attained by the National Band of New Zealand makes it hard to realise that the members are mostly amateur musicians, selected from 51 community bands throughout the nation and representing all walks of life.

The History of the National Band

David Bremner - Musical Director, 2020-2022

David Bremner is the Principal Trombonist of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist he has won the New Zealand Champion of Champions, performed solos with bands throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Australasia, and his 2009 CD ‘Gung Ho’ won the NZ Music award for Best Classical Album. 

He has conducted brass bands in New Zealand and Australia, including winning the New Zealand Championship with Wellington Brass on five occasions and the 2015 Australian Champion Band. He is the founder of the NZ Brass Foundation, Director of Education for Brass Band Association of New Zealand, and was Music Director of the National Youth Band of NZ from 2016 to 2019.


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