The New Zealand Brass Band Championships is one of the world’s oldest music competitions. 

The first contest was held in the Christchurch Drill Hall on the 17th of April 1880 with an audience of 2500 people.  Six bands competed, and the audience chose the winner – the Invercargill Garrison Band, under the command of Captain W.E. Heywood.

These days the national contest is held annually in July over five days and includes Junior and Open solo and ensemble competitions, a Sacred Item/Hymn, Test selection and Own Choice selection for band in each grade (A, B, C, D, and Youth), plus a Street March. The contest often concludes with a gala concert. 

Upcoming Dates

2021 14 to 18 July
Festival of Brass at the Town Hall Complex, Christchurch
Contact Contest Manager 

2022 13 to 17 July
National Championship at the Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Michael Fowler Centre and Opera House, Wellington.
Contact Contest Manager or Wellington Contest Committee chairman Mike Sander:

Dunedin’s Festival of Brass at the Dunedin Centre, Dunedin.
Contact Contest Manager or Dunedin Contest Committee secretary James Duncan:

2020 National Champs

Given the ongoing uncertainty about what will happen when the current lock-down period ends, the likelihood of continuing significant restrictions on travel and gatherings, and the financial impact these restrictions are already having on your players; the BBANZ management committee has made the difficult decision not to hold the 2020 National Contest.  This decision was not made lightly as we wanted the contest to proceed if possible and knowing there is some support for the major event in our calendar to go ahead. However, the safety and well-being of our members are paramount, and we believe this is the right call.

We also believe that it is important to our movement that a Christchurch contest is well attended. This wouldn't be the case this year given the number of bands who have already told us they wouldn't be able to attend. For that reason, we have decided that the 2021 contest will be held in Christchurch from 14 to 18 July, with the Wellington contest moved to 13 to 17 July 2022 and the Dunedin contest moved to July 2023. 


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