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 bands in each grade (A, B, C, D, and Youth), plus a Street March. The contest often concludes with a gala concert.
2023 National Championships
Dunedin's Festival of Brass - 5 to 8 July 2023
The countdown is on to the 2023 National Championships in Dunedin. All events will be under one roof at the refurnished Dunedin Centre. The adjudicators are Tom Davoren (UK/USA) and Mark Ford (Aus).
The band test music is:
A Grade: Concerto No 1 (1999 edition) by Derek Bourgeois.
B Grade: Journey into Freedom by Eric Ball.
C Grade: A Little Light Music by Philip Wilby.
D Grade: And my soul overflow by David Chaulk.
Saturday 6 May: Contest entries close.
Friday 16 June: Nominations close for Accompanist & Administrator of the Year.
Wednesday 21 June: Draw for solo and band events announced.
Wednesday 28 June: Last day for player registrations.
Wednesday 5 July: Events from 10.00am. Solos for Under 15 groups, Juniors, Masters and Open Slow Melody. All percussion events – Open, Junior and Under 15 solos and Ensemble. All Open ensembles/duets. Junior Champion of Champions 4.30pm. Invitation Slow Melody 8.00pm
Thursday 6 July: From 9.00am - Open solos and Junior Ensembles/Duets. Junior Slow Melody. Open Champion of Champions from 7.30pm
Friday 7 July: Sacred/Reflective item and Test Selection for A, B and C Grades. The Parade of Bands for all grades.
Saturday 8 July: Own Choice selection for A, B and C Grades. Championship results announced. D Grade and Youth Grade events. Championship results announced.
Contact: Contest Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org or Dunedin Contest Committee chair Ben Rickerby email@example.com
2024 10 to 13 July
Pacific Festival of Brass at the Due Drop Centre, Manukau City, Auckland
Contact Contest Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org or contest committee chair Owen Melhuish email@example.com or 021 281 0405
2025 3 to 5 July Festival of Brass at the Christchurch Town Hall complex. Contact Contest Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org or contest committee chair Graham Hickman email@example.com