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. 

Contest Results

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.

Key dates:
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 or Dunedin Contest Committee chair  Ben Rickerby

2024 10 to 13 July
Pacific Festival of Brass at the Due Drop Centre, Manukau City, Auckland
Contact Contest Administrator or contest committee chair Owen Melhuish or 021 281 0405

2025 3 to 5 July                                                                  Festival of Brass at the Christchurch Town Hall complex. Contact Contest Administrator or contest committee chair Graham Hickman


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