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 

Contest entries have now closed.

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:
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. 

2023 Contest Schedule:
Wednesday 5 July at the Dunedin Centre    
Hall 1: Town Hall
11.00 AM All Percussion events U15 (1) Jun (5) Open (2) Group (3)  
3.00 PM Masters solo (17)

Hall 2: Glenroy Auditorium
9.00 AM   Withdrawals Meeting
10.30 AM  Open Slow Melody (16)  
1.30 PM     Open Duet (14)  
5.00 PM    Junior Champion of Champions (10)  
8.00 PM   Invitation Slow Melody (10) 

Hall 3: Conference Room 1
10.00 AM   Junior Horn (Baritones, Flugels, Tenor Horn) (9) 12.00 PM   Junior Trombone (8)  
1.45 PM     Under 15 Grp 2 Other Instruments (3)  
2.30 PM    Under 15 Grp 1 Cornets (10)  

Hall 4: Conference Room 2  
10.00 AM   Junior Euphonium (3)
11.00 AM    Junior Cornet (18)  
2.45 PM     Junior Bass (5)

Hall 5: St Paul's Church next door at 228 Stuart Street
10.00 AM Open Ensemble A (18)
1.30 PM    Open Ensemble C (3) 
2.30 PM   Open Ensemble B (8)

Thursday 6 July at the Dunedin Centre   
Hall 1: Town Hall 
9.00 AM   Open BBb Bass (9)
11.00 AM  Open Bass Trombone (6)  
12.30 PM  Open Soprano (5)  
2.00 PM   Open Eb Bass (8)

Hall 2: Glenroy Auditorium
9.00 AM   Open Euphonium (7)
10.30 AM  Championship Cornet (6)  
12.00 PM  Open Flugel Horn (9)   
2.00 PM   Open Tenor Horn (14)  
7.30 PM    Open Champion of Champions (13)

Hall 3: Conference Room 1
9.00 AM   Open Amateur Cornet (12)
11.30 AM   Open Baritone (3)  
12.30 PM  Open Tenor Trombone (13)  
5.00 PM   Logistics Meeting: a representative from each band is required to attend

Hall 4: Conference Room 2
9.00 AM    Junior Ensembles A + B (5 +2)
10.30 AM  Junior Duet (6)    
1.00 PM    Junior Slow Melody (36)

Friday 7 July      
Dunedin Town Hall: 9.00 AM B Grade Sacred Item & Test Selection (6)
1.00 PM Street March (26)Princes Street/Octagon
Glenroy Auditorium: 3.00 PM C Grade Sacred Item & Test Selection (9)
Dunedin Town Hall 5.00 PM A Grade Sacred Item & Test Selection (9)

Saturday 8 July      
Dunedin Town Hall 9.00 AM B Grade Own Choice Selection (6)
Glenroy Auditorium 9.30 AM C Grade Own Choice Selection (9) and 3.00 PM D Grade Contest (5) 
Dunedin Town Hall 4.30 PM A Grade Own Choice Selection (9)

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 2 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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