The Band performed consistently across the three disciplines of Hymn, Test and Own Choice music to place fifth out of a strong field of nine in the A grade competition. The winning band was Woolston Brass from Christchurch. “When you consider where we were a year ago, it speaks volumes for how much the Band has progressed,” Steven said. “We had some new faces in the band, and some of them contesting for the very first time. The team spirit was great and everyone worked very hard indeed.”
Contest tours have always been dynamic and full of moments, and the 2010 tour was no different.
Some of the more memorable moments included:
The sublime playing of Andy MacDonald on principal cornet, showing all just how it should be done without fuss or fanfare The ensemble work by the Band, and in particular the inner voices, which knitted together to make a strong platform to support the solo work Musical shaping of the performances by Steven that gave the Band added impetus to produce their best performance on a national contest stage for four years
Steven had a particularly busy weekend, as he competed in the duets with the Band’s principal euphonium, Gary Bilton, where they came third, and then in the baritone solos, where Steven made it three in a row as Champion Baritone of New Zealand.
Fendall Hill earned his fourth Champion Soprano of New Zealand in Dunedin, giving the Band two competitors in the Champion of Champions. The overall winning soloist was Rikki McDonnell of the Malborough Band.
Gary Bilton and Ross McAdam also competed in the solo events, as well as a trombone trio of Stuart Ritchie, Julie McKee and Kieth Stubley.
One a sad note, Dunedin was the last nationals for our Drum Major Peter Johns, who is retiring to pursue his commitment to Rotary. Alas, the street march was cancelled due to bad weather, meaning the Band could not farewell him quite as they hoped.
The preparation for the 2010 contest was tougher than usual as the Band has dealt with issues surrounding the state of its home on Portage Road, including relocating to temporary accommodation in Clark Street. “We took a big step forward in Dunedin, and now I charge the Band with maintaining the momentum towards our future,” Steven said.