Brass bands to do battle

Ascot Park Hotel Brass Band members Kyrell Gerrard (14) and Brianna Loan (16), both of Invercargill, get in some practise ahead of next week's Otago Southland Brass Band provincial contest.

SOLO instrumental, ensembles and brass band performances will be presented at SIT Centrestage Theatre on Saturday, April 10.

Hosted by the Ascot Park Hotel Brass Band (APHB), the 2021 Otago Southland Brass Band provincial contest would be held throughout the day with solo instrumental and party (ensembles) contests beginning at 9.30am.

Brass bands, which were required to play a hymn and a preselected test piece, would take to the stage from 5pm.

Musical director for the contest would be Phil Johnston, from the NZ Army Band.

“Mr Johnston is an extremely talented musician having won multiple national titles on his chosen instrument and long serving member of the NZ National Brass Band,” APHB president Grant Yorkstone said.

Six bands would compete, including APHB senior, auxiliary and junior bands, with other bands travelling from Roxburgh and Dunedin.

APHB resident musical director Steve Gooding said the musicians were “eagerly awaiting” this year’s contests, especially as last year’s provincial and national contests had to be postponed due to Covid-19.

APHB performers ranged from 10 years old to a member in their 70s.

The auxiliary band had 35 members and the A grade 25 members, all who would be competing next weekend.

Band members had been practising all year in preparation for next Saturday’s solo and group performances, he said.

The performances were open to the public to watch. Tickets would be available at the door.