The Devon Hotel New Plymouth Brass band, under the leadership of Musical Director Leigh Martin, is preparing to compete at the National Brass Band Championships to be held in Napier on 15 and 16 July.
The band will compete in the B grade against eight other bands from provincial communities such as Hamilton , Napier, Wanganui and Christchurch. In 2014 the band won the B grade championship and last year it was runner up. While the competition is extremely tough and bands all of a similar high standard Leigh expects New Plymouth, once again, to perform with distinction.
At a national contest each band competes in four different disciplines: a reflective or sacred item of the band’s own choice; a major work, the test piece, which is selected by the adjudicator and the national association; a major work of the band’s own choice; the street march, or parade of bands, in which both music and drill are judged .New Plymouth has won this section for the last three years.
This year the sacred item that Leigh has chosen is a well known work “Reflections in Nature” by Salvation Army composer Major Robert Redhead. It uses the tune “Fewster” to portray three pictures of the crucifixion and a final picture of the resurrection.
The test piece, “ Lowry Sketchbook” by British composer Philip Wilby, written in 1992 when he was composer in residence in Manchester reflects paintings by the noted English painter L.S.Lowry which are on display in the Salford Art Gallery. It is a demanding three movement work in a contemporary style depicting aspects of his painting; City Scape, Family Portraits and Peel Park.
The own choice “Fragile Oasis” was written by Peter Meecham in 2013 and describes astronauts view from above of our fragile earth. Its five sections depict the Aurora Australis, lightning storms that appear in space , Freya the Norse goddess of beauty and love , celebrating the fragility of life ,the ferocious force of hurricanes and finally the grandeur of earth our, Fragile Oasis.
The band will be performing these pieces and others at a concert on Sunday 10 July at 2 00pm in the auditorium of the New Plymouth Club, Gill Street.
The concert will also feature the JAY Band under the leadership of Morrine Martin.
Tickets are $15 and may be purchased from the Club office or at the door.