When the bands go marching in
Hide your Brasso, Invercargill, the 134th New Zealand brass band championships are coming to town.
Not held in the city since 2002, the championships will showcase the best of the best brass bands from throughout the country this week.
Twenty-six bands are competing at the event, meaning around 1100 musicians and supporters will converge in town for the competitions, organising committee chairman Grant Yorkstone said.
An exciting addition to the event this year will be the street march competition on Friday, at 1pm.
About 500 marchers will travel along Spey St, then Kelvin St then on to Tay St, saluting Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt outside the Kelvin Hotel along the way.
Two Invercargill bands - the Ascot Park Hotel Brass and the Ascot Park Hotel Auxiliary will also compete in different grades during the competition, which will include both ensemble, solo and full-band categories.
Ten other bands are sending soloists and ensemble groups to compete, including soloists from one British and three Australian bands.
Competitions begin on Wednesday and continue on Thursday with solo and ensemble competitions.
Band events are on Friday and Saturday, culminating with the McDermott Coachlines Band of the Year show for three invited bands, including Ascot Park Hotel Brass band, Yorkstone said.
"You will hear some great, tremendous music," he said.
"Even if you are not a musician or into brass music, it is quite powerful."
The Southland Times