Hamilton City Brass wins national title

MEGAN SMYTH
Last updated 11:54 23/07/2013
Hamilton City Brass Band
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

Blowing their trumpet: Hamilton City Brass Band members are celebrating taking out the national title.

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The Hamilton City Brass Band is looking to repeat history after reclaiming the national championship title after a 20-year drought.

The band last took the national title in 1993 and back then followed it up with a win at the Australian championships in 1994 - a feat they're hoping to duplicate across the ditch next year.

The New Zealand championships were held in New Plymouth during the weekend and band president Richard Edgecombe said they were ecstatic to win.

"It is quite a strong competition, being in the B grade is almost in the top level."

There were seven other bands in the grade, and they performed three songs: a sacred item or hymn, a set piece and a song of their own choice.

Conductor, Mason Eliot said he was very proud of the band who had been working hard for the past 12 weeks.

"I thought the band played the best they ever had on stage," he said.

A contingent of 60 travelled to the event with Hamilton's Auxiliary Brass Band also performing in the championships.

The Auxiliary band came third in the D-grade and during the five-day competition members from both bands also competed in solo and ensemble competitions.

A septet ensemble conducted by Sergio Marshall won the open ensemble, adding another trophy to Hamilton's collection.

Cornet player Hayden Cullen, 18, performed in the septet and also won the the junior cornet section.

"Even though I hated doing the practice, it all paid off in the end," he said.

Cullen plans on studying performance music at Victoria University of Wellington next year.

While help from Lion Foundation and the Southern Trust had got the band to New Plymouth Eliot said the band was looking for funding to get the whole band to Australia next year.

Megan Smyth is a Whitireia Polytech student.

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