The Spirit of ANZAC – Onehunga RSA

On Sunday 29th April the reigning New Zealand Band of the Year, Dalewool Auckland Brass will be performing an Anzac themed concert at the Onehunga RSA.

This will be a special day for many reasons: it has been several years since the band last performed in their home town here in South Auckland.

President of Dalewool Auckland Brass Murray Carey QSM explains,

“The band always performed regularly in and around Onehunga but in recent years we just haven’t been able to make it work between venue availability and our other commitments as New Zealand’s top brass band. It has caused great frustration to the band and our local supporters! Last year we decided to expand our annual concert series with a new Anzac event and Onehunga RSA was the obvious venue for us to choose.”.

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Murray goes on to explain the significance of Anzac Day for brass bands,

“While there are photos, stories and even a few videos from our Anzac forces sent to fight in Europe, the most vivid reminder of how life was back then is surely found in the music of the time. Dame Vera Lynn, Glen Miller, music sung in public houses around a piano… this dark time in history inspired so much great music that continues to be enjoyed by young and old today. We gave this concert programme a run-out for our patron, Peter McDermott in Orewa last weekend and the audience couldn’t say enough good things. Something about this kind of music and brass bands makes for a very special occasion.”.

Times have changed since the glory days when the band was known as Continental Airlines Auckland Brass and life for arts organisations is increasingly tough. Despite this the band is reportedly back in form and thriving.

“We have an incredible core of amazing brass musicians, several of them are respected as among the best in the world. Our prinicpal cornet player just won the top international solo award for band musicians and many of our other musicians have spent time with the world famous bands of the UK. We have also secured Howard Taylor, Australasia’s most successful brass conductor to lead the band. We sound better than ever and we’re going from strength to strength. That would be why we are the New Zealand Band of the Year!”.

One of the key corner musicians for Dalewool is Kay Mackenzie, a soprano cornet player originally from Scotland with an international reputation. She is also one of the most in demand brass teachers in Auckland and has recently taken over the Youth Band at Dalewool where the same revival is now underway.

“School-age children can see all of our concerts for free, all we want in return is for them to consider coming along on a Monday evening to let Kay teach them how to play.”

For more details about this concert please click here.