Tom Needham in the News

If you are a regular supporter of our band you will recognise our B-flat bass player Tom who is the band’s longest serving member. If you live in Auckland City you will probably also have seen him on the front cover of the Central Leader a few weeks ago!


Tom was interviewed about his almost fifty years with Dalewool, and of course, almost as many Anzac Day parades and services. While you are use to seeing him behind the tuba you may not know that he also works very hard behind the scenes of our band, towing the equipment trailer, taking care of gardening and maintenance at our bandroom, assisting in the library, a regular member of the management committee down the years and many other things large and small besides.

Fifty years… you get less for murder! Well done Tom, we look forward to marking his dedication in an appropriate way later in the year.

Our Anzac Weekend

2014anzacA few years ago we started our Anzac themed concerts and they are going from strength to strength with the audience at both venues (Onehunga and Orewa) steadily growing. Combining this with the Anzac Day parade and service and we have a very busy weekend!

This year we assembled at the parade start looking up at dull grey skies, hoping the rain would hold off. Drying a brass instrument is a big job! Led by Mike Chesnutt (NZ Army Band) we guided Onehunga’s veterans and community groups to the RSA, the skies opening just as we stepped inside.

The service itself was extremely well attended and Ross Gerritsen took the band and audience through the hymns while Nigel Weeks enjoyed a well-deserved holiday overseas. The scariest moment for brass players on Anzac Day is always the last post. It’s not easy to play something so simple, all on your own with so many eyes on you! Rhys McDonnell didn’t let anybody down though with a perfect rendition.

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On the Saturday and Sunday we performed our concerts with guest Musical Director David Chaulk. David is an excellent brass conductor with a slightly different approach to Nigel, the experience is interesting for the band and audience alike. The music chosen was mostly from the world war eras, Glen Miller, other popular music and marches. ‘Mars, The Bringer Of War’ from ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst was a major, more serious offering that gave the audience something to think about and pushed the players to extremes of technique and volume.

These concerts are written in blood in our calendar now, we look forwards to seeing you there in 2015!

Invercargill 2014

The band is well into its preparations for the 2014 New Zealand Brass Band Championships in sunny Invercargill. The contest runs from the 9th-12th July with events for soloists, small ensembles and of course, our full band.

In 2013 we came 2nd… just! In 2014 we have every intention of winning the title. Dalewool Auckland Brass has been in the highest grade for brass bands for all of its modern existence and taken plenty of titles, it has been a few years since we last held all of the trophies though and we plan to put that right.

Read Morenz2014logoAttending events like these is very expensive for a band. While our members pay many of the costs themselves, it is not cheap to fly and accommodate 30 people with their heavy instruments at the other end of the country! By attending our concerts you make it possible for the band to stay at the leading edge and compete at such a high level – every one of us thanks you.

On Monday July 7th we are planning a free open rehearsal along the same format as our very successful event last year. Final details are being confirmed now, if you are signed up to our email newsletter you will get all of the information in your inbox as soon as it is available.

Official information about the competition is available here.

2014 National Band of New Zealand

Six members of Dalewool Auckland Brass have been selected to represent New Zealand as members of the 2014 National Band of New Zealand which will perform throughout China and South Korea in September.

Dalewool’s Conductor, Nigel Weeks, has been appointed Musical Director of the Band, a position which highlights Nigel’s calibre and regard within the Brass Band movement in New Zealand. He has the challenge of bringing the band of ‘unfamiliar’ players together during a six day camp in Auckland before the band heads to China for the first leg of the tour.

Having conducted the National Youth Band of New Zealand the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Nigel’s contribution to the makeup of the brass band scene in New Zealand is in some ways complete with his appointment to this position.Read More

Dalewool principal cornet player, John Lewis, takes up his position as principal of the National band for the third time. John’s success as a soloist and band leader is well known and his inclusion in this National Band substantiates his ability.

Dalewool’s presence is felt throughout the band with players in 5 of the 6 sections. The tour will be Ross Gerritsen’s 5th with the National Band. He was Principal Baritone for the 2003 New Zealand Tour, the 2005 Tour to Europe, the 2007 National Tour with James Morrison and the 2009 European Tour where the band competed at the World Brass Band Championships in the Netherlands.

Four of the Dalewool representatives are also members of the New Zealand Navy Band. Michael Ashton (Trombone), Fraser Robertson (Tuba) and Leni Sulusi and Jessica Hix (Percussion) are all National Band debutants. They help to continue a rich tradition of Dalewool musicians representing their county.

Since 1953, Dalewool has produced over 50 National bandsmen. In all the current Dalewool band has 10 current or past National Bandsmen and women.

2014 National Band Details:

• The Band meets in Auckland on Thursday 28th August to commence rehearsals
• The ‘Farewell’ Concert will take place at Auckland Girls Grammar School on Monday 1st September
• The Band departs Auckland on the evening of the 2nd September
• While in China the band has number of engagements including in Jinan, the Capital of the Shandong province in Eastern China, Deshou and Xuzhou.
• Following the time in China the Band travels to South Korea for the second leg of the Tour.
• The band is away from New Zealand for 19 days.