Celtic Class

June saw the revival of our Celtic themed concerts at the new venue (and much enjoyed!) Dorothy Winstone Theatre at Auckland Girls Grammar School.

We were joined by a number of young dancers from The Doyle Academy of Irish Dance who wowed the audience with fancy footwork and accompanied the band through the thrilling Finale from Riverdance.

Highlights were plenty and included major work The Hymn of the Highlands and Principal Trombone Mike Ashton’s performance of The Blue Bells Scotland. I’m sure many people did not know a trombone could play so many notes! Ken Cant performed a wonderful duet with the harp on his euphonium.

The crowd was extremely enthusiastic and our dancers found the energy to reprise Riverdance once more as an encore. Look forward to this concert back again in 2015!

Baby Bonus

On 19th August a new member of the band arrived in the form of a beautiful baby! Marc Nethercot (trombone) and his partner Trudy welcomed their little girl Holly in Tauranga hospital.

Sadly this means a move for Marc as he relocates to the Bay of Plenty to be closer to family. Marc says “I’ve played in many bands down the years but very few that feel like they’re part of your own family. Dalewool is certainly in that category! It will be hard not seeing such great friends every week or playing for an excellent band like this one. Hopefully they will need somebody extra to hit a triangle from time to time and I can drive up and catch up with everybody!”.

Marc has been in the band for several years and has written many articles for Playing Up, renovated our previous website and been involved with artwork and publicity.

Craig Rhodes

Craig began learning to play at age 13 while studying at Wanganui Boys College. By the age of 15 he was member of the then Tenderkist Wanganui City Silver Band.

rhodesIn 1990 he joined as a territorial with the RNZAF Base Ohakea Band near Palmerston North. Craig spent the next 13 years enjoying his time as a territorial with the Air Force travelling up and down the country. In 1993 he travelled to Scotland with his Wanganui Band and the Wellington Lochiel Marching Team for 6 weeks to perform a joint marching display at the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

In 2003 Craig decided to make a career change and to move to Auckland to join the Royal New Zealand Navy Band as a tuba player. He has enjoyed his time in the band and also enjoyed the travel.

Craig has been fortunate enough to travel to Gallipoli for the ANZAC day commemorations. He has also been to South Korea, Australia, Tonga and Samoa as well as up and down NZ.

In mid 2006, Craig joined Dalewool Auckland Brass and he often wonders why he didn’t join earlier when he moved up to Auckland. Mind you he did play for the opposition Waitakere Brass for the first 3 years!

Craig is supported by his lovely wife Judy of nearly 20 years of marriage and his three teenage children Samantha, Taylor & Brandon.

Free Pre-Contest Concert

Where: Hawkins Theatre, Ray Small Drive, Papakura
When: Monday 7th July, 8:00pm – approx 9:30pm
Cost: Free

Refreshments after: Dalewool Bandroom – 98 Captain Springs Road, Onehunga

On Monday 7th July Dalewool Auckland Brass is proud to present a free showcase of our music for the National Brass Band Championships, this year held in Invercargill later that week.

Like previous years, this is your chance to hear the band at its very best. MD Nigel Weeks has worked the players extremely hard to get one better than last year’s 2nd place.

You will have the opportunity to listen to our two major works, the sacred item and a few other bits and pieces. Nigel Weeks will talk about each piece in detail and show you how the tricky parts are rehearsed.

This is an informal event with free entry. There is lots of free parking at the venue. While no refreshments are available at the venue all of our supporters are invited back to the bandroom afterwards to mingle with the band and join us for a glass of wine/beer/juice.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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.

In Close Harmony

Where: Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland
When: Sunday 30th March 2:00pm
Cost: Adults $30, Seniors $20, Students $10

The first concert of the year for Dalewool Auckland Brass will see us together with the Greater Auckland Chorus, a nationally renowned choir of 80+ singers in the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna. Come early and get a spot of lunch before we start!

The Greater Auckland Chorus is led by Master Director, Melody Lowe, supported by Associate Director, Jocosa Bruce, and consists of 80+ members from the Greater Auckland district, and beyond – as far north as the Bay Of Islands and as far south as Ngaruawahia.

In 2013, GAC represented New Zealand at the Sweet Adelines International convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, after winning a 2012 wild card entry by being one of the top five second place choruses in the world during the regional round of competitions. The chorus has now competed seven times at international level and is ranked in the top 30 choruses world-wide, each time it competes.

Three other award-winning vocal groups will also be performing – Macapella, Molto! Quartet and Bakers Dozen.

Sorry, due to restrictions at the venue we are not able to offer our ticket reservation service.

Tickets available from ticketmaster or at the door.

Sunday Bandstand – Review

Reviewed by Kevin Jarrett MBE – one of NZ’s most celebrated Musical Directors and Cornetists:

Having listened to many CDs from this Band, I believe this is the best. The musicality of Nigel Weeks is obvious throughout the disc.

A varied and popular choice of music with many individual highlights and a lovely ensemble sound and balance throughout. The overture to “Italian in Algiers” by Rossini was outstanding. A lovely musical reading and excellent technique was evident.

saturdaybandstandcoverRead MoreOther favourites such as Perpetuum Mobile, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Band Played On were played with vibrance and a high degree of musicality.

John Lewis showed his great versatility, while still featuring his most lovely sound in his two solos – El Cumbanchero and Georgia on my Mind. He is certainly a wonderful player.

A real highlight to me was Kay MacKenzie’s Memory. A lovely musical approach and excellent intonation throughout the range. Kay’s playing throughout the Disc was outstanding. The flugel obligato in Memory was beautifully done. Great to see two marches included – Death or Glory and Simoraine were good choices although I felt percussion were very distant in Simoraine.

The Band was generally well balanced and intonation only suffered a little in the Benedictus.

One of the real features was “Out of Africa”. This beautiful music was given a most musical rendition by Nigel Weeks. The horns and flugel were outstanding and the Band sound was beautifully balanced.

The Finale “Stingray” was really exciting and ended a great listening experience. Nigel Weeks is a most musical man and his influence and musicianship has helped immensely in the production of this excellent disc. A brilliant CD cover tops it off –

A must for your CD collection.

Well done.

Kevin Jarrett