The band started as a small “garage band” in 2014 with a realisation that there was a shortage and strong need to encourage young people to play brass instruments within northwest Christchurch. Since its formation, we have been instrumental in changing the face of banding in the region. We have been gradually building strength over the years, and Nor’west Brass, our flagship band, became a “C Grade” Brass Band in 2019. As our membership numbers have continuously grown, several junior development bands were created, which provides the great environment for our members to progress from a beginner player to a fine musician. We have grown into a band with approximately 80 active playing members, and our bands regularly participate in local and national brass competitions, as well as share the music with the local community.
Our goals are to provide an environment to encourage excellence in brass playing and to become an integral part of community life. We encompass education for a full age range including young children, entire families and adult players who wish to learn a new instrument or have played a brass instrument in the past and want to pick it up again.
We work closely with local tutors, schools, and other musical groups in our area. With a strong focus on tuition and training, we aim to provide a group outlet for young players to develop within, as well as helping our players gain a lifelong interest and friendships. A number of our junior players that started with us have gone on to play in representative secondary school brass bands and orchestras, and have also been involved in high school competitions such as Ara Jazz Quest and Southern Jam. We help generate a feeling of being part of the community and provide music and educational services for events around the region.
We also encourage older players to learn and have a number of adult learners actively involved. In order to achieve these aims, we have a strong focus as a community project. We believe that by working with the local community we can supply benefits to a far wider set of people than just the members of the band.
We have a wealth of expert knowledge behind the band including national champions, national bandsmen and players who have been involved in some of the top bands in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Here are what we aim to offer:
There is a shortage of capable brass players entering the high schools in the area. By targeting new players from about Year 3 upwards, our aim is to increase the quantity and quality of brass players entering all the high schools in our area. This will also provide a direct benefit to the primary and intermediate schools.
For other musical organisations in Christchurch
Our brass band provides cost effective music for community events. We play at a number of community events and have this as a strong focus.
We encourage our young players to be part of their community and to contribute to it.