PRESIDENT’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR NORTH SHORE BRASS
Welcome to the 96th Annual General Meeting of North Shore Brass Inc, and a
special welcome to our Patrons, Vice Patrons, Life members and other guests. I am
proud to again report on the activities and achievements of the North Shore Brass
family over a year with many highlights.
In the brass band world often the measure of a good band is taken by its contesting
results as this is the pinnacle of our music standards during the year and how we
improve and develop. Last month was a particularly high measure as we became the
first band in New Zealand history to enter three bands into our national competition
in Hamilton and all came away with podium placings – I now have 11 certificates to
frame and place on our band room wall. It has taken some weeks to wipe the smile
off my face.
We continue to have a good relationship with the Devonport – Takapuna Local Board
and have welcomed Ross Cunningham as our new arts adviser.
It is a contract grant but the KPI’s are more aligned to Auckland Council than the
number of performances. I am pleased to say, last week I signed for another year at
the same level of support – $17,000.
We are lucky to own our own building – worth circa $1 mil and we are about to roll
over the lease for another 20 years with Auckland Council.
As mentioned above we made some history for not only New Zealand but our own
organsiation as well. North Shore Brass has never sent more than one band to a
national contest – to send three was a superb effort and a tribute to all conductors,
tutor, managers, players and families.
The feedback I got from the over 40 people that attended their first nationals was
that they want to do it again. Some initial planning is underway to send the
Academy Band to Christchurch as a band and also enter many of the solo and party
After winning the under 15 year cornets in 2018, this year Liam Wright stormed on
to take the Junior Cornet Championship and then later in the day the Junior
Champion of Champions. He has made history as the first member of North Shore
Brass to take this title. Congratulations Liam.
The Academy Band is a separate member of BBANZ, paying an annual subscription
this year, which meant six members entered the solo events for the first time.
Results included Jackson Parker second in the under 15 percussion and his brother
Harry third in the under 15 cornets.
Phil Spriggs who not only adjudicated but was an early winner in the senior events
winning the open Own Choice solo event followed by Andrew Leech in the Open
Euphonium. Harmen Vanhoorne, Mark Close and Fraser Bremner also judged events
during the week.
In the band events our Academy Band entered the D grade and were second in the
hymn test, third in the own choice selection and third overall in the grade.
Congratulations Steve Foster on your first nationals – lots of great comments about
the band but also some learnings for the future.
The Academy Band also decided to enter the street march so learnt from scratch the
basics of marching and playing music. Thanks to Bill Rimmer for training the band
and also Helena Spurdle as drum major. Despite the event being cancelled due to
rain the option to march inside at the Claudelands Arena was taken up, and the
band performed to a vocal supportive crowd. We expect the Academy Band to
undertake more marching engagements particularly at Christmas.
Mark Close worked very hard to have a large band perform in the youth section
under the name of Takapuna Youth Brass. Being the only entrant, they did come
home with some expensive silverware. Makaleta Tuipolotu was judged the best
soloist winning the Christiansen Memorial Trophy.
A real highlight for me at the Hamilton contest was to listen and watch Colin conduct
a fine performance of Fraternity – the own choice in the A grade. The band is in fine
musical shape and consistent results across the disciplines saw a deserved third
placing in all events and the championship with a very happy band thanks to all the
hard work and dedication.
A tribute to Peter O’Shaughnessy for stepping into the band managers role for
contest as John Sullivan had BBANZ duties to fulfil. Peter visited Hamilton several
times to make sure that all facilities and arrangements were acceptable.
The ABA solos also saw our bands well represented in numbers and results. It is now
expected that Academy youth enter these competitions even if only in an ensemble.
The band is again the Champion Band of Auckland after a successful defense of our
title at the Hawkins Theatre Papakura.
For the first time in our history, and, also in the Auckland Bands Association history
we had four bands enter the contest with Mark Close leading two bands in the Youth
section and the Academy Band placed second to Howick Brass.
With the assistance of Rachel Blunt and Rachel Sullivan we had good success with
grant applications for various projects during the year:
Auckland Council/Devonport Takapuna Local Board
Contract grant $17,000
Pub Charity – Contest Accommodation $13,000
– Christmas Concert venue hire $ 3,069
Thanks to the support of these bodies we were able to keep contest cost lower for
Our balance sheet is now stronger thanks to some careful management of
We have applied for a large grant to Foundation North (the old ASB Community
Trust) of $85,000 to undertake running repairs to the outside of our band room as
well as new kitchen joinery, CCTV cameras for child protection and LED lighting
throughout our complex.
In early 2019 the National Youth Brass Band toured to Australia and included Mollie
and Dominic Cornfield, Alex King and David Paligora and a late call up to Liam
Wright. This week we can congratulate Alex King and Liam Wright who have been
chosen for the 2020 National Youth Brass Band.
Liam Wright and Jayden Shuker-Brown will also proudly represent the Band in the
National Secondary Schools Brass Band in October as they perform in New Plymouth
Since the last AGM our band manager John Sullivan has taken the presidents chair at
the Brass bands Association of NZ. We can be assured that under his leadership our
movement is in very sound and capable hands.
NORTH SHORE BRASS ACADEMY
The Academy has been going six years now and we continue to adapt, grow, learn
and provide opportunities for members of all abilities.
A recent front page article in the NZ Mouthpiece featured the history to date of the
Academy and this article was also copied into InTune magazine for music teachers
As well as marching the Academy Band were also expected to partake in sectional
rehearsals and many thanks to Harmen Vanhoorne, Dean Morley and Steve Foster
as well as Jared Gibson and Hannah Neman for assisting our young percussion team
We were delighted to receive a specially engraved, brand new student cornet for the
Academy donated by Bob and Jean Salthouse. Sadly Bob passed away not long after
presenting it to us.
THE DROMGOOLE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
This past year the fund has subsidised some individual lessons for youth members
before the national contest.
Tonight’s Quiz night is an opportunity to add to this fund and from there we will
allocate funds to all members chosen for the NYBB and NSSBB.
I set some objectives six years ago and here is the progress on some of them.
Maintain our community band family while also stretching our musical
I would like to set a challenge of us winning the A grade in 2020 at Christchurch. We
have laid the foundations for this over the past few years and I feel we are on the
cusp of being crowned the champion band of New Zealand.
Improving our profile with the North Shore business community
The Quiz night tonight has meant we needed to be asking local businesses for prizes
and this has raised our profile. Unfortunately, despite us being a success and lots of
good news the local newspapers do not print anything I send to them.
Build on our strengths and our Dromgoole scholarship fund
With our plans to win the A grade this fund will need boosting and will be used in
Strengthen Our Balance Sheet
This is to continue into the next financial year as we strive to shelter ourselves
against any one-off shocks and expensive contests.
Band room repairs
These are due to happen early 2020 subject to funding. The band room will be 20
years old on 6 February 2020.
North Shore Brass had pleasure in nominating our previous secretary and life
member Kathy McDonald as the New Zealand administrator of the year. This was in
conjunction with the Auckland Band Association. We are delighted that she was
chosen to receive the trophy at the Hamilton contest to rapturous applause.
A hearty thanks to our hard working band manager John Sullivan, our secretary Kate
Baird, treasurer Rachel Sullivan, Academy Manager Dave Bennett, other committee
members, band members, supporters and sponsors for their work, loyalty and effort
for the North Shore Brass family in the past year.
I do get a kick out of the calls and messages I get through the year from band
people and others totally outside banding saying what great work we are doing for
musicians from the top down. We can proudly say we are one of the strongest
musical bodies in Auckland and nationwide in the brass band scene, with results to