2022 President’s report



Welcome to the 98th Annual General Meeting of North Shore Brass Inc, and a special welcome today to our Patrons, Vice Patrons, Life members and other guests in attendance. I am very proud to again report on the activities and achievements of the North Shore Brass family over the year since our last AGM in December 2021.

We are in our 99th year of formation and what a monumental year it was, with lots of highlights across our organisation.


Our contract operational grant has recently been approved through to 2023 of $17,000 which we are very grateful for.

We are grateful to have received grants of $7000 from our local board to go towards band room maintenance – specifically plaster repairs, painting of the exterior of our building and new guttering.

I have been part of a working group looking to move the ANZAC Memorial from its current position on private land to a more suitable location in keeping with the work happening on Hurstmere Road.


The ABA solos were able to happen in May and included many trophies across our membership. The North Shore Brass Academy Band was again awarded the conductors cup for the second year running. This is for the most placings in the ABA solo and party contest and is especially pleasing as it is all students from our Academy. Great work from Mark Close, our musicians and parents.

With contesting somewhat difficult in this Covid-19 era the Auckland contest was not held for bands in 2021. Last weekend was the first ABA band contest since 2019 and we made history as the first Auckland organsiation to have two bands win two sections. North Shore Brass is the champion band of Auckland again while the Academy Band continued its run with a first win in the B section.

The national championships this year in Wellington was our most successful year ever as we came home with 12 trophies across a broad range of events.

Our Academy Band at only its second national contest are now crowned the New Zealand National D grade champions thanks to a lot of work and commitment from a very young band under their conductor Andrew Leech.

Harmen worked the senior band very hard to achieve impressive placings that he will discuss in his report. We are closing the gap nicely at the top of the A grade, only two points in it.

In Wellington we also supported a combination youth band with Auckland City Brass. It was called the Auckland Brass Bandits and they entered the youth section with 12 of our members and won this grade.

Soloists also had many placings with the following highlights:

Liam Wright – Junior Champion Cornet and NZ Junior Champion of Champion for the third year.

Half of the entries in the prestigious Invitation Slow Melody event were from North Shore Brass.

Murray Borthwick – Masters winner and then NZ Champion of Champions after so many seconds and thirds.

Not many bands in our 140 year history of brass bands in New Zealand can claim to have both a junior and open champion of champion.


With the assistance of Rachel Sullivan, we had a most fruitful year with grant applications during the year totaling $60,000 from the following bodies:

Auckland Council/Devonport Takapuna Local Board contract grant $17,000
Youthtown Community Trust $5,000
Four Winds Foundation $4,501
Pub Charity $4,244
Foundation North $16,000
Lion Foundation $4,000
Creative Communities $2,290
Devonport Takapuna Local Board $7,000

We would like to acknowledge the generosity of these organsiation in their support of our activities. Funds were used for such items as a full set of cymbals, a well overdue replacement for our 50-year-old vibraphone, band room maintenance, venue hire and contest accommodation.


We had a record nine members chosen for the National Secondary Schools Brass Band and the Development Band:

Jenny Howe
Matt Donaldson
Chris Rowe
Christopher Tsai
Janice Tsai
Emmy Pullen
Charlie Meek
Harry Parker
Emily Sullivan

With seven members chosen for the 2022 National Band of New Zealand – North Shore Brass has one of the highest representations of any band in New Zealand. Congratulations to:

Andrew Leech
Chris Lawrence
David Paligora
John Sullivan
Harmen Vanhoorne
Rhys McDonnell
Mone Isoda


The band continues on its journey to even great musical highlights and is as strong as it has ever been this past year, despite the interruptions with lock downs. Harmen Vanhoorne has built around him a very talented set of musicians that is stable and they are all committed as he strives to take out the NZ brass band championship. Take another bow Mr Vanhoorne for a successful year.


Thanks to a Creative Communities grant the band started the year at the Sir Peter Blake Marine and Recreation Centre in Long Bay for a day of team building activities, intense music and social interaction to really start 2022 with some purpose. After so many false starts it was wonderful to cooperate in music and in team building activities provided at MERC. This is something we want to repeat in 2023.

Music For Our Mothers concert was moved to the North Harbour Lounge within the North Harbour Stadium and the band rose to the occasion in front of a near full house.

Thanks to Andrew Leech for some great leadership during the year and committee members John Tsai and Rachel Sullivan for other leadership tasks through the year.


We were fortunate to receive some anonymous donations during the year so this fund was added to, with some monies set aside to assist youth players next year as we travel to Dunedin for the nationals.


Several projects are underway as we strive to have the band room looking good for our centennial year in 2023.

• Replace gutting on the rear of our building – DONE

  • CCTV cameras – DONE – donated goods from SWL – Security Wholesale Ltd and Dahua Technology NZ ltd
  • Unlimited wireless internet – DONE
  • Repair store external door – Underway
  • Paint and repair exterior of the band rooms – funding applied for
  • Repair bifold doors and louvre windows – work in progress
  • Artwork to liven up the block walls around our band rooms – work in progress
  • New lino in toilets and kitchen area – funding to be applied for in Feb 2023
  • New kitchen cabinetry – funding to be applied for in 2023

Your committee have also implemented a child protection policy during the year. This is about to be published on our website. CCTV cameras have been installed as additional protection with 14 cameras throughout our facility. It was wonderful to have the soft ware and hard are donated for this project.


I have traditionally set some objectives each AGM but this year we are taking a different path with a survey to be undertaken this week followed by some intense strategic planning that will set our future direction and how we might get there.

We do have some growing pains as we are now an organsiation of over 100 musicians which is incredible. We are the largest musical organisation on the North Shore by participation and certainly one of the largest brass bands in New Zealand.

In 2023 we celebrate 100 years of the forming of the Takapuna Citizens Band which has morphed into today’s powerhouse of musicmaking that we enjoy. We are looking for volunteers to help organize these celebrations in 2023 with a major concert and other social events over a weekend.


A huge thanks to our hard-working team that keeps your band running – our chief operating officer John Sullivan, our secretary Ruth Lovelock, our treasurer, and life member Rachel Sullivan, committee members, conductors, band members, supporters and sponsors, I thank you for your work, loyalty and effort for the North Shore Brass family in the past year.

Thank you.

Owen Melhuish President September 2022