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Hamilton to welcome New Zealand National Championships

The world's oldest National Brass Band Championship will be making a 40 year return to Hamilton next month.

hAMILTON
  The New Zealand National Championships return to Hamilton for the first time in 40 years.

The world's oldest National Brass Band Championship will return to the city of Hamilton in July.

The New Zealand National Championships were first held in 1880 — a full 20 years before Britain held its first event at the Crystal Palace in London.

It will also be the first time in 40 years that the event has taken place Hamilton in the Waikato region of the North Island — which held it for the only other occasion in 1979.

Five days

The 2019 event will run from Wednesday 10th July to Sunday 14th July, with two days of junior and open solo competitions taking place at Claudelands Event Centre, followed by five sections of band events over two days at both Claudelands Events Centre and Southwell School.

It will include events such as the Junior Champion of Champions and Invitation Slow Melody, Open Champion of Champions, Parade of Bands and a Gala Concert that will feature the Chicago Brass Band (USA), Hamilton City Brass (NZ) and special guest artists.

The Chief Adjudicator this year is Belgian conductor Luc Vertommen, whilst the Assistant Chief Adjudicator is Major Graham Hickman.

The Championship Section bands will tackle Gilbert Vinter's 'Variations on a Ninth' as well as providing their own-choice selections, whilst other section test-pieces include 'Triumphant Rhapsody', 'Penlee' and 'Meditation on St Clement'.

It will also be the first time in 40 years that the event has taken place Hamilton in the Waikato region of the North Island — which held it for the only other occasion in 19794BR

Largest entry

Contest Chairman Malcolm Barr told 4BR: "We're delighted to confirm that we will have 31 bands attending this year's event — the largest in over a decade.

With competitors coming from all over New Zealand, Australia and even as far as USA it is a fabulous opportunity for Hamilton to embrace the extra 1,500 + visitors who will inject $2million worth of revenue into the city during the week."

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Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor