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Report & Results: 2013 New Zealand National Championship — Besson Band of the Year

Wellington makes it a National 'double' with victory in the Besson Band of the Year entertainment contest.

Wellington Brass


Wellington Brass made it a ‘double’ at the New Zealand National Championships in New Plymouth on the weekend as they claimed the Besson Band of the Year entertainment title to add to their historic Championship Section success.

Guest conductor

Under the direction of guest conductor Philip Johnston they delivered a high class entertainment programme to take yet another trophy back home to Wellington, with principal euphonium Byron Newton also claiming the ‘Best Soloist’ Award.

The Band of the Year event traditionally closes the National Championship weekend, with this year Brass Wanganui and local favourites The Devon Hotel New Plymouth Brass also taking part.

Radio theme

Wellington’s 1920’s themed BBC radio set saw them take to the stage in various ‘mining’ attire as they opened with Gordon Langford’s ‘Great British Marches’ followed by the sparkling award winning performance of ‘Bravura’ by Buzz Newton.

‘Gaelforce’ and ‘Danny Boy’ led into the finale of a rousing performance of the rather appropriate march, ‘The Champions’.

Memorable weekend

The victory rounded off a truly memorable weekend for one of New Zealand banding’s most improved ensembles. In recent years under the direction of David Bremner, Wellington has risen from the B Grade to National Champions—and now ‘double’ winners.


He told 4BR: "The band played so well over all the weekend. It has been an amazing achievement for which the players deserve all the credit. I am so incredibly proud of what they have achieved."

He added: "To bring these trophies back to Wellington after a 32 year wait is very pleasing, and to do it against great competition from Dalewool and Woolston is also special. The Besson Band of the Year victory was the icing on the cake, and I can’t thank David enough for leading the band to another memorable success.

We now want to build on these successes and we are planning a tour to the UK next year, so this has been a fantastic boost to our plans."

The band played so well over all the weekend. It has been an amazing achievement for which the players deserve all the credit. I am so incredibly proud of what they have achievedDavid Bremner


Besson Band of the Year:

1. Wellington Brass (David Johnston)

Other competitors: Brass Wanganui and The Devon Hotel New Plymouth Brass.

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BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)