President’s Note

On behalf of the Executive team of the NZ Concert Bands Association, I am very pleased to welcome you to the reboot of BandBeat! In an age where we are seeing the reboot of many old favourites- Doctor Who, Thunderbirds, Star Trek just to name a few- it’s great that the NZCBA’s magazine is back too. Like any reboot, we are putting a modern twist on it and as you read this online, you are already experiencing this. The beauty of an online magazine is that we can also provide you with a complete experience with video and audio.

2016 promises to be a bigger and better year for the NZCBA as we strive to support and develop Concert Bands in New Zealand. The NZ Youth Symphonic Winds starts its second season under the very expert and capable batons of Owen Clarke and Helen Renaud. I believe it is so important that the future of concert bands in this country comes from our young people and having an ensemble that they can aim to be in is a wonderful way to support our most talented young players. The Seniors Band is back in 2016 too, another wonderful way for our more seasoned players to play together and share music making.

Our Annual Conducting Clinic in 2015 saw a visit by concert band legend, Dr. Bruce Pearson, with the NZ Youth Symphonic Winds as the clinic band. Bruce was engaging, funny and inspiring for all of us at the Clinic. He was also extremely generous in the amount of free gifts we got to take home, including a jam-packed tote bag with samples of his latest book “Tradition of Excellence”, information on how to teach woodwind, brass and percussion instruments to beginners , as well as a free concert band piece. Traveling home with all those goodies blew out the on-board baggage for those flying home! It was also an amazing weekend of catching up with old friends and making new friends in the concert band scene. This is really a not-to-be missed event in our calendar.

2016 also sees the start of something new. We are proud to be launching the “Band and Orchestra Month, Aotearoa” (or BOMA for short) in August 2016. I will talk more about this in an article in this magazine, however this is our way for bringing a focus on Concert Bands (and orchestras) nationally and encouraging people to join a band, start playing an instrument or dust off an old instrument and get back into bands. A number of Festivals have been planned around this month, making it a real celebration of what we do.

Concert Bands are one of a small number of activities that whole families can participate in and it’s wonderful to see generations of families all in the one band. As I remarked at the Concert Bands Festival last September, it was heartening to see so many young people at the festival. Hopefully they will have families and share their love of music-making and concert bands with their own children and be able to participate together in local, community concert bands.

I would like to thank the amazingly talented team of people who have brought Bandbeat back to life, particularly Laura Brown who has taken on the role of Editor with great enthusiasm and skill, as well as the whole NZCBA team who contribute, support and share their remarkable talents with each other and in doing so, with all Concert Bands around the country. It is my honour to work with you all.

Finally, I would like to encourage you, dear reader, to get more involved with Concert Bands. You can do this by being a member of the NZCBA. Concert Bands can join and you will receive free access to Bandbeat, five new and absolutely FREE Concert Band arrangements each year, and member discounts to our Annual Conducting Clinics and other special events. You can also join as an individual, and your membership will get you access to Bandbeat, one free concert band arrangement of your choice, and member discounts to our special events. Memberships are $50 for an individual and $126.50 for bands. If you want to be a part of the NZCBA, head on over to our website to join: http://nzcba.org/about-nzcba/nzcba-membership/

Enjoy Bandbeat and I look forward to seeing you all in person during the upcoming concert band year!

Andrew Stopps
President (2013- )