Waitakere Auckland Brass was established in 1923 as the New Lynn Citizens Band. In 1938, just prior to the advent of World War II they disbanded. Happily, 13 years later they re-formed and entered the New Zealand National Championships in the 'D' Grade. After winning D' Grade title in 1958 they were promoted to the 'C' Grade, but lingered there for 18 years.
The band's fortunes took a major upturn in 1970 when the Reverend Tom Hill (ex Salvation Army) was appointed as Musical Director. Under his expert guidance the band won the National 'C' Grade title in 1976 and the 'B' Grade title in 1980, leading to 'A' Grade status for the first time in the band's history.
Due to sponsorship issues, the band underwent a series of name changes, which caused a large amount of confusion to its supporters. However, the band went from strength to strength and, in 1990 won the New Zealand National Championships for the first time, under the baton of Alan McKenzie.
In 1995 the band toured the UK and Denmark under the baton of David Chaulk. During the tour the band performed with Leyland, Williams Fairey and CWS Glasgow bands and competed at the Pontins championships. It was at these championships that the band met their next Musical Director, Howard Taylor.
Howard Taylor moved to New Zealand in 1997 and had success winning the hymn and test at the 1997 New Zealand Nationals. Nine years after winning its first A Grade National championship the band won the National Championships again in 1999, winning every prize at the contest. A highlight of Howard Taylor's time with the band was the all expenses paid trip to represent New Zealand at the 2001 Chinese New Year parade in Hong Kong.
Following Howard Taylor's move to Australia the band was under the baton of Andrew Snell. Another Brit, Andrew spent 11 years as Bass Trombonist with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. In 2003 the band traveled to Newcastle, NSW to compete in the Australian National Brass Band Championships where it was crowned National Champions of Australia for the first time. It was during Andrew's reign that the band began to build its subscription concert series.
In 2004 following the departure of Andrew Snell to Australia, the band employed Garry Cutt, of Grimethorpe Colliery Band fame, to take the band to the New Zealand Nationals in Christchurch.
Immediately following the contest, renowned composer, arranger and tuba player, Simon Kerwin took over as musical director. 2005 saw the band giving memorable concerts, including performing in front of 4,500 at The Trusts Stadium, Henderson and at the Crowne Plaza in the immensely successful, Jazz Mania concert. In September 2006, Simon lead the band on a wonderful two week tour in Europe. This began with the Swiss Open contest in Lucerne, Switzerland and followed by a concert tour of northern England. The band performed in concerts with Fairey Band, Hepworth and Scottish Coop bands as well as getting in some great sightseeing.
After the tour Simon was succeeded by another import from Britain, baritone virtuoso and conductor, Steven Booth. Simon saw the year out playing tuba with the band and then joined his young family in Blenheim to begin the next chapter in their lives.
Steven Booth made his mark on the band very early, demonstrating considerable skill and patience as a band trainer, as well as his great musicianship.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Member: Music Director : Steven Booth
Principal Cornet: Vaughn McDonald
Soprano Cornet: Hiro Kobayashi
Flugel Horn: Courtney Hildreth
Principal Horn: Brent Large
Solo Trombone: Stuart Ritchie
Solo Euphonium: Gary Bilton
Solo E Flat Tuba: Malcolm Gapes
Percussion: Scott Langdon
Waitakere Brass Band