Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hello Dunedin!

I'll be in Dunedin from the 6th to the 11th of July for the national brass band contest (you bet your ass I'm that cool) so if anyone reading this lives in Dunedin and wants to get drunk and make out go for coffee or something flick me an email.

This is how band contest works: 27 brass bands (there are 58 in NZ but some of these are from places like Gore and are comprised of three tuba players and a sheep) go to nationals, which are held annually in a randomly selected, majorish NZ city. The bands are divided into groups according to quality; your band is either A, B, C, or D grade. Mine is A grade. Naturally.

Each grade is assigned a major work and all the bands in that grade play it; each band also presents a hymn (although in this politically sensitive day and age this is referred to as the 'reflective item') and a major work of their own choice. Points are tallied, winner is announced, everyone gets very drunk and then it is all over for another year! I love contest. I am a huge band geek. Please, hold your American Pie jokes.

There is also a marching competition, which looks like this:


and sounds like a whole lot of bands following one another down the street playing different pieces of music at once i.e. majestic.

In my old band the marching was considered a resounding success if no-one fell over or ran into anyone else but this band is more serious and so we keep having marching practices in the rain. Also we have to learn the music off by heart and should there really be an ad for a funeral home on during True Blood? Huh. More on band later.

Also, don't forget to win a piƱata.


Madame DeFarge said...

We've just seen the Black Dyke Band and are going to see the Grimethorpe Band. I think that makes us equally uncool. Not even sure why we went, but it was great fun - even if the audience was twice our age and wrinkled. Hope you enjoy it.

Julia said...

Ally! you forgot to mention the MOST important and exciting part of Contest - when everyone (except you and me) plays a solo in their respective instrument sections, and then the best from each of them goes on to compete that night against all of the other champions and then the winner of that is titled the Champion of Champions and is all powerful.

the drama! the underdog stories! the politics! the intrigue!!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Would 'Man in the Mirror' count as a reflective item?

cerebral e said...

That looks like so much fun! Do they have French horns in brass bands (like they have them in woodwind quintets, despite not being a woodwind instrument)?

otherworldlyone said...

Somehow you make band sound fun.

There are ads on during True Blood there? Eff that in the ahole.

P.S. - Eric. Yes? Yes.

IT IS ALLY said...

Madame dF - Lucky you! Would love to see either of those. I'm trying to make brass bands cool again but it's a pretty slow process.

Ju - Hahaha! CHAMP O' CHAMPS! Probably more on that when we get there :D Word verification is 'contends' - could it be a sign?

Andrea - Ho ho ho.

cE - Nope! Too orchestral or something. Also never in tune.

ow1 - It is fun! Except for marching. Marching stinks. Also yes Eric.