Band needs brass to represent the region
Brass Whanganui are calling on community support to help them represent New Zealand in China.
Photo / Supplied
The river city's top brass musicians have been invited to perform on the world stage in September and they are calling on the community to help them get to China.
Brass Whanganui, as New Zealand's reigning top B grade band and multi-award winners for their stunning Thunderbirds, themed marching display at last year's national competitions, has been invited to Shanghai.
Trombone player and band chairman Jonathon Greenwell (ex WHS student) said the invitation is a huge honour and Brass Whanganui will be representing New Zealand at the opening parade of the Shanghai Tourism Festival.
"It is a massive event attended by millions of people and watched by millions more.
"The festival is a non-profit event and although they will provide us with meals and accommodation while we are there, we will have to pay for all of our own international and internal airfares."
All 30 band members are committed to going on the trip and Greenwell said they will need to raise around $90,000.
A dedicated group of volunteers have so far managed to raise around 15 per cent of the cost and have set up a Boosted page where supporters can make donations.
The band will also travel within China and will visit Xi'an, home of the famous terracotta warriors.
"We will be part of a group of around 1000 Kiwis invited to the special ceremony as part of the Year of China New Zealand Tourism celebrations.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as we will be the first public group to view some newly discovered warriors."
Brass Whanganui was founded in 2001 with the amalgamation of two of New Zealand's most prestigious brass bands, the Wanganui Garrison Band and Wanganui City Brass.
Several generations of Whanganui families have been part of the band and many players go on to join other brass bands around New Zealand.
By Liz Wylie
Whanganui Chronicle 3/5/19