Veterans Brass Band to visit

Anzac Day services in Wanaka will feature performances from the New Zealand Veterans Brass Band for the first time. Photo: Supplied
Anzac Day services in Wanaka will feature performances from the New Zealand Veterans Brass Band for the first time. Photo: Supplied
Wanaka's Anzac Day commemorations will have special guests this year.

The New Zealand Veterans Brass Band will visit the town and take part in the dawn and civic commemorations, as well as perform a series of concerts in the Central Otago area.

The band, made up of retired regular and territorial New Zealand Defence Force musicians from throughout New Zealand and Australia, was formed in 2012, and will visit Wanaka and its surrounds for the first time.

Wanaka resident and tuba player in the band, David Leslie, said the band chose Wanaka after a very successful visit to the Coromandel in 2016.

''When the suggestion was made that we go to Wanaka we got a unanimous agreement.

''We are like one big family, as many of the players have served together in deployments overseas and coming together every two years to reaffirm friendships and to make music is just something special.''

While the band was of traditional brass band formation, its repertoire featured a wide range of music genres, ranging from ceremonial fanfares, marches, vocal numbers, World War 1 favourites, light classics and pop, Mr Leslie said.

Upper Clutha RSA chairman Ian Piercy said the band would be ''gladly received''.

''It'll make the day a whole lot more enjoyable and I think it's quite appropriate bearing in mind where these guys have come from.

''It's a solemn event, but there's no reason why we can't use it as a way to celebrate the lifestyle that we've gained from the sacrifice that was made.''

While in Central Otago, the band will participate in the Wanaka dawn and civic services, and play at the Wanaka Aspiring Lifestyle Village. On April 26, the band will play in the Wanaka town centre at 1.30pm and the Alexandra RSA at 5.30pm.

On April 27 they will play in Queenstown by the Earnslaw terminal at 10.30am.

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