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Gold star for children in band

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• Howick and Pakuranga Times

ECSTATIC: Eastern Stars Cadet Concert Band was overjoyed to win a gold award at a national festival. Photo supplied.

ECSTATIC: Eastern Stars Cadet Concert Band was overjoyed to win a gold award at a national festival. Photo supplied.

DEDICATING hours to practice has paid off for 40 young musicians.

The Eastern Stars Cadet Concert Band captured the judges’ ears at the New Zealand National Concert Band Festival at Rotorua and was rewarded with a gold award.

Barrie Turner, musical director for Eastern Stars Concert Bands, says: “All the other bands were from colleges or civic bands, yet we achieved a gold award which was absolutely amazing.”

The cadet band members are mainly from primary and intermediate schools in Howick and Pakuranga.

“The kids put in a lot of hard work,’ says Mr Turner.

“The children are too young to get nervous but were excited to be there and to be involved in a festival with senior bands.”

The band performed for 20 minutes, playing four pieces of music. The main conductor was Dora Wilden-Green, who has extensive experience through school music programmes.

The musicians returned from their award-winning festival with greater confidence and are rehearsing for a celebration concert at Eastgate Christian Centre in Pakuranga on November 14.

Most schools have a concert band, which includes woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and electric bass.

The Eastern Stars Cadet Concert Band meets once a week at Pakuranga Intermediate and most of the children also play in their school concert bands, and many play more than one instrument.

Mr Turner says the number of students playing in Eastern Stars bands has increased over the past decade due to the growing number of school bands.

Eastern Stars beginner classes start this week for youngsters wanting to learn an instrument.

For more information, phone Mr Turner on 271-4558 or visit www.easternstars.co.nz