Band celebrates 50 years

The Manukau Concert Band marked its 50th with a wonderful show in Howick. Photo Bernny Zeng.

By Jan Eckersley

On Saturday night (May 29) the Picton Centre in Howick came alive with the sound of amazing music and celebrations as the Manukau Concert Band celebrated 50 years of music-making in the Manukau community and further afield.

The fact that some of the original members still play in the band, whilst others attended the concert, is testament to the sense of belonging that the band generates and nurtures amongst its members.

In addition they treated the audience to a fabulous programme of inspiring music, including one piece Whaanau Overture by renowned New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie, commissioned especially for the occasion. Here’s what the audience had to say about it:

“Awesome night – I can’t believe a community band of amateur musicians can produce such a polished and professional sound.”

“I tend to think all composers are dead so it was fascinating and insightful to hear a piece by a composer who is definitely living and was in the audience and I loved that particular piece!”

“I played in this band as a 12-year-old and when I heard them perform I’m inspired to find my instrument again.”

The band, under the direction of Tom Chester, is particularly grateful to the Howick Local Board whose ongoing support allows them to be an integral part of the Manukau music scene.

To keep updated with the band’s activities and performances check the website

  • Jan Eckersley is co-president of Manukau Concert Band