18th of December 1948
This was an auspicious day for Kumeu brass. On that day a local man, George Hilton chaired a meeting at the Kumeu hall where it was decided to establish a local brass band.
“The Kumeu Citizens Brass Band Incorporated” was registered as an incorporated society.
In 1953, the band got to the point where it could plan and build its own band room.
Each band member generously loaned £10 to the band to contribute to the costs of building the band room. The band room was officially opened on the 12th of June 1954.
In 1955 the band was so busy and successful that it could afford to pay back the loans from the previous year.
The early ’60s were a difficult time for the band. It wasn’t until the later in the mid to late 60’s that things picked up again culminating in 1967 when the band started the annual solo competition that became an annual event until the early ’80s, to great success developing the players and improving standards
In 1972 it was voted to allow women into the band despite objections from some of the long-standing members of the band.
Musical standards within the band had been slowly rising over the years helped by the healthy competition of the solo competition. This finally “bore fruit” with Kumeu winning the D grade section at the Auckland Regional Brass Contest in 1973. The Band continued success throughout the decade with wins in 1976 and 1978.
In 1977 the band felt confident enough to compete at a national level. Kumeu entered and achieved a very creditable 2nd place at the National D grade Championships. Kumeu Brass continued to compete at a national level often getting placed but not quite getting the win.
Success at last! In 1984 at the National Championships in Nelson, Kumeu finally became the national D grade Champions and Moved up to C grade.
Unfortunately, however, the late ’80s, in contrast, were difficult for Kumeu Brass. Membership declined rapidly and although rehearsals continued, contesting was put on hold for a number of years heralding Kumeu’s return to D grade.
The hard times didn’t last though. Throughout the 1990s things improved for Kumeu Brass. This was also the period in which “The Kumeu Citizens Brass Band Incorporated” became “Kumeu Brass Incorporated”. In 1994 Kumeu won all the C & D grade sections of the Auckland regional contest including the soloist’s cup, that went to Peter Whyte.
In 1998 the band reached its 50th year and held a reunion to commemorate this landmark year. Band-people and ex-members came from around the country to attend.
The band maintained its standards, although for various reasons didn’t make it to as many national contests as they would have liked, due to constraints of time, and our desire to only play at our best. We performed well at Te Awamutu in 2003. In 2005, we beat all four C grade bands in the traditional contest of the Auckland Brass Association. In 2005 some retired members started “having a blow” on Thursday afternoons. These “Old Farts” (as they were known) formed the nucleus of The Kumeu Vintage Brass (KVB). In 2008 KVB started giving public performances. 12 years on it has 40+ members. Also in 2008, Kumeu Brass Inc. became a Registered Charity.
Kumeu Brass Started contesting on a national level again, winning the D Grade in 2015, receiving the D Grade shield again after 33 years. then again in 2016. During this time Kumeu Brass continued to win various awards at the Auckland Brass Band competitions. the Vintage Brass made their mark in hosting fabulous concerts around the North Island.
The Corona Virus Struck New Zealand in March 2020 and with multiple Health Lockdowns and restrictions in the Auckland region, it curtailed groups getting together to play instruments. however, in 2021 under Linda Filimoehala’s baton Kumeu Brass competed in the Nationals in Christchurch and came a solid fourth in the D grade. In 2022 we competed again in the D grade in Wellington and came third overall in the D grade as well as first in the Stage march and winning the cup for the March.