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The Kerepēhi Brass Band in 2021, after entertaining the district for 75 years. Photo: SUPPLIED/RICHARD HORNELL

Celebrating 75 years of blasting tunes

Kerepēhi Brass Band is set to celebrate its diamond jubilee with a symphony of musical events on August 20.
Luke Van Vliet, who is in his second year as band president, told The Profile the band was “looking forward” to celebrating 75 years of entertaining the Hauraki district, after having to post the celebrations twice last year because of Covid-19.
“In a newspaper article when the band first started in 1946, the band was looking for funds to get up and running and there’s a section in there saying the council didn’t think the band would survive so they only gave us five pounds,” he said.
“So it’s really quite the achievement and when the band started there were brass bands in Thames, Waihī, Paeroa and all of them had folded or disappeared.
“But we’ve managed to keep going and stay strong.”
Luke said celebrations would begin with a traditional morning tea in the band’s Kerepēhi hall followed by a catered lunch at Ngātea War Memorial Hall for current and past band members. Celebrations would then open to the public from 4pm with a historic display of memorobilia and a documented timeline of band events at Ngātea War Memorial Hall before the band takes to the stage for an anniversary concert from 5pm.
“At this stage we should have a band of 28 to 30 strong and we’ve got a great programme which we’ve put together with stuff that all generations would like,” he said.
“We’ve also got a segment in the concert where we’re inviting past members to play with us so we’re hoping to have quite a substantial band for the five songs in the middle.”
Luke said the band’s new junior members were also scheduled to perform at the concert and former bandmasters, including 87-year-old Max Vivian, the son of the band’s founder, George Vivian, will conduct songs.
Entry fees for the concert would go towards concert expenses, he said. “We’re not looking to profit from the reunion concert, we’re wanting to put on a concert for the community and show who we are,” Luke said.
“But any money we do make will go straight into the band and we’re hoping this year to purchase some new instruments because we do have quite an ageing collection.
“Some of them are getting up to 70 years old now.”
DETAILS: 75th Anniversary Concert, Ngātea War Memorial Hall, August 20, doors open 4pm, expected to finish at 7:30pm. TICKETS: $20 for families (two adults and two children), $8 for adults, $5 for children (aged five to 18), free for children under five.