The Band of The Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery tour to Brisbane

The Band of The Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery tour to Brisbane

November’s has been a busy month for me in my role as Musical Director of The Band of The Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery. On November 6th the band and I headed off to Brisbane Australia for a Goodwill Armistace tour. Our flight was interesting to say the least, being courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Airforce, on a Hercules Cargo Plane. Noise cancelling headphones and high rated ear defenders were definitely required. 

On our arrival we were greeted by members of the Austrlian Air Force who guided us through the arrival process. We eventually arrived at our hotel around 12 hours after we left home (it takes longer on a Hercules to get to Australia than commercial airlines). After a short time to acclimatise we headed straight off to rehearsals at the fantastic Brisbane City Hall. 

Friday 8th November saw our first engagement - with the Australian Army Band at their base, partly to prepare for the first of the concerts to remember Armistice Day on November 11th, and partly so each band could perform a short concert for the other.

Saturday 9th November was possibly our toughest day, which saw us performing a concert with the Royal Australian Artillery Band in the morning, to huge crowds at the Queen Street Mall, followed by an evening concert with Brisbane Excelsior Brass at the Salvation Army Citadel. 

Brisbane Excelsior are the only brass band to have successfully won four Australian National Championship titles and two New Zealand National Championships consecutively. So the pressure was really on the band that day.

I am delighted to say that the NZ Artillery Band really did themselves proud and performed at a very good standard in their half of the concert. The bands performed two joint items together at the end of the concert as well and this was a highlight for many of the band. 

I too enjoyed a few moments of limelight performing a duet with Australian Champion Baritone player Ross Moloney. (see the video here:

There was no rest day for us on Sunday either, as we played for approximately 80 minutes at Fort Lytton, a heritage-listed 19th-century coastal fort in the suburb of Lytton.


And then, one of the highlights of our visit, Monday 11th November: Armistice Day, which saw our band splitting into two in the morning. Ten of the players performed at Brisbane Shrine, dedicated to the ANZAC’s, with the Australian Army Band. The rest of the band headed off to the Gold Coast to play at Southport War Memorial Armistace Day Service. We came back together as a band later on at Southport Parklands where we performed an open-air concert.

A word about Armistice Day

The word Armistice means, An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce. Armistice Day is remembered on 11th November. The truce between England and Germany was originally signed on November 11th 1918.

I think we all needed and appreciated a day off on Tuesday before playing on Wednesday at The Seasons Sinnamon Park Retirement Village.


Thursday was the last performance of the tour at the Aveo Durack Retirement Village, one of the largest in Brisbane, to a suitably large and appreciative audience. 

 Friday 15th November - fly home - arriving at around 1am!

I want to take the opportunity to thank the people who made this amazing tour  possible, on both sides of the pond. It was a fantastic tour and rest assured, the Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery represented our country with the utmost pride and dignity, and was very warmly greeted and appreciated by our Australian hosts and audiences.

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