The Band in 1897
The Band in 1897

The Town Band since 1861

Last Modified: 16-4-2023 17:13

The band's proud history dates back to at least 1858 when there are newspaper reports of a brass band performing in Picton but we take our dateline from October 1861 when a meeting of citizens was called in Blenheim to form a Brass Band. The first concert was held two years later under the baton of Mr M Saunders as Blenheim Citizens Band. Subsequent army affiliations saw the band move through Blenheim Garrison Band to 10th Mounted Regimental Band and 2nd Marlborough Battalion Band before being returned to the town in 1962 as Blenheim Municipal Band and finally changing name in 1993 to Marlborough District Brass Band to better reflect the area represented.
In 2001 the Band opened new band rooms at 15 Auckland Street, Blenheim, incorporating rehearsal and social rooms with leased out dance studios below. The converted squash courts are the envy of most NZ bands and serve as a musical and performing arts hub in Marlborough.

Marlborough District Brass proudly represented Marlborough and New Zealand on the world stage in the 1992 at the Sydney Easter Show, Canberra’s ANZAC parade, and Tendo (Japan) Asian Disabled Olympics where the band performed a 10 minute marching display. Further international representation came in 2017 when the band paraded at the Shanghai International Music Festival.

The band is a regular competitor at the New Zealand National Brass Band Championships, and after working steadily up the “B” grade in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90's before moving to the "A" grade in 2000. The Band peaked at 2nd “A” grade aggregate in 2008 behind an Australian band, making Marlborough top NZ band for the year. Since then the Band has regularly competed in “A” grade, and proudly hosted the 2018 NZ National Brass Band Championships in Blenheim.

In 2021 the Band regraded to "B" grade.

Life Members

Life Members of Marlborough District Brass Band Inc.

Musical Directors

Musical Directors of Marlborough District Brass

Drum Majors

Drum Major of Marlborough District Brass Band