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RNZN Band Ensembles


Band panorama Devonport

Due to the diverse nature of engagements at which the Band performs the musicians often reconfigure themselves into a variety of ensembles such as the Concert Band, Parade Band, Big Band, Rock Band, Jazz Combo, Brass Quintet and Woodwind Ensemble.

Concert Band

The RNZN Band’s main ensemble is the Concert Band. This group is made up of all musicians and plays at a wide variety of engagements. The band often has guest artists who they invite to perform with them.

The Navy Band performs frequently in Auckland and also tours around New Zealand playing at Opera Houses, Theatres and Town Halls large and small. In Auckland it performs regularly at the Bruce Mason Centre, both as part of their Morning Melodies series and in public concerts, as well as at other Auckland venues.

The repertoire of the band is large and varied, and encompasses music of many different styles including orchestral transcriptions, jazz standards, and popular music along with traditional and modern concert band compositions. The band also plays compositions and arrangements by its own members.

Parade Band

The Parade Band performs the ceremonial requirements of the Navy. All musicians are involved with the parade band, with some doubling on drums or cymbals. Ceremony is a significant and important cultural aspect of the New Zealand Defence Force and the Band upholds certain traditions in order to preserve Navy and military history and culture. Some Band traditions were inherited from the Band of the Royal Marines, and were the building blocks of the RNZN Band.

The Band is used for a variety of marching engagements including ceremonial parades for both the NZDF and the Government at Government House and at Devonport Naval Base. It also performs marching displays at Military Tattoos, Festivals and other public events. The Parade Band is led by the Drum Major.

Big Band

From Glenn Miller to Buddy Rich and Gordon Goodwin, the Big Band performs a range of music old and new to suit the occasion. They have featured with a wide variety of New Zealand and international artists, such as Erna Ferry, Rodger Fox, Frankie Stevens, Jon Pappenbrook, Mark Denison, Allen Vizzutti, Jackie Clarke, John Fitchcock and Mark Hadlow. The Big Band, consisting of 16 – 18 musicians, supports major charity events and balls as well as playing at Jazz Festivals.

Dixie Band

The Dixie Band is yet another example of the versatility of what the RNZN Band has to offer. This six piece ensemble performs at events ranging from being showstoppers at Napier’s Art Deco weekend, to entertaining at Navy functions such as change of command parades, farewells and other ceremonies.

Rock Band

Used to dance the night away at a ball or function, or perform for secondary school students, the Rock Band is a versatile and popular group. Made up of just three musicians, or with a horn section and back-up singers, they perform a variety of popular covers songs suiting each occasion.

Jazz Combo

This group consists of between two and four personnel who entertain at balls, dinners and cocktail functions, providing easy listening background music. Occasionally they perform with guest singers and other jazz performers.

Brass Ensembles

The Brass Quintet consists of two trumpets, a french horn, a trombone and a tuba. Its purpose is to provide a wide variety of quality brass music for occasions and functions where space is limited and a range of styles is required. This includes concerts, functions and change of command parades.

The large Brass Ensemble consists of the full brass section at times augmented with percussionists. This band plays in similar settings to the Brass Quintet, but they perform mostly their own arrangements.

Woodwind Ensemble

The Saxophone Quartet is a chamber group of four saxophones who play a wide range of styles, from jazz to modern classics. They perform at smaller functions much like the Jazz Combo. Occasionally a woodwind ensemble will also perform at concerts and functions.


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