Gala for band’s trip

An important part of the gala concert on June 24 will be the raffling of a 1m square “Poppies Quilt” made by Heather Clark (pictured), as well as a number of special items.

An afternoon gala concert at St Peter’s School on June 24 will be a major fundraising event in Cambridge Brass Band’s quest to support its first trip abroad.

The band needs to raise around $75,000 to attend the November 4 centenary commemorations of the liberation of Le Quesnoy (pronounced Le Kinwah).  In what has been described as a “text book” battle, the medieval walled town in northern France was liberated by New Zealanders from German occupation just 10 days before the end of World War One – with no loss of civilian life.

Now one of two of Cambridge’s sister cities, Le Quesnoy has vowed to never forget the bravery and sacrifice of the Kiwis and invited the Cambridge Brass Band to participate in the November’s commemorations.  While in France, the band will also play at the opening of the New Zealand War Museum in Le Quesnoy and will participate in public concerts with the local youth band. It will also visit schools and retirement facilities.

The band is one of the oldest community bands in the country; the landmark trip to France will be its first out of New Zealand.

The Cambridge Brass Band.

It is understood the New Zealand/France Friendship Fund provided $15,000 at the outset of fundraising efforts, with the Lions Club of Cambridge donating $5,000. The band has raised at least twice that, and various organisations and individuals in Cambridge have pledged their support.

“This gala concert will be an important step,” assistant musical director and principal cornet player Rod Hocking said said. “We will have guests there from the Le Quesnoy Friendship Society, as well as local MPs, the Mayor and staff from the school.”

An important part of the event will be the raffling of a number of special items, most notably a 1m square “Poppies Quilt” made by Heather Clark, as well as several paintings and a chopping board made by local woodturners.

The fundraising concert at St Peter’s on Sunday, June 24, will start at 3pm. Tickets are available from Cambridge Paper Plus and from the band: [email protected].

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