Tracking ID
Eastern Stars Concert Band N.Z. (Eastern Stars Band Inc) welcomes
beginners to advanced.  Young and old.  
 Auckland New Zealand

Matamata Festival of Music.

Sunday 12 May 2019

We had around 50 people in the bus that left at 9.00 am from Pakuranga headed for Matamata where 13 bands played. A few went by car.

The 'Eastern Stars Concert Band' (purple vests) conducted by Josh Kirk received a 'Silver Award' and played a Mozart piece as well as Slaidburn March among many others.

The 'Eastern Stars Youth Band' (red vests) conducted by Sam, received a 'Bronze Award'.

The Youth Band was huge and produced a massive sound that impressed and entertained the large audience. The quality of music was very high considering the young age of many in the band.

Both bands received very positive comments from the adjudicator.

Coming back the wipers on the bus failed, but luckily the rain was not too heavy. We got back about 8.30 pm a bit later than expected. It was a long day but everybody had a great experience.

Good to see other bands playing as well. Well done everybody and thank you to everyone that contributed to a great day. 

The Youth Band in the practice room at Matamata, just before going on stage. 

Autumn Concert 

Mark played his solo on the alto saxophone ('Gabriel's Oboe') with feeling and expression and was complemented by several audience members. Other soloists who entertained us included Josh on his viola playing Bach, Alex on the traditional Chinese zither and Jack on Eupho playing 'Ash Grove'. We thank each soloist for their commitment to performing extremely well. Overall it was a great concert. Thanks to all parents etc who helped and volunteered. We also thank and acknowledge grants from Foundation North, Lottery Commission, COGS, Auckland Council Creative Communities and Howick Local Board.

Saturday evening 27 April 2019

Autumn Concert 2019 Review by David Burgess. It was a very successful concert enjoyed by many. Attended by Ross Robertson (Patron of the Band) and also Ken Davie in military uniform (Life Member of the Band) who held the N.Z. flag for the 'ANZAC Reflection' while Sam played the last post on the horn from the back of the auditorium. The very large Youth Band in red vests (conducted by Sam Uatahausi) played a wide range of pieces that included an outstanding rendition of Vortex (a piece with crescendos building to increasing tension that shows off the skill in each section of the band) - the audience loved it and clapped enthusiastically. We also had a dance item (ladies with blue silks from 'Panda Kiwi Dance Group') - they were beautiful to watch! It had a heavenly theme where they reached high into the air with wavering blue silks. After the tea break (free biscuits tea and coffee), the Eastern Stars Concert Band played. They are a smaller band, with our slightly older and more skilled musicians, wearing purple vests (conducted by Josh Kirk). Josh said he was very pleased with the band's performance as they prepare for the next competition at Matamata (12th May 2019 Matamata Brass Music Festival). The Concert Band managed to play two very difficult pieces by Mozart, which challenged them musically. Other pieces that were easier to play were played superbly and showed off the talent and commitment of the band and the conductor to achieving high standards. 

Highland Park Retirement Village

Sunday Afternoon (April 2019)

Eastern Stars Youth Band enjoyed serving the community at a local retirement village on Sunday. Conducted by Sam and supported by Barrie Turner. The Band enjoyed playing for our local senior citizens who in turn, received the band with great enthusiam.  They particularly enjoyed the young soloist. We look forward to making this a regular event in the future. 

Christmas 2018

Retirement Villages (Dec 2018)

The Eastern Stars Concert Band played Christmas carols a total of four different Pakuranga retirement villages. Two Wednesday 12th Dec (smaller group) and 19th Dec 2018 (Sam and a few others from the Youth Band came on the 19th and made a larger group). Many residents came out and gave us a clap as we were warmly received. We were able to wish many a Merry Christmas. Looks like we will be doing this again next year. Thanks Barrie for playing, organizing and providing the little books of music.

We would like to acknowledge the following organisations for grants received in the year 2018 - 2019.

Foundation North
Lottery Board
Auckland Council
Howick Local Board
Community Organization Grant Services (COGS)
Creative New Zealand

We are very grateful for the kind and generous support from these organisations.


Howick Moon Festival

Eastern Stars Youth and Cadet Bands

Eastern Stars Youth and Cadet Bands played at the Howick Moon Festival (Saturday 22 September 2018) at Lloyd Elsmore Park. It was a great celebration of culture and tradition. It was a free event for the public, supported by Howick Local Board and presented in association with Pakuranga Chinese Association. Families enjoyed some great entertainment and tasted some delicious moon cakes and other foods. 

Schools Bus Tour 

Five Local Primary Schools Visited.   

Eastern Stars Youth and Cadet Bands

Five fantastic performances on Thursday 20/09/2018. Sam & Barrie were delighted with the way the Eastern Stars Youth Band and Eastern Stars Cadet Band behaved and performed at the five school assemblies! Barrie emailed the musicians; "Well done to everyone who was on the 'Schools Bus Tour' today.  All of the schools were very impressed with the performances." Barrie was sure everyone was very tired by the time they got home. 

They departed Pakuranga Intermediate School at 9.00 a.m.  At 9.30 am they did a Concert at Riverina School. Then 10.30 am a Concert at Achorage School. At 11.30 am a Concert at River Hills School. At 12.30 pm a Concert at Elm Park School. At 2.00 pm a Concert at Pakuranga Heights School and 2.45 pm everyone returned back to Pakuranga Intermediate. 

Serving the Community

Eastern Stars Concert Band

Tongan Wedding - Otara, 8th Sept 2018

Review by David Burgess.
Today, Eastern Stars Concert Band played at a very large Tongan wedding in Otara at Hillary College. We turned up the volume and played our best to compete with the DJ and the typically lively atmosphere, complete with colorful dancers and speech makers. 

We opened with Invercargill - a lively march that never fails to please and has a strong rhythm and played several other pieces. Afterwards, we also enjoyed some real Tongan hospitality and delicious food including prawns which was a bit of change for many of us. We all enjoyed the cultural experience and look forward to serving our community again in the future.

Winter Concert 2018

At the end the three conductors (Sam, Barrie and Josh) received applause and gifts. We thank everyone for their support and commitment to helping with the band, including the generous financial support from; Foundation North, Lottery Grants Board, Auckland Council (Howick Board). It was a very enjoyable family event with many promising and talented musicians, especially many children, having an opportunity to perform to an enthusiastic audience.

Review by David Burgess

A lively audience of enthusiastic supporters turned up to listen to, and enjoy The Youth, The Cadet and The Eastern Stars Concert Bands tonight.
Eastern Stars Youth Band: Started with just a bass player and a drummer on stage at 7 pm, the rest of the band remained in the foyer, then the rest of the band came onto the stage in twos and threes, each small group stopping to take a bow and receive applause before taking a seat with the band and joining in with the unstoppable pulsating rhythm - thanks to Patrick on drums. Finally when all the band were on stage and playing, the conductor Sam came on and injected what appeared to be a powerful boost of energy, and took it away with the piece called 'Drum Crazy'. They played the always beautiful 'Nasum Dorma' (Puccini) with its beautiful melody and rich sounding arrangement. 'Brahms Finale' was also played well as were the exciting themes from 'Stars Wars'. Ending with the lively march which the audience clapped along to 'The Stars and Stripes' (Siousa). Well done to the Youth Band and to Sam Uatahausi (Musical Director for the Youth Band).
After the Youth Band exited the stage, Carin played 'Nacht am Seestrand' (Night by the sea) on the piano. Her performance brought out the dreamlike and magical atmosphere of this fine piece by a Finnish composer Heino Wilhelm Daniel Kaski (1885 - 1957).

Cadet Band conducted by Barrie Turner. Barrie explained that about five or six in the band were new to playing only this year and yet the band managed to put on a very good performance playing seven pieces. 'Latin Fire' was played with passion as it is the bands second favorite. Their most favorite piece 'Italian Carousel' imitated the rise and fall of the merry-go-round ponies and was their last piece before supper was served - delicious cakes, biscuits and coffee and tea.
The Eastern Stars Concert Band conducted by Josh Kirk. Josh explained how the band had recently received a Gold award and a trophy for musical excellence. He explained we would be playing the music again (only even better) and with a new piece 'Virginia'. He explained 'Virginia' (Jacon de Haan) is a challenging piece about three times longer than anything what the band usually plays. It is a piece that the band has worked on for a few months but will continue to improve as we move towards National Competition in 2019. As it turned out the band not only got through it, but played it well! The audience really loved it. There were many favorable comments and the band played an encore. The pieces played included 'Benediction', 'Harmonious Blacksmith', 'Carnival of Venice', 'Concerto d'Aranjuez' and Handle's 'Water Music' (from 1717).

Gold Award (2018)

Matamata Brass Music Festival

Eastern Stars Concert Band, conducted by Joshua Kirk ('Josh') received a 'Gold Award' today at the Matamata Brass Festival of Music (2018). The band also received the 'Brian and Sandra Hunter Award' for 'Musical Excellence'. Anga Uasike played Euphonium for us and received the trophy cup for 'Best Senior Soloist' as part of Eastern Stars Band's performance of 'Carnival of Venice' and 'Benediction'. 
We heard some of the best community bands in the upper and central North Island. Players from the various bands were friendly and encouraged each other. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we look forward to taking part next year.

2017 - End of Year.

Thanks for all your support in 2017

A Celebration of Music and Food. 

Review of the 'Christmas End of Year Break Up' at Pakuranga Int. school hall (Wednesday 6/12/2017). It was great to see so many supporters, family and friends turn up to be entertained by the three bands and various soloists. Every one mixed and mingled and enjoyed the delicious food while the bands played. It was a great success thanks to all who helped. The band raised much needed funds from this event so thank you, those who donated and brought food and played at this event.

Spring Concert 2017

A Beautiful Solo ... 

The Eastern Stars Concert Band continued playing after the intermission break. One highlight was the swing music in 'Disney Film Favorites' . Other pieces included 'Fanfare for the Common Man' and 'Final Countdown'. We had a beautiful solo on Cornet from Matthew (playing Psalm 42). Overall, the band played very well. Please enjoy the pictures (I will add more tomorrow).

Thank you to all who volunteered to help and to those who supported the band by being in the audience.

An enjoyable concert ...

Review by David Burgess Sat 30/09/17
Another enjoyable and entertaining concert showcasing the talent of many young musicians. The Junior Band got the audience warmed up before Bernny, our sound engineer, played three songs on his guitar including the National Anthem in Maori.
The Junior band came on again and played a lively 'La Cucaracha', a Spanish folk song popular in Mexico. The 'Cadet Band' did not play due to many members being away due to school holidays, so the 'Concert Band' came on before the break and played 'Beguine for Band' - a Latin style piece which is always popular with audiences. Break included free tea and coffee, and a large selection of donated biscuits.
Many people made donations and we collected a total of $800 towards our fundraising, so thank you to all who donated - we really needed the financial support at this time.
We had an amazing solo performance on piano from young Andy. He played a very difficult piece confidently and with great skill. The audience really enjoyed his performance.

National Concert Band Festival (Oct 2017)

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We stayed for the prize giving and cheered for the winners and were entertained with some interesting musical compositions. We were reminded that all bands need to watch intonation and presentation on stage. We had certainly made an effort to tune even if we were not perfect. Berger King dinner, and a half hour drive back to the camp about 9.00 pm Sat night. It was more relaxing after we got back from the festival. We could all laugh again. Some stayed up to toast marsh mellows over the fire and listen to 'scary stories' which were so scary they were almost funny. The fireside was the perfect place to be inside on a dark wintry night - in a pocket of darkness - after we wiped away the cobwebs etc etc. Everyone enjoyed Mikee's sense of humor almost as much as the marsh mellows. Thanks go to Mike and Bernie for driving young musicians and equipment. And thanks to Mikee for being a truly encouraging conductor and an inspiration to always remain positive. Thanks to Mele and her team of cooks. Thanks to Sanitarium for the cereal! Thanks to everyone who supported and took part especially parents. Everyone is a champion!!! Well done Eastern Stars.

Bronze Award

Review National Concert Band Festival (by David Burgess). 

Eastern Stars Concert Band did fantastically well in Whangarei this weekend (5/8/2017). We played difficult music that challenged us. We practiced hard. We gave it our very best. We entertained a demanding audience and we received a Bronze Award! This was a huge step forwards for us. To have taken part and to have received many encouraging remarks from the audience was in itself a great achievement. Everyone enjoyed the music. We learnt a lot about what we can do and what we still need to improve. Some of the bands that played in the festival were of a very high standard and it was an honor for us to play at the same festival and to the same audience and to hear a few of them. Bands traveled from as far as Wellington to the festival, and there were many bands, so the competition was tough. Many in our band stayed one or two nights at the camp at Marsden Point. It was a great bonding experience and I think we will all benefit from travelling together, both musically and as a way to cement friendships, build character, confidence and a team spirit. The camp went very well and everyone played their part making it a very enjoyable and educational time. Kids were always willing to help with cleaning up etc. Their behavior was excellent. First night we all slept well and got up early to practice on Saturday morning. Mikee emphasized how we needed to play the soft parts very softly because the festival venue made everything sound loud. He kept working on improving us right up to the end of the last rehearsal - we were aiming to be the best we could be. That afternoon we were at the festival. We warmed up for a half hour before going on stage, in a room with chairs and stands and that was a pure luxury. Once on stage, we could not see the audience because of the bright lights. We were nervous but we were as ready as we could be. We stood and we smiled. We played and nothing serious went wrong so that was a great relief. Some things we did, we did really well, for example the harpist played beautifully as did our soloists. I think everyone was shining in some way. Our percussion may have given it even more volume in one song than was required but there is nothing wrong with enthusiasm. We clapped out the complex rhythm in one song but a few were probably a bit too nervous to stamp without fear of losing time, but nerves can have that effect. The main thing is we all clapped the rhythms very confidently, with hands high in the air in the louder section. The audience also clapped after each of the three pieces and I am sure everyone (on and off the stage) felt uplifted by the experience. 

AGM (2017)

26 People attended the 2017 meeting

Sunday 18th June 2017

A special general meeting was held today (4.00 pm) just before the AGM (4.30 pm) at Pakuranga Int. hall. Despite the cold weather, the 26 people who attended managed to pass a motion that will change the official name of the band from 'Pakuranga Band Inc' to 'Eastern Stars Band Inc.' Various changes to the band constitution were also approved. The 2017 AGM went well and the incoming committee has been elected comprising of six members; Bernny (re-elected), Vivien (new), Pathfinder (new), Sikuvea (re-elected), and Cherrie (new), as well as Marie (re-elected as Treasurer), David (re-elected as Secretary) and Barrie (re-elected as President).  Thankyou to all who attended, including members of the band, parents and also Ken (life member) for your support and interest.

New Conductor for 2017 - Mikee Bisquere

Mikee has been appointed as the Musical Directorof the Eastern Stars Concert Band for 2017. Mikee is a Music graduate of Auckland University and conducted the North Shore Concert Band at the 2016 Gisborne NZCBA National Band Festival where they were presented with a Gold Award. ​The photo shows Mikkee conducting at the Autumn Concert 2017. 

Review of the Autumn Concert 2017​​ by David Burgess. 

The Eastern Stars Cadet Band  (conducted by Sam Uatahausi) wearing red vests came on first. They played an impressive selection of music (8 pieces in total) begining with 'Excelsior' and ending with 'Gold Medal March'. They played the old favourite 'Hey Jude' and an interesting piece called 'Skyfall'.  
The Junior Band (conducted by Barrie Turner) played 4 pieces including 'The Carnival of Venice' and the 'Mickey Mouse March'. Some in the learners band did surprisingly well considering they only began learning a a few months ago.
The Eastern Stars Concert Band (conducted by Mikee Bisquera) weaing purple vests, began with the impressive sounding 'Flight of the Thunderbird' with it's impressive dynamics.  Barrie's favourite song, a slow tempo piece called "when the Lovely Miss" was also played with feeling and expression by the band.
A great solo performance by Hasier on his Alto Sax pleased the audience immensely.  Beguine for Band had a fun latin feel and all I want for Christmas has a bit of the swing feel to it which made the evening a fun and enjoyable time for all. 

Christmas Concert 2016

Review of the Christmas Concert 2016 by David Burgess.
It was a great night. Ross Robertson (Patron of the band) was there and he said some encouraging words. Members of the audience got up and sang a few Christmas carols backed by the band. The Juniors put on a great show (some of them were very young) and everyone was well supported by friends and families. A few awesome solos made it a special night. A great venue. Great tea, coffee and biscuits supplied by band members and parents. Santa turned up throwing lollies, and a farewell was given to Mary (conductor) who received a beautiful bunch of flowers and many thanks from the band for her work with the Youth Band in 2016. She seemed pleased with the Youth Band performance who played an encore. Sam (conductor) was not able to attend but got a mention as did Barrie and Marie for all their hard work over the past year. The photos tell the rest of the story (Eastern Stars Youth Band wearing purple vests and Eastern Stars Cadet Band wearing red).
Eastern Stars Band Open Rehearsal (July 2015).
Review by David Burgess
A splendid turn out of musicians and parent supporters came to the open rehearsal evening on Wednesday evening 8th July 2015 at Pakuranga Intermediate Hall.  A great supper lasting 20 minutes was provided at half time thanks to Marie Turner and others who helped out. This was an opportunity for many intermediate school children to attend and take part in a very large band perhaps for their first time.  The sound was awesome. Everyone  played their part and did tremendously well.  Thanks to the young drummer for his passion and enthusiasm, he certainly livened things up with his improvised solos.  Also thanks to the many experienced musicians who helped back up the children.  It was a great night. 
Eastern Stars Band Winter Concert (27 June 2015). 
Review by David Burgess
The 'Winter Concert went exceptionally well. A good sized audience braved a cold winter night to come and support us and for that, Eastern Stars Band are very appreciative.
Many in the audience said they enjoyed the concert and were particularly impressed with some of the slower songs played as they were full of feeling and expression.
The Youth Band made a real impression with their final two songs 'What a Wonderful World" made famous by Louis Armstrong and 'Concerto D'Amour' (one of the most difficult pieces the band has ever played, and lasting over 7 minutes!). The Youth/Senior band played 8 songs before supper and 6 songs after supper - 14 in total. Well done to the band and to the conductors (Barrie and Sam and our guest conductors) who prepared the band.
The Cadet band opened the night with four songs including 'Man in the Mirror' and 'La Cucaracha' with its catchy Latin rhythm which they played very well.
The learner Band entertained us during supper in the foyer with a couple of songs and for many it would have been their first time performing in public. The audience gave them a clap while they enjoyed coffee and biscuits.
Below you can view the Youtube videos of the Eastern Stars Youth Band playing Concerto D'Amour and Capitol March (June 2015  - Winter Concert).
AGM (June 2015).  Pakuranga Band Inc (Eastern Stars Band)
Review by David Burgess 

We had the 2015 AGM Eastern Stars Concert Band  (Pakuranga Band Inc) on Sunday afternoon, 21st June 2015. Thanks to all who attended. A good turnout of 52 people, and the bands played two songs before we began formal proceedings. The president (Bernny) said in his report, "we are one of the best bands for involving the community", and urged parents to be involved and supportive by attending events and getting their children to rehearsals on time etc.
Barrie thanked Sam for his help with conducting during the year. Mike got a mention for doing a great job as Band Sergeant in the Youth Band (keeping the discipline). We are still looking for a suitable Band Sergeant for the Cadet Band.
Barrie said the year ahead will include allowing various guest conductors to visit the band and we may hopefully find one that the band likes who may wish to stay on. He finished by thanking everyone for their support and is looking forward to the coming year.
Welcome to the newly elected Committee Members: David Tam, Esther Li, and Melebola Tonga. The first committee meeting for the year will be on the first Sunday of the month 5th July 2015. 7.00 pm.
Anzac Day 2015 -
'Eastern Stars Concert Band'
played Papatoetoe RSA 
Review by David Burgess 
Photo courtesy of Bernny. 
The Eastern Stars Concert Band (Youth/Seniors) performed pre-parade music for the Papatoetoe Anzac Service outside the Papatoetoe RSA. We set up under a large pohutakawa tree on the main street beside the RSA. The weather was good and the audience clapped politely after we played the military March 'Semper Fidelis' by the famous composer John Philip Sousa (arr Paul Lavender).
After a few songs Rev. Margaret Anne Low from St Johns Presbyterian church (who later made an Anzac speech in the more formal part of proceedings, approached Barrie Turner (conductor) to say the band were "sounding very good indeed". This was very encouraging for the band.

The band also played Just Dance, Gangnam style, Shake Rattle and Roll and Party Rock Anthem for a more lively feel which the audience also enjoyed. The sound was amplified and provided entertainment to the entire street outside the RSA as the crowd gathered in the lead up to the more serious part of the Anzac presentation.

Many Band members remained to watch the Tongan Band march in with many veterans following, and then listened to the various Anzac speeches including a great speech by Ross Robertson (patron of the Eastern Stars Band) about remembering those who have fallen.
Eastern Stars hold it a great honor to be part of the Anzac commemorations. We are grateful to Papatoetoe RSA for the invitation. We were made to feel very welcome and look forward to next year's event.  

Panmure Santa Parade (Dec 2015) 
Review by David Burgess 
The Youth Band played well in the lead up to the Santa parade.  We warmed up in the carpark and themn proceeded to play in two street lacations.  The other half of the Youth band played the Ellerslie Santa Parade the following day.  A few people played on both days. 
Christmas Concert in Panmure (Dec 2015) 
Review by David Burgess
A good crowd turned out to support the band, and both the Eastern Stars Bands (Cadet and Youth) played superbly. The Cadet Band were particularly good with their 'Christmas Bits and Pieces'. The audience enjoyed all sorts of delicious foods at intermission and the hall was decorated with loads of Christmas color. Great solo on flute with piano backing from Elinor (flute) and Carin (piano). Katerina helped get the audience going with singing 'Silent Night' and we had a surprise visit from Santa who was very generous with the lollies. Thank you to all the helpers especially the ladies in the kitchen and our sound engineer Bernny. It was a great Christmas concert and the venue was better than expected so we may use it again.

Eastern Stars Concert Band (Cadets/Youth) rehearse on Tuesday evenings. Eastern Stars Concert Band rehearse on Wednesday evenings (7.00 pm) at Pakuranga Intermediate hall during term time.  We perform at least four concerts per year, including Anzac /Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas. We also play various Christmas parades (Papatoetoe, Ellerslie, Panmure, Howick Midnight Madness), as well as attending music festivals/competitions (Matamata and/or Nationals). We play at various school galas (Wakaaranga, Elm Park) etc.  We frequently fundraise for disaster victims and involve the community as much as possible by doing playouts at local resthomes. We are based in Pakuranga, Auckland, N. Z. 
   Eastern Stars Concert Band is a family friendly band. We welcome visitors to our rehearsals.