1883 brought about some important moments in history. The Brooklyn bridge was opened, Richard Wagner died, Buffalo Bill staged his first Wild West show and here in Christchurch New Zealand the Addington Railway Workshops founded a brass band for the enjoyment of its employees and their families.
Comprised mainly of workshop staff, the band was funded by a levy imposed on all workshop employees. It performed regularly at picnics and social events.
The band went into recess at the beginning of the first world war as many of its members volunteered for service. Re-established after WWII the band maintained an association with the Addington Workshops for over a century with name changes along the way including “Railfreight Addington Brass” and “Transrail Addington Brass”.
In 2001 Addington Brass merged with Christchurch City Brass (formerly known as: NZ Fire Service Band, Christchurch Fire Brigade Band, Christchurch Municipal and Christchurch Tramways Band – originally formed after WWI).
The band is involved in a wide range of activities including Community Christmas Carols at Riccarton Bush, ANZAC Day Services at the Papanui RSA, Christchurch City Council parks and garden concerts such as Riverside Cafe Brass, RNZAF Wigram Retreat Ceremony, CPBBA Provincial and BBANZ National contests where the band competes in the B Grade.
A diverse group, ranging in age from 14 to 70 the band currently rehearses in its own band room in Vulcan Place on Monday and Thursday evenings. This facility, opened in March 2003, is a new-look rehearsal hall with three adjoining practice/teaching rooms and an upper level built to house one of New Zealand’s most extensive music libraries.