History of the New Zealand Army Band

Throughout its history the NZ Army has fostered battalion bands, normally made up of infantrymen who had some musical background. It was the task of each unit’s bandmaster to meld their particular collection of individuals into an efficient musical group.

In 1964 the Band of the New Zealand Army was formed to provide professional level musical support to the New Zealand Army. The concept of a professional band was a new concept to most civilian brass musicians however a number of highly skilled and experienced amateur musicians from the New Zealand brass band movement were recruited and the first professional army band was formed.

History of the New Zealand Army Band

From 1965 onwards members of the New Zealand Army Band were posted on a two year cycle to the Band of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, based initially in Terendak Camp, Malaysia, and then from 1969 based in Singapore. These bi-annual postings between South East Asia and New Zealand continued until December 1988, when the 1 RNZIR Band was disestablished and members returned to the New Zealand Army Band.

History of the New Zealand Army Band

Throughout the New Zealand Army Band's history it has performed at many illustrious occasions within New Zealand. These include participation in both Commonwealth Games’ held in New Zealand (Christchurch in 1974 and Auckland in 1990), the VJ Day 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1995 and a featured performance at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Wellington's Westpac Stadium in 2000.

Additionally the New Zealand Army Band has a significant travelogue, having performed at major events throughout the world. Notable performances from the band have included:

  • 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial Tattoo
  • 1990 Vanuatu’s 10th Anniversary
  • 1991 Greece and Crete – Battle Of Crete 50th Anniversary celebrations
  • 1995 Washington DC – Unveiling Ceremony for the Korean War Memorial
  • 2002 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • 2004 Wonju Tattoo, Wonju, Korea
  • 2006 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • 2007 Military Musical Festival, Modena, Italy and Basel Tattoo, Switzerland
  • 2008 King of Tonga’s Coronation, Tonga
  • 2010 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Sydney
  • 2011 International Defence Exhibition, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Pageant, Windsor Castle, England
  • 2012 Basel Tattoo, Switzerland
  • 2013 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 2014 World Band Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • 2015 Music of Nations Festival, Bremen, Germany
    Royal Coronation, Nuku’alofa, Tonga
    Basel Tattoo, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2016 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Melbourne, Australia
    Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Wellington, New Zealand
    Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland
    Her Majesty the Queens’ 90th Birthday Celebration, Windsor, England
    Avenches Tattoo, Avenches, Switzerland
Army Band in Edinburgh

The NZ Army Band is an important part of the NZ Army culture and heritage, and is renowned for its professional attitude and high standards.  It maintains a tradition of excellence wherever it goes.


This page was last amended on 12 April 2017