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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]


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There are three bands in Blenheim—the Garrison Band, the Hibernian Band, and the Salvation Army Band. There is also a local Orchestral Society, and the town churches possess good choirs. Musical entertainments, however, are not frequently held, but the erection of a town hall—for which a loan of £4,000 has been voted—will perhaps lead to a change in this respect. There is a band rotunda in Market Place, and another in Seymour Square, and from these stands the brass bands occasionally give open-air concerts. At the Bands Contest held in Feilding in October, 1905, the Blenhein Garrison Band entered for eleven events, and secured five first and four second prizes; in all, it won £40, eleven medals, a conductor's baton, and the metronome for the championship. Blenheim also tied with the Feilding Band for the first place in the aggregate points, each gaining 258.

Cheek, Martin A., A. Mus. T. C. L., Teacher of the Pianoforte, Organ, Singing, Theory, and the Violin, Hutcheson Street, Blenheim. Mr. Cheek established himself in Blenheim in 1887, and is at the head of the musical profession in the town. He was born in London in 1862, began to receive musical instruction at quite an early age, and was organist at Brondesbury Baptist Church, London, before he was out of his teens. In 1882, Mr. Cheek came to New Zealand by the ship “Wairoa,” and settled down in Wellington. He subsequently removed to Auckland, but twelve months later went to Waipukurau, Hawke's Bay, whence he removed to Blenheim and established his present connection. He has a very large circle of pupils, and for the past seventeen years he has been organist and choirmaster of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Mr. Cheek holds the higher certificates in barmony (honours), and counterpoint, as well as the diploma of Associate of Music, from Trinity College, London. He annually passes a number of pupils through the Associated Board and Trinity College examinations, and some of the music teachers of Blenheim have been taught by him. The “Musical Herald” of February, 1893, published the part song “O Weary Hands” as set to music by Mr. Cheek, and the composition was subsequently printed in sheet music and found a ready sale. Mr. Cheek's son, Hillier, born in 1888, has inherited musical ability, and holds the pianoforte diploma of the Associated Board of the R.A.M. and R.C.M.

Mccabe, Miss L., Teacher of the Piano, Violin and Singing, Maxwell Road, Blenheim. Miss McCabe was educated at the Christchurch Convent, and while on a visit to Blenheim in 1890, she was induced to take up her residence thore and to adopt the teaching profession. She prepares pupils for the Trinity College examinations, and is organist to the Catholic Church, and pianiste to the Orchestral Society; previously she filled a similar position in the Choral Society.

Miss L. McCabe.

Miss L. McCabe.

Lucas, Mrs J. P., Teacher of Pianoforte, Singing, and Theory. Mrs Lucas established herself in the profession at Blenheim in 1894, and has done much for the musical people of Marlborugh. Prior to that time, she and her late husband, who died that year, were ever ready to lend a helping hand in musical matters. During her ten years' experience as a teacher, Mrs Lucas has been successful in passing, pupils for both Trinity College and Associated Board examinations, in theory, singing, and pianoforte. Mrs Lucas has now (1905) removed to Wellington, where she is continuing her profession.

Mr. Andrew James Curry , formerly Bandmaster of the Blenheim Volunteer Band, first took up his duties in 1890, and after devoting about two years to the conductorship he resigned. Mr. Nancarrow help the leadership till 1897, when Mr. Curry again took charge for some time. Mr. Curry was born in Wellington in 1856, and followed the trade of a joiner. He has been associated with musical matters all his life, and was a member of the Wellington Artillery Band for two years under Mr. Salvatore Cimino.