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"God Defend New Zealand" was written as a poem in the 1870s by Irish-born, Victorian-raised immigrant Thomas Bracken of Dunedin. A competition to compose music for the poem was held in 1876 by The Saturday Advertiser and judged by three prominent Melbourne musicians, with a prize of ten guineas.
The winner of the competition was the Tasmanian-born John Joseph Woods of Lawrence, New Zealand who composed the melody in a single sitting the evening after finding out about the competition. The song was first performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Princes Street, Dunedin, on Christmas Day, 1876. [Wikipedia]
This arrangement is for Brass Band in the Lower Key of F (Original in G) – If singing the words for more than one verse, accompaniment can be varied eg. Cornets and Horns only for one verse – as in the MP3 recording.
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