They might be decades apart in age, but Bella and Blue are proving that music has the power to bridge any generation gap.

Bella Price, a cornet player, takes her place marching with the busy Levin and Districts Brass Band. At just nine, she is the youngest member of the band.

Myron "Blue" Caldwell plays baritone. At 83, he said he had "only been playing for 65 years" and was the most senior member in the band.

"I'm only just hitting my prime," he said.

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Bella was following in the footsteps of her father Reuben, who is also a cornet player in the band.

She joined last year and marched in three Christmas parades at Dannevirke, Feilding and Levin, and didn't miss a note.

"We were confident she would manage," her father said.

Everyone in the Levin band had a musical story to tell. Conductor Colin Honey, 78, had a long association with brass bands and played instruments before becoming a conductor in 2008.

Colin Honey, Blue Caldwell, Bella Price and Reuben Price are just some of the members of the Levin and Districts Brass Band.
Colin Honey, Blue Caldwell, Bella Price and Reuben Price are just some of the members of the Levin and Districts Brass Band.

"One of the great things about brass bands throughout the country, and probably throughout the world, is you can have all ages, genders and levels of society playing together," he said.

"It doesn't matter if you are the CEO of the biggest company or the local garbage collector."

Myron "Blue" Caldwell grew up on the West Coast of the South Island in Inangahua (pop. 144), a small town famous for being the first in the Southern hemisphere to have electricity.

A former policeman, he was from a family of musicians and had played in countless bands throughout his career from the West Coast of the South Island to the North Shore in Auckland.

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He had played at three Military Tattoos, toured most of New Zealand, and played in New Zealand Police bands, Army bands, Air force bands, and also a Police band in Cyprus.

Colin Honey keeps the Levin and Districts Brass Band in time.
Colin Honey keeps the Levin and Districts Brass Band in time.

Levin and Districts Brass Band is busy in the coming months. In addition to rehearsing for the big dance, a Military Tattoo in Palmerston North in April, they are playing at the Jazz in the Park on February 23, and Brass in the Park on March 22.

It played Christmas carols on streets throughout the district before Christmas, and played at The Big Dig at Waitarere Beach in January.

They will be playing nine songs at the Military Tattoo.