The departure date for Brass Whanganui's trip to China is looming and local audiences will get a chance to hear them play and support them this weekend.

On Saturday night, Brass Whanganui will take to the stage at Lucky Bar + Kitchen along with Damn Raucous Brass, The Ratana Boys and The Jamming Gents as a final fundraising effort for travel costs.

Brass Whanganui's status as New Zealand's reigning top B grade band and their multi-award winning Thunderbirds-themed marching displays at the 2018 national competitions earned them an invitation to perform at the 2019 Shanghai Tourism Festival.

Musical director Bruce Jellyman said although the festival organisers have covered the cost of accommodation and meals, Brass Whanganui has been fundraising for travel expenses which will cost an estimated $85,000.

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"Firstly the band will travel to Xi'an where we get a special tour of the archaeological site of the terracotta warriors and other Xi'an attractions."

The band members will be part of a group of around 1000 Kiwis invited to the special ceremony as part of the Year of China New Zealand Tourism celebrations.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as we will be the first public group to view some newly discovered warriors," said Jellyman.

"While in Xi'an we perform a full public concert and a street march as part of those celebrations."

Brass Whanganui's Thunderbirds-themed marching displays earned them an invitation to perform in China. Photo / Maree McLeod
Brass Whanganui's Thunderbirds-themed marching displays earned them an invitation to perform in China. Photo / Maree McLeod

The band members will then travel to Shanghai for the festival opening on September 13.

An estimated 200,000 people will attend the festival and it is anticipated that over 250 million viewers will watch it on screen.

"Our performance and our city name are going to get huge recognition in the Chinese market," said Jellyman.

"Then over the next few days, we do public performances as 30-minute shows at a variety of festival stages around the city."

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Jellyman said Brass Whanganui would like to thank sponsors Lions Club of Wanganui, Tartan Club, Leedstown Trust, Whanganui River Traders Trust, Whanganui and Partners, Rotary North, Whanganui Choirs and everyone who supported the art auction at Mud Ducks and movie night at Embassy 3 Cinema.

"We also want to thank all the individuals who have supported our Getting Brass Whanganui to China fundraising page.

"On Sunday, we invite everyone to come down to the Majestic Square at 4pm to see a free demonstration of our marching display and hear a few tunes we will be performing in China."

Brass Whanganui China Fundraiser with Damn Raucous Brass and guests: Lucky Bar + Kitchen, 53 Wilson St, Saturday, August 24 at 8pm. Tickets $10 at the door.