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Travel the world and become a key figure in the highly respected New Zealand Army Band as you perform at events and ceremonies within New Zealand and around the world.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training

About the role

The primary role of the New Zealand Army Band is to perform at military and state occasions and fulfil its role as the New Zealand Army's foremost public relations unit.

Through its superb musicianship the band encapsulates the high professional standards of the Army in every aspect of its performances. Internationally, the New Zealand Army Band has gained recognition as one of the finest marching bands in the world.

To be a successful applicant, you will need to undertake an audition and display a professional level of musical expertise.

Job on base

The band is a brass band supplemented with a rhythm section, which adds to its versatility. Within the band there are many different groups, including:

SWING BAND Performing Big Band charts ranging from Glen Miller to modern jazz.

BRASS BAND Performing diverse styles of music scored for brass bands.

MARCHING BAND Playing for military occasions and performing marching displays for various events.

DANCE BAND Performing a wide range of music, from classic rock to the latest hits.

BRASS QUINTET Performing a wide variety of styles from classical to jazz.

Job on deployment

International performances will bring opportunities to travel to other countries. In the past the band has travelled to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China and the United States of America.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

You will be required to have attained a professional level of musical expertise prior to recruitment. Once you arrive your musical talent will be nurtured and developed to the highest levels.

You will also learn a wide range of additional related skills including musical theory, sound engineering, communication and information technology, music arranging and composition, marketing, teaching and conducting. This provides variety and challenge throughout your career.

As your career progresses you will attend courses that assist with advancement and promotion. These army courses are held at various Army camps around the country.

Successful applicants enlist directly into the New Zealand Army Band without undertaking the standard Basic Military Training Course, however recruits are required to pass military training modules as part of their career.

Training within the New Zealand Army Band commences with an Induction Course upon your arrival to the unit, run by the School of Music in Burnham Camp (near Christchurch). This course will assist you in gaining the required knowledge about the New Zealand Army, and the New Zealand Army Band, to successfully complete daily tasks.

On completion of the induction course, the New Zealand Army Band School of Music will assist you in gaining qualifications in theory and practical examinations with the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music London and Trinity College of London.

Personnel have the opportunity to advance through these theory and practical examinations up to, and including, diploma level. These qualifications will enhance your career progression and provide musical qualifications recognised worldwide.

This training is undertaken during the normal daily routine of the New Zealand Army Band.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
  • Driver's Licence: A Class 1 driver's licence is recommended, but is not compulsory.
  • You should have previous musical experience. You will need to pass an interview and an audition.

You must have achieved the NCEA level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements. Proficiency with instruments is the main criteria. A tertiary qualification is desirable.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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