The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The 3rd (East Coast) Battalion Band was first formed as a railway band about the year 1889, under the auspices of Mr. Burnett (who was also band-master), and was composed entirely of railway employees. Two years later it was constituted a garrison band, and in 1900 a battalion band. Mr. Burnett was succeeded as band-master by Mr. J. Barrett, who was followed by Mr. G. Hawkins, formerly master of the Wellington Navals Band. Messrs McConnell, Madigan, McGlaschan and M. Driver were then sucessively elected, and in April, 1905, Mr. H. A. King, the present band-master, took command. The band has a membership of twenty-seven, and the instruments include one E Flat cornet, five solo cornets, two second cornets, two third cornets, four tenor horns, two baritones, one euphonium, four trombones, two E Flat basses, two B Flat basses, and drums. The band is annually subsidised by the Borough Council to the extent of £25, for which they play thirteen concerts a year in the two town rotundas. It also gives two free concerts a year at the hospital, for which the members receive admission to the institution in case of illness. The Battalion Band is one of the most efficient in the North Island, and it is occasionally employed to play at functions outside the town. Practices are held twice weekly at the Garrison Hall, and the band also regularly parades with the volunteer corps. The Battalion Band has done excellent service under the able conductorship of Mr. King.
Mr. Herbert Augustus King, Band-master of the Battalion Band, is one of a family gifted with musical talent, his eldest brother, Mr. W. S. King, of Christchurch, being a well-known judge of band contests. He was born in Dunedin in November, 1880, and is the youngest son of Mr. G. L. King, now (1906) one of the departmental managers of Messrs Blythe and Company's soft goods and furnishing warehouse, Napier. Mr. King was educated in Dunedin, and learned the trade of a painter and house decorator, and is president of the Napier Painters' and Decorators' Union of Workers. He joined the Battalion Band at about fourteen years of age as third cornet player, and at twenty years of age became solo cornet player, which he remained till being promoted to the conductorship. Mr. King is also solo cornet player in the orchestra of the Frivolity Minstrels, with which he has been connected since their inception.