The North Shore Youth Band (as it was then known) was established in 1985 under the umbrella of the North Shore Music Council Incorporated. The Music Council was founded to promote music on Auckland's North Shore and it ran a number of groups, including orchestras and bands. The Youth Band was formed from senior members of one of the groups – a wind band called Musicana.
The band's first conductor was Graham Smith, who conducted it from 1985 until 1987. He was followed as conductor by Russell Croucher (1987 to 1989) and Peter Thomas (1989 to 1991). In 1991 Deece Guisinger took over as conductor of the Band. Deece took the band to its first NZCBA National Festival in August 1991 in Cambridge, at which the band won a Silver Award.In August 1994, John Lauderdale became conductor. John was an internationally renowned trumpet player and conductor, and he had recently taken up teaching roles at Glenfield College and other schools on the North Shore. Students at these schools wanted an avenue to continue and further their musical development, so sought to join the band. As a result, the band greatly increased in size. It also changed its name to the North Shore Youth Symphonic Wind Band, to reflect a new beginning and a new focus.
NZCBA Festival 1999
For the second trip, in April 2003, members from the band travelled again to the United Kingdom, this time for a “look and learn” experience. The band stayed with the Royal Air Force at Uxbridge, and also played with the Central Band of the RAF. The band visited the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul's Cathedral and the Abbey Road Studios.
After the North Shore Music Council Incorporated stopped operating in the early 2000s, the Band continued to thrive on its own account, acquiring its own music and instruments.
In 2005, after being with the band for 11 years, John Lauderdale decided to semi-retire. He began to pass conducting duties over to other members of the band. In that year, Owen Auger and Andrew Lyle conducted the band along with John. Owen had been a long time principal flautist of the band, and had received numerous Gold awards for his solo performances at previous NZCBA national festivals. Andrew had a performance degree on trombone from the Royal Northern College of Music, and had served with the bands of the Coldstream Guards in England and the Royal New Zealand Navy Band.
2010 Nationals (Hastings)
1996 concert, conductor - John Lauderdale
The band excelled under John's leadership, and set new standards for symphonic wind band music in New Zealand. The band attained numerous Gold awards at NZCBA festivals during his tenure, including in its first at the 1997 festival in Rotorua, and later Golds in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Many soloists and ensembles playing at these festivals as members of the band also won Gold awards.
The band has travelled internationally under John's leadership. In 1998, members from the band travelled to Queensland with the Glenfield College Concert Band and Mahurangi College Stage Band, playing at various locations in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. In excess of 60 musicians participated in this trip.
The band has also undertaken two trips to Europe. The first, in July 2001, was a joint tour with the Waikato Youth Symphonic Band. The two bands travelled through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and France before going to the United Kingdom. While in Austria, the bands participated in the 30th International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna. In the United Kingdom, the bands played with the Royal Marines in Portsmouth and visited the Royal Military School of Music in Twickenham.
2004 Nationals (Rotorua)
John, Owen and Andrew together conducted the band at the festivals in 2005, 2006 and 2007. After the 2007 festival in Palmerston North, Owen and Andrew both left the band to pursue other endeavours. Two other members of the band were appointed as conductors: Russell Smithand Leah Channon. Russell had for some time been the principal saxophonist in the band, and Leah was pursuing a performance music degree at the University of Auckland. In May 2008, the band participated for the first time in the Matamata Brass Festival of Music. This was formerly a brass band-only festival, but with the 2008 festival onwards was also opened up to concert bands. This festival was Leah and Russell’s first adjudicated festival, and the band won a Gold award. At the NZCBA Festival in Wellington in August 2008, John Lauderdale conducted his last festival performance of the band, conducting Tame the Savage Sea by Elliot del Borgo. At the Matamata festival and NZCBA festival in 2009, the band was conducted by Russell Smith and Leah Channon. The band continues to thrive and the membership base continues to expand, with many new members joining from around the North Shore.