Mil­i­tary brass seek re­cruits

Central Leader - - NEWS - By MICHELE ONG

The Royal New Zealand Ar­tillery Band needs some new blood in its ranks.

The band has a se­ries of pa­rades and con­certs lined up to mark its 150th year of ser­vice to the New Zealand Army in 2014.

It also has a busy few years ahead of it as cen­te­nary an­niver­saries mark­ing the start of World War I and the var­i­ous cam­paigns that fol­lowed take place.

Band­mas­ter Dennis Schofield says an ex­tra 10 mem­bers are needed to join the ex­ist­ing 26.

But brass play­ers are hard to find th­ese days and Mr Schofield says that could be a prob­lem that makes it dif­fi­cult for the band to meet de­mand for its ser­vices over the next five years.

‘‘Schools pro­vide ex­cel­lent mu­sic pro­grammes, and some do con­tinue,’’ he says. ‘‘But most, once they leave high school, go to univer­sity, get jobs and don’t make the time for it any more. There is some great mu­si­cal tal­ent de­vel­oped from th­ese pro­grammes and by join­ing a band or orches­tra this can con­tinue and im­prove through­out life.’’

Mr Schofield says younger mu­si­cians are more in­ter­ested in play­ing tunes they hear on ra­dio.

‘‘But I en­cour­age them to get out and hear what a brass band is all about. Some have come back say­ing ‘it’s re­ally neat’,’’ he says.

Mr Schofield joined the RNZ Ar­tillery Band in 1987 and at­tended the Bris­bane World Expo in 1988 where he played at the New Zealand Pav­il­ion for two weeks.

He was ap­pointed to the po­si­tion of the NZ Ar­tillery Band’s band­mas­ter to rep- lace the con­duc­tor re­signed in 2002.

It is the mil­i­tary as­pect of the band that he en­joys.

‘‘There’s both the dis­ci­pline and drill in­volved in it, and it gives you more fo­cus,’’ he says.




Band mem­bers are pro­vided with in­stru­ments and uni­forms.

Prac­tise is ev­ery Tues­day in Pan­mure, 7.30pm till 10pm.

Call Mr Schofield on 09 428 6555, 021 292 6439, or the band sec­re­tary on 09 413 5322.

Help wanted: More mu­si­cians are needed in the The Band of the Royal Reg­i­ment of New Zealand Ar­tillery. From left: Gun­ner Caro­line Fil­imoe­hala, deputy band­mas­ter Peter Downey, Lance Bom­bardier Paul Dav­i­son and Gun­ner Nick Har­ris.

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