Flight Lieutenant to bring band to town
A Hamilton Flight Lieutenant will bring the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band back to his hometown for a concert this month.
Flight Lieutenant Simon Brew, who has led the band on numerous successful international and nationwide tours, will conduct the evening concert on February 22 as part of a fourcity tour.
Brew has been conducting the Air Force Band for four years, one of the most prestigious full-time conducting posts in the country, and plays saxophone with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Brew was born in Hamilton and attended Marian School and St John’s College. His parents sent him to recorder lessons as a six-year-old at the Saturday morning music classes at Hamilton Boys’ High School.
He was a soloist in musical theatre productions during his teens, being involved with Musikmakers and performing in stage shows Oliver Twist, The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof.
Brew sang in the Waikato Youth Choir and played saxo- phone in the Waikato Concert Band, eventually touring Europe with them.
Brew said he couldn’t wait to bring the band to his hometown for the first time as a conductor.
He said it’s a treat to play in his hometown where his family, who are strong supporters of his music, can attend the concert without having to travel further afield.
‘‘One of my goals has been to bring our full-piece 65 strong symphonic band of wind, brass and percussionists to Hamilton.
‘‘I’ve led the band overseas in Singapore and at Gallipoli, but it will be a real thrill to bring the Air Force Band to Hamilton. We make sure people enjoy the show by incorporating some of the best music around and having top soloists.’’
Hamilton is one of the stops before the band switches to drill work ahead of the 2017 Air Tattoo at Ohakea, marking the Air Force’s 80th anniversary.
The lively evening concert has something for all ages from popular classics and show tunes, to the latest hits from the movies.
There’s even time for a tango when Flight Lieutenant Brew swaps his baton for saxophone to play a solo by composer Astor Piazzolla. The Air Force Band will be performing on Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm at the Clarence Street Theatre.
Hamilton-born Flight Lietenant Simon Brew.
PHOTO: AMANDALA PHOTOGRAPHY