Flight Lieu­tenant to bring band to town

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTERS

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

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