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THE CALENDARS GETTING A BOOST!

So nice to see the calendar getting a boost with a nice combination of private functions at some wonderful bars and venues, some club gigs, invitations to be involved as a guests artist at special events and band engagements as we push forward to the National Brass Band Championships.together with a resurgence of brass

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Last month I received the call up to assist the St Kilda Brass Band of Dunedin at the Otago Southland Provincial Brass Band Championships. St Kilda has a huge history in New Zealand going way back to a time when both Dunedin bands, St Kilda and Kaikorai Brass, battled it out at the top of the A Grade Championships at Nationals. St Kilda is still one of our counties A Grade Bands and it was a real thrill to play with a band for the first time under the direction of respected Musical Director and composer Kenneth Young. Brass band hospitality as always was amazing and between practices I got to experience life in Dunedin. The first night in beautiful St Clair, a stunning seaside town I had not experienced before and also life on a farm while staying with my good friend and local brass band personality Ted Pheloung. Ted was also keen for me to visit his bar, as you do, set up in his beautiful historic home in Dunedin where his amazing career in music was on show with pictures of his trips and performances as a member of many touring National Bands of New Zealand, his cabaret and show band work and his amazing loyal service to the St Kilda band. It was then off to Invercargill one of my favourite spots in New Zealand to compete. A number of local bands competed from A to D grade with both St Kilda and Invercargill taking home the top two placing’s. Well done and thank you for the invitation.

This year I will be playing for the NBS Nelson City Brass at the National Championships held mid July in Christchurch. This will be their first year competing in the A Grade after what has been a dream run for them in previous years with staggering results in the C and B grade since the appointment of Nigel Weeks as Musical Director. Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest because of Covid, we in New Zealand feel very fortunate that we are one of, if not the only country able to secure such an event over these uncertain times.

Anzac weekend was a busy one for me with the performing of the “Last Post” on the Saturday prior at two separate sporting events. First up I performed with members of the RSA at the Waitemata Rugby Club before both the woman’s and men’s premier games. It was then off to Ellerslie for a stirring rendition before the last race. You could say it was certainly a day of Rugby, Racing and Beer. Well without the beer as I don’t drink it. The following day I played with the Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery at Anzac day where they performed with distinction. The band finished their contribution with a concert in front of a packed Birkenhead RSA. This concluded with a standing ovation for the band. I was proud to wear their uniform over the two days of Anzac commemorations.

The marketing team at Ellerslie have recently won not one, but two prestigious marketing awards for their work. Most recently taking out the “BEST OF THE BEST” Westpac Auckland Business Award. No surprises to me, as this team are so nice to work with and they really make race day an experience. This is also paying off for them at the gate with thousands enjoying their hospitality every meeting.

My beautiful partner and best friend Cathy got engaged this year and we are looking forward to having a small wedding in February 2022. We hope to get family home from overseas, fingers crossed. We recently took time to go to a few shows. Without a doubt for me, the highlight was the Howard Morrison Take Two show at the Bruce Mason Centre. I was still buzzing from this show a week later. This tour was also cut short due to Covid, but I believe they are going to tour it again. It just had everything!  Howard Morrison Jnr, Jack Grace, Russell Harrison and a man close to my heart Chris Powley took us on a journey of professionalism at its best. Backed by Musical Director, and producer of my album no less, Ben Gilgen and his wonderful band. This show was delivered with perfect harmonies, hilarious fun and rehearsed in a manner that had no stone left unturned. It was magical for all involved. There was a “Meeting There Tonight”. I strongly suggest you get there for the next one!

For me the TRUMPETGUY bookings are starting to roll in again and I’m excited. Can’t wait to play, DJ, MC at your next function or venue.              

Until next time……

Bye bye from the TRUMPETGUY

John McGough