Flaxwood Festival Flaxwood Festival ... Profile
Flaxwood Festival .....  the greatest since Woodstock !
Tributes to Murray Wood and Hans Schuitman
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Anthony Easterbrook-Carter · Brendan Dugan · Cruise Control · Dixon McIvor · The Flaxwood Shadows · Graham Wardrop
Johnny Campbell + Detours · John Dunne · Marian Burns · Peter Caulton · Peter Nelson + Castaways · Red Hot and Dixie
Roy Phillips · Suzanne Lynch · Tamara Williams · The Woolston Brass · The Wolverines

The name of this Festival was changed from Flaxton Festival to Flaxwood Festival in Murray Wood's perpetual honour.
Tributes to Murray Wood and Hans Schuitman

The Woolston Brass  —  Profile

The Woolston Brass The Woolston Brass
Click here for The Woolston Brass official website .....

Founded in 1891 the band has remained true to the ideal expressed in its Maori motto, Tohea kia kaha (Persevere, so there is Strength), and is today one of New Zealand's most enduring performing arts institutions.  Woolston Brass is New Zealand's most successful contesting brass band.  As holders of the current NZBBA A-Grade Championship, the NZBBA Marching Championship, the CPBBA Championship and the inaugural 1998 Australasian (FABB) Championship the band is, and always has been, a force to be reckoned with on the contest stage.  Besides its contesting prowess, the band is recognised as a versatile and popular stage performer, be it concert hall auditorium, dance hall, church, retirement village or municipal park! The band strives to perform its culturally unique music to the wider public at every opportunity.  A self-funding amateur music organisation, the band provides a learning facility for developing players, and an artistic outlet befitting those with more experience.  With a playing strength of nearly thirty (ranging in age from sixteen to sixty), the members are a diverse mix of business and trades people, teachers, students, soldiers and senior citizens  —  all brought together by a common interest and a love of making music.  One of the few New Zealand brass bands to tour overseas, Woolston's travelogue records visits to Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.  In 2000 the band retraced the pioneering steps of Merven Waters' 1975 band by touring Great Britain and competing in the revered "British Open".  Unfortunately, the millennium band could not better the 5th place benchmark set by its forebears.  Graham Hickman is the band's current Music Director.  At the helm since 2006, Graham has extensive conducting experience with orchestras, jazz bands, choirs, and brass bands, including five years as the professional conductor of the New Zealand Army Band.  He holds national solo titles on cornet and flugel horn, and has performed with groups as varied as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the National Band of New Zealand and the Victoria Big Band.  After some close-runs, Graham first hit the bulls-eye in 2008 when under his baton, the band lifted the inaugural Australasian title in Coolangatta, Australia.  Six months later he again lead the band to a deft win at the New Zealand National Championships in Napier.  2110 saw Graham continue to roll out the results, not only on the contest platform, but in the concert hall and recording studio as well.  At a highly successful (but very cold!) national contest in Dunedin (2010), Graham led the band in its retention of the New Zealand title, then in July 2011 he succesfully completed a hat trick of National championships by winning the 2011 title on Auckland's North Shore.  He has produced a CD recording with the band, Woolston Rhythm 'n' Brass.  Graham is the latest in a long line of distinguished Woolston conductors.  Past luminaries include Dick Estall, Mervyn Waters, Ken Smith and David Gallaher, under whose ten-year tenure the band achieved a remarkable contesting record including a hat-trick of National Championship wins in 2000, 2001, and 2002.