Sarah Hickman was born in Dunedin in 1981. She learned the flute as a young girl, but started playing the cornet at 16 year old and soon joined Kaikorai Brass. Sarah joined Woolston when she moved to Christchurch to study.
She has been a member for twelve years. A very handy cornet player, Sarah now plays flugel horn. Sarah has been selected for four National Youth Bands and one National Band. She has a Music Degree and a Cadastral Surveying Degree. She is a trained primary school teacher and currently teaches 9 and 10 year olds at Heathcote Valley School. She has two sons, Jacob and Samuel.
Her husband Kevin is the soprano player for Woolston Brass and a member of the New Zealand Army Band. After band, Sarah enjoys swishing down mountains on her snowboard or sitting in the sun reading a book. Her favourite food is a big plate of sloppy nachos.
20 year old Ross Yorkstone hails from Invercargill where he was introduced to the cornet as a youngster by Kevin Dell and Alister Monteith.
Since moving North in October 2009 Ross has come under the mentorship of Phil Johnston and Kevin Hickman. Ross played Principal Cornet for Rangiora when they won the D grade in 2009. Working his way up through the 3rd, 2nd and Repiano seats, Ross is now on the solo cornet bench at Woolston.
Ross was selected for membership of the NZ Secondary Schools' Band in 2006 and 2007, and the NZ National Youth bands of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Ross has been a professional musician in the NZ Army Band since 2008.
A born and bred Cantabrian, Life Member and proud Woolstonian Chris Reside abandoned his violin aspirations at age ten. The waiting list at the Sumner Scouts being too long, Chris opted for a cornet in the village band instead. Early teachers were Fred Oakley, Ralph Simpson and Merv Waters. Inspired by recordings of the 1970 National Band, Rodney Sutton, Errol Mason and Eddie Calvert, Chris moved from the Christchurch Fire Brigade Band to Skellerup Woolston some 35 years ago. It's a move he says he's never regretted! Amongst Chris' numerous personal highlights is listed playing at the British Open in 2000.
Chris and his wife Margot have a blended Family: Melinda, Rebecca, Sam, Josh and Charlotte.
A roading estimator by day, Chris enjoys travelling, BBC documentaries, foreign art films, cooking and classical music (especially Mahler and Liszt). Chris is an occasional golfer and he has completed a marathon in less than four hours. He likes Indian food, Rick Stein's moussaka and a good red.
Followed her father's footsteps, Caroline Blackmore began her banding career in the Woolston Junior Band. She was promoted to Woolston Brass at age 15. Caroline's school years consisted of a hectic schedule of piano, trumpet, cornet, cello, singing lessons – and exams! She has been selected for six National Youth Bands and counts winning the National Contest with Woolston in both 2009 and 2010 as career highlights.
Caroline holds a B.Mus (performance cello), a BA (Psychology) and a MSc (Applied Psychology). Currently working in the recruitment industry, Caroline wishes to pursue a career in HR.
After music, Caroline likes to spend time with her partner Todd and his children, her family and friends. She enjoys attending concerts of all genres such as Coldplay, The Police, Pink, Sting with NZSO, Jack Johnson and Black Dyke Band."
Music keeps Catherine Hickman's feet on the ground when work as a doctor gets too much!
She sees being part of the Woolston community as giving her opportunities to develop a great group of friends and supports - including meeting her husband, Graham Hickman (Musical Director).
Catherine started playing the trumpet at age 7 and was originally involved in orchestras and concert bands before trumpet teacher Dave Gallaher selected her for the NZ Secondary Schools' Brass Band. She was hooked, and changed to cornet after passing her Grade 8 exam. Catherine counts winning the NZ Nationals with Woolston in Napier 2009 as a career highlight.
When not at band, or on the wards, Catherine likes to spend time with family and friends, work on her latest quilting project or enjoy an evening at home with Graham and a great glass of red wine.
Born in Lancashire, England, Denis Broadbent emmigrated to NZ as a five year old in 1964. He started playing cornet at age eight and, inspired by recordings of top British bands sent to him by relatives, he was led on a life-long musical journey. Denis joined Woolston in 1987 and has held a number of seats in the band since, including a foray onto the top bench. He is currently Second Cornet playing alongside his son Christopher where we hear Denis is "relishing every note".
Career highlights for Denis include: completing a hat-trick of A Grade titles, membership of the National Band, playing at the 2000 British Open, and winning five NZ titles as part of a Woolston Ensemble (Octet). Denis’ best loved test works areDove Descending and Saxon.
Beyond bands, Denis is a Specialist Medical MRI and CT imaging Support Engineer for Philips Healthcare.
Life Member Kevin Hickman was born in Feilding in 1969. He started playing the cornet in 1978 and joined Tenderkist Wanganui Brass under Kevin Jarrett in 1984. In 1990 he moved to London and spent three years playing in the Hillingdon Band under Phillip Sparke. On his return to New Zealand Kevin joined Woolston Brass where he held the Principal Cornet seat for the next sixteen years.
Kevin has been selected for two National Youth Bands and five National Bands. As a soloist Kevin has taken a number of titles including the Amateur Cornet (twice), the Championship Cornet and the 2006 Champion of Champions. Kevin recently won FABB'S 2010 Aria event against strong international competition. Following a very successful career as a print consultant, Kevin is now a full-time musician in the New Zealand Army Band.
Kevin lives in Christchurch with his wife Sarah and their three children: Thomas, Jacob and Samuel.
16 year old Christopher Broadbent is a student at Christchurch Boys High School. Chris is a recent addition to the band although his surname is familiar (his father Denis is a Woolston stalwart). Chris began playing the cornet at the age of six and he has worked his way up through the Junior Band and Woolston Concert Brass. Chris counts David Gallaher and his Dad amongst his important early influences. He is a member of many bands at school and he has been a member of the last two National Secondary Schools Bands. He won the Under 19 Canterbury Provincial Cornet Air Varie title at the tender age of 14. He is very proud to be a member of Woolston Brass. It has been a goal of his for a long time! He enjoys sitting next to his Dad at band but is looking forward to sitting above him one day! Chris is also a handy piano player having reached Grade 5.
Away for the band room Chris enjoys soccer, cricket, yachting, fishing... and marching!
Cathy grew up on the West Coast and started playing with Greymouth Municipal at the age of eight. Brass bands were somewhat of a family tradition as her father and two brothers all played in the band. Cathy’s eldest brother went on to conduct New Plymouth City in the eighties.
After moving to Christchurch in 1989, Cathy joined Addington Brass. She was also a member of the 2CANTNMWC Regiment Band, which was recently disestablished due to defence force budget cuts.
Cathy joined us in February 2012, and without a doubt believes the 2012 National Contest, her first time in the A grade, to be the biggest buzz of her banding career thus far. When not working as the South Island Sales Rep for Coopers Brewery, Cathy enjoys running and cycling to keep fit. She also loves to travel and has visited some amazing countries such as Lebanon, Croatia and Syria. And she tries to ensure the bandroom fridge is always well stocked!
Callum Hewson has been playing Brass for over 30 years, from Wanganui on Cornet, Horn, Flugel, then back to Horn. He joined the NZ Army Band in 1991 and although devoting the majority of his time primarily to his job, has still had an extremely successful musical career to date.
Achievements include Junior Flugel (1986), 2nd Open Horn (1994), Open Ensemble (1996, 2011, 2012), NZ Army Band Solo Champion (1993, 1994, 2011), Canterbury Provincial Slow Melody (1993.1997, 2012), Australian ‘A’ Grade (1988 – with Wanganui), NZ ‘A’ Grade (1994, 2011, 2012 with Woolston), National Band of NZ (1992, 1995), LTCL (2009) and FTCL (2012) with Trinity Guildhall
In his spare time Callum enjoys relaxing at home with his partner Evgeniya and their free-range Budgie ‘Boris’, a daily dose of exercise, researching, arranging, performing and listening to classical music. ,
After a short stint on Violin, Mark Vanderklei began playing the cornet at age 11. He switched to tenor horn then euphonium before reaching the zenith of his career on baritone!
Mark has been with Woolston Brass for almost 20 years. Career highlights include numerous A grade titles, the Christchurch Youth Brass Band tour of Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, the National Youth Band, the National Maori Band and the National Band of New Zealand. He has enjoyed performing in other roles including circus and rock bands. Mark has also found himself on stage in both contemporary and Shakespearian plays. He has even been known to play a sousaphone on a bicycle!
After band, Mark is a Network Engineer in a computer firm. He is in the final stages of his Masters degree at the Canterbury University. Mark and his wife Tessa have two children, Jordan and Joshua.
Ben Cuff hales from Invercargill where he started playing the cornet at the age of 10 at an out of school music programme. Ben joined the Ascot Park Hotel Auxillary Band at age 12. After several years he saw the light, moved to baritone, and quickly made his way to the Senior Band.
Ben has been in Woolston since 2009 and he is currently playing euphonium. Ben won the Junior Baritone solo and the Junior Champion of Champions, but his career highlight was travelling to Japan with the National Youth Band in 2009. Ben would love to be a member of a National Band one day. His favourite composer is Phillip Sparke.
Ben is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Canterbury University. He is a keen cricketer.
Vince Pheloung was born in Oamaru where he started playing the cornet at the age of five. His most important influence was that of his Dad, Kevin Pheloung, who played for the Oamaru Garrison Band.
Vince joined Woolston in 1987 and has been a member ever since. He is a much loved Life Member of the band, and a very handy baritone player. Vince's banding highlight was Woolston's second hat-trick of A grade wins in 2000-2002
Vince has served on the committee many times over the years. He enjoys catching up with brother Ted (trombone for St. Kilda) at band events. Particularly fond of the social aspect of banding, Vince is always willing to accommodate visitors to the band. A Bank Manager by day,Vince has three lovely daughters, five lovely grandchildren and a nuisance of a German Shepherd called Puzzle.
Being in a brass band is a family tradition for 15 year old Georgia Hoy as she follows in the footstep of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Georgia began baritone lessons with David Gallaher at Woolston Junior Band at the age of six. She is now in the Specialist Music Programme at Burnside High School where she plays baritone and trombone in five different ensembles including a trombone trio called "Burnslide" and the award winning Burnside Big Band.
Georgia has lived in Christchurch all her life except for three years spent in Brisbane where won the Queensland Under 12 solo title under the tutelage of Trevor Bremner. Since returning home to Christchurch Georgia has won the Canterbury Junior solo championship in 2008 and 2009 and placed 2nd in the National Under 15 solo in 2010 and 2011.
Andrew Yorkstone moved to Christchurch to play in the NZ Army Band in 2010. He has also joined his brother Ross as a member of Woolston Brass.
Back home in Invercargill, Andrew played 1st trombone for Ascot Park Hotel Brass. He won the Junior Trombone Championship in 2008 and 2009 and he was also crowned Junior Champion of Champions in that same year. He holds an ATCL on piano.
Career highlights for Andrew include touring Singapore in 2006 with the James Hargest College Band, Japan in 2009 with the NZ Youth Band and Abu Dhabi UAE with NZ Army Band.
Corrina Lee Dennison
Nigel Seaton began his brass playing at age 11 as a member of the Waimataitai School band in Timaru. A year later he came under the tutelage of Bob Lee who gave him a good grounding in the finer points of brass playing.
Nigel has had many successes as a soloist, including two Junior and 12 Open Eb Bass National Titles. He has also won National Duet and Quartet titles and has been a member of eight championship winning bands. Nigel has been a member of many of New Zealands top bands including Woolston, Dalewool, St Kilda, Addington and Timaru. He has been a member of five National Bands, four as Principal Eb Bass.
Over the last fifteen years Nigel has been involved in the development of younger players as a conductor and tutor of various youth bands and through his occupation as a primary school teacher.
Gary Pinker joined the band in 1976 as an eighteen year old. Says Gary, “The band at that time was at the zenith of its powers under the conductorship of the legendary Merven Waters, having just won a hat-trick of championship wins”. During his 35 years service Gary has had just two years absence (1985 and 1986) when he undertook a teaching stint in the UK – and gained his OE!
Core-Woolstonian Gary has played Eb and BBb bass at various times according to the needs of the band. He has served as the band's Chairman for the last five years.
Gary is the Deputy Principal of ParkviewPrimary School. He is married to Sophie and the father of three children. He lists his “other interests” as being: fishing, hunting, motorcycling and photography.
The son of Woolston legend Dave Johnston, Phil was born in Christchurch and raised in Blenheim where he was taught by his father and inducted into the Marlborough band.
NZ Champion BBb Bass fifteen times, Champion of Champions twice and winner of the prestigious Ern Kellar International Brass Musician of the Year award, Phil has toured Europe, the USA and New Zealand as a member of four National Bands
Phil joined the RNZ Navy Band in 1996 then transferred to the NZ Army Band in 1997. He was Course Manager of the Mutual Assistance Programme from 2005 to 2007 and he was appointed Deputy Bandmaster in January 2008 before assuming his current appointment as the Drum Major on the NZ Army Band. Back on Civvy Street, Phil is also the Music Director of Addington Brass.
Born and raised in Timaru, Sam Pinder started his brass band career with the Waimataitai Primary School Brass Band on baritone at the age of ten. He moved to BBb bass quickly and started playing with Timaru Municipal when he was 13. Sam counts David Wolff amongst his important early influences. He has won the Junior Bb Bass title three times and he has been a member of seven National Youth Bands.
Sam moved to Woolston Brass when he began studying accountancy at Canterbury University in 2007. His favourite composer is Phillip Sparke and one of the highlights of his career is sitting next to, and learning from, Gary Pinker. Sam's goals include being a member of the next National Band.
Sam's hobbies consist mostly of banding and socialising. His favourite film is Inception and he enjoys reading a good book on a quiet Sunday.
Seventeen year old Cameron Lee started playing when he was nine years old in the Woolston Junior Band. He has been taught by Roanna Cooper for most of his playing career.
Cameron was offered a position in Woolston when he was fourteen. He was in the 2008, 2009, 2010 National Secondary Schools' Brass Band and successfully auditioned for the 2010 and 2011 National Youth Bands but could not attend the 2011 course as his sister could not persuaded to postpone her wedding! Career highlights for "Cam" include performing the work On the Shoulders of Giants with Woolston and performing at the Earthquake Memorial Service following the February quake.
Cameron enjoys relaxing to music (most genres) and spending time with his mates. He is in his final year at Cashmere High School and he hopes to join the New Zealand Army band in 2012.
Percussionist George Buchanan divides his time between the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and Woolston Brass. He also plays and teaches the piano.
George was selected for the 2011 NZ National Youth Brass Band. He has sung at the National Young Men in Harmony finals, drummed in an award-winning rockquest band, played piano for the New Zealand Jazz Foundation Ensemble, and performed with Christchurch percussion group Pandemonium.
He is currently studying towards a MusB (in performance piano), a BE (in Mechatronics Engineering), and a BSc (in Astrophysics) at the University of Canterbury. In his spare time George enjoys outdoor activities, especially tramping, sailing and skiing.
Life Member Bob Neil (AKA Wharfie) hails from Greymouth where his first teacher was the legendary Vic Baxter. Moving to Christchurch 1966, Bob initially joined Derry's Brass, but moved to Woolston three years later just in time to be part of Mervyn Water's ground-breaking 1971 band, the “big win” in Wanganui remaining a career highlight despite overseas tours and forty colourful years of service and accomplishment. An indispensable core-Woolstonian, Bob gives great service as the band's librarian, percussion truck driver and bandroom cleaner. He also enjoys helping out by playing BBb bass with the junior band.
A retired motor mechanic/watersider, Bob is a great animal lover and he has enjoyed considerable success as a greyhound breeder. He likes rugby league, fishing, shooting ducks, golf, eating Panackelty and reading books by Bryce Courtney and Wilbur Smith. He and Fay, his wife of 46 years, have two adult children, Steven and Therase. Bob and Fay are doting Grandparents to Joe and Olivia.
Todd Turner began playing in brass bands at the age of seven in the Palmerston North Band with his father, brother and sister. He moved to Christchurch in 1986 and joined the Woolston Workingmen's Club Silver Band which in time became Canterbury Brass.
After 20 year's contemplation, Todd joined Woolston brass in 2009. Career highlights include three National and one Australasian title with Woolston, and being selected for two National Bands. Todd is passionate about marching. He has won three National Champion Drum Major titles.
Outside of brass bands, Todd's day job is managing The Rockshop. He enjoys chilling out with Caroline, and his children, Georgia 10, and Jackson 8. He has a weakness for KFC, and loves a good comedy film.
Born and raised in Wanganui, Eugene Puohotaua started playing the cornet at age seven in the Wanganui Garrison Junior Band under Jock Coleman and Rainey Francis. Eugene cites local band icons Kevin Jarret, Jay Neal and primo euphonium masters Rodney Sutton and Joe Harper as major influences.
He joined Woolston Brass in 1985 then left in 1996 to work overseas. Rejoining in 2008, his career highlights include selection for 1976 National Band, and his first championship win with Woolston. Although a great fan of Eric Ball and local composer Dwayne Bloomfield, Eugene's favourite work is Peter Graham's On the Shoulders of Giants.
A Social Worker by day, Eugene's focus after work is on his family. He supports the Marist Albion Rugby Club, his favourite book is Once were Warriors and his favourite food is curry.
Helen Hoy is the the band's Marketing Manger. A qualified primary school teacher, Helen has worked in many administrative, playing and conducting roles within the brass band movement. She is the founder of the Woolston Junior Band as we know it today.
Born in Matamata, Helen was taught tenor horn by her father, Bob Lee. Helen counts working alongside Dennis Spurdle and David Gallagher with the Junior Band as a career highlight. During that time the band won the D Grade Championship twice and recorded a CD.
Helen works part time as a receptionist for the Education Department at the Canterbury Museum. She has two teenage children, Cameron and Georgia, both of whom are heavily involved in music groups at their respective high schools!
A Woolston Brass member since early 2009, Hamish Upton will graduate from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore with First Class Honours in early July.
Hamish joined Woolston at the beginning of their Napier contest campaign, not long before leaving Christchurch to begin the four years of intense percussion studies.
Highlights of his time included performing a variety of chamber music and large ensemble works and solo recitals within the Conservatory, a 2 week trip to Bali to learn various styles of Gamelan, and a semester-long Exchange to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. The food was delicious too!
Currently the President of Woolston Brass, Life Member A.G. (Tony) Lewis MNZM. B.Com. FCA was born in Timaru in 1942. He was given a "pea-shooter" trombone at Waimataitai Primary School in 1951 and developed his playing at Timaru Boys High School and as a member of the Timaru Municipal Band.
As a student at the University of Canterbury, Tony immersed himself in the Christchurch jazz, big band and orchestral scene, but it was always the brass band that formed the backbone of his passion for music. He joined Woolston 1966 and he has served as an outstanding player and as an indispensable administrator ever since. The 1971 Wanganui ('Spectrum') win, the 1975 Belle vue Manchester Contest stand out as highlights in Tony's 30 years with the band.
Tony was a partner in charge of the Christchurch office of Coopers&Lybrand. Now retired, he likes to spend as much time as possible fly-fishing, whitebaiting and duck shooting!