On stage with The Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra

On stage with The Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra

One of the most recent, and nerve-wracking highlights of my playing career was the chance to perform a World Premier with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra (APO). 


The opportunity came about after winning the Auckland Band Association Championship Section Solo Contest, and as a result, I was invited to participate in the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Showcase, effectively another solo competition, where the winner of that was invited to perform with the APO.

The Discovery 2015 Concert was an APO concert inspired by the world, its people and events from 100 years ago. A brand new arrangement of Rule Britannia Variations (a number 1 hit 100 years ago) was commissioned for the event and we performed the World Premier on 27th May 2015 in front of a full house of around 1700 people at Auckland Town Hall including school groups from all over Auckland. 

Apparently, it was the first time I, and we believe any baritone, has performed a solo with a full professional orchestra, so it was a very special and pretty historic occasion.

I remember walking into the first rehearsal, an 'amateur' musician, playing an instrument half the orchestra had probably never even heard of before, let alone heard play a solo. Seated around the stands were amazingly talented professional musicians from all over New Zealand (and beyond) and the eminent composer and conductor Mr Kenneth Young. It was one of the scariest playing situations I can remember for a long time, playing those first few notes and wondering what these wonderful musicians all thought of this strange brass instrument in the hands of some random 'amateur' musician.

Thankfully all went well and the performance went as planned, maybe with a bit of history being made too. I am truly grateful for the opportunity for such an amazing experience, and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

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