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RNZAF Band to perform Wellington drummer's compositions

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Band’s annual showcase event, the Air Force in Concert, in Wellington this Sunday, will have a distinctly local flavour.

21 September, 2022

The band will present music from film and musical theatre in addition to jazz standards and masterpieces from its classical repertoire.

Members of the band have also composed and arranged a number of pieces on the programme - they include Lower Hutt born and bred drummer Corporal Jeremy Richardson, who has written two pieces for the drum line. 

Corporal Richardson grew up in the brass band tradition, with his mother, father, brother and himself all members of Hutt City Brass Band. He holds a Bachelor of Music with first class honours in jazz performance from the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, and since graduation has enjoyed a varied musical life around New Zealand.

His career highlights so far include playing kit and percussion in the musical Wedding Singer, recently staged in Wellington and Auckland, and performing with the Wellington Brass Band in their victory at the New Zealand Brass Band Championships.

Corporal Richardson is now a busy musician, performing throughout the Wellington region in a number of bands, including Raw Collective, Bonus Round and Alba Rose. 

It’s been a long time coming, and we are really looking forward to putting on our best performance for this year’s Air Force in Concert

Corporal Jeremy Richardson

Corporal Jeremy Richardson playing the drums in the RNZAF Band

Corporal Jeremy Richardson has travelled extensively with the RNZAF Band, both around New Zealand and abroad.

He has been with the RNZAF Band since late 2013, first performing with them in the 2011 Rugby World Cup marching display. He plays regularly with the band’s jazz orchestra and drum line, in addition to playing as a percussionist with the full symphonic band. He has travelled around New Zealand with the band, as well as to Kuala Lumpur for a military tattoo in 2014.

After this event being cancelled for the past two years due to Covid-related restrictions, Corporal Richardson and his RNZAF colleagues are looking forward to being back on stage in front of a home crowd. 

“It’s been a long time coming, and we are really looking forward to putting on our best performance for this year’s Air Force in Concert,” he said.

The concert will feature symphonic masterworks, jazz standards and musical theatre hits from across the ages. Other local musicians set to perform include award-winning entertainer Ali Harper, vocalist Leading Aircraftman Matt Mulholland, and resident bagpiper Sergeant Murray Mansfield.

The RNZAF Band’s core duties include tasks such as welcoming visiting dignitaries at Government House and providing music for commemorations at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

In February 2021, they completed a week-long South Island tour, performing to more than 4000 fans of all ages.

More recently, they have been present at numerous musical and ceremonial events in Wellington, including the national Anzac Day services and the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Service.