Top soloist Buzz Newton to play at charity Christmas concert

This year’s annual Christmas Mission concert will feature renowned euphonium player Buzz Newton.

The concert will be held at St Margaret’s College on Saturday 13 December at 7.30pm
Tickets cost $15, with all proceeds going to the Christchurch City Mission
Children’s tickets are free!

Born in Ashburton, a small town south of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, Byron ‘Buzz’ Newton received his early brass training on the baritone with the Ashburton Silver Band. After a move north to Christchurch to attend secondary school at Christchurch Boys’ High School, Buzz was tutored by the then Woolston Brass conductor David Gallaher. After accidentally breaking his instrument trying to remove a stuck mouthpiece, Buzz was given a euphonium by Gallaher as a replacement. Meant only to be a short-term fix, Buzz instantly fell in love with the instrument and never returned to the baritone.

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Fast-forward to 2014 and Buzz has become one of the world’s top euphonium performers with many prestigious solo awards to his name, including the 2008 Brass Prize at the International Gisborne Competition, the Best Euphonium and Baritone title at the 2010 British Open Solo Competition (the first and only New Zealander to win this title), and several best soloist awards including the 2011 Scenic Hotels Band of the Year, the 2012 Welsh Open, 2012 Wychaven Contest, and the 2013 Besson Band of the Year.

After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Music and a Postgraduate Diploma with distinction from the New Zealand School of Music, Buzz was offered scholarships to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). Buzz set sail for Wales and completed his Master of Arts at the RWCMD in Cardiff, learning from the father-and-son combination and euphonium legends Robert and David Childs.

During his time in Wales, Buzz was the principal euphonium and featured concert soloist with the famous Tredegar Town Band, performing at many prestigious concert halls around the world, including London’s Royal Albert Hall. In 2012 he became the first brass student to win the RWCMD Concerto Competition and in his final Masters recital Buzz was awarded a mark of 100% making him the first student in the college’s history to do so, thus securing a grade of distinction.

His return to Wellington and New Zealand in 2012 has seen Buzz in high demand as a soloist, teacher, and freelance musician throughout Australasia. Buzz has taken up the position of Principal Euphonium and Assistant Musical Director with the Wellington Brass Band, helping the band to achieve their first national title in 31 years. He is the solo euphonium in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, and is the euphonium and baritone tutor at the New Zealand School of Music. In 2013 he was guest soloist and tutor with the 2013 National Australian Brass Youth Band and the National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand.

Buzz has been a member of the National Secondary Schools, National Youth, and National Brass Bands of New Zealand, and his versatility has seen him perform with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Buzz is a Besson artist and performs exclusively on a Besson Prestige Euphonium with an Alliance DC3 mouthpiece.