Adrian J. Raven – Music Director,
His musical background is deeply rooted in the British Brass band scene and prior to his emigration to NZ in 1990 he played with some of Britain’s top bands, under some of the UK’s finest brass band conductors. He has performed at all the major brass band festivals in the UK, most notably, the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, The British Open at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and the All England Masters in Cambridge as well as the Brass in Concert Championship held at The Sage in Gateshead, which is the UK’s premier entertainment contest.
After arriving in NZ he quickly established strong contacts and became increasingly active as a freelance musician; soon after accepting a contract with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He has been a regular contract player with the NZ Symphony Orchestra, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and as a freelance has worked in a wide range of ensembles and genres from early Venetian music, choral, chamber music and large scale orchestral, through to jazz and swing, pop and ska which gives him a great deal of musical insight and versatility on the conductor’s podium.
During his first period with Papakura City Brass, the band reached a high level of performance on both the concert stage and the contest platform, and together they established a highly successful and musically diverse annual concert series. Since that time he has conducted various Auckland bands, including Kumeu Brass, Auckland City, Waitakere Brass and most notably as acting resident conductor for Dalewool Auckland Brass in 2009.
In addition to his brass band conducting work, he has held the positions of bandmaster at King’s College and the Musical Director of the Auckland Wind Orchestra, and on a freelance level has conducted concerts with the Papakura Civic Orchestra, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble.
As an educator, from 1992-2005 he was active as an itinerant instrumental brass tutor at several high profile private schools, including King’s School & College, St. Kentigern School & College, Epsom Girls Grammar, Diocesan School for Girls and Kristin School.
Between 2011 and 2013 during a busy two year spell in the UK he became a member of the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, (with whom he took part in the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony), he undertook conducting studies with top UK conductor Russell Gray and in 2012 accepted the post of Musical Director for the Brackley & District Brass Band in Northamptonshire with which he remained until his return to New Zealand in late 2013.
Early in 2014 he was reappointed to the position of Music Director at Papakura City Brass and continues to be active around the Auckland brass band scene.