Cream of brass players to provide three concerts

Roxburgh will host ''the cream'' of young brass players tonight as the National Youth Brass Band performs the first of three Southern concerts. The band is made up of 34 musicians under the age of 23, and they have spent nine days based in Pukerau, receiving tuition from some of the country's best brass educators, before demonstrating their prowess.

All three concerts begin at 7.30pm. The performance at Roxburgh is followed by a one in Invercargill tomorrow and in Dunedin on Saturday.

Roxburgh Pioneer Generation Brass Band manager and Roxburgh hosting committee member Alex Gordon said the concert was ''just reward'' for the district's support of youth band members over the years. There were several musicians from Otago and Southland in the band - Megan and Nina Gooding, Erynne Scherf, Harry Smith and former Dunedin musician Rosie Evans are among the members.

The musical director, Peter Adams, is a senior lecturer in music at Otago University. ''That makes it extra special in that there's a strong Otago-Southland contingent and this band is the cream of New Zealand's young musicians. They're the top people and it can't help but be a brilliant concert,'' Mr Gordon said.

''Brass bands have got away from those stuffy old staunch marches and concertgoers will be pleasantly surprised by the range of music.''

The guest soloist is Byron (Buzz) Newton, of Christchurch. Mr Newton recently returned from studying overseas and he has been a member of the national secondary schools brass band the national youth brass band and the national brass band that toured Belgium and Holland in 2009.