Cornet player champion of champions

John Lewis
John Lewis
Otago Daily Times journalist John Lewis has won New Zealand's top solo brass music prize, claiming the 2011 Festival of Brass champion of champions title in Auckland.

For the second successive year, Mr Lewis (37) won the open championship cornet in New Zealand's premier brass competition, which was held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna on Thursday night, and followed that with the champion of champions title.

He also won the champion of champions title in 2001.

Mr Lewis, who was representing Dalewool Auckland Brass, capped a memorable night for Dunedin musicians.

Rosie Evans (17), of St Kilda Brass, won the junior flugal and was second in junior champion of champions. John McAdam, of St Kilda Brass, was third in open baritone solo. It was the third year in a row he had claimed third prize.

St Kilda Brass president Peter McHenry said it was a great result for Dunedin brass.

"They've done extremely well. John's award is the top accolade. All the winners of the 11 or 12 different instrument events compete against each other and John came out on top.

"Rosie did very well, too, as she is only 17 and the junior event is an under-19 competition."

Mr Lewis' test piece Endeavour, by Helen Johnstone, was "unanimously" voted the winner by adjudicators Steve Bastable, John Snowling and David Bremner.

"I'm rapt," Mr Lewis said from Auckland yesterday. "It's not an easy thing to win. There are musicians from Britain, Australia and Japan here and it's a very high international standard."

Trevor Bremner, of New Plymouth Brass, was second in the champion of champions and Riki McDonnell, of Marlborough District Brass, third.

The band section started yesterday and continues today and tomorrow.



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