While many young men choose to play drums or electric guitar, four Whangarei youths have been doing plenty of huffing and puffing and will head to Australia as part of the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds early next year.

Four members from Whangarei Youth Music have been selected for the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds, a band for musically talented 14 to 24-year-olds from across New Zealand.

Richard Young, who plays the trumpet, Scott Martin (alto saxophone), Ben Andrews (tuba) and Rangimakehu Hall (French horn) have been selected for the band and will compete in the Australian Concert Band competitions at the Sydney Opera House during Easter Weekend next year.

Scott, 16, says he is looking forward to going to Australia for the new experience.


The young men were selected at the 2014 New Zealand Concert Band Association festival following Whangarei Youth Music Concert Band's silver placing in the festival. To audition they were required to perform four pieces - a hymn, a concert march, a test piece and piece of their own choice.

Hall, 24, said: "If you played in that session you were guaranteed a spot, if you could play the music."

Hall has the talent of being able to play pretty much any instrument he picks up.

He says he can play "piano, alto saxophone, clarinet, all brass instruments, except trombone.

"I'm a massive band geek. I listen to so much concert band music it's not funny."

He started playing French horn out of a shortage of players of the instrument.

"Someone was like, 'Hey, here's a horn', and I was like, 'OK'," he said.

It was much the same for Ben Andrews, 16. He started playing the tuba while on a trip to Rarotonga three years ago when another tuba player was needed.

Before the tuba, Ben played clarinet but finds it "too common". His mum, Lucy Andrews, said he loved having his own niche.

Scott first got into music as a part of the Year 7 programme at Pompallier Catholic College.

He finds he gets most of his musical influence from watching YouTube videos.

The four boys belong to Whangarei Youth Music in Lower Dent St in Whangarei, which Ms Andrews said was like a tight family with a lovely atmosphere, with everyone, including the parents, encouraged to have a go.