21 May 2013
RNZN Warrant Officer Musician (WOMUS) Shaun Jarrett
Whanganui musician Shaun Jarrett, the Bandmaster Second in Command (2IC) of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Band, is heading home to perform this month as part of the Band's central North Island Heartland Tour.
Warrant Officer Musician (WOMUS) Jarrett has tried his hand at all three of the military services joining the Air Force reserves in 1980, the New Zealand Army in 1984, and then the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1991 and has been playing there since.
Jarrett says playing in all three bands has given him great insight and opportunities.
"I learnt a lot across the three Service bands, each one was different in its own way.
"There aren't a lot of opportunities for people to play professionally in a band in New Zealand and the military option has been a fantastic one for me. It has provided me with a full time musical career along with educational opportunities, travel, and comradeship."
WOMUS Jarrett gained his love for music from his father (Kevin Jarrett, MBE) who was the Band Master of the NZ Army Band in Singapore in 1972. At a Navy Band show in Auckland on 22 April this year Kevin was invited up on stage by his son to conduct the last number.
During his brass band career Jarrett has played with all but one of New Zealand's A Grade Bands. He is lucky enough to have been a past member of the Champion Band of NZ with Skellerup Brass and the Champion Band of Australia, with his home band, Wanganui Brass under the direction of his father.
Jarrett says his time in the Navy has taken him around the world.
"It's a fantastic career, the Navy Band continues to represent New Zealand both at home and abroad and my best experience without any doubt was Gallipoli in 2006.
"Standing on the battlefields, I could feel the emotion and the presence of the men who gave so much. It was an incredibly special feeling that will remain in my memory forever."
The RNZN Band are performing their Heartland tour throughout central North Island towns. They are performing at the Whanganui Royal Opera House on Tuesday 28 May. The sheer variety of musical styles at their concert is designed to get your toes tapping and your hands clapping.