Annual Air Force in Concert Sure to Please

28 September 2018

Royal New Zealand Air Force Band member Corporal Mary Scott is promising something for everyone at this year’s annual concert in Wellington.

The band’s popular Air Force in Concert, on 6 October, will feature a range of musical styles, from John Williams to John Farnham, and from Sousa to Puccini, led by outstanding vocalists Leading Aircraftmen Barbara Graham and Stephanie Paris.

Talented piper Flight Sergeant Murray Mansfield will get the feet stomping with some Celtic melodies, while the band’s Drumline are promising dramatic innovation on last year’s electrifying performance.

The 65-member band is made up of New Zealand Defence Force Reservists, many of whom are active in Wellington’s music scene.

Corporal Scott, who leads the clarinet section, said the band played a range of styles, from jazz to classical, which was fun.

“This year’s concert will have something for everyone,” she said. “My favourite is Struttin’ With Some Barbecue, where you will hear some out-of-this-world bass clarinet playing.”

Corporal Scott, who has music, science and linguistics degrees from New Zealand, Germany and London, is currently enjoying her third stint in the band. She joined in 1979 but then left in 1982 to study in Germany. She came back in 1987 but left the following year to join the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She returned in 2011 and is still going.

A highlight was travelling with the band to the Kuala Lumpur Military Tattoo in 2014.

“It was wonderful seeing bands from all over the world, each with a completely different approach to performing the same music,” she said.

She rates the RNZAF Band the best symphonic band in the country, with unbelievable players.

“There is a very high standard of playing and a great mix of ages and types of musicians,” she said.

When not busy practising and performing with the band Corporal Scott, who lives in Wellington’s eastern suburbs, helps co-ordinate 200 volunteer drivers for the Wellington Cancer Society, plays with other orchestras throughout New Zealand, and teaches clarinet at all levels.

This year’s Air Force in Concert has been moved to the larger Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, which also provides improved acoustics on previous venues.

The Air Force in Concert will be held in the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday, 6 October at 2:30pm.  Tickets from Ticketmaster.


This page was last reviewed on 7 February 2019.