30 July 2019
Accomplished Wellington trumpeter Toby Pringle can’t wait to play in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band’s annual Air Force in Concert in Wellington one last time next month, before venturing overseas to study.
Leading Aircraftman Pringle is one of 65 New Zealand Defence Force Reservists who make up the band, which is promising to deliver something special for this year’s concert.
The popular concert, at the Michael Fowler Centre on 10 August, will feature a range of musical styles, from Straus to Paul Simon, as well as outstanding vocalists Leading Aircraftmen Barbara Graham and Stephanie Paris.
Leading Aircraftman Pringle, who lives in Upper Hutt and attended Hutt International Boys’ School, joined the RNZAF Band in 2016, during his first year of study at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University.
“The Air Force Band is a great opportunity for students at the School of Music to gain experience in a professional setting,” he said. “I was excited about the many possible events and occasions that being in the band might allow me to play in.”
He has already travelled overseas twice with the band – to north Belgium in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Messines and to Fiji to play in the Fijian national military tattoo as part of a combined NZDF band.
“In Belgium I played with the band as a bugler, and also as cello soloist in the sunset ceremony overlooking the cemetery at Messines. It was an amazing trip that I’ll never forget,” he said.
Leading Aircraftman Pringle’s talent was recognised at home recently when, at 21, he became the youngest brass player to win the Champion of Champions soloist award at the National Brass Band Championships.
He is also a member of the Wellington Brass Band, which has been the Australasian champion for the past two years.
However, his dream has been to become an orchestral trumpet player, and that dream is closer to reality with his acceptance as one of only three students to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the Netherlands, under the tutelage of renowned international trumpet players Omar Tomasoni and Miroslav Petkov.
“I will be shifting to Amsterdam later in August and am looking forward to the amazing opportunities there, such as top international artists and orchestras, other students to challenge me, and the rich cultural fabric that Europe has to offer,” he said.
At the Air Force in Concert Leading Aircraftman Pringle is looking forward to the trumpet section feature piece.
“It’s called Trumpet Blues and Cantabile and was written by Harry James, one of he great trumpet players of the 20th century.”
“It will also be great to play in the Michael Fowler centre for one last time before I go overseas to study.”
The RNZAF Band will perform Air Force in Concert in the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday, 10 August, at 2.30pm. Tickets from Ticketmaster.