NZDF

Passion Turned Into Career For Air Force Band Leader

Royal New Zealand Air Force Band bandmaster Denis Spurdle will lead the band when it stages The Air Force In Concert at the St James Theatre in Wellington at the end of October.
Royal New Zealand Air Force Band bandmaster Denis Spurdle will lead the band when it stages The Air Force In Concert at the St James Theatre in Wellington at the end of October.

12 October 2017

Making his passion his career has been just one of the spin-offs for Royal New Zealand Air Force Band bandmaster Denis Spurdle.

Spurdle, who lives in Tawa, will lead the band when it stages The Air Force In Concert at the St James Theatre in Wellington at the end of October.

The concert is an annual event in which the acclaimed band takes the audience on an offbeat ride through diverse musical styles, from popular show tunes to military classics, with some smart choreography to cap it off.

A 32-year New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) veteran, Spurdle has had more highlights than he can recount, but one that stands out is the band’s participation in the Edinburgh Tattoo at Westpac Stadium in 2016.

“It was an absolutely amazing experience to be able to perform in front of a home crowd with the best military bands in the world,” he says.

The Air Force Band is made up of reservists who are mostly semi-professional musicians active in the Wellington music scene. They are a familiar sight at NZDF ceremonial events in Wellington, and at concerts such as The Air Force in Concert.

For Spurdle the band is a family affair – his wife Alison is a percussionist in the Air Force Band.

She has recently been with the New Zealand Army Band in China for the fifth Nanchang Military Tattoo.

The Air Force In Concert will be held at the St James Theatre in Wellington on Sunday, October 29, at 2.30pm.

This page was last reviewed on 12 October 2017, and is current.