Q&A: Wayne Kedzlie

In brass band terms Wayne Kedzlie’s an all-rounder. Not only does he play the cornet, euphonium, flugelhorn and trombone, he’s also the President and Development Band Director for the Upper Hutt Brass Band.

Wayne started out playing with his local Salvation Army in Dunedin before progressing to contesting bands. After university he moved to Auckland and played with Waitakere Auckland Brass, Dalewool Auckland Brass, and Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery.

When Wayne relocated to the capital he joined Wellington Brass playing principal cornet, soprano, and flugelhorn, and holding the positions of Executive Officer and Treasurer.

Now, as principal cornet for the Upper Hutt Brass Band, it’s Wayne job to sound the Last Post for various ANZAC Day events in Upper Hutt.

We talked to him about his musical journey, his bedtime reading, and why he needs to breathe.

How did you get involved with Upper Hutt Brass Band?
For family reasons I made the decision to permanently base myself in Wellington, and in 2016 took the opportunity to reconnect with a good friend and brilliant musician, Aaron Lloydd, who had recently taken up the position of Musical Director of the Upper Hutt Brass Band.

We had shared playing and management responsibilities at Wellington Brass in the early 2000’s and he felt that Upper Hutt Brass could use an all-rounder. Together we have a shared vision for education and music making in Upper Hutt.

The culmination of which was the relocation of the band to its new home on California Park, and the official opening of the band room by his Worship the Mayor, Wayne Guppy, during the centenary celebrations for the band last year.

Why do we associate ANZAC day with brass instruments?
From the 1840s the bands of the imperial regiments based in the New Zealand colony provided music for state and civic occasions. The modern New Zealand brass band traces its roots to this early heritage, and in the early 1900’s almost every town had a band.

ANZAC day continues to be one of the most important civic dates on the calendar, and serves as both a connection to the commemoration, but also the enduring heritage of the band.

How do you feel having such a significant task on the day?
The Last Post is sounded to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest. It is a deeply reverent affair, and in the minute of silence, a way that we can all remember, and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom and liberty. For me personally it is a privilege to play and do my part in honouring those who fell.

What book is beside your bed?
I am a real fan of the classic storyteller, and in my opinion, there is none better than Steven Fry, and his 2017 book, Mythos, the Greek myths retold.

What’s your favourite place in the wider Wellington region?
I love that Wellington continues to invest in public spaces (the waterfront is a go-to on a sunny day) and the preservation and enhancement of green spaces. I live on the back of Wrights Hill and look out to Makara. Karori Park is close for recreational walks, and our new band room is located on a fantastic open space on California Park. The beauty of greater Wellington on a good, and even not so good day, is hard to find anywhere.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
In my job (as a data analyst for the Ministry of Education) I am analytical, and so in almost everything I do, there is a tendency take an over analytic approach. A very fine musician and friend, the late David Chaulk, would always remind me, “breathe and play”. Sound advice for any brass musician.

Upper Hutt Brass Band will be at the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Upper Hutt Council buildings, then at services at St John, Stokes Valley RSA, and Akātarawa cemetery.

In the afternoon, the band will perform its annual ANZAC Day Concert, at the Upper Hutt Cossie Club, 2pm.

Read more Q&As here.


Sign up to our newsletter