Director and Primary Tutor
Born in Ashburton, a small town south of Christchurch, Byron ‘Buzz’ Newton grew up surrounded by honeybees. Buzz gets his nickname due to his father Derek who is a beekeeper. After a couple of years working for his father as a beekeeper Buzz decided to focus on becoming a full time musician. These days Buzz is one of the world’s top euphonium performers and a leading figure in brass education in New Zealand.
Byron 'Buzz' Newton LTCL, FTCL, BMUS, PGDIP, MA, ARWCMD
After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Music and a Postgraduate Diploma with distinction from the New Zealand School of Music in euphonium performance, Buzz accepted a scholarship to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) with the father-and-son combination and euphonium gurus Robert and David Childs.
While studying in Wales he became the first brass student to win the RWCMD Concerto Competition. In his final Masters recital Buzz was awarded a mark of 100% and was named as the college's top music student.
Buzz returned to New Zealand in 2012 and has been in high demand as a soloist, teacher, and freelance musician throughout Australasia. Buzz held the position of Principal Euphonium and Assistant Musical Director with the Wellington Brass Band from 2013-2019. He is the Principal Euphonium in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, and is an Artist Teacher at the New Zealand School of Music. In 2018 the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama made Buzz an Honorary Associate in recognition of his achievements since leaving the college.
Buzz has been a member of the National Secondary Schools, National Youth, and National Brass Bands of New Zealand, and has performed with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Hailing from the depths of the South Island, Reuben Brown is in his Honours year of study pursuing his passions for orchestral conducting and euphonium performance under the tutelage of Associate Professor Martin Riseley and euphonium artist Byron ‘Buzz’ Newton, at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music.
Beginning in a strong brass banding community, Reuben has earned his way up the ranks with his playing and conducting, landing a euphonium seat with New Zealand’s premiere band, Wellington Brass Band, and has recently been appointed its Band Coordinator and its Assistant Musical Director under David Bremner. Reuben has also been a member of the National Youth Brass Band since summer 2020 with both performance and administrative duties. Reuben has taken on conducting roles with various orchestras, choirs, and bands, and is now directing items with many of the Te Kōkī ensembles, such as the brass ensemble, string ensemble, and the full orchestra, alongside regularly assisting with the youth brass academy, Buzzing Brass.
Photo: Massey Digital