Counting down

to Musicworks’ Wellington Band & Orchestra Festival 2019



Our Patron

Wellington City Mayor Justin Lester

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – June 07: Justin Lester for Mayor 2016 campaign photography June 07, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/

Justin Lester was elected Mayor in 2016. He joined Wellington City Council as a Northern Ward Councillor in 2010 and then served as Deputy Mayor from 2013 until 2016.

During his time as a Councillor, Justin championed the living wage, prioritised good quality local services and supported local businesses. He feels strongly that good local government services make a huge difference in people’s lives.


What is WeBO?

The Wellington Bands and Orchestras Festival, celebrates music-making by New Zealand’s school and community Concert Bands, Orchestras, Big Bands and Jazz Combos. WeBO is New Zealand’s premier ensemble festival and welcomes ensembles from all over New Zealand, and in some cases the world.
In the last 6 years we have had ensembles travel from across the country to participate in WeBO, and in 2018 we had about 1000 musicians perform on our stage. Our head adjudicator and clinician Dr Robert McWilliams from Australia, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the festival, along with great New Zealand educators such as Dr Roger Fox, run workshops for the ensembles and professional development clinics for the ensemble directors. At WeBO. we cater for every type of group from a 10-piece beginner primary school band, to a recreational adult jazz bands to 100-member symphony orchestras. Come be part of this exciting and growing National Festival.



Each ensemble has 30 minutes on stage time (this includes getting on and off stage).

Each performing ensemble will receive a trophy and written comments from our specialist adjudicators.

The non-competitive atmosphere provides a place for growth, cooperative encouragement and mutual respect among bands and orchestras, students, parents, music directors and teachers


Workshops & Clinics

One of our most popular events at WeBO has been our workshops. This year we are very excited to be able to offer workshops with Dr. Rich Roberts in Wellington and for ensembles in other centres, we will be announcing pre-WeBO workshops with professionals from the NZSO or Navy Band who will come out and work with your group in preparation for the festival.
We are also offering clinics for directors and conductors throughout the festival. More details coming soon!
This year’s Festival will also offer a social evening for bands members to meet and bond.

Check the


Performance times may vary slightly on the day.
*indicates competition ensemble.

Day 01

Friday, August 16. Jazz Ensembles

Day 02

Saturday, August 17. Concert Bands

Day 03

Sunday, August 18. Orchestras and School Bands

Meet the


Prof. Rob


Ph.D., M.Mus., B.Mus.Ed.

Prof. Rob McWilliams, an internationally accomplished musician, conductor, and educator, was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. A United States resident from 1991 to 2014, Prof. McWilliams holds a Ph. D. in Music/Music Education from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Melbourne. From 1996 Dr. McWilliams served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (USA) where he directed symphonic and jazz ensembles and taught courses in conducting, instrumental music education, and jazz. Prof. McWilliams also served as Head of the Music Department from 2011-2014. Prior to working in the USA, Prof. McWilliams established a brand new instrumental program at Eltham College and served on the faculty of the University of Melbourne Institute of Education where he taught and coordinated courses in brass, jazz, and instrumental music pedagogy and conducted the Wind Symphony, Brass Choir, and Jazz Big Band. As a guest conductor and musician,

As a guest conductor and musician, Dr. McWilliams has traveled and worked extensively with groups at all levels. In the USA he worked with ensembles at the national, state, and regional levels and served as guest conductor and clinician in Alabama, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Utah. Prof. McWilliams has also conducted and presented at major music conferences in all states of Australia and internationally in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Europe, and China including performances at the Japan Band Clinic and conferences of the World Association of Symphonic Bands & Ensembles in Manchester, England and Hamamatsu, Japan. He was a member of the faculties for the Bonyi International Youth Music Festival in Brisbane in 2007 and the Tutti International Festival in Beijing, China in 2011 and 2013 and has served as an invited conducting clinician for the Singapore Ministry of Education. In addition to ensemble direction, he has extensive professional performing experience on trumpet and keyboard with a number of symphonic, brass, and jazz ensembles.

Prof. McWilliams has been published in a number of professional publications including the Journal of Band Research, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, and is a published composer/arranger with Alfred’s Music. In early 2015 he relocated to Brisbane, and currently works for Yamaha Music Australia as an Educational Outreach Clinician and freelances as a musician, educator, conductor, adjudicator, and composer/arranger.

Dr. Rich



I’ve been making music in one form or another for as long as I can remember.  Some of my earliest memories are sitting next to my mom in church and her pointing to the alto notes on the staff and singing along.  My dad was a high school and college band director so I can also remember spending lots of time before concerts moving equipment and trying to keep up with all  that he had to do.

I started taking piano lessons at six, trumpet lessons at nine, and horn lessons at twelve.  As a lot of us did as teenagers, I also learned to play guitar (well, I could play some chord progressions!) and harmonica.  At first, music was something that was a part of my everyday life, but I didn’t really consider it as a career.  I had other interests: photography, cooking, architecture and engineering.  It seemed that one of those interests would develop into a career.  Then, as a senior in high school, the Annapolis Brass Quintet was invited to my high school for a concert and brass cllinic.  The hornist with the group at the time, Calvin Smith, ignited my interest in REALLY learning to play.  Though it was relatively late to be thinking about a career in music, I didn’t realize it at the time.  So I applied to one school, Murray State University, and was accepted on the basis of a taped audition.  The horn professor there, David Elliott (now at the University of Kentucky) kept my interest and my passion for music going.  Since graduating I’ve studied horn with Wayne Barrington at the University of Texas at Austin, Karen Thornton at Towson University, and Orrin Olson at the University of Maryland, College Park.  My conducting teachers and mentors have been Dr. Dana Rothlishberger, Towson University; Gustav Meier, Conductors Institute at the Pine Mountain Music Festival; Dr. Mallory Thompson and Professor Michael Haithcock, Northwestern University Conducting and Wind Music Symposium; and Dr. Harlan Parker, Peabody Wind Ensemble.  At the same time, I’ve been a public school band director in Harford and Howard Counties in Maryland and enjoyed an extensive free-lance career in the Baltimore-Washington area.  I’ve had the good fortune to make music on all kinds of levels with people from excited beginners to consummate professionals.  And I think that one of the most incredible aspects of this career is that it still feels as fresh and exciting each time I take my place in the pit, on a stage, or on a podium.




Deborah Rawson is Head of the Woodwind programme at NZSM. She teaches clarinet and classical saxophone, coaches chamber music ensembles and directs the Saxophone Orchestra.

Deborah Rawson studied clarinet at Canterbury University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She returned to New Zealand and became established as soloist, chamber and orchestral player, university tutor, and founding member and leader of several chamber ensembles including Zelanian Ensemble, Pro Musica, Constanza Trio, Tango Virtuosi, KlezmerCafe!, Saxcess – the New Zealand Saxophone Quartet, Duo Solaris, NZ Clarinet Quartet and others.

Orchestral activities have included principal clarinet of Sinfonia of Wellington, and contract orchestral soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), on principal soprano, alto, tenor saxophone and all members of the clarinet family. Deborah Rawson has featured as orchestral soloist on many CD recordings including those by the NZSO, New Zealand Jazz Orchestra, and sound tracks for the New Zealand film and television industry and also chamber and solo artist on several New Zealand labels.



ONZM, HonDMus Massey

New Zealand’s foremost jazz trombonist, big band leader, jazz educator, arranger and producer.

He has performed in concert with some of the biggest names in the business, from the jazz and entertainment world, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton – Thomas, Joe Williams, The Four Tops – Temptations, Gary Grant, Jon Papenbrook, Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann, Kevin Mahogany to name but a few.

Rodger has promoted live concerts with his Big Band in the Global Festival arena, Montreux Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Manly Jazz Festival, Wichita Jazz Festival, The International Association of Jazz Educators Concert 1997 & 1999 and concerts in London, Singapore, Australia, Poland and the USA.

Rodger was winner of the ‘Tui’ for New Zealand Jazz Recording of the Year in 1981 and 2000 and a finalist in 1984 and 2001.



Musical Director, Clinician

Mat has been out the front of bands for over a decade now. He has held the position of Assistant Musical Director for the Werribee Concert Band, and Hobsons Bay City Band, lead the Werribee Concert Band – Stage Band, and conducted the R.M.I.T. Student Union Orchestra. Currently Mat is Musical Director of the Werribee Concert Band, a position he has held since 2008. In Mat’s time as Musical Director of the Werribee Concert Band he has significantly grown ensemble numbers and standard as well as created a productive, open environment that encourages player development and an overall sense of community.

Mat has worked for Yamaha Music Australia as the Band and Orchestral Product Manager for 4 years now. In this time Mat initiated the Yamaha Education Outreach Program and the Yamaha Off to a Great Start campaign. Both of these initiatives are designed to increase the quality of, and participation in music education around Australia.

Find the





Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman – (04) 385 1304
Nomads Capital Hostel Wellington -1800 NOM-ADS (666 237)
Brentwood Hotel – 0508 273 689
YHA New Zealand – 0800 278 299
YMCA Wellington – 04-568 3252
Silverstream Retreat – 04-562 9080
Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers – 04-473 8482
Rosemere Backpackers – 04-384 3041
Quest Wellington – 04-916 0700



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