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.



Simon holds a Bmus with Honours degree (1st class) from Massey University where he studied under Debbie Rawson. Since 2005 he has been a contract player for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philhamonia since July 2007. He has performed and toured extensively in New Zealand with chamber ensembles “Saxcess”:/contributor/performer/1307 and Tango Virtuosi including tours for Chamber Music New Zealand in 2004. Simon was formerly principal saxophone for the Central Band of the RNZAF for which he was a feature artist. He has also performed in North America, France, Austria and Australia and had lessons and master classes with Johan Van der Linden (Netherlands), Prof. Kenneth Tse (America), Mark Walton (Australia/NZ) and Barry Cockcroft (Australia).

Simon has received numerous awards for his playing including winning best saxophonist under 30 at the International Festival of Single Reeds in Melbourne (2005), 3rd place in the National Concerto Competition (2003), 4th place in the Rotorua Concerto Competition (2003) and was a semi finalist and awarded best New Zealand wind player at the Gisborne International Music Competitions (2003). He also received an Aotearoa Arts grant for travel in 2006.

He has also been MD of the NZ Air Force Band.




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.

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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