Jeremy Richardson picks for national brass band tour
A passion for percussion has earned a Hutt Valley High School Year 12 student a trip to China.
Jeremy Richardson, 16, is to travel to Beijing and Tianjin in July with 21 other players drawn from the National Youth and National Secondary Schools Brass Bands.
Music is in his blood. Step into the Richardson home and it's immediately obvious this is a musical family, with instruments everywhere.
Jeremy's dad Richard has played tuba for Hutt City Brass for more than 40 years.
''He was there when they built the building and he's a life member. His dad was in the band too so it's a family tradition.''
Jeremy's mother Lynda Carter plays flugel; she first met Richard through band gigs.
Older brother Hayden, now at Victoria University studying computer science with a minor in jazz and music theory, blows the cornet.
Jeremy says he was about four years old when he first picked up the cornet.
But something clicked when he was in Year 9, and he switched to taking percussion lessons.
''Drums just spoke to me.
''Every time I saw a drum kit I just wanted to hit it. I'm quite an active person; I was getting bored with cornet.''
Like Hayden, Jeremy has played for both the National Youth and National Secondary Schools bands. He jumped at the chance to audition when the trip to China to perform at three concerts, and at the opening of an International Children's Village and Peace Wall, first came up.
There was ''a lot of suspense'' waiting to hear who had been selected and Jeremy considers it an awesome opportunity. The Chinese government is picking up all costs once the band reaches Singapore for the trip to Beijing, so the Kiwis only have to come up with money for the flights from New Zealand and home again.
Jeremy's drum kit is often on the move. Until the players recently went their separate ways, he was drummer for the rock band Mantra, regular performers at Secret Level and other Hutt venues.
He's also in Hutt Valley High's jazz group - he says it's probably his favourite music style - and Whakatane's Trident High School paid his costs so he could come up and play percussion for their band's performance at the Tauranga Jazz festival.
While music will definitely remain part of his life, Jeremy's career ambition is to join the police. For his day job he'll be walking the beat rather than keeping the beat.