Tongan trip ends on a high note
Kevin Moseley lent his musical ear and expertise to Tonga's brass bands during a 10-day trip working with the island's police band, band conductors and about 600 school children.
He has also been invited back to help with the music for Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka Ata's coronation next year.
Mr Moseley, the musical director of the Marlborough District Brass Band, returned from the trip on Saturday. He had travelled to Tonga with Rhyse McDonnell, the son of Marlborough band member Riki McDonnell.
Mr Moseley's trip was among the first steps to form a Tongan youth band to tour New Zealand churches and encourage those members of the Tongan community who had never set foot on their homeland to re-connect with their culture. He will return in December to see how it is going.
"Tonga's had brass bands for over 100 years and it's a huge part of the Tongan tradition," Mr Moseley said.
On the final day of Mr Moseley's trip, about 600 school children from 10 schools crammed the police band hall on mainland Tonga for a brass band workshop.
Many of the children were clearly musically talented and had huge potential, but this didn't help them earn any money in their country, he said. The economy lacked money, even enough to photocopy music scores, which meant reading music during a performance was largely out of the question and Mr Moseley being forced to "play by ear".
During the trip, Mr Moseley was also asked to return to Tonga to help out with the musical arrangements for the prince's coronation next year.
- The Marlborough Express