Sacheus Holloway-Jones and Douglas Couchman came from the UK to play for Nelson City Brass. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Brass band’s big imports

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Wayne Jennens needed some cornet players.

So, the Nelson City Brass secretary put out the call in Europe. In reply he got Douglas Couchman, from Scotland, and Sacheus Holloway-Jones, from Wales.

“I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand,” says Douglas. “I like playing too so it seemed like a good idea.”

Sacheus says, even in the winter in New Zealand it’s warmer than the UK in the summer.

The pair had never met but saw each other in Dubai airport with cornets slung over their backs and they put two and two together.

Now they are here for 12 months to play for the band and their first big test comes this weekend as part of the Nelson Marlborough West Coast’s brass band association regional contest. The event sees four bands compete for the title, but Wayne says it’s also just a great chance to catch up with players from around the South Island.

On Saturday there is a street march at lunchtime starting at Rutherford Hotel and going to Church Steps. Then in the evening there is a concert at 7pm at the Theatre Royal.

It will be a chance for Sacheus to stand out as the band’s soprano cornet player.

“I like playing loud and high. You can always hear it – but there is a fine line between good and bad.”

Wayne says the pair have been a great fit for the band. Now the challenge is to convince them to stay for longer.