Carrie and Daniel Wilson, with Carrie’s mum Jan Lewis, before Nelson City Brass Band’s Mother’s Day concert on Sunday, at Annesbrook Church. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Family of brass players


Families who play together, stay together. In this case, for Nayland College principal Daniel Wilson, his wife Carrie and mother in law Jan Lewis, it’s playing in the Nelson City Brass Band.

Carrie plays the tenor horn, Daniel the trombone and Jan the cornet and all have been playing their brass instruments for the last 30 odd years.

While Carrie and Daniel started playing when they were eight and nine years old, Jan says she’s always played music and switched to brass so that all the family were “going in the same direction.”

Jan’s local band was Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Band, until two months ago when she moved to Nelson and joined the Nelson City Brass Band.

Carrie and Daniel have been active members of the Nelson band for the last 18 months and in other parts of the country before that. “Carrie and I actually met through our involvement in bands. We were playing in a National Youth Band together and since then we have played in bands together in Auckland, London and now Nelson,” says Daniel. “I think, for us, the best thing about joining a band when moving to a new city is just getting to know people and, for me, I felt it was important, being at Nayland College, to try and get to know the community a little bit and be involved in the community.”

“And, becoming a member of a band, you also become part of a family,” says Jan.

The third generation is also involved in brass with Daniel and Carrie’s daughter Emma just 18 months into learning the cornet, as well as being a member of Nelson City Brass Youth Band.

“We’d like to encourage people to get involved in learning an instrument, the band runs quite an extensive youth programme and, in terms of learning, it uses both sides of the brain and really challenges you. I think for young kids, that social aspect of being around other people, is great,” says Daniel.

Lessons offered through the Nelson City Brass Band are free, so if anyone is interested in picking up and learning a brass instrument they can contact Wayne Jennens on 027 444 8939.