NZ Day 1 (by Matt Knight)

We celebrated Easter Sunday with the first rehearsal of our New Zealand tour, at the Centre of Musical Arts in Nelson. To be honest it was a bit of relief to feel slightly human again, and for our lips to have returned to a more normally responsive state. Brass instruments are fairly unique in that it is actually a part of the body that is responsible for making the sound. And it turns out that flesh and blood don’t necessarily respond well to over 30 hours in an aeroplane. So when we forced ourselves to have an individual practice session shortly after our arrival from the UK on Saturday, the results were for the most part less than optimal.

We had set off from Heathrow on Thursday lunchtime. Huw had already clocked up a few hours in the air, having flown straight in from New York, but the rest of us were fresh – full of excitement for our first tour of 2019, taking us further from home than we had ever been before. 

2 flights, about 27 hours and next to no sleep later we arrived in Auckland, and since morale had sunk to just slightly above total despair we decided to buoy our spirits with the best gourmet breakfast that the airport had to offer. Almost totally rejuvenated by our Bacon and Egg McMuffins, we boarded the small plane to Nelson.

As the short final flight progressed the sun came up over New Zealand, giving us our first glimpse of this stunning country.