The respected New Zealand euphonium player Byron Newton has been made a Honorary Associate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.
'Buzz' as he is universally known, joins the likes of trumpeter Chris Avison, composer Mark Boden, singer Justina Gringyte, pianist and fellow euphonium virtuoso David Childs in being recognised as graduates who have gone on to establish a significant artistic reputation early in their professional careers.
"The Associates are examples of the aspirations the College has for its all graduates and we are delighted to recognise their achievements formally," said Brian Weir, Director of Student Experience.
While studying in Wales, Buzz quickly made a name for himself as solo euphonium of British Open champion Tredegar.
He went on to win the euphonium and baritone category at the British Open Solo Championships in 2010, became the first brass student to win the RWCMD Concerto Competition, and in his final Masters recital was awarded a mark of 100%.
Since graduating he has taken up principal roles with the all-conquering Wellington Brass as well as the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, and has firmly established himself as one of the leading figures in brass performance and education in Australasia.
He regularly appears as a guest soloist with brass and wind bands in New Zealand, performs with the New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras, and regularly travels to Australia where he has received critical acclaim for his solo and recital performances.
He also launched his own brass academy in 2017, 'Buzzing Brass', which now boasts two youth bands and two learners groups in Wellington and the Wairarapa area. He is a member of the national executive committee of the New Zealand BBA.
The Associates are examples of the aspirations the College has for its all graduates and we are delighted to recognise their achievements formally Brian Weir, Director of Student Experience
He told 4BR: "I've been very fortunate in my career so far to have been very well supported by friends and family as well as many bands around the country.
Working as the band coordinator for Wellington Brass has been fun and challenging, and being in the city has given me a great base to launch my career."
He added: "I get a lot of satisfaction from the band's success, not just from the contest results, but from what we've achieved in developing young players and a strong organisation."