Departure day!

Zero sleeps to go! It’s been a long time coming, but the day of departure has arrived. I’m Mike Ford, a quarter part of an awesome horn section along with Brad Mancer, Garth Coffey and Callum Mallet.I feel very privileged to be a part of the Wellington Brass team, heading off today for the curry capital of the world. Apart from some great curry houses, I believe they also have a very nice concert hall, in which we will be putting down a blinder in 8 days’ time. (Give or take a few hours, depending on your time zone and / or the draw!)

It’s been a lot of fun coming over from Nelson for rehearsals. (Thanks Grant and Sue for your hospitality, and to Rowena for the rides to and from the airport.)There’s some amazing young talent in the band, and being amongst it all makes me feel young againmyself.…..almost. It’s obvious that everyone has worked very hard not only to make the trip happen, but to ensure that they will be playing at their very best in Birmingham, and the feeling in my bones is that we’re going to put on a performance that we will be very proud of. There have been some very funny moments in rehearsal that still make me laugh when I think about them, for example Callum being distracted by a truck outside, Dave’s comments and Callum’s reaction…..well, you had to be there, you know what I mean?There’s a great culture in this band that embodies a quest for excellence whilst maintaining a sense of fun. (I’m thinking of Toby and Matt dancing alongside Bradley…….)

It was awesome to have a big and appreciative audience at the concert last Sunday. The “Tie Presentation” ceremony held afterwards was a special occasion that brought home to me how much blood sweat and tears had gone into making the trip happen.

Here’s a couple of photo’s of some of us showing off our new ties……..

By the time you read this, most of the band will be at the airport ready to fly out. Just to be different, Riki, Leighton and I are taking a different route with Uncle Koru, departing Auckland at the rather late hour of 10 pm. We’re looking forward to an on time departure (of course, it being Air New Zealand and all that) dinner, movie, a glass or two of something and a good sleep (hopefully). After a 2 hour stop in LAX, we’ll continue on to Heathrow and a train ride to Birmingham.

Right, it’s time to go and pack. Bring it on!
In the words of Mr. Bewely "I'm absolutely fizzing mate!"