Taylor at the helm for 2018 Contest

Howard Taylor is fast becoming one of the most successful conductors in the history of brass banding in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s no wonder we are thrilled to have him this side of the ditch once again to prepare the band for the NZ National Championships later this month.


Howard’s musical career began as a cornet player in the Salvation Army in the South West of England.

In 1993 he swapped the cornet for a baton and was appointed the Musical Director of Championship section Bodmin Town Band subsequently leading them to three successive South-West and Cornish Championships.

In 1997 Howard left the UK to become Musical Director of Waitakere Band in Auckland, New Zealand. That year they won two of the three sections at the National Contest and in 1999 were crowned New Zealand National Champion Band winning every stage event, also winning three consecutive New Zealand Entertainment “Band of the Year” titles.

The Brisbane Excelsior Band appointed Howard as Musical Director in 2002.

He has since led XLCR to remarkable contest successes unequalled in Australasia band history including eight State Championship wins, FABB (Federation of Australian Brass Bands) Australasian championship in 2013, eight Australian National A Grade Championships and three New Zealand Championship titles.  Howard also led Brisbane Excelsior to two prestigious events in the United Kingdom, the British Open and the All England Masters.

He held the position of Musical Director of The National Band of New Zealand from 2007-2009 until leaving for the UK in 2010 to work as Resident Conductor with the world famous Fairey Band.

Howard returned to Brisbane Excelsior as Musical Director in 2013.

His ground-breaking work with brass bands includes regular trips to Tonga to work with school bands and conductors (starting the very first National Youth Band of Tonga in 2016) and mentoring and adjudicating opportunities throughout Australasia.  He has recently completed a Master of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and runs his own company Taylormade Music Australia, national distributors for all PInstruments (Pbone, Ptrumpets) and John Packer Woodwind and Brass.

In addition to his XLCR role in Australia, Howard was appointed Professional MD to Waitakere Auckland Brass in 2016. That year we won the Hymn, were runner-up in the Set Test and achieved 3rd on Aggregate.

This is a very exciting time for us and we're looking forward to working with such an inspirational musician as Howard once again.

The Band would like to thank Resident Musical Director Grant Langdon for all his hard work preparing the band before handing over the baton to Howard.

1 comment

  • Best wishes and good luck to Howard and the band- I have many fond memories of both 😉

    Ashley Gittins

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