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We have four Brass tutors:


Mr Suli Hoponoa BMus
Suli has over 15 years’ experience as an itinerant tutor and has worked in bands of various genres for many years. He studied at Christchurch Jazz School and Auckland University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music.  Suli teaches a variety of instruments including trumpet / brass, saxophone, drums, guitar, bass and keyboard.


Mr Tom Chester BMUS, DipHe

Tom hails from Manchester in the United Kingdom. He studied trombone at the Royal Marines School of Music and later served in the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines for 6 years before settling in New Zealand. Upon reaching the shores of NZ, Tom took up the French Horn and gained his BMUS in Horn and conducting from the University of Auckland. During this time Tom served 6 years in the Royal New Zealand Navy Band in the position of Solo Horn and piano. In 2018, he turned his attention to teaching and freelancing. Currently he plays for the Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Chamber Orchestra and many other orchestras around NZ. Since 2014 he has been Musical Director of the Manukau Concert Band who won the New Zealand Concert Band Festival in both 2015 and 2016. Tom also orchestrates music for the Auckland Philharmonia as well as Dame Malvina Major and Sony Music New Zealand.



Mr Norm McFarlane FTCL

Mr McFarlane studied the trumpet with Mr Mark Gould, Principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera, Mr Philip Smith, Principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, and Mr Ian Browne, Principal trumpet of the Covent Garden Opera Orchestra in London.

Mr McFarlane was Principal trumpet with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) from 1980 until 2004 and subsequently is now Associate Principal Trumpet of the APO.

Mr McFarlane worked as a Brass teacher working for the University of Auckland as their Artist/Teacher of Trumpet from1985-2005. He has also maintained a private studio training young players towards trumpet exams. Norman was appointed a Trumpet teacher at Auckland Grammar School, St Peter’s College and St Mary’s College in 2009 till the present day.


Mr Ben Lovell Greene