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McDonnell in Tonga

Riki McDonnell visits the Kingdom of Tonga.

Maopa Royal King of Tonga brass band


Riki McDonnell was guest soloist with the Royal Tongan Police band for its series of pre-Christmas concerts.

As well as working with the Tongan Police band, Riki also spent time in workshops with the youth brass band, the Maopa Royal King of Tonga brass band.


It was refreshing and satisfying to spend quality time with such an enthusiastic, happy and motivated group of people.Riki McDonnell, Euphonium artist.

The euphonium artist told 4BRDU, "Tongan people have a fascination for brass bands. The previous King of Tonga had a passion for brass bands, and instigated the establishment of brass bands in schools and churches through all of the islands."

Densely Populated

"The population of brass bands in such a small kingdom of islands is surprisingly high. It was refreshing and satisfying to spend quality time with such an enthusiastic, happy and motivated group of people."

Whilst in Tonga, McDonnell also found time to sample many feasts and enjoy some of the famous local hospitality.

National trophies

2018 National Finalists confirmed

March 19 • The list of bands who will challenge for National honours in the autumn is now complete following the last round of 2018 Regional contests on the weekend.

Friary Guildford

Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • Frairy Guildford make it four wins in a row as they retain their top-flight title and are joined at the Albert Hall by Thundersley.


Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Fourth Section

March 18 • Bradwell Silver strikes gold to take Fourth Section title and head to Cheltenham alongside Regent Community Brass and Great Yarmouth Brass.


Result: 2018 North of England Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • NASUWT Riverside makes it a North of England Area double as they head back to the Albert Hall as champions again with Reg Vardy in tow.

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

The Fairey Band - Ensembles from Bramhall High School

Friday 23 March • Bramhall High School. Seal Road. Stockport SK72JT

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Brass Band

Friday 23 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Boobs & Brass at Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 24 March • Huddersfield Town Hall. Corporation St,. Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Croydon Citadel Band - The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Saturday 24 March • The Salvation Army. Booth Rd. Croydon. CR0 1XY CR0 1XY

Amesbury Town Band

March 20 • Players of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. We don't contest, so feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument.

Elland Silver Band

March 20 • We have a vacancy within our Championship Section senior band for a 2nd Trombone player. This is a great opportunity for an experienced or young player looking to join one of Yorkshire's progressive bands, conducted by Daniel Brooks.

Crofton Silver Band

March 20 • Yorkshire 2nd Section Champions are looking for the following players:. . FRONT ROW/ SOPRANO CORNET. BASS. . The band are heading back to the National Finals in September to try and repeat their success from 2016.

Simon Gresswell

Conductor, adjudicator, tutor, tuba specialist