Bright, brassy future ahead for Year 9 Student

Friday 31st May 2024

As a brass player myself, I was delighted to hear from Ruan Hamman, who's been selected for this years National Secondary Schools' Brass Band!

Cornet player Ruan Hannam outside the Edgar Learning Centre
Cornet player Ruan Hannam outside the Edgar Learning Centre

If you've ever tried to pick up a trumpet or cornet and make a decent sound, you'll know it's definitely not easy.

That's why it's awesome news to hear that Ruan has made the cut for this year's top secondary band - especially as year nine is the youngest eligible age group, and he's only been playing the Cornet for three years.

Ruan picked up the instrument through Mosgiel Brass Band, of which long-time family friend Phillip Craigie is the musical director. "Before that, I'd been playing violin, but it wasn't really for me!" he said. I was surprised to learn he's already on Solo (First) Cornet at Mosgiel after just a year on 3rd and 2nd on his way to the top chair. It's a good thing he's found his niche, as he's clearly got a knack for the instrument.

Auditionees were asked to submit two application videos - one with a test piece and one of their own choice - quite a rigorous process. As a result Ruan has been offered the position of Repiano cornet - which is effectively the part with all the counter-melodies and a complementary position to the solo cornet, who is the leader of the band. Not bad considering he'll have four more goes at this with any luck!

One of only two players selected from Otago, Ruan is looking forward to his first solo trip away and will be travelling with one of his peers from Queens' Highschool. In October, they will join the other members from schools all over NZ in Nelson to rehearse, then perform concerts to the community.

Keep an eye out for updates from Ruan in the lead-up to his trip - we'll make sure to share what he gets up to!

Cornet player Ruan Hannam outside the Edgar Learning Centre