Among the world's best . . . Cornet player Anthony Smith has been selected for the 4barsrest Band of the Year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Helen Holt

Timaru-born cornet player Anthony Smith has been selected among the world’s best for a dream team band.

The former Waimataitai School pupil has been selected for the 2021 “Band of the Year”.

He was one of two New Zealanders to be selected for the band, alongside North Shore trombonist David Paligora.

The online platform selects brass players from around the world, based on their achievements in competitive brass banding.

A 4barsrest spokesman said the band was chosen “as if we were ever lucky enough to get them together for a one off performance”.

“It’s been another difficult year for the collective banding movement, but these are the individual conductors and players we felt still really shone both virtually and live our band of the year.

“The criterion for inclusion was simple: It’s not just a question of who the best conductors and players in the world are, but who has performed at the very top of their form during the past 12 months and has made a lasting impression on us by doing so.”

Mr Smith said he was absolutely stoked to be selected among the world’s best.

“They’re all really amazing players, especially some of the cornet players who I listen to regularly.”

The recognition follows a successful year for Mr Smith, who won the best cornet solo and champion of champions titles at the New Zealand Brass Band Championships in July.

He was also a solo cornet for the New Zealand National Brass Band for 2020-21.

National band conductor David Bremner texted the cornet player to say congratulations.

Mr Smith described the selection process as very subjective, and said New Zealand was one of few countries to hold a national contest last year.

“We [New Zealand] definitely got more attention, because there was less overseas activity than usual.”

Mr Smith learnt to play cornet in the Waimataitai School band, and later joined the Alpine Energy Timaru Brass band, which he was part of until 2004 when he moved to Christchurch for university. He is now a member of Woolston Brass, the second-ranked band in the country.

Mr Smith is in Wellington this week as a tutor and guest soloist for the National Youth Brass Band.

“The band is the best of brass players under 23. I get to teach them which I really enjoy.

“I was a member of them seven times when I was younger, so to come back as a soloist is pretty cool.”