2017 Musicians & FellowsDale Vail

A two year old at his first brass band concert, was asked by his Dad which of the instruments he would like to play when he grew up. After pointing at the silliest looking instrument on stage, Dale’s fate was sealed, and a few short years later, Dale Vail is now a New Zealand Trombonist and Composer. Dale's musical life to date has seen him extremely active in the New Zealand Brass community, in bands, orchestras and as a soloist. His involvement across the spectrum of musical genres has given Dale a drive to use multiple genres or musical techniques to create unique performances of his own. This often becomes an outlet for Dale's interests in how science and human nature can be linked, which is a theme that appears in many of Dale's compositions and repertoire choices. 

Dale became a student at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, where he was awarded the Director of Music’s Choice Scholarship in his opening year, and graduated with 1st class honours. During the four years he spent at the school, Dale became very involved in local ensembles, including the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band, Orchestra Wellington, and the Wellington Brass Band. He also began his own New Orleans Jazz group called the Brass Bandits, who became a familiar sight on the streets of Wellington. As a soloist, Dale won several awards, including the NZSM Brass Player of the Year three times, became the National Brass Band Association Trombone Champion of New Zealand twice, and also won the Gisborne International Brass Prize twice. These successes drove him to apply for the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), where he is greatly looking forward to refining his playing.

Image by Pia Johnson

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