2018 MusiciansDale Vail

As a two-year-old at his first brass band concert, Dale was asked by his father which instrument 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 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 the 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 beliefs 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 First Class Honours. During his four years of study, 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 has won several awards, including the NZSM Brass Player of the Year three times, the National Brass Band Trombone Champion of New Zealand twice, and also won the Gisborne International Brass Prize for the third time in 2017. Dale is also a published composer with New Zealand company, Experianza Music. These successes drove him to study at the Australian National Academy of Music, where he is working hard to refine his trombone playing under the tutelage of Scott Kinmont.

Image by Pia Johnson

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