We're all professional musicians who play together in a variety of ensembles - and now a trombone octet too.
Born in Christchurch, Douglas Cross was appointed Principal Trombone of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2003. Prior to this, he held principal positions with Vector Wellington Orchestra and Christchurch Symphony, and served as Acting Principal Trombone of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under contract. He has completed a bachelor’s degree in music at the Victoria University, as well as a master’s at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Mark Lawrence of the San Francisco Symphony. In 2000 Douglas played Bass Trombone with Orchestre Internazionale d’Italia at the 26th Festival della Valle D’Itria. He has also performed with such popular artists as Ray Charles and Shirley Bassey. He is an active educator in Auckland, and currently teaches low brass at Macleans College and St. Kentigern’s College.
Second trombone in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra since 1995, Mark was born in Christchurch, where he was active as a trombonist in both brass bands and orchestras. After completing an honours degree in politics, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in music performance at Victoria University in 1992. During these years, Mark performed often with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Wellington Regional Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Central Band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Mark is a founding member of the BonaNZa trombone quartet and is also active as a teacher of brass instruments. He is the leader of the prizewinning Kumeu Brass Band, and is a great supporter of youth brass groups in New Zealand.
Tim Sutton was appointed bass trombonist of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 1990, following his completion of a Bachelor of Music degree from Victoria University of Wellington. After his appointment Tim went to study for his master’s degree at De Paul University in the studio of Charles Vernon. He has also studied with Robert Hughes in London. Tim has performed at the Pacific Music Festival in 1991 under the baton of Leonard Bernstein, as well as the Music Academy of the West summer school in 1993. He is a founding member of contemporary music ensemble 175 East, the trombone quartet BonaNZa, and the New Zealand Dominion Centenary Concert Band. He has also performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Vector Wellington Orchestra. Tim is very involved in Auckland’s musical culture and can often be heard performing free improvisation at the Wine Cellar with the VitaminS Collective. He has performed as a soloist with the Auckland Wind Orchestra and Manukau Symphony, and has recorded several albums and movie soundtracks with various groups.
Originally from Philadelphia, Ben Zilber has completed degrees at Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University. His teachers have included James DeSano, Per Brevig, and David Waters. He has appeared with numerous orchestras including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestra Wellington. Before arriving in New Zealand, Ben was a member of the Da Camera of Houston Young Artists, a performing group focused on outreach and interactive performances. He has been awarded fellowships to attend the Aspen Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Academy, the Spoleto Festival USA and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. Ben is a committed and enthusiastic educator, and currently teaches at St. Mary's College, Baradene College, and St. Cuthbert's College. He is an active conductor of school orchestras and bands, and has led workshops for the Auckland Youth Orchestra, New Zealand Youth Brass Ensemble, and several area schools. In his spare time, Ben enjoys running, cooking, and following Philadelphia sports teams.
Originally from Invercargill, Grant Sinclair completed his undergraduate studies in Wellington, during which time he won the principal trombone position with the Vector Wellington Orchestra. After completing his master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Grant accepted a oneyear contract playing with theFinnish Opera in Helsinki, followed by a 6month contract with the Finnish Radio Orchestra. He then shifted countries, and completed a oneyear contract with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. During this time he was a finalist for trombone positions with the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, and the BBC Scottish Orchestras. Having returned to New Zealand, Grant regularly plays with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Southern Sinfonia.
Hadyn Godfrey is a freelance trombone player from Auckland who prides himself on musical versatility. He performs regularly across a wide range of genres and ensembles, including big bands and jazz combos, musical theatre pit bands, orchestras, chamber ensembles and stage shows. Hadyn has toured with Michael Brecker, Dianne Schuur, and Steve Smith, and has also performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Rodger Fox Big Band. Hadyn has recently performed in the New Zealand seasons of Singin’ in the Rain, Annie, and Mary Poppins, and is a featured performer every year at the Coca Cola Christmas in the Park and Lakeside Rotorua. He has been a part of many recording projects, including albums by Nathan Haines, Sola Rosa, Batucada Sound Machine, One Million Dollars, the Rodger Fox Big Band and the Auckland Jazz Orchestra.
Mike Ashton was born in England and began learning the trombone at an early age. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he studied under Phil Harrison, the principal trombone of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduating, he worked as afreelance musician and teacher before moving to London to join the band of the Coldstream Guards. As well as undertaking major ceremonial duties (including the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace), he travelled extensively with the band through much of Europe, America, Japan and Australia. It was also during this time that Mike earned his master’s degree from the University of Salford. He moved to Auckland with his wife in 2010 to take up his current position of Principal Trombone with the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, where he enjoys a varied range of musical activities from marching displays to jazz and rock playing. Since moving to New Zealand, Mike has toured China with the National Band of New Zealand, held the Solo Trombone positions at Dalewool Auckland Brass and the AucklandJazz Orchestra, and has performed with several orchestras. Mike is currently the Musical Director of North Shore Concert Band.
John Gluyas is a graduate of the Rotterdam Conservatory of Musicwhere he studied with Jorgen van Rijen, the solo trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He is an internationally experienced musician who has performed with the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra, Macau Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Since coming to New Zealand John has performed with the NZSO, APO, Len Lye the Opera with Auckland University, the early music ensemble Affetto, and has performed in the hit musicals Mary Poppins and Wicked. He is a founding member of the “ACE Brass Trio” and the dynamic trombone ensemble “Aucktet”. In 2007 and 2009 he attended the IMPULS New Music mastercourse in Graz, Austria where he studied with trombone soloist and composer Mike Svoboda. During this course he performed with new music ensemble Klangform Wien. John currently teaches at St Peter’s College in Auckland and performs regularly as a freelance trombonist. As well as being an inspirational teacher, John is an experienced arranger/composer of brass music. Although trombone is his specialty, John has experience on all the lower brass instruments and regularly performs on the bass trombone, renaissance sackbut, euphonium, bass trumpet and tuba.
Tenor Trombone, Alto Trombone
Pablo Ruiz Henao
Born in Colombia, Pablo Ruiz Henao is a versatile musician who performs a wide range of musical styles. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he studied with Ben van Dijk and his colleagues from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Pablo has also completed a Certificate in Musical Pedagogy. He began his career as a concert band player, but quickly became involved in orchestras and chamber ensembles with a more classical focus. During his time in Europe, Pablo was an active freelancer with top orchestras and ensembles, such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Andrè Rieu Waltzer Orchestra, and the Aalborg Symphony in Denmark. Since moving to New Zealand in 2013, Pablo has quickly become a part of Auckland's musical life, and can be heard performing with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Bach Musica and NZ Pops Orchestra. On the nonclassical front, he is a guest performer in big bands, swing bands, and latin music groups. He spends his days teaching brass and percussion both privately and in schools around the greater Auckland region.