Tom Chester Music
Conductor • Musician • Educator • Orchestrator
Tom has been a professional musician all of his adult life. At age 16 he joined the Royal Marines Band Service, studying at the RM School of Music in Portsmouth, UK. During this time he travelled the world playing music, and in 2010 came to New Zealand. He liked it so much he decided to stay, and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Band in 2012. His experience in the RNZ Navy Band took him travelling throughout NZ and the South Pacific, performing piano and French Horn.
Tom attained his BMUS in Classical Performance specialising in French Horn and Conducting. Whilst performing around the globe, he managed to attend a number of colleges, studying at the University of Portsmouth, the Royal College of Music and later the University of Auckland.
Tom took up the baton of the North Shore Concert Band, and later Manukau Concert Band, winning top awards in the NZCBA Festival in both 2015 and 2016. Also in 2016, he was appointed Director of Music for the King’s College Band Program in which the Premier Band were invited to perform in the KBB Gala concert that year. A busy year for Tom, as during this time he also graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelors of Music in Classical Performance.
Currently Tom works as a freelance musician playing French Horn for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and a number of orchestras around NZ as well as piano in his Lounge Duo PTT.
Tom has always taught whilst being a professional musician but has decided to devote himself to freelance work and teaching, wanting to pass on his wealth of knowledge and experience to future generations.
Tom has been blessed with exceptional teachers. From an early age he was taught by Brian Taylor (Royal Northern College of Music), Gordon Campbell (Royal College of Music) and in more recent years Nicola Baker (APO, UoA). These talented mentors ensured Tom was taught to the highest international standards which he looks forward to sharing.
Any and all brass instruments
- Beginner to ABRSM Diploma standard
Classical, jazz, contemporary
- Beginner to ABRSM Grade 8 standard
Tom began conducting in 2014 under strict tutelage from Maestro Uwe Grodd (MSO). He took up the baton of the North Shore Concert Band, and later Manukau Concert Band, winning top awards in the NZCBA Festival in both 2015 and 2016. Also in 2016, he was appointed Director of Music for the King’s College Band Program in which the Premier Band were invited to perform in the KBB Gala concert that year.
Highlights of his conducting career include conducting the Finale of Saint Saens' Organ Symphony in Auckland Town Hall, and Director of Music for Sony Recording Artist Rebecca Nelson's album launch.
Tom has orchestrated a great number of works for varied ensembles. His arranging skills have been utilised by Dame Malvina Major, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Royal New Zealand Navy Band and also the Royal Marines. He has orchestrated for Sony Music. His arrangement of Opening from Final Fantasy VII was featured on Radio New Zealand Concert.