It has been reported in the band press that Riki McDonnell QSM from New Zealand someone who devoted his life to music sadly passed away on the 17 March 2018.
He entered the brass band world in 1969 and in 1971 he won the New Zealand Junior Tenor Horn title and the following year he won the New Zealand Open Horn title. This was the start of 20 Open titles he won on tenor horn, flugel horn and euphonium. Winning more titles than any other competitor in New Zealand’s 120 years banding history and the only person to win the Champion of Champions on three different instruments.
Other successes include winning the Australian Open, Champion of Champions the Ern Keller Memorial titles (1991). He represented New Zealand in three National Youth Bands and four National Bands, touring North America, Asia, Europe and UK, featuring as soloist. His musical highlights included, performing to 250,000 concert goers at 'Symphony Under the Stars' and winning the Errol Mason Memorial Brass Musician of the Year (1993).
Composers and arrangers have been commissioned to write for him, prompting three very popular CD recordings: Midnight Euphonium with Faireys, Operatic Euphonium with Grimethorpe Colliery and Euphonium Songbook with The Marple Band. Major Peter Parkes directed Midnight Euphonium, Garry Cutt directed Operatic Euphonium and Euphonium Songbook. Philip Sparke expertly produced all three CDs.
He performed many times with the Auckland, Christchurch and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and performed with brass and concert bands throughout the world. In 2001 he joined Grimethorpe Colliery on their Brassed Off tour of New Zealand and Hong Kong, playing baritone.
We send condolences to his family and friends - Riki is featured on this week's show