Musical Directors

Nic Scott (Nor'west Brass)

Nic’s chaotic and unusual musical path started when his Year One teacher had an accident and was replaced by the conductor of the local brass band.  Toronto Brass (NSW) gave Nic his start in music-making and from there he eagerly branched out into various community wind bands, big bands, and orchestras.

After high school Nic fell in with a rough band of musical vagrants and traveled Australia playing Balkan Klezmer fusion music at a variety of music venues, festivals, and parties.

Unsure of what to do next, Nic dabbled with other career pathways before an opportunity led to him touring China playing Mozart with Australian International Productions.

Firmly back on the musical track, Nic joined the New Zealand Army Band and relocated to Christchurch.

Currently Nic is Principal Tuba in The New Zealand Army Band, The New Zealand National Band, and Wellington Brass. Nic also does casual work for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO), and conducts the Nor’West Main Band

Joel Williams (Nor'west Zephyrs)

Joel Williams is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a vast musical résumé.  He has been all over the world with the New Zealand Army Band, performed several times in Edinburgh and Basel, featured as a soloist with James Morrison and Allen Vizzutti, and even performed for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II! He toured Europe playing trumpet in the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Jazz à Vienne Festival, and will be touring Switzerland in December as a soloist for the Christoph Walter Jazz Orchestra. He has also been a member of the New Zealand National Band and a national soloist title winner. 

Alannah Vail (Nor'west Cyclones)

Alannah has been heavily involved in brass banding since 2005. It has always been a family activity for her, which she has enjoyed alongside her parents and siblings. She is currently studying at the University of Canterbury, working towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Music. 

As a musician, her focus is as a cornet player and a classical and musical theatre vocalist. She has had a wide range of experience over the past years: playing in brass bands of all grades around Canterbury, singing in high level choirs including Atlas Voices and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Chorus, as well as holding roles such as the drum major and principal cornet for Nor'west Brass. 

The recent highlights of her musical career have included performing as the alternate Mary Poppins for Centrestage Rolleston's 2024 production of 'Mary Poppins', being an ensemble member for the New Zealand Opera's 2024 production of 'Le Comte Ory', and being the musical director for Ovation Musical Theatre's 2023 children's show, "Once on this Island Jr".

Bill Vail (Nor'west 4Bs)

Bill started playing the Tenor Horn at the age of 9 on the South Coast of England. He played in the Hampshire County Youth Band through his teenage years moving up the ranks to attain the position of Principal Horn. His time there culminated with the band winning the title of Champion Youth Brass Band of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.

Bill moved to Leeds in 1986 to follow a career in the Electronics Industry. This move to the heart of the banding world afforded many valuable opportunities which led to a position as a soloist in the Yorkshire Imperial Band. During his time with this band it was ranked number 2 amongst some big named bands in the Yorkshire area, and around sixth in the Brass Band World rankings.

In 1995 Bill moved to New Zealand and has since held positions of principal horn and deputy director for the Addington and Woolston bands as well as playing horn for the National Brass Band of New Zealand in 2003, 2005, 2014 & 2016. Bill won the NZ Open Horn title in 2001 and has followed this up with nine New Zealand and one Australian national second placings. Currently, Bill enjoys playing in Nor'west Brass as well as working with his daughter, Alannah, to give our new players a great start in ensemble playing.