Meet the team
Repairs and prices
Our approach to retail
Brad has been repairing brass and wind instruments for over 20 years. He cut his teeth fixing an endless torrent of rental instruments, and then went to Canada to further his training. Upon returning to NZ, Brad founded ‘Music Services’ with Elaine Ward. The small Wellington store quickly garnered a reputation as having one of the highest repair standards in the country.
In 2013, ‘Music Services’ became ‘Vanguard Orchestral’. The store moved from its – admittedly gloomy – Willis Street location to a beautiful, sunny spot on Tinakori Road. Brad, a self-confessed perfectionist, has continued to deliver repairs at a high level for myriad clients – from kids learning their first instrument, to serious students of music, to members of the country’s top orchestras.
Brad is married and has two young sons. He plays alto sax in the Capital City Big Band jazz orchestra and relaxes with whiskey and motorbike rides (not in that order).
Chris is all about vintage stuff. When a sax from 1912 comes into the shop with ghosts flying out of the case, Chris gets a glimmer in his eye. He initially learnt repairs from Brad and discovered he had a similar perfectionist streak. He now does most of the vintage horns, as well as plenty of modern woodwind and brass instruments. He can also pick locks.
As well his work at Vanguard, Chris is an accomplished tenor sax player and performs in countless bands around Wellington, notably The JAC and Richter City Rebels. He also teaches music at several colleges and organises entertainment at The Rogue and Vagabond. A busy man, for sure.
David works primarily on brass. He particularly enjoys soldering broken things back together and has never met a slide he couldn’t unstick. Big or small – a tuba filled with green goop – Dave will happily get it cleaned and working again.
He also attempts to wrangle Vanguard’s nuanced booking and filing system.
David plays trumpet at a first-grade level, but, as a drummer, he is mostly an imposter in the brass and woodwind world. He plays in several bands around Wellington and makes websites for fun.
Vanguard Orchestral has a solid reputation on the brass and woodwind scene. We produce a high level of work that New Zealand’s music community has trusted for fifteen years. As technicians, we have a meticulous approach. We understand the importance of robust, uncompromising repairs; we’re all active musicians ourselves!
Much of our craft as repair technicians comes back to problem solving and attention to detail. We constantly encounter new problems and we try to reach solutions in the most logical, instrumentally restorative way possible. We are happiest when our work is indistinguishable from the manufacturer’s.
This can be a tough one!
We know that getting your instrument into the best possible playing condition is not always financially possible. Just like fixing a car, fixing an instrument can be expensive. Of course, not everyone has the skill required to repair intricate machines. This ability comes with years of practice, familiarity with tools, seeing beyond face value to the root of the problem, and muscle memory. When you pay a technician, you are paying for the efficiency that only years of practice can give.
In saying that, we’re always willing to try and work within your budget constraints. Please contact us to arrange an appointment.
We work a little differently to other retailers. Rather than shelves and shelves of stock, we carry a small selection of essentials. However, we work closely with New Zealand’s major music retailers and can sell anything they do for the exact same price.
We believe personal preference is essential when picking an instrument, and our access to the best brands means more choice for you. For example, if you want to try alto saxophones, Vanguard Orchestral will let you try Yamaha, P Mauriat, Keilwerth, Yanagisawa, Selmer (and more) side-by-side. We won’t push you towards one brand, but we are happy to help guide you through the process.
Please contact us if you want to try some instruments or get advice on purchasing.
We have a large range of specialist items which can be purchased from our online shop.
10% off everything for college students and university students studying music
© 2020 Vanguard Orchestral.