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First published in September 2018

Click <here> to visit John's web site

John McGough

John McGough (born 1966) is an award-winning musician and entertainer based in Auckland, New Zealand.

He was introduced to the trumpet at the age of nine and began taking lessons from the then New Zealand National Cornet Champion Vaughan McDonald.  When Vaughan was selected to undertake an extensive tour of North America with the 1978 National Band of New Zealand, John then took lessons from Vaughan's teacher, cornet virtuoso and Musical Director of the World Champion Continental Airlines Auckland Brass Errol Mason.  Errol was a world class cornet player and musical director of New Zealand's most famous brass band.  Continental Airlines Auckland Brass were household names.  They were the highlight of any pre entertainment All Black test at the time at Eden Park Auckland.

When the Continental Airlines Auckland Brass were booked to play at the inaugural Rugby World Cup at Eden Park in 1987, McGough was invited to play solo, and concluded the international telecast with "Now Is The Hour" before an estimated international television audience of 300 million people.

During his time with the World Champion Continental Airlines Auckland Brass John served as their MC.  He also branched out playing for well known Auckland soul bands the 7 Deadly Sins, Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers and was called upon to assist the popular Auckland big band the Queen City Big Band.  In 1986 the newly formed Queen City Big Band were finalists along with John, who was a solo entertainer, for the title of New Zealand's "Rising Star of the Year" which was won that year by young singing sensation Annie Crummer.

At just 16 John was recruited as the support act for the current New Zealand entertainer of the year at that time, known as the "Voice of New Zealand" Rhonda Bryers.  Rhonda soon moved to Hawaii to perform and John then starred in Old Time Music Halls with well known New Zealand Entertainers like Derek Metzger, Chic Littlewood, Doug Aston, Louise Malloy, Keith Leggett and many others.

John has been a member of ten New Zealand champion bands and two Australian champion bands.  He now plays freelance for brass bands and has toured with bands such as the Waitakere Auckland Brass and the Dalewool Auckland Brass.  He has inspired young musicians from the Marlborough District Brass for over 10 years playing for the Marlborough District Brass of Blenheim and is now registered with the Nelson City Brass.

McGough was first selected for the National Band of New Zealand in 1990 and appeared with them at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, he was selected for the 1992 tour of New Zealand, he hosted their New Zealand tour in 2003 and then in 2009 was selected as a player again to travel with them to the World Championships in Kerkrade, the Netherlands.

John has also been employed for his Master of Ceremony skills at many events.  Hosting brass band and ballet performances.  Voiced radio commercials, entertainment and theatre awards and corporate product launches.

He has received a number of prestigious awards from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand including a Scroll of Honour in 1998 for his achievements within the New Zealand entertainment industry, the 2012 Agnew Award for Excellence in the New Zealand entertainment industry and the 2016 Top Musician Award.

McGough has won two New Zealand solo titles on both Cornet and Flugelhorn.  He has also been placed in the prestigious Champion of Champions event at the New Zealand National Championships when competing as a soloist in 1989.

John has performed in many countries including a full New Zealand tour, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, China, Vietnam, New York, and has been guest soloist with bands in England, Australia and Saipan.

He has appeared on many New Zealand television shows such as Stars on Sunday, Hui Pacific, Variety Street, NZ Today, 5:30 Live, Good Morning, Chat Bungalow and Rockin' the Planet on various New Zealand television channels.

McGough has served as adjudicator at New Zealand, Auckland, Central District and Waikato/BOP brass band contests.

He has released an album, 'Two Shades of Brass'.  Available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.  The album is also available on board all Air New Zealand international flights on their inflight entertainment menu.  In 2016 McGough was again selected for the National Band of New Zealand competing at the 2017 World Championships in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, where they were awarded 2nd place.

To see John's major awards refer to his website at


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