Wayne Senior, a major figure on the New Zealand music scene since the early 60s, is highly regarded throughout Australasia for his extensive experience and expertise as a composer, arranger, conductor, musical director, producer, singer, trumpeter, educator and administrator in the fields of jazz, popular and light music. |
In 1992 he became a member of the illustrious stable of writers who provide big band jazz compositions and arrangements for trumpet master Bobby Shew. World wide concert tour performances and recordings of his material have included the Smithsonian Institute, International Association of Jazz Educators conventions, and recordings by the prestigious BBC Big Band, London, UK. (This material is now published by Really Good Music, LLC).
At the age of 20 he became Arranger/Musical Director of the Radio New Zealand Big Band and at 25, the RNZ Radio Light Orchestra. During the 60s and 70s he was an award winning composer/arranger/producer of advertising jingles and popular recordings. As Musical Director of TVNZ 1970-83 working on weekly music and dance programs he produced thousands of arrangements over a wide variety of genres for studio orchestra, and was Director/Leader of the TVNZ Singers. Through this association he worked with many international guests as well as all the top NZ artists. Co-founder, musical director and arranger of the Auckland Neophonic Jazz Orchestra which became the basis of the TVNZ and RNZ studio orchestras and big bands.
A free lance musical director in Sydney 1983-4, in 1985 he was offered a lectureship in Jazz Studies at The Western Australian Conservatorium of Music, Perth, where for 10 years he played a key role in the development of curriculum and assessment procedures for the program that was highly praised by Mark Levine. 1987-94 Programme Consultant, WA Symphony Orchestra devising and arranging popular music program concepts.
Returned to NZ in 1995 to lecture in jazz at the Christchurch Polytechnic. From 1996-2000 he devised, arranged and conducted 40 popular music concerts for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra including a 1998 jazz event which featured Bobby Shew playing John Harmonís "Wolf River" and Patrick Williamsí "Romances for Jazz Trumpet and Orchestra". He founded the Christchurch Jazz Arts Orchestra which also performed in concert with Shew.
1999 returned to Auckland to develop a Bachelor degree in Jazz Studies program which he introduced on his own initiative to the University of Auckland. 2000-2002 Coordinator and senior lecturer of that program.
Senior has lead, and arranged for, his own jazz vocal groups and jazz choirs since the early 60s. Director of WA Jazz Choir 1986-94, Voiceworks Jazz Choir Christchurch 1996-99. He coached his secondary school Barbershop Quartet to become NZ Open Novice Champions this year. Senior is regarded as one of Australasiaís leading exponents of the art of jazz vocal improvisation.
In 1997 he received an Arts Excellence Award from the Community Trust, Christchurch, in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Arts.
Wayne Senior has a Master of Arts (Music) from the Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand. His masters performance was presented by
the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.
Significant works include:
"Truly, Madly, Deeply Blue" commissioned by big band Jazzwest for the 1992 Jazz Australia Conference featured guests Bobby Shew, John Clayton and Jeff Clayton, leading to commission by Bobby Shew of "The Touch Of Your Lips".
Big band originals "Peace In Our Time" and "Voyage of Discovery" , an arrangement of All The Things You Are and a vocal "It Isnít Gonna Last" (from Square Pegs) were finalists in the Perth Jazz Societyís Festival of Original Works 1990/92.
Jazz opera Square Pegs recipient of Australia Council development grant 1992/3 Jazz suite "Four Seasons for Two Jazz Orchestras" premiered at the 1987 International Youth Festival, Aberdeen, Scotland.
"Dialogue for Trumpet and Orchestra" (1978) a contemporary classical concerto work recorded by Gordon Webb and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1980.
"Speak To Us Of Beauty" , a symphonic accompaniment to a narration from Kahlil Gibranís book The Prophet .
"The Muses Jazz Suite" (1972) a third stream work, recorded by the Auckland Neophonic Orchestra (Radio NZ)