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Top Masterton muso remembered

By Emily Norman

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Masterton’s music man Darcy Christiansen will be remembered by fellow musicians as a quiet and very reliable man.

He died on Wednesday at Kandahar Home, aged 89.

Though not originally from Masterton, Mr Christiansen was a permanent fixture with the Masterton District Brass Band for many decades and chalked up more than 70 consecutive Anzac Days, sometimes playing at two or three different services in the one day.

Ian Hodge, one of the last remaining members of Trad 7, the band he and Mr Christiansen used to play in, said Mr Christiansen played the trombone to a very high standard.

Trad 7 became a regular part of the Wairarapa music scene, and for years played at public functions, garden parties, A&P shows and a host of other venues.

Mr Christiansen was the son of a Taranaki brass band conductor and, although his first instrument was a baritone, his favourite was the trombone.

“Darcy got a brass instrument put in his hand, I suppose by his father, on Anzac Day 1938,” Mr Hodge said.

“That gives some indication of how long he was playing for.”

Mr Christiansen’s musical career was helped along by his service with J Force, the Allied occupational force in Japan in the aftermath of World War II.

In the 1950s, Mr Christiansen played with a dance hall band, the Blue Star Band.

He played in a dance band, even playing at a gig to celebrate the 21st birthday of the then Princess Elizabeth.

Mr Christiansen was previously a tutor at Masterton Intermediate School and Wairarapa College, where at one time he proudly taught a group of girls who became well known as the Belles of Brass and scooped many prizes in top competitions.

He was also a confirmed orchestral member of Masterton Amateur Theatrical Society (MATS).

“He was one of those lucky people who had a good ear,” Mr Hodge said.

“He could play accurately and could go into a dance band and play the obbligato part.”

In his later years, Mr Christiansen was a keen golfer and outdoor bowler.

He was the husband of Shirley for 66 years, father and father-in-law of Phillip and Colleen, Max and Sandy, David and Robbie, Jill and Peter, Neil and Dianne.

He was also a grandad of 10 and had three great-grandchildren.

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