I started playing the trumpet at the age of 7 when my name was pulled out of a hat for a new trumpet at junior school.
I quickly saw sense and changed to cornet and the joined my first brass band ….
My first band was the newly formed Tingley band and I had my first lessons from trumpeter, Keith Holmes who progressed me through the music grades to eventually achieve grade 8 with distinction at the age of 14. I had progressed bands during this time and joined ‘Warren Band’ under the baton of Duncan Beckley, initially as Repiano Cornet and then progressed to Principal Cornet. I was also principal cornet of the northern youth brass band and helped them qualify for the national finals at the Albert hall in 1987. We came 2nd at the national finals. I then played principal cornet for my first championship section band – the Lindley band before moving to the Hammond Sauce Works Band in 1990.
Hammonds was conducted by the late and great Geoffrey Whitham at this time and I took the opportunity to take some lessons from him. Hammonds band attained a new sponsorship in 1993 and became the legendary Yorkshire building society band. A serious car crash at the end of 1993 meant that my teeth (and embouchure) had to be rebuilt and David king took over from Geoff Whitham at YBS during my playing absence. I continued to have very close connections with Yorkshire Building Society band and had some lessons from Dr David king …. But I decided to join Yorkshire Imperial Band in 1994 on Principal Cornet. I have been with the band ever since and have enjoyed success at the highest level …. Highlights been the brass in concert title at Spennymoor / participation in the world music festival in Holland and performing at all the major UK contests.
The band has performed the length and breadth of the UK and I have always enjoyed the team ethic and people that have been part of ‘the Imps’ over the last 20 years! Travelling for hours on buses would have been unbearable if it wasn’t for these people! I have also enjoyed success in numerous solo competitions across the country and was a finalist in the national solo championships of Great Britain achieving the best cornet soloist award playing Del Steigers ‘Carnival of Venice’ which is sometimes on the Imps concert programme
More recently I have also played with ‘Fanfare Brass’ – a 5 piece brass ensemble and undertook a successful trip to Denmark with them in 2013 to perform at the international music festival in Ballerup. After 20 years playing at the imps … I know there is no other band for me …. The band has changed so much during this time and I am now the longest serving member.
Presently the band has a strong team and I am looking forward to resurgence of the Imps and many more years of enjoyment.