MEET AUSTONLEY BRASS...

JIM BULGER

- TRUMPET

Jim started playing the cornet at the age of seven and soon enjoyed playing in local bands, orchestras and eventually performing solos with his local groups. At the age of sixteen Jim was awarded a place to study at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music where he studied for two years under David Chatterton. After these two years Jim began his study at the Royal Northern College of Music under the fantastic tutelage of John Miller and Murray Grieg. During this time Jim performed in masterclasses with Häkan Hardenberger, Canadian Brass, Gomolan Brass and Michael Brydenfelt. Since gaining his Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree in 2005 Jim has been performing across the country as a freelance trumpet player. 

In the orchestral field Jim has performed as principal trumpet with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall, has been on trial for the position of principal trumpet of the Northern Ballet Orchestra and has freelanced with Opera North, Manchester Camerata, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Northern Chamber Orchestra. While the thrill and challenge of orchestral playing has been a goal since he was a teenager Jim also enjoys the variety of freelance life with touring musicals taking him around the UK and as far a field and Hong Kong. 

Jim's involvement with brass chamber music has been a constant outlet for his musical approach since his quintet (Tempus Brass) won the Philip Jones Brass Award in 2004. Since leaving the RNCM he has been an ensemble member and featured soloist on CDs by Corus Brass and Intrada Brass and has accompanied the world famous Alan Vizzutti. More recently Jim has been thrilled to perform with Austonley Brass who regularly challenge and push the limits of its players to excite and entertain during performances.

DAVE MOORE

- TRUMPET

David Moore grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 2005 he relocated to Manchester to take up a scholarship at Chethams School of Music. 

Four years at the Royal Northern College of Music followed and during this time, Dave was a finalist in the BBC Radio Young Brass Soloist of the Year competition. 

Since graduating in 2011, Dave has enjoyed a busy and varied freelance career. Recent highlights have included a solo tour of South Australia and performing with ensembles including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North.

 

Alongside the classical scene, Dave is also a regular in the world of musical theatre and has worked on shows including Mary Poppins (UK and International Tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour), Miss Saigon (UK Tour), Sweet Charity (Royal Exchange Theatre) and Elf (Lowry Theatre).

NEALE HOBSON

- TRUMPET

Neale started playing the cornet at Rochdale Salvation Army at the age of 6 and  played with the Junior Band there until the age of 13 when he took up the trumpet. After leaving the Army Neale became Principal Trumpet of the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Lancashire Schools’ Symphonic Wind Band, in addition to playing with a variety of local Brass Bands, such as Whitworth Vale and Healey and Stacksteads, and even the Black Dyke Mills Band for a short period at the age of 18.

However, at the age of 14 Neale was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from Lancashire County Council to begin receiving tuition from Harold Hall (the man responsible for appointing Maurice Murphy to his first professional trumpet position with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra.) He was an unbelievable teacher, player and an absolute gentleman, Neale owes many musical achievements to him. Apparently he also made some fantastic home brew!

At the age of 18 Neale moved to London to study the trumpet at the Royal College of Music under the tuition of David Mason (the Piccolo Trumpet player on the Beatles’ Penny Lane) and Peter Reeve (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) Whilst at the College he had many fantastic experiences such as the Christmas Concert at the Royal Albert Hall with Sir David Willcocks and the Bach Choir as well as performing at the RCM Centenary Concert alongside Placido Domingo and in the presence of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

After leaving the RCM Neale returned home to the North West to undertake a trial with the Halle Orchestra. He made it to the last two but unfortunately the position wasn’t offered on that occasion. However, Neale was invited to become a member of the Halle Brass Quintet, a position he held for a number of years. It was at this point NealeI started to work as a freelance trumpet player in the North West and performed regularly with the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the Manchester Concert Orchestra. Neale also toured on a regular basis with the Northern Ballet Theatre in addition to undertaking further trials with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Recently Neale performed in the Royal Opera House’s production of Prokoviev’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as the English National Ballet and Royal Birmingham Ballet orchestras’ performances of the aforementioned ballet.

Neale has performed many times at the Palace Theatre and Opera House in Manchester playing in shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Scrooge. But the highlight of Neale's playing career so far was winning an argument with the late, great, Luciano Pavarotti and the subsequent concert at the MEN Arena! A truly fantastic experience.  

I am currently a member of The Jager Maestros Oompah Band, in addition to my role with Austonley Brass, and The Big Shot Swing Orchestra

ANDY HOLMES

- TRUMPET

Andy began playing cornet aged 9 with the Horden Colliery Band in his Native North East becoming the bands principal cornet aged 13. Andy went on to gain a BMus (Hons) degree from the University of Huddersfield where he studied under world famous Cornet soloist Phillip McCann.

 

Upon graduating Andy went on to teach both classroom and instrumental music in the North East of England whilst playing cornet for the Black Dyke Band and Flugelhorn for the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band.  During this time Andy enjoyed victories at all the major brass band competitions.

Highlights of his time at 'Grimey' include performing at the BBC Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games and touring Europe and Australia.

 

Andy has has performed live alongside artists such as The Unthanks and Kate Rusby, with whom he performed on the albums 'Make the light' and '20'. He has recorded extensively for TV and radio, including performing live as a soloist on Radio 2, appearing on CBeebies 'Zingzillas' and making a top ten appearance in the iTunes jazz download chart!

 

Andy is the lead trumpet player with 'The Prince Experience' , the U.K.s no.1 Prince Tribute band, and recently completed a UK wide tour of 02 academies.

 

Andy lives on the top of Marsden moor with his fiancé Anna and daughters Catherine and Charlotte. As well as performing, he is an instrumental music teacher for Barnsley music service and enjoys cricket, cooking and the odd pint of Nook Blonde ale!

JEZ AINSWORTH-MOORES

- FRENCH HORN

Jez was born in Bolton and began playing the French Horn aged 12. He went on to study at Huddersfield Polytechnic obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Music and winning for Forbes Prize for wind playing.

 

After receiving a Scholarship from The Countess of Munster, Jez went on to study at the Royal Northern College of music. During this time he was invited to perform a solo recital at the British Council Auditorium in Nairobi and a concerto with the Nairobi Symphony Orchestra.

 

Since leaving the RNCM, he has gone on to perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Opera North, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Goldberg Chamber Orchestra and was a member of the renowned James Shepherd Versatile Brass for 10 years.

 

Jez now lives in Stockport with his wife and 2 teenage sons, and regularly plays with Stockport Symphony Orchestra and other local ensembles. He is also delighted to have recently been appointed solo French Horn with Austonley Brass.

CHRIS GOMERSALL

- TROMBONE

Chris started played in the Salvation Army in his home town on Jarrow in the North East if England, before moving into the contesting world first with the Westoe Colliery and the Newcastle Brown Ale Band. Chris joined the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain aged 12 and became principal Trombone aged 14 when Jim Watson conducted the course. In the year 2000 Chris was featured in a duet composed by and performed with LSO principal trombonist Dudley Bright for the Salvation Army’s millennium congress in the Royal Albert Hall.


Aged 16 Chris won the Warwick Music/The Valve National Trombone competition and during sixth form studied with Andy Berryman, then Principal Trombone of the Hallé and had his first introduction to orchestral playing in the inaugural Hallé Youth Orchestra.

Also at this time Chris won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London, also receiving an Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music scholarship and the Mark Elliott scholarship. During his time in London Chris studied with Ian Bousfield (then Principal Trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic formerly LSO), Dudley Bright (Principal of the LSO) and Denis Wick (former Principal Trombone of the LSO) the brass department at this time was directed by the late Jim Watson and during this time Chris played Principal Trombone in all of the Royal Academy’s orchestras, brass ensembles and Trombone Choir. During this time Chris also performed the Larsson Concertino as a soloist with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and worked with the Britten Sinfonia on both Trombone and euphonium.

Upon leaving London Chris moved back to the North if England and joined the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, during his time there Chris won two Yorkshire area championship, including a personal best soloist prize and two national championships. In late 2011 Chris joined the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band and during his 6 years there won the highly coveted British Open title and the Brass in Concert championships - Chris was also awarded the Don Lusher Trombone prize on two occasions at Brass in Concert. Other highlights during his time at Grimethorpe include playing at opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, recording at Abbey Road studios, and a very successful two week tour of Australia. 

As a freelance trombonist Chris works regularly with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Brass ensemble, and is a member of Austonley Brass where he also arranged some of our fantastic repertoire. Chris is currently playing in the orchestra of the International tour of Mel Brooks’ smash hit musical ‘The Producers’.

RYAN WATKINS

- TROMBONE

Ryan started his playing career at the age of 8 in brass bands with the Shepherds Group, Yorkshire Imperial DUT, Carlton Main Frickley, Hepworth and Fairey band.

Ryan has been a member of The Brighouse and Rastrick Band since 2012, having joined whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he graduated a first class honours.

In addition to his busy schedule with Brighouse, Ryan has seen recent success as a conductor, directing the Trinity Girls Brass Band and more recently Slaithwaite Band. He is also a member of the popular oompah band “ The Jäger maestros”.

Ryan has also recently enjoyed branching out in to the orchestral world, performing extra work with orchestras such as the Hallé Orchestra, Gilbert & Sullivan National Orchestra and the Manchester Camarata.

In 2012, Ryan was presented with the British Trombone Society ‘Young Trombonist of the Year’ award and progressed to the brass final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2014.

Ryan has featured regularly as a guest player and soloist in the UK, as well as abroad in countries such as Norway, Italy, Austria and Switzerland

NICK HUDSON

- TROMBONE

Nick's musical foundations are firmly rooted within the brass band movement. He started playing at the age of eight and following initial tuition from his father and a brief spell in The Salvation Army, Nick was appointed principal trombone of the world famous Foden Motor Works Brass Band at the age of only fifteen. During his fourteen years in that position he established an international reputation as one of Europe's finest trombone players and teachers. He has presented masterclasses and performed in concert halls as far afield as Australia, Israel, Canada, the USA, Japan and throughout Europe. In addition he was the featured soloist at the National Brass Band Championships Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on four occasions.

 

Nick premiered the Wilfred Heaton Trombone Concerto live on BBC Radio 3 and gave the first public performance of Philip Wilby's concertino White Knuckle Ride - both composed especially for him. Recently he returned from a successful tour of Spain where he performed Gustav Holst's ‘Concertante for Trombone and Wind Band’ and the Derek Bourgeois ‘Trombone Concerto’ at the World Wind Band Association conference in Valencia, following enthusiastic reviews from music critics and trombone players throughout Europe.
 
He released his first solo recording ‘Anthology’ with the Britannia Building Society Band in 1996 followed by the highly successful ‘New Horizons’ in 2002 featuring a diverse range of styles from jazz, avante garde and brass band repertoire. Another recording features a range of specially commissioned works for tenor and bass trombone where Nick plays alongside Douglas Yeo, Bass Trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His most recent addition to his discography is collaboration with Andrew Justice and the Enfield Citadel Band of The Salvation Army. The recording features original solo and duet repertoire and has already received critical acclaim. In June 2007 Nick also gave the premiere recording of Elizabeth Raum’s Fantasy for Trombone and Brass Band. In addition to these recordings Nick has been featured soloist on twenty other cd releases with ensembles throughout the UK and overseas.

 

On both resident and freelance levels, Nick has played with most of the UK’s top brass bands; Britannia Building Society Band, Leyland Band, Yorkshire Building Society Band, Black Dyke Mills Band, Desford Colliery Band, Grimethorpe Colliery and the Fairey Band. In addition, Nick was a founder member of the highly acclaimed Howard Snell Brass ensemble. He has travelled worldwide coaching players on numerous summer schools and brass courses and is currently trombone tutor at the celebrated Brass Band Summer School in Framlingham.

 

Nick has been guest soloist with many ensembles including the New York Staff Band of the Salvation Army, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland, NJBB Graubunden, National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand, Enfield Citadel Band, Kortrijk Brass Band, Brass Band De Bazuin Oenkerk, Tokyo City Concert Brass, Dubai Concert Band, Taunton Concert Band, Maple Leaf Brass Band, Brass Band Willebroek,  Brass Band Limburg, Lyngby-Taarbaek Brass Band, and Imperial Brass from New Jersey.
 

Nick was featured soloist and clinician at the Leeds University Chain Brass Festival, a weeklong course of workshops and seminars for professional players from all over Europe. He has also given recitals and lectures at the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Academy of Music (Stockholm), Melbourne School of Performing Arts, Newcastle School of Music (Australia), Goteborgs Universitet Artisten, RAF Cranwell, the Norwegian National Wind Band Championships in Trondheim, the British Trombone Society Festival at the Guildhall School of Music and London’s famous 100 Club.

 

In 2007 Nick was particularly pleased to be awarded The Don Lusher Memorial Prize for his playing at the BIC Contest. In addition to demands as a performer and clinician for Michael Rath Instruments, Nick is a regular editorial contributor and writer for many specialist brass publications. He is also a writer and advisor to the British Trombone Society.

 

Nick’s recent schedule has included an increasing number of adjudicating engagements; he has been on the panel of judges at the US Open Brass Championship in Chicago, adjudicator at the Swiss National Solo Brass Championships in Sion and the Brass in Concert Championships at Gateshead.

GARRATH BECKWITH

- BASS TROMBONE

Garrath grew up in Saddleworth in the heart of the Pennine hills - the heart of brass band country! Surrounded by this wonderfully rich musical tradition, at the age of 10 Garrath was handed “the only instrument left in the store cupboard...” - the bass trombone. Garrath progressed to perform with many of the worlds leading brass bands including the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, the BNFL Band, the Williams Fairey Band, the Yorkshire Building Society and the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery winning numerous competitions, performing live on tv and radio, and entertaining audiences all over the UK, Europe, and as far away as America, Malaysia and Australia.

 

Garrath is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, during his time at the RNCM Garrath studied the bass trombone with some of the finest names in the world of brass playing: Adrian Morris, James Gourlay, Chris Houlding, Ian Bousfield, Ben van Dijk and John Iveson. 

 

Upon graduating from the RNCM Garrath has worked as freelance bass trombonist - he has led a busy and diverse freelance musical life performing with many different ensembles in many musical genres including the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Swan, Hallé Brass 10tet, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Andy Prior Big Band, Underdog Ensemble, Remix Ensemble (Portugal), Holland America Cruise Line Big Band, The Royal Variety Performance Orchestra, Dame Shirley Bassey's Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Bluejuice Big Band, the Nelson Riddle Tribute Orchestra, and was a founder member of the Equale Trombone Quartet. Pro Theatre Orchestra Productions include - Disneys: Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story and 42nd Street as well as performing in the BBC Voice of Music Theatre Orchestra. In the commercial sector Garrath has performed live and recorded with acts such as 808 state, the Wombats, the Jäger Maestros Oompah Band, Corrine Bailey-Rae, the World Famous Elvis show and Elbow. 

 

Garrath is a multifaceted musician and more recently has focused his attention on musical education - Garrath is currently the Head of Music at Saddleworth School, where in 2016 he was awarded the Oldham Education Awards ‘Teacher of the Year award’ and the ‘Outstanding Achievement award’ for opportunities offered to young musicians. Garrath is the bass trombonist and ensemble manager of Austonley Brass where he enjoys creating high quality, entertaining, musical brass ensemble performances and education projects for audiences and music lovers across the UK and further afield. 

DAVE CLEGG

- TUBA

David began playing Tuba aged 11 with the Delph Youth Band in Saddleworth. During his teenage years he played for many brass bands including the Wingates band and Leyland band with who he enjoyed a tour of the USA in 1999 - at this time David was also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain under the direction of many of the finest conductors in the movement including; James Watson, David King, Elgar Howarth and Eric Crees.

 

David gained a BA Hons degree in Music from the University of Salford where he studied performance under the direction of former Halle Orchestra Tuba virtuoso Andy Duncan and Professor David King. In 2001 David won the prestigious Sir Malcolm Arnold award for performance.

 

After graduating, David joined the famous Yorkshire Building Society Band under the direction of their inspirational conductor Dr David King with whom he had great success winning 2 European titles, 1 British Open and 2 All England Masters. Highlights of his time at YBS include playing to a sold out Sydney Opera House during the bands 2005 tour of Australia, many live TV and Radio apperances and playing many world premier performances at music festivals all over Europe and beyond.

 

In his day job, David started teaching Classroom Music in 2002 at Failsworth School in North Manchester. He has worked there ever since and has progressed into his current role of Assistant Headteacher. David lives in Shaw with his wife Stacey and son Jack. He is a passionate Manchester United fan and also enjoys skiing, travelling and eating out.

JOHN WATTERSON

- PERCUSSION

John was born, bred and buttered in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He has been playing drums and percussion since the age of 13. After playing for local theatre productions and various semi-professional orchestras across the North, John joined the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in 2005, and remains their principal percussionist to date, undertaking tours to Australia, USA, and Europe and playing at the BBC Proms in 2007 and the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012.

 

As a freelance timpanist/drumset specialist, John has performed with Orchestra of Opera North, Symphonic Brass of London, National Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of the Swan and English ProMusica. He was also invited to audition for the post of Principal Timpani by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

© Austonley Brass

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