Tom grew up in Porthleven, playing in the Town Band on percussion and, latterly, Bb Bass as well as playing for many County orchestras and ensembles. In 2006, Tom left the Duchy to study composition and conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire, under Richard Causton and Edwin Roxbourgh. Tom graduated in 2010 with a First Class BMus (Hons) degree and was then awarded a scholarship to study for a Masters degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, under the composer Julian Anderson.
As a composer and conductor, Tom has had the opportunity to work with many professional ensembles and conduct performances of his own music. He has conducted his compositions at various prestigious venues across the country, including: Symphony Hall, Birmingham; the Royal Albert Hall, London; and the Wigmore Hall, London.
Tom graduated from the Guildhall in 2011 and returned to Cornwall where he has undertaken several commissions for his compositional work; he was also delighted to take up the position of Musical Director with Porthleven Town Band.
The band has gone from strength to strength, with highlights including two consecutive trips to the national finals in Cheltenham and achieving promotion to the Third section in 2016. Tom is proud to be a tutor with CYBB, an organisation which is an integral part of brass banding in Cornwall.
David grew up at Threemilestone and first started playing the E flat bass at the age of 11 at Penwethers School because playing in the band at that time meant that he could escape an afternoon's normal lessons! He was taught by Frank Moore, one of the founders of CYBB, and he quickly joined St Agnes Band to start his banding career.
Since then, he has played for many of the championship section bands in Cornwall. He has played at the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall during his time with Camborne Town and St Austell Town Bands. He currently plays with St Dennis Band. He also played for the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall when Co-Create Cornwall took the stage with over 600 players, including the St Keverne Youth Band.
David enjoys the opportunity CYBB gives him to observe (and sometimes play at) courses taken by various highly respected conductors. He always comes away from a course having learnt something new or having been reminded of the importance of various points of musicianship.
Away from brass bands, David teaches a small number of brass musicians. He also plays for Penzance Orchestral Society, the Three Spires Orchestra and various brass ensembles.
Aaron began playing the Cornet with the Mount Charles band in 1974. After four years he joined the famous St Dennis band, moving through the ranks of the youth and senior bands to attain the position of principal cornet, a highlight of which was a performance at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall in 1985.
After a short spell in the Midlands, playing with a number of Championship section bands in the area, Aaron returned to his native Cornwall, subsequently taking up the principal cornet position with the Bodmin Town band in 1988. Thus began the most successful period of his banding career to date as the band grew in status gaining a reputation as one of the UK’s foremost combinations. The band competed at most of the major contests in the country, including five appearances at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall. Interspersed with these competitions, the band made many broadcasts and recordings as well as performing at prestigious concerts throughout the country.
Personal successes in that time have included being named best cornet (5 times) and best player (3 times) at the WEBF (Bugle) contest; best cornet at the CBBA contest (3 times); and best cornet in 3 venues at the Whit Friday March contests, in and around Manchester.
During his time with Bodmin Town Band he also accepted the position of bandmaster, deputising in the absence of the Resident conductor. It was through this and work as a tutor with the Cornwall Youth Brass Band, that he caught the conducting ‘bug’.
Hannah started playing cornet at the age of nine in Mount Charles Junior Band and soon progressed to the Youth Band, competing at her first contest in 1996. After three years on the back row at Mount Charles Youth Band, and a brief spell on euphonium, Hannah moved to St Austell Youth Band on 2nd cornet in 1999. The band was enjoying a particularly successful spell and, in the following year, came third at the National Youth Championships in Salford and won the Youth Section at Bugle contest. She competed at her first contest with St Austell Town Band in 2001 and became principal cornet of both St Austell Youth Band and St Austell Town Band later that year. Two months after being awarded the position, she won the solo prize in the Youth Section at Torquay.
Hannah also played with the Cornwall Youth Wind Orchestra, the Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra and has been guest principal cornet with the Cornwall Youth Brass Band.
In 2003 Hannah moved to Salford to study music and graduated with first class honours in 2006. She was fortunate enough to study under David King, Roy Newsome, Peter Graham, Stuart Lingard and Brian Taylor but probably her most important influence has been Peter Minear. While being a registered member of Stalybridge Old Band and helping out other bands in the North, Hannah never missed a contest with St Austell, commuting from Manchester for rehearsals.
Highlights of Hannah's banding career so far include playing at the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005 and winning the Royal Trophy at Bugle Contest in 2008, along with the prize for the best cornet player of the day.
Hannah is also a busy accompanist, playing piano for grade exams, solo contests and music festivals, alongside her regular positions with Imerys Singers and St Austell Amateur Operatic Society. She also plays trumpet with various session ensembles.
Viv was born in Nanpean where his interest in brass banding began when he saw Black Dyke Mills and Fodens Motor Works bands perform concerts on the village football pitch in the early 1950s. After taking piano and singing lessons at a young age, he started to play a brass instrument with the village band in Foxhole. He was then given lessons by Eddie Williams of St Dennis Band and after some tuition, he began playing in the band on horn, with his brother Murray who became a very accomplished Bass player.
Viv then moved over to Baritone to play in his first ever contest, a C.B.B.A. event in the Public Rooms in Bodmin. Viv continued to play in the band, seeing success at many contest, including playing at the Albert Hall in the National finals in four consecutive contests, his first appearance being at the age of 14 years old. He moved from Baritone onto Euphonium in 1963, playing his first contest on the instrument at The National Finals playing Belmont Variations. Viv also remembers playing at The British Open contest, with St Dennis, which was then held in Belle Vue, Manchester playing Lorenzo by Thomas Keighley in 1964.
As a teenager, Viv played with the Cornwall Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band, of which he attended 5 courses. He recalls the excellent tutors and conductors that were at the courses, playing with some of the finest young players of the time and the positive influences these courses had on him and his playing. When he was 18 years old, Viv moved to Derbyshire to play Euphonium for Creswell Colliery Band. His 5 years there saw him play in various contests – The British Open, The National Finals playing Journey to Freedom conducted by Dennis Smith, The Whit Marches, Durham Miner's Gala and the Yorkshire Miner's Gala. This was a busy band, playing out most Sundays at concert around the North of England leaving on the band bus early in the morning and returning late night before going to work in the colliery the next day. After returning home to Cornwall, Viv went to play with St Austell Band. Freddie Roberts was soon appointed as conductor and Viv recalls that the band flourished under his baton – winning the W.D. & H.O. Wills qualifying contest in Plymouth and runners up in the Finals in London in 1972, West of England Area Final runners up in 1972 and 1974, and also the Royal Trophy at the West of England Brass band Contest (Bugle) in 1974.
To further develop his playing, Viv entered solo contests playing air varies and slow melodies throughout the county. Viv continues to believe that playing in solo contests can really help to develop confidence, technique and consistency.
Viv took a break from playing to conduct Lostwithiel Youth Band, where some the then young players continue to play now throughout the county. Viv also gave lessons to young pupils at St Merryn School and also tutored private pupils, which he has continued to do throughout his banding career. Viv returned to playing when Albert Chapell was conducting St Austell Band. Some of the achievements of the band under Mr Chapell included making a record of Goff Richards music, playing in the mass bands concert at the Albert Hall in a celebration of Eric Ball music, conducted by Elgar Howarth, and winning Yeovil Entertainment Contest twice and the Pontins Conest at Prestatyn.
After another break from banding, Viv returned to play for St Austell when Derek Greenwood was the conductor. The band went on to win the Royal Trophy at the West of England Brass Band Contest for three consecutive years and the players received a golden medal to mark the achievement. The band also had the greatest success at the National Finals, accomplishing 6th Place playing Harmony Music in 1987.
After a break of over 25 years, Viv returned to playing with St Austell at National Finals at Cheltenham. Viv now plays Baritone with Camborne Town Band and has thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of returning to banding again. Over his long and varied banding career Viv has played under many conductors. Viv recalls the one of the biggest influences on his playing was Freddie Roberts, who Viv believes, helped him to fulfil his playing potential with a bit of pressure and a lot of encouragement.
He continues to feel that supporting youth players is vital to the sustainment and development of brass banding, particularly as careers in music are now more available. Although sustaining a position in a busy and successful band can be challenging, Viv maintains that commitment and striving to play at the best standard you can, will help players reach their own potential.
Viv feels proud to be a tutor at the Cornwall Youth Brass Band and that it is a great honour to be able to develop and encourage some of the young talented players in the county.
Tony was born in Yeovil Somerset, and started learning to play the cornet at the age of 10 with the Yeovil Town Band learners group, tutored by Ken Gay and Dave Hooper.
They soon moved Tony to the main band on 3rd cornet, where he progressed to Soprano at age 14, then to Principal cornet at 16. A move to Sherborne saw Tony playing at a higher level, and again he was soon promoted to the Principal seat.
Work took Tony away from Somerset to Plymouth, where he joined the Crownhill RBL Band, again on Principal and Soprano, and remained for 4 years before being introduced to the Bodmin Town Band.
There followed one of the best periods in his banding career, playing alongside Aaron Harvey on solo cornet, under the direction of Leonard Adams, and qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall.
Unfortunately work took Tony back to Somerset but it wasn't long before he was contacted by the local bands. He helped to reform a band at Crewkerne, and Phoenix Brass Crewkerne soon started to make a name for themselves in the 3rd section, winning the area contest 2 years running, and qualifying for the nationals 3 years in a row.
Another spell with Yeovil, now in the championship section followed, and during this time he played at the Glastonbury festival on the Pyramid stage on two occasions, which was quite a unique experience.
In 2008 Tony started his conducting career, firstly with a local village band Burtle Silver, and then with Weston Brass where he stayed until 2014. He took the band from the bottom of the 3rd section to the second section where they were placed in the top six at the area contest.
Tony now works as a freelance conductor and peripatetic brass teacher in schools around his home village on the Somerset levels.