Daniel Hall is a multi-award winning composer & arranger whose works have been performed across the globe and by some of the country’s leading ensembles, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House London, Eminence Brass Quartet, Tredegar Town Band and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He has worked with international soloists and ensembles such as Lode Violet & Brass Band Willebroek (BEL), Brass Band Öberösterreich & KTM Engine Factory (AUT), Fabian Bloch & Liberty Brass Band (CHE) and Gilles Rocha & the European Youth Brass Band as well as many more.
Awards include winning the 7th European Composers Competition in Montreux, Switzerland 2019 with A Dialogue of Transmogrified Souls . Winning the 3rd John Golland Award, leading to a commission (Sanctuary! ) used as the set test at the 2019 European Youth Brass Band contest. PRS & Arts Council England funded award for 886 Colours , as well as receiving an award from the Welsh Music Guild 2019 for his orchestral work QuickDraw (2018).
Daniel is also a freelance conductor & trumpet player, founding the Cardiff based Hybrid Orchestra ‘Prestige 6 Orchestra’ and performing with various ensembles such as Netflix’s Sex Education swing band, Year of the Dog. Daniel graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2019 with a first class honours in composition, studying with Mark Boden & Odilon Marcenaro.
Matthew Walton is one of the original founding members of Brunel Brass when the band was formed in 2006. He has been principal cornet and chairman of the band since 2007 and has enjoyed much success throughout his time.
He is currently the conductor of the Rising Stars and is highly involved in the youth set-up.
Owain Walton started playing in the Youth band at the age of 5, he worked his way through the Youth system and joined the cornet ranks in Brunel Brass in 2012.
In 2018 he became principal cornet of the band for a year before joining the Army as a musician, where he trained at The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall and he is now currently playing for British Army Band Tidworth.
Christopher started playing cornet at 5 years old, being taught by John Winterflood with whom he gained his grade 8. He began brass banding with the Brunel Brass organisation, moving through the youthbands and into Brunel Brass at the age of 13. His other musical interests include playing trumpet with RWB Academy Swingband, taking drum lessons and playing cornet with Wootton Bassett Brass.
Outside music Christopher is undertaking an apprenticeship with a civil engineering company working towards his degree
Luke started to play the cornet in 2005 aged 6; he studied with teachers, Jon Griffin – ex Sun life Band & Gavin Wells – Orchestral Trumpet Soloist MMus, achieving his Grade 8 with distinction in 2015.
Luke played first at Staple Hill Salvation Army where he was Principal cornet of the Junior Band. He joined Brunel Brass in 2013 as well as becoming Principal Cornet of the Great Western Youth Band.
Luke has been a member of the National Childrens Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band.
Luke lives in Bristol where he is a Technician Apprentice in the Aerospace industry.
Ben started playing at the age of 9 through the Oldham Borough Music Service. Residing in Saddleworth he started playing with band throughout the area and spent most of his school days playing for Dobcross Silver Band. Upon completion of his A Levels he gained a place at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to study with Chris Turner and Dr Bob Childs. During this period he was lucky enough to play with The Flowers Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Desford Colliery Band and Tredegar Town Band to name just a few.
Upon completion of his studies he embarked on a career as a musician in the British Army. He has served on Soprano Cornet with The Band of the Prince of Wales’ Division, The British Army Brass Band and currently, British Army Band Tidworth.
Ben has been a member of the band since January 2019 and has held down the soprano cornet position. Throughout the 2019 contesting season he was our featured soloist and walked away with best soprano awards at both Oxford Entertainment Contest and The Welsh Open. He also conducts the Brunel Academy and has done since January 2019.
Rowan started learning the cornet at 6 years old. She has since been tutored by Kevin Bird, Paul Collis-Smith and Brunel Brass Principal Cornet Matthew Walton.
Rowan has been playing with the Great Western Youth Band for over ten years and now also plays the soprano cornet for Brunel Brass. She is currently living in Cardiff studying for an English Literature degree.
Having worked my way through the ranks in the youth band, I joined Brunel Brass at the age of 13 and played in my first regional championships in March 2011.
I have been playing in the band ever since (with a brief gap whilst at university) and don’t intend to stop any time soon.
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Dewi began playing at the age of 10. He played flugelhorn for Upper Rhondda Brass Band for 9 years, after which he joined the Army and is now a front row cornet for British Army Band Tidworth.
Julian started playing aged about 5, following in his father’s footsteps. He has always played cornet.
At Secondary school he was taught by Ted Watkins, and played with a school brass band and the Reading School’s band that was conducted by Ted’s father, George. He later joined Spring Gardens band, aged 15, playing with Derek Watkins. His first contest was the London and Southern Counties regional finals in 1982.
After playing with City of Winchester Brass, whilst playing at University he moved to Swindon in 1986, when he joined Swindon Pegasus until 2004, when he retired from playing. A year later he joined Wootton Bassett Brass when he was asked to help with a new band, Brunel Brass, for a contest, the areas in 2007. This was just for 7 weeks to help them out!
He’s not managed to leave yet, and has played on with the back row contents ever since.
For the last 10 years he has also been the contest secretary, organising seating plans, percussion layouts and draw arrangements.
His day job is an electronics design engineer with Dialog Semiconductor.
Fraser has been playing cornet since he was 6. He joined the Rising Stars band and then Great Western Youth Band (now Brunel Brass Academy). Fraser is now on the front row there.
He joined Brunel Brass 3 years ago and loves the challenge of playing the more stretching music.
As a stark contrast Fraser is studying for a BTEC in musical performance on electric guitar.
Having started life in Yorkshire, becoming a brass player was inescapable. Growing up surrounded by music enabled me to meet a huge range of people, and provided some great experiences including touring abroad and playing at fantastic venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.
I took a break from traditional banding for several years, playing in orchestras, big bands and a dance band, before returning to my brass banding roots when I moved to Swindon and joined Brunel Brass in 2010 playing solo cornet. I moved to solo horn a few years ago, before settling on the flugel, my favourite instrument to date!
Morgan could have started playing euphonium at the age of eight, but after losing out on a game of rock, paper, scissors he ended up playing cornet instead! He played for Menai bridge youth band, and moved up to the senior band when he was about 12 years old. After a few years with the senior band he played principle cornet and sat on the end chair through most of secondary school.
He moved to Beaumaris band when he was 18 where he competed at the national finals in Albert hall and at the British open.
Morgan joined the army aged 18 and after basic training and 7 months at the Royal military school of music he moved to the band of the Prince of Wales in St Athan. He played with a few local bands, most notably City of Cardiff.
He moved onto tenor horn in 2017 and started at Brunel Brass on solo horn the next year!
Alan learnt to play an instrument at the age of 6 at Chippenham Salvation Army, progressing into the Senior Band there becoming Deputy Bandmaster, before moving to the Staple Hill Corps in Bristol in the mid 1980s. Alan played most of the instruments in the Band whilst at Staple Hill and also served as Deputy Bandmaster & Band secretary for a period of time.
Alan joined Brunel Brass in 2013, also becoming a tutor at the Great Western Youth Band. In 2016 he was invited to take over the leadership of the Youth Band when John Winterflood retired, he conducted them until July 2018. The highlight of his time with the Youth Band was taking them to the National Youth Championships in 2018.
He lives in Bristol with his wife and two children, where he is now in retirement having worked as an Electrical Engineer in the Telecommunications industry for 43 years.
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Christian starting playing at age 6 in 2007. He started with the Rising Stars band in the Great Western Youth Band organisation, before moving on to the intermediate band and then joining the full youth band 2010.
He was initially taught by Kevin Bird, but since 2011 he has been taught by Matthew Walton. Christian achieved his grade 8 just before his 16th Birthday.
In 2011, aged 10 he decided he wanted to start contesting, so joined Swindon Brass as well as staying with the youth band. With them, in 2013, he played his first National Finals in Cheltenham.
In 2014 Christian moved to Brunel taking over the 2nd Horn seat. He is now part of the committee, holding positions as the youth representative as well as the assistant treasurer.
Christian is currently an apprentice with First City Nursing where he is studying accountancy.
I started playing the cornet many years ago in secondary school as they were offering free lessons and it meant I missed English every week, result! It became apparent that the cornet wasn’t for me and after getting a fixed brace my playing got worse (if possible!) so I was switched to the Euphonium and I never looked back. I grew up playing in concert bands and went on tour to Czechoslovakia and Italy with our youth band. It was only when I went to University at York that I discovered the joys of brass bands and spent 3 years playing with the York Railway Institute band and not much study!
I moved to Wiltshire in 2001 and after a brief stint playing in Chippenham band I joined Wootton Bassett Brass. I was fortunate enough to join Brunel when it first started up as a band. I think I managed two rehearsals before I was swiftly moved to Baritone where I’ve been lucky enough to stay ever since (Think that’s mainly down to the fact no one else wants to play baritone, phew!) Since playing in the band I’ve had two kids who when they were old enough to stay seated and quiet for long enough were given a cornet and joined the bands youth organisation. It’s been quite a journey the band has gone on and I feel privileged to have been a part of it.
John has (despite his youthful appearance) been playing tenor horn, cornet, and now baritone for over 50 years.
Starting at the age of eleven in his local school band, he has since played with Swindon Youth Band, British Rail Staff Association (Swindon) Band (playing for them in the Championship Section National Brass Band Finals at the Royal Albert Hall at the tender age of sixteen), Croydon Co-op Band, London Collegiate Brass (under Edward Gregson), Swindon Pegasus Brass, and since 2018 for Brunel Brass.
He has accordingly, doubled the average age of this otherwise wonderfully youthful band.
Glenn started playing the tenor trombone from the age of 8. He studied music and music technology at school and after A Levels he decided to choose music as a Career. Glenn has been a professional British Army musician since 2008 and enjoys travelling the world.
Glenn has many hobbies and relaxes by playing golf, football, mtb and motorsports. Glenn joined the band in january 2020 as the band’s principal trombonist.
Paul began to learn the Trombone at age 10 taught by his father and other members of Colchester Silver Band. He progressed over the next 5 years to end up playing with the Clacton-on-Sea Co-op Band for 20 years in the Championship Section and one appearance at the Royal Albert Hall.
He qualified as an Accountant and moved over to Wiltshire with work in 2004 where he played with various Brass Bands and musical ensembles and joined Brunel Brass in 2012 when they had progressed to the First Section.
Paul is the Treasurer and Vice Chair of the organisation and affectionately known as Mr Gift Aid!
His main goals are to continue the growth of the Academy and keep the organisation financially stable.
He is known for his sense of humour and can tell many stories of banding adventures - just don’t mention the alcohol free bar in Utrecht!
I first picked up a Trombone at the age of 11 when my music teacher Geoff Walters inspired me to ‘try something new’, I had a musical family with my brothers both playing woodwind, I decided to be different!
Was invited to attend Swindon School of Brass Youth Band at Intermediate level at the age of 13 and joined the senior youth band a year later, many thanks to my mum who made sure I practised every day. By the time I was 16 I’d been invited to join Swindon Pegasus Brass Band and was playing 1st section competitions, that’s what a call a whirlwind rise!!
In 2006 I joined the newly formed Great Western Youth Band where I focused on giving the next group of players a chance to develop as players and would go on to join Brunel Brass in 2007, in this time we would go on another whirlwind ride as the band went from strength to strength climbing up the competition rankings, I was given the opportunity to perform a solo in concert and competition and I went out to discover how versatile a trombone is playing in styles from swing to orchestra and wind band.
One thing I find important is to keep the fun about banding, laughs and jokes when you can but know when to get down to business and showcase your best, practice helps and so does the support from those nearest and dearest, even if it’s in a small or discreet way. I’d go as far as to say Brunel is family and there is much we can we can achieve with this bond and long may this continue.
Chris is a chartered civil engineer and freelance property developer. He lives near Oxford with his wife Laura and their two children Phillip and Florence.
Chris started playing piano and trombone aged 10, and completed his grade exams eight years later. He has performed with many amateur orchestras, big bands and concert ensembles and has been a member of Brunel Brass since 2010.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys running, cooking, and quoting episodes of ‘I’m Alan Partridge’.
Chris started playing aged 9, being taught for many years by John Winterflood. Chris played with Swindon Young Musicians, School of Brass, Swindon Pegasus, Carlton brass (whist at university) and joined Brunel brass in 2008.
His greatest experiences were probably winning the nationals in 2009 and 2011, but there have been many great moments in the short history of the band.
Chris passed his ATCL with distinction in 2014.
Chris conducts the Brunel Brass Academy on a Saturday morning and really enjoys developing and encouraging people to enjoy brass bands
Dave started playing when he was 10 years old having been handed down an instrument from his Grandfather, Gal Mills, who had been a horn player in the Championship Section, Sankeys Castle Works Band in the 1930’s. They had enjoyed many successes competing in the Midlands Regional’s as well as the British Open in Belle Vue under the musical direction of Capt. Thomas Francis. The band finally being disbanded in 1961.
Dave initially played cornet for the Crewe Coop Youth Band and subsequently the Crewe Coop Band from 1976, he continued playing cornet and flugel until 1980 when he was involved in a cycling accident which curtailed his cornet playing. He could no longer play the small mouthpiece instrument but returned to the Crewe Coop Band later in 1980 initially playing baritone but quiet quickly moving to Euphonium in 1981, playing at 2nd and 1st section contests with the Coop band.
After a 14 year break due to work, he started playing again with Cricklade Town band in 2005 and then had a very memorable approach from John Winterflood stopping his car and placing his hands on the bonnet and shouting ‘I hear you play an instrument, do you fancy coming along to a new band’ in December 2006. He started playing Euphonium in Brunel Brass in January 2007, also playing as a tutor in the Great Western Youth band while his daughter, Alexandra, played cornet for Great Western Youth and subsequently his son William playing Euphonium.
Dave has enjoyed the developing fortunes of Brunel Brass since 2007 and continues to enjoy playing in the band and the unique culture that Brunel Brass continues to live by since its inception in 2007
Rob started playing the trumpet at the age of 6 with the Swindon School of Brass. As he grew, he graduated to ever larger instruments until he settled on the Bb Bass. He joined Swindon Pegasus Brass at the age of 14, and played with them in the First Section for 2 1/2 years.
In 2006, he left Pegasus to become a founder member of Brunel and the Great Western Youth Band. He played with Brunel during their rise to the Second Section, until a military career forced him to stop playing In 2010.
By 2018 he had changed career and returned to the West Country and, after a chance encounter with Brunel’s Principal Cornet at a wedding, Rob was given the took the opportunity to take up playing again. He rejoined the band on Eb Bass shortly afterwards.
We’re looking for a new Eb tuba player - contact us if you would like to fill this seat
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Anthony first started playing at the age of 7 taking trumpet lessons from John Winterflood in school. A couple of years later he joined the Great Western Youth band. In 2010 he moved to Baritone further progessing to Euphonium in 2012. He made his final instrument change in 2014 being promoted to Bb Bass and briefly played with Swindon Brass before joining Brunel Brass shortly after his first areas competition in Torquy.
Lesley started playing at the age of 5 ½, following in the steps of her grandfather and father.
Joining Swindon Young Musicians (SYM), Lesley played in the Brass Bands and Wind Bands, playing Euphonium or Percussion.
After leaving SYM, she joined Swindon Brass playing Principle Euphonium later moving to 2nd due to work commitments. Having played with various bands including the Central Band of the RAF and Wroughton Silver Band, Lesley joined Brunel Brass in the Percussion Section in September 2018. As well as playing in the main band, Lesley also helps out on a Saturday morning with the Rising Stars and Brunel Brass Academy Youth Bands.
Megan is in her fourth and final year studying percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Shes been playing since she was 6 years old. She started playing the drums in wind bands and marching bands whilst living in America for the majority of her childhood. When she moved back to Wales a few years later, she decided to carried on with drum lessons and her teacher eventually asked her to try out percussion.
Whilst working her way through percussion grades, she started playing in the Rhondda Cynon Taf county music service ensembles weekly and then moved on and started to play with brass bands. She has played with many different bands in the last few years including Tredegar Town Band and Desford Colliery Band.
Over the years, she has had many different musical experiences which has shaped her as a player. A few examples include, before she started college, being a member of both the National Youth Orchestra and Brass Band of Wales. She has been a part of 4 productions with The National Youth Music Theatre of Great Britain, such as West Side Story and Sweet Charity, and she has also competed and won several solo competitions in and around Wales.
Whilst in college, she has been very fortunate to be a part of some major projects in Guildhall as well as in and around London. This has allowed her to gain experience playing in many different genres of music from classical and contemporary to theatre and pop percussion.
She enjoys both playing and teaching and hopes to carry on with both of these in the future.
I grew up in Melksham and at the age of 13 started playing drums at secondary school. Quickly music became a massive part of my life and at 16 I joined the Army as a musician. After serving for 8 years I left to take up full time peripatetic drum teaching in Swindon. This led to working for Swindon Music Service as a music development leader and then on to Uplands special needs school where I spent 4 years as creative arts lead.
My other passion is cycling and 3 years ago I started my own cycle coaching business where I now divide my time between that and music. My other hobbies include eating out and going to live music concerts along with playing for Brunel Brass of course.
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