THE BAND

Musical Director - Jonathan Fearn

Jonathan is an accomplished musician and conductor. In his youth he played for a variety of brass bands in the North West; primarily as a member of the Salvation Army band in Bolton.

Making music has always been Jonathan’s passion and this continued when he moved to the Midlands to study at Aston University. During this time, Jonathan was a member of the Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army band where he played Solo and Soprano cornet. He later moved to the Salvation Army in Coventry where he served as Bandmaster for 10 years. Throughout his playing and conducting career Jonathan has travelled extensively around the UK including tours of several countries.

Jonathan feels compelled to encourage and develop music making, especially with young people.  He spent several years working with young musicians at summer schools in the UK – an experience which was particularly rewarding for him. 

Now appointed as Musical Director of City of Coventry Brass, Jonathan is excited to further develop the band and inspire those who hear it.

Soprano Cornet - David Anker

David joined the band following in his father, Steve Anker's (Bass Trombone) footsteps. 

David has recently become a father so hopefully in a few years time we may have three generations playing in the band.
 

Principal Cornet - Stephen McDonald

Stephen grew up in the North East and started playing with Horden Colliery Band aged 9.  He moved to the Broughtons/ Durham Miners' Association Brass Band, who he played with for 15 years having some fantastic experiences including playing at the Menin Gate, Cologne Cathedral and Abbey Road studios.  He joined City of Coventry Brass in the summer of 2019 after moving to Coventry because his wife (see Trombones) insisted they live in the same house.  He loves marching and has spent about a month of his life at the Durham Miners' Gala.

Solo Cornet - Tomas Morgan

Solo Cornet -  Bob Finlay

Bob played in a Military Band for 22 years. He taught at Kneller Hall and has played in Windbands,  Brass Bands, Orchestras and Brass groups all over the World. Since leaving the Army he has mainly played in brass bands, mainly Cubbinton Silver, and a short spell with Bedworth Brass.

Solo Cornet - Richard Ham

Richard started playing Cornet at school in order to get out of detention with his Term Tutor. He played in his first competition with the School of Music, under Musical Director, Len Pepper. Throughout his time in the banding world he has played in a number of bands and his biggest achievement so far is reaching the Nationals 5 times in 6 years with two of those bands...a feat which Richard is still trying to repeat, to this day!

Tomos started playing the cornet at the age of 9 as part of Haverhill Youth and Community Band, from there he moved up to the senior band, as a 2nd Cornet player, where he played for 4 years before University. At University, Tomos played for Taverham and Norwich City Brass Band, before moving to Ware Brass Band as part of a work placement. Tomos is now a post-Graduate Student of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, where he plays front row, for the band, as well as being beginners brass coordinator for the University Brass Band.

Solo Cornet - Yuko Ishibiki

Yuko joined the Band in the summer of 2018, she enjoys playing  the cornet with the band and having lots of fun with all the other members.

Repiano Cornet - Alex Hyde

Alex began playing the cornet at the age of seven at Bablake School under the teachings of the then band conductor Stephen Cooper. He later moved on from the cornet and began to play the trumpet instead but after about six years of playing the trumpet, he was back onto the cornet again when he was invited by Stephen to join the City of Coventry Brass Band. Alex has gained a lot of experience and enjoyed playing with the band since this is the first brass band he has ever joined.
 

Second Cornet - Charlotte Cooper

Charlotte was taught to play Cornet by her Dad, Stephen Cooper. She enjoyed playing with Enderby Youth Band, which included several tours.

While at Roehampton University, Charlotte played for Putney Brass Band and after Graduating in 2017 she joined City Of Coventry Brass when she returned to the Midlands to be with her family.

 Third Cornet - Phil Wroe

Phil started playing trumpet at senior school way back in the 60’s and first played with the original Jaguar Cars Band when they were one of the top bands in the Midlands. He was taught at school by Len Pepper  who formed the Coventry School of Music Band from his pupils in 1965. Phil moved onto flugel horn as a founder member. Phil has been with the band ever since playing either flugel or along the cornet line.  He played flugel when the band won the Grand Shield in 1975 and at the Open in 1975 (Fireworks) and 1976 (Epic Symphony) at the Kings Hall,  Belle Vue.  He has subsequently played in the Grand Shield at the  Free Trades Hall, Manchester and more recently in the Senior Trophy at Blackpool.   He  has seen many players come and go and come back again and the band's name change twice. Phil also enjoys playing trumpet and Flugel in Tarrington Brass ensemble.

He manages City of Coventry Brass for his sins! 

Flugel Horn - Kirsty Woodhouse

Kirsty started playing the cornet when she was 4 years old and joined the junior band at Coventry City Salvation Army when she was 7 where she very quickly became the principal cornet.  Kirsty then joined the senior band and the midlands youth band on solo cornet.  In 2015 Kirsty passed auditions at Kneller Hall.  Whilst not pursuing a career in the Army, this is something Kirsty is very proud of.  Since then Kirsty has played solo cornet for Shirley Brass Band and Stamford Brass where she helped the band become 4th section national champions.  Kirsty recently (March 2019) joined City of Coventry Brass on flugel - her dream instrument!

First Horn - Sylvia Cooper

Sylvia originally started playing for Wycombe Band and then moved up to the Midlands in 1985 joining Dunchurch Band. After a few years she came to City of Coventry Brass as 2nd Horn player. It was going to be “just temporary” but love blossomed over the music stand and she ended up as another victim of the” brass band romance” and married Stephen Cooper the then MD in 1993. Sylvia had several attempts at leaving when she had her two children but always ended up back in the 1st or 2nd Horn chair. She has now given up trying to leave as she does not plan to have any more children.

1st Baritone - Emma Knight

Emma has had a keen interest in music since she picked up a recorder at age 7. She quickly progressed to her main instrument, Flute and received a Diploma in Summer 2014. Her first experience on a brass instrument was when she received a Trumpet for her 18th Birthday, however, it spent several years in its case, until she joined Keele University Brass Band in 2013. She continued playing at the University of Warwick before moving to City of Coventry Brass on Tenor Horn in April 2014. After enjoying improving on horn, she moved to Ist Baritone which means she was forced to sit next to Mark . 

Solo Trombone - Chris Moore

What can we say about Chris.......nothing..........there is nothing to say about Chris!

Chris was taught by Bob Baggott at school and subsequently joined up. Following an absence while he was studying at university, he was spotted back in the area, and returned to the fold. Having met Val (solo horn) Chris has been with the band ever since and in 2006  won the soloist prize at the Wychavon Entertainment contest.

As Chris’s talents include accountancy, he doubles as the band's treasurer.

Second Cornet - Jon Padley

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Jon has played in the band for more than 10 years, with a short break when he went up to Manchester with work. He joined after being accosted by the Wroes at Coventry University Fresher's Fair. Jon's Dad is musical, playing the cello, and he passed on the musical gene to Jon, who started on the trumpet at the age of ten.

Second Cornet - Karen Woodhouse

Karen started playing the cornet at the age of 7 years and was taught by Len Pepper at school. Over the years Karen has played with Coventry School of Music Orchestra and Bedworth Silver Band.  Being a Salvationist Karen spent most of her playing years on the solo cornet bench with the Coventry City Salvation Army band until retiring in 2015.  Since the appointment of the new  Musical Director, Jonathan Fearn, Karen has decided to come out of retirement and join City of Coventry Brass with her daughter Kirsty (Flugel)

Third Cornet - Marcus Teagles

Marcus joined the band just in time to be part of the ‘best back row section playing on the day’ at Butlins, according to then MD Stephen Cooper. A good start then! He is a local boy, born in Nuneaton, where he still lives with wife Lisa, and their two children, Rebecca and Adam .

Marcus has worked in the motor industry for over 25 years, and is a relative newcomer to banding, having played for around ten years

Solo Horn - Val Bell

Val is a primary school teacher in Coventry,and mum of two girls.She has been in the band for longer than she cares to remember! (about half her life) She took the solo horn seat for an area contest many years ago (Journey into Freedom) and has remained there ever since. If she could save only one possession from her burning house, Val says it would be her tenor horn. (I guess partner Chris has to leave his trombone to save the children!) Her favourite colour is red and birth sign is Taurus. Val thinks that the best thing about our band is the people who play in it.

Second Horn - Claire Pilkington

Claire started playing at the age of 12 after answering an ad in her local paper asking for people to come & learn a brass instrument (it was around then when she discovered that the saxophone was not a brass instrument and settled on the tenor horn).  

She joined Coleshill Town Band (formerly Ansells Coleshill Band).  Highlights of her time there have been tours to France, Germany & Sweden.  After a brief spell with RBL Crownhill Band in Plymouth, Claire returned to Coleshill. 

Both her children play brass instruments, and she is chair of Coleshill Town Band.  The fact that Coleshill is more of a community band that does not contest allows her to enjoy also being a member of City of Coventry Brass.

2nd Baritone - Diane Bell

After being inspired to start playing again after a long break, Di joined City of Coventry Brass. She had played the tenor horn as a youngster but like many people it stopped being a part of her life once work commitments took hold. However Di’s family encouraged her to take up playing again and she now enjoys being a member of the band. Di has found there are many rewards and great experiences to be had as part of the band, including the opportunity to play with great musicians at a wide range of venues , involving great teamwork and of course seeing the audiences appreciate and enjoy the performances

2nd Trombone - Ed O'Brien

Edwin started his musical studies at the age of two playing the violin...at the age of seven he realised that Brass instruments were far more exciting and started playing the cornet under the tutelage of Richard Dickens. A year later he discovered the love of his life- the trombone and he was hooked.
Edwin currently studies with Philip Harrison and is working towards his performance diploma.
Edwin is a keen and talented composer, having won several composition prizes and had numerous pieces performed. He studies composition with Robin Grant at the RBC and Philip Cashian at the RAM. Edwin hopes to study composition at either the RBC , RAM or Oxford University.
When not practising, doing homework or composing, Ed can be found in the kitchen creating curry recipes.
 

2nd Trombone - Rebecca McDonald

Rebecca first picked up a trombone at the age of 11, and played with youth bands and orchestras including Jaz Vehicle and the Lincolnshire Youth Symphony Orchestra.  She took a break from music during university but decided to find a new orchestral group when she began her PhD.  Stephen McDonald (cornet) persuaded her that a brass band would be a much better idea, and she hasnt looked back since!  She joined the Durham Miners Association brass band and has since played for brass bands, jazz groups and even an oompah band!  Rebecca and Stephen joined City of Coventry Brass in 2019.

Solo Euphonium - Colin Bedding

Colin played solo horn for Coventry Salvation Army for 15 years, during which time he was Young People’s band leader for 3 years. He was lucky enough to tour the USA 3 times, and play in prestigious venues like the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall. After moving to Nuneaton SA, he became deputy bandmaster, and branched out on tuba. After a break of a few years,  Colin joined City of Coventry Brass in 2014, after hearing the band play at the Remembrance service in Coventry in November 2013. 

Bass Trombone - Steve Anker

Steve learnt to play in the Salvation Army on tenor horn achieving the dizzy heights of Grade V (Pass, No Merit, No Distinction). He tried pretty much every instrument in the band, including percussion, in the search for something that suited his technical ability and playing style......

 

BASS TROMBONE it is then, the black note/white note ratio is in my favour and the style required.......

Euphonium - Mark Dutton

Mark started on Trumpet aged 11 and changed to Cornet 1 year later. 1st ever band job (5 weekslater) and the area Championship section contest with Bedworth playing Concert Overture. Two years later following a lesson with Stanley Boddington and his straight talking and I quote “you will never make a cornet player” I started wandering around the bottom end instruments, a bit of a Nomad/Jack of all trades, I have made 9 recordings on 9 different instruments, Baritone, Euphonium, 1st Trom, 2nd Trom, Bass Trom, Eb Bass, Bb Bass, Percussion and one as Musical Director but enjoying every minute and still Banding 50 years later. I now spend my time at band hen pecked by our 1st Baritone player Emma - its just like being at home!!

EEb Bass - Alastair Gilbert

Alastair started playing brass in his school band at age 11. He figured the smallest instruments would be easier to carry and would get the tune more often. All the cornets were taken, so he picked a tenor horn. Somehow (he still doesn’t understand quite how), within six months he’d been transferred to Eb bass. Despite several attempts to escape, he’s been there ever since. He joined the band in January 2020.

BBb Bass - Matthew Green

After being rejected by his cello teacher due to his small fingers Matthew headed straight to the brass section and picked up the only instrument left, the trombone. After many years honing his talent he realised it was a shocking instrument to play and he was shockingly average at playing it so he moved to the only instrument left in the band, the BBb bass. He blames this on the conductor at the time and still bears a grudge. After many years playing the bass he's finally worked out what the button type things are good for and now holds the much coveted position of solo BBb bass. If you tell him that this is one stop away from hitting things at the back of the band and therefore it's the lowest of the low he will laugh in your face and declare that you're just jealous of the bass's vast power. By the by he joined the band in 1987 after his teacher told him about it. He still bears a grudge about this as well

EEb Bass - Lesley Wroe

Lesley started playing tenor horn at school and joined Coventry School of Music Band in 1967. She had to wait until 1969 to get into the contest band and that was only because she agreed to move to BBb Bass  - at least she subsequently got the chance to play the BBb solo in Fireworks at the British Open  at the Kings Hall in 1975.  She has played with the band ever since with a short maternity break . 

 

Since the early 80’s she has been contest secretary of the band.

BBb Bass - Maxine Dutton

Maxine started playing at the age of 13. She has been featured in the British Bandsman, as she was the first female BBb bass player in the West Midlands. Maxine has played for Coventry Festival Junior and Senior bands, Bulkington and Dunchurch Bands, but her most cherished years were under Philip Cooper, playing for Rolls Royce Coventry Band. She is an avid card maker, cross stitcher and enjoys going on holiday with hubby Mark, who also plays in the band.

Percussionist - Rhys Parker

Rhys has always had an interest in music from an early age but only started playing properly at the age of 12 when he began trombone lessons.  Since then he has moved to bass trombone and taught himself percussion.  Rhys got into brass banding in 2012 and has played for many bands across the country since, getting hooked on contesting with Wantage Silver band in 2014. 

Percussionist - Olivia Timms

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