Back Row Cornets
Richard was born deep in the heartland of the Yorkshire Brass Band movement. The town of Knottingley was famous for its pits, its glass industry and its brass band (not). Due to bouts of bronchitis he was advised to take up playing at the tender age of 11 and as never looked back!
At his first band, Knottingley Silver Prize, he played tenor horn for 7 years. He also played at Whitwood Music College Wind band, Castleford Young Musicians and Wakefield Schools were he played Solo horn at the National Youth finals in the Albert Hall in 1977.
After 3 years at University where booze, drugs and loose women left no time for the tedium of playing in a brass band, Richard joined the Oxted Band under the baton of Bill Geldard and Solo Cornet playing of Gracie Cole. He left after 4 years as Solo horn to live and work in Germany where again the finer things in life left no room for spittle and value oil.
Triumphantly returning to England in the summer of '87 the Marley family was undergoing major expansion and the horn was banished to the loft for 10 long years.
Finally succumbing to pressure from the wife to 'get out of the house' he joined a local band in Reading called Spring Gardens which was conducted by Ted Watkins. Ted realising Richard was having far too much fun on horn talked Richard into playing sop! A new world of tuning, sore lips and red faces was opened up to him and soon was overcome by ambition. In the winter of '99 he moved to St Sebastian’s (Wokingham) where the fusion of beer, women and music has been perfected. Looking for more challenges and a huge petrol bill he applied for the vacant Soprano post at Friary against the wishes of the music lovers in the band.
His most embarrassing brass band moment was when he was seen by the entire audience in the Royal Albert Hall snoging the euph player in the wings of the stage. His Mum was 'horrified'!
His best moments are yet to come!!!
Alistair began playing piano aged 6 before deciding that the trumpet would be much more interesting (and louder). Moving over to the cornet when he was 12 he joined the local brass band in Amersham and had many fun years bluffing away on the front row. Upon returning from University he joined another local band - Ellesborough as Principal Cornet in 1998 before moving up to the Championship section with Denham Hendon in 1999 as bumper up. The brass banding education really began in 2001 when a move to Edinburgh resulted in him joining the Newtongrange Band on 2nd cornet working with conductors such as Bryan Hurdley, Ray Farr, Alan Morrison, David Hirst, Steve Sykes and Allan Ramsay. Four very successful years with Newtongrange resulted in the unique achievement of winning the Scottish 1st section and Championship section in successive years (2004, 2005) which fulfilled a dream of playing at the Royal Albert Hall in the National Finals.
Alistair returned to his southern roots playing for the Marlow Town Band on flugel for two years before returning to contesting joining Friary in 2008 on 4th man where he learnt all about coming 4th at Pontins and how to balance a plate full of curry on your knee whilst sleeping.
After a banding hiatus in 2009 to concentrate on orchestral pursuits, Alistair returned to Friary in the summer of 2012, initially on 3rd cornet and has occupied the Repiano cornet chair with great pride since July 2013.
Alistair's favourite banding moments to date are being part of Friary's first ever Championship section title at the London & Southern Counties Regional in 2015, winning the Scottish Championships in 2005, representing Scotland at the National finals in 2004 & 2005, qualifying for the Royal Albert Hall three years in a row in 2013/14/15, winning the Senior Trophy also in 2014, getting over his fear of playing solos without music and being instructed by Steve Sykes to play so loud at the end of Montage that, "I want them to be able to taste it in the bar."
Away from banding Alistair is passionate about CrossFit and lives with a Head of Music - both of which keep him really busy!
Dave started playing on a battered school cornet at the age of 11, quickly joining the Leeds Schools Junior Brass Band and then the Senior Band led by the retired Liverpool Philharmonic principal trombone, George Bradshaw. Dave rose through the section to become principal cornet and joined the Yorkshire Schools Brass Band on repiano cornet under the baton of Keith Wilkinson.
After a break of 10 years and a move ‘down South’, Dave started playing again for the local village band in Bisley. He moved to Chertsey and Addleston Band to contest for the first time, switching to flugel horn a week before playing ‘Spectrum’ at Folkestone. As the band secretary, Dave negotiated a 5 year sponsorship deal with Woking Borough Council, changing the name to Woking Band. Shortly after, they were promoted to 2nd Section for the first time in their history and went on to play concerts with Carl Davis and the Liverpool Philharmonic and Håkan Hardenberger. Always keen to take on a new challenge, Dave moved to Egham Band on flugel for 3 years and then soprano for another three. Dave is particularly proud of this band line up, achieving overall 6th place in the Whit Friday contest at Dobcross with Peter Roberts looking on from the crowd. Shortly after Stewart Gaudian stepped down, Dave took up the position of principal cornet, which he held for 9 years, seeing the band promoted from 2nd to 1st and then Championship sections as well as competing in 2 National Finals in Harrogate. Since Dave’s move to Friary in 2016, he has enjoyed band wins at 4 successive regional contests, entertainment and audience prize wins at Butlins and Brass in Concert and has relished the thrill of playing at the Royal Albert Hall.
Dave also has extensive orchestral trumpet experience with the Leeds Symphony, Imperial College Symphony, Woking Symphony Orchestras and for the last 20 years was principal trumpet of the Kingston Chamber Orchestra including a solo performance of Copland’s Quiet City.
Away from music, Dave enjoys family life and varied professional engagements as a freelance digital technology consultant.
Simon suffers from short-man syndrome! Whilst small in stature, he certainly makes his presence felt in the engine-room of the band. His powerful sound has been honed with many years playing in the Championship section, initially with Woodfalls and continuing with Friary since 2012. Perhaps the main contributing factor was being the trumpet player at London Irish for many years!
Having been conducted by many of the top-class conductors on the brass band scene, he’s learnt various disciplines and techniques to handle most musical challenges. However, subtlety is still elusive and the occasional thrown mute or muttered (not so muttered) grumble of frustration still occurs!
Although Simon is not a regular intentional soloist within the band, he is a dependable and confident performer; regularly asked to fulfil ceremonial duties and other engagements.
Simon joined Friary in 2012 and has enjoyed being a part of the growing successes of the band as well as looking forward to building on those in the upcoming years. Particular highlights include winning the Audience Award at 2019 Brass in Concert, regular performances at the National Championships and, of course, playing solo Toilet in the band’s more ambitious musical endeavours.
Away from the band room, Simon works as a Director of a global professional services firm, Turnkey Consulting, providing world-class enterprise risk and governance solutions. He is married with three children and is also a Minis Rugby coach at Guildfordians RFC.
Chris was encouraged to take up a musical instrument at the age of 12 and chose the trumpet, mainly because his older brother was already playing the trombone (what a lucky escape!). Shortly after, he joined the Bisley Office Equipment Silver Band, on cornet. It was here he met Jane (the current Band Treasurer) who was also playing cornet. Jane moved to Friary when it was formed and after much persuasion Chris followed in 1985 to take a position in the cornet section. During his time at Friary, Chris has played in various cornet seats, 2nd horn and flugel. Currently, he describes himself as the top second 3rd cornet!
Chris’s most memorable band occasions are becoming the first section National Champions in 2010 and representing the London and Southern Counties at the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall 2 years running.
Chris works as a Project Manager for London Underground, delivering Power related projects. When not at work or Band he enjoys a round of golf.