Solo Euphonium
Chris Straker

Having previously played cornet with North East Hants Area Schools Band (NEHASB) and the Hampshire County Youth Band, Chris originally joined Friary on baritone in 2004 for a year before leaving to study music at Cardiff University.  Whilst in Wales Chris was tutored by David Childs and played with the BTM Band and Cory Band on baritone enjoying contest successes at Brass in Concert, British Open, European Championships and World Championships.  Following a move back to the South of England Chris returned to Friary on solo euphonium in 2010.


Chris’s day job is in finance for a manufacturing company and his memorable banding moments include duetting with brother Richard in Titan’s Progress on the Albert Hall stage at the 2019 National Finals, a joint concert with current and former bands Friary and Cory in 2016 and completing a hat-trick of European Championship titles.

2nd Euphonium
Mike Trumble

Mike started playing violin at school in Bolton in the 1960s but when the school bandmaster (with whom you didn’t argue) gave him an Eb bass to take home for the summer holidays with the words “learn it by the beginning of term” he knew his musical career had taken a dramatic turn. He played on three courses with the National Youth Brass Band before starting a music degree at King’s, London and being a founder member of, and solo baritone, with the City of London Band under Geoffrey Brand and later Edward Gregson.


Inevitably family and work commitments meant banding had to take a back seat for a while (actually thirty years) but Mike was delighted in 2012 to be accepted as principal spare Euph by Friary and his life has never been busier or musically more fulfilling.


In his spare time Mike is an accountant. Aren’t all Euph players?

1st Baritone
Alex Sears

Alex started playing tenor horn at the age of 6 and played with Brighton Silver Band for over 10 years, playing everything from cornet to Eb bass before figuring out she did the least damage on baritone. She then spent 4 years with City of Birmingham Band whilst studying at Aston University.


On returning to the South East, Alex joined Alder Valley Brass then moved to Uckfield Concert Brass and Chichester City. She joined Friary in 2003 on Solo Horn and moved back to her favourite seat, 1st Baritone, in 2005. 


Alex’s banding highlights include becoming the only baritone player to win 'Best Instrumentalist' in a scaba competition in 2008, winning the 1st Section National Championships with Friary in 2010, and playing in the Championship section finals at the Royal Albert Hall.   

2nd Baritone
Stephen Thorpe

Stephen first picked up a brass instrument at the age of 8 before swiftly being moved from cornet to baritone to fit the needs of the local village training band in Chinnor. He stayed with Chinnor Silver Band up until the age of 18 when he flew the nest for university.


Four brass band-less years went by with Stephen returning home to rekindle brass banding with Chinnor on 1st Baritone for a short period, before work commitments then moved him to Guildford where he took up the 2nd Baritone seat with Friary in September 2012.


His banding highlights include the band’s first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013 playing 'Of Distant Memories', and qualifying for the National Finals off the number 1 draw with 'St Magnus' at the London and Southern Counties Areas in 2014.


Aided by his love for Norwich City FC, Stephen has an unnatural obsession with the colour yellow and, as tradition dictates, he is never too far away from a packet of Haribo and a Friary banana before entering a contest stage!