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MUSICAL DIRECTOR

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Nigel Taken

A.L.C.M., L.L.C.M., G.L.C.M.

Biography

Nigel has been conducting brass bands at the very highest level for more than 30 years. At the age of 15 he became the flugelhorn soloist with the City of Coventry Band and also played regularly with Harry Mortimer's All Star Brass and his Men O' Brass. Moving to London to study music, Nigel is very proud to remember Harry and Margaret Mortimer being his landlords, when, as a student, he lived in their basement flat at 50 Ladbrook Grove. Nigel used to play with Morris Motors band and enjoyed many car journeys to rehearsals in Oxford with Harry. Nigel’s trumpet tutor was the late Dennis Egan and after several years playing professionally, he moved into brass and music teaching. He is currently Head of Music at Goffs Academy in Hertfordshire, where he has worked for over 30 years. Nigel has many contest successes to his name, including victories at the West of England Championship Area contest and the London and Southern Counties Championship Area contest. He has also conducted winning performances at the Grand Shield in 2006 and at the Yeovil Entertainment Contest as well as appearing at the National Championship Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, the British Open Championships and the All England International Masters many times. Nigel was Musical Director of the famous Asphaltic Newham Band and guided them to many contest successes. He later spent 14 years as the Musical Director of the Aveley & Newham Band, seeing them become established as a national force at major contests and conducting many appearances on the BBC’s “Listen to the Band” programme. At one point, Aveley and Newham were listed as the 13th best band in the world. Nigel conducted Bournemouth Concert Brass to consecutive victories in the West of England Area Contest, winning the 1st Section and then the Championship Section the very next year! At this time, Nigel was also MD of the City of Oxford Band and guided them to the Championship Section, also qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall. He is also proud to have directed Thundersley Band’s qualification to the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in their history. More recently, Nigel has enjoyed his time as Musical Director of the Medway Band and has guided them back to the Championship Section in 2023. Nigel is in great demand as a conductor and band trainer and has worked with many bands as a professional and freelance conductor. After working with the Friary Band as guest MD for their performance at the Grand Shield in 2023, Nigel was delighted to accept the offer to become the band’s full-time Musical Director and is excited to work with this talented group of players. Nigel lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Hannah, who is a euphonium player, and their small furry child – Dilly. (A West Highland Terrier!)

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Principal Cornet

Richard Straker

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Repiano Cornet

Alistair Richards

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Solo Cornet

Hannah Richards

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2nd Cornet

Simon Persin

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Solo Cornet

Jack Beer

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2nd Cornet

Kendall Skirving

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Solo Cornet

Andy Singleton

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3rd Cornet

VACANT

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Soprano Cornet

Glen Carroll

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3rd Cornet

David Wicks

photos: Chappers Photo

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