Chris is a particularly mean player of the spoons, wooden boxes, coffee jars, computer monitors, water coolers.... indeed, anything with resonance...to the annoyance of his long suffering wife!!
He started playing percussion aged 9, progressing towards playing for Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band and a range of Midlands bands. On going to university in the late '80s Chris played for the Royal Doulton Band and other bands in the North West. On moving to London Chris stopped playing, picking up his sticks again in the late '90s with Epsom and Ewell Silver Band, and laterly Friary in 2007. Chris' most memorable events at FBB involve learning from some particularly inspiring percussionists, brass players, and MDs.
Outside the bandroom, Chris is responsible for research and the evidence base underpinning a range of social policies in the Home Office and other departments of state.
After learning to play the piano from an early age, Jane started playing the trumpet at primary school, and played in the Orchestra and Wind Band at secondary school, alongside playing cornet in Bisley Band. She joined Friary in 1983, the year it was formed and has been a member ever since, having played all positions on the back row cornets, before moving to horn to fill a vacant seat in that section.
Although not taking an active part in the contesting band on brass, she contributes to the percussion when needed. Behind the scenes, Jane has been the Band's Treasurer for more years than she can remember!
There have been many banding highlights over the years, but possibly most important was being one of the dozen or so members the band had during a lean membership period, which kept the Band alive, enabling it to be built into what it is today.
William started playing percussion aged 7, mostly on kit, until the age of 13 when he discovered orchestral percussion. When not hitting things, William can sometimes be spotted playing euphonium and trombone (although not at the same time!)
Having played with Godalming Youth Band from an early stage, and with Godalming Band from the age of 10 until his move to Friary in 2018, he has always had an interest in brass banding, particularly with the rest of his family playing brass.
He began studying at the Royal College of Music Junior Department on Saturdays from September 2016 exposing him to a new level of music, a range of different musical activities and enabling him to develop his playing further.
In 2018 William was pleased to gain a place in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, and is learning a lot from the experience, both from the tutors and conductor Bramwell Tovey. On his first course, William felt honoured to be the percussion winner of the Katie Ogden solo competition.
William has greatly enjoyed playing with Friary already, being part of the band’s fourth consecutive win at the London and Southern Counties contest, so qualifying for the finals at the Royal Albert Hall, and playing at Blackpool in the Grand Shield, placing 6th. He is looking forward to future challenges and new experiences playing with Friary.
Mike had his first brass band experience in the deepest valleys of South Wales. He survived. After studying Music & Sound Recording in Guildford (same course as our principal cornet Richard, but in the days of tape...) he ended up working in recording studios, for Classic fM, audio mixing on cruise ships and driving safari trucks across Africa. Mike now directs BBC News. He feels very privileged to have joined Friary in 2017.