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Friary Diary - Issue 64 - May 2020

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 64 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.



Following the success of our first ‘lockdown video’ I Wanna Dance with Somebody, our second launched yesterday evening (Sunday 14th June) at 6.00pm. Chris King's skilfull arrangement of Elton John's 'Your Song', was again recorded by the players individually at home, and then edited together by principal cornet Richard Straker to produce the finished article.

You can find the video here and also on our FaceBook page


The Band continues to have an activity every Wednesday in lieu of one of the weekly rehearsals, to keep the Friary family together. The quizzes are proving ever popular thanks to the magic of Zoom, and each week we seem to gain more random knowledge, which may or may not be useful in the future! And of course, the Band has also been busy putting together the second video! We have a few other projects which we’re working on too: more about those in the next few issues.


The continuing absence of much other banding news does at least provide the opportunity to feature another of the Band’s members, and this month it’s Mike Trumble. To vary the usual biography format, I ‘interviewed’ Mike, our second euphonium player, by email and this is what I gleaned about him. Many thanks, Mike.

Do you come from a musical family - if so, what did they play? We don't have a long family tradition. Dad sang in the church choir and my younger brother has been a brass bander since school. However we are encouraging the next generations!

When did you first start playing a brass instrument, and what was it? When I was 13 and happily learning the violin the music teacher gave four of us a tuba each (Eb for me) with instructions to learn it over the summer holidays. "Jock" McGovern was a fiery Scottish priest and you didn't argue! That was 1966 - didn't something else happen that year?

If that wasn’t a euphonium, when did you switch? I switched to euphonium a year or two later but carried on playing Eb in the National Youth Brass Band till I left school.

Have you continued playing since then? I carried on playing till now (albeit with a small break of about 30 years).

What bands have you played for regularly? After leaving school I came to London to study music at King's College and was a founder member in 1971 of the City of London Band formed by Geoffrey Brand. The original line-up included James Watson and Nigel Boddice. When Geoffrey Brand moved on the band was renamed London Collegiate Brass and was conducted by Edward Gregson and later James Stobart. Unfortunately the band folded in the early 80's and I didn't join another. In 2012 Sue encouraged me to find a band and get back to playing. Naturally I approached Friary who very kindly gave me a chance as principal 3rd euph and I went from no playing to twice-weekly rehearsals and 26 gigs in the first year!

What do you particularly like about playing with Friary? I love playing with Friary not just because it is one of the top bands in the world with an incredible level of individual expertise and collective musicality, but they are such a great bunch of people to spend time with.

Do you play or have you played any other instruments apart from the euphonium? Apart from the euph I have a varying level of competence on piano, violin, viola da gamba, sackbut and I am learning to play tabla so I can teach my grandson - we are having Zoom sessions at present and he'll soon overtake me!

What’s your most memorable banding moment? There are so many, but stepping on stage at the Royal Albert Hall with Friary at the 2013 National Finals was fantastic. I know it seems to have become our second home ever since but it still gives me a thrill.

What would you most like to achieve in the banding world? Playing in the British Open and writing a Championship test piece. The former is a real possibility with Friary. The latter is at the dreaming stage!

Are you involved with any other types of music? My wife, Sue and I have always sung together whether in the London Symphony Chorus, cathedral choir or local Surrey choirs. We also take part in the Dartington Summer School each year although this year's school is a victim of the general shut down.

Apart from brass, what other genres of music do you enjoy? I particularly love early music and could easily spend all my time singing renaissance or Tudor music, playing the bass viol or sackbut.

If you were cast away on a desert island, what would be your top three music pieces you’d like to listen to - and why? Choosing just three is very difficult but here goes:

1. I'd need to be reminded of the English seasons so "Autumn Leaves" from Friary's Letter from Home CD featuring the exquisite solo horn playing of Nigel Stevens.

2. William Byrd's "Mass for Four Voices" especially the achingly beautiful "Agnus Dei".

3. "Start Me Up" - Rolling Stones - and some very loud speakers!


We have updated the PRO email address to reflect the Band’s current title and web address, so if you need to contact me please use Emails sent to the old address will however be forwarded to the new one for the next few months.


With no further updates since April, Friary remains 23rd in the world. For full ranking details, please go to

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