Brass playing is in Isobel’s DNA with her family’s background firmly rooted in music within The Salvation Army.
Isobel began to play the cornet at the age of 3 under the joint direction of her father, David Daws and the late Maisie Ringham Wiggins MBE.
Isobel moved onto the trombone in September 2008 and within six months she successfully auditioned and gained a scholarship to study trombone and piano at The Purcell School of Music. After 8 years at the Purcell she moved to Chetham’s School to study A Levels. Whilst based in Manchester Isobel was a member of one of the world’s oldest Brass Bands, The Fairey Band.
Now back in London she is currently studying with Matt Gee at the Royal Academy of Music and has returned to her position of solo trombone with Friary Brass Band.
Isobel was one of the five finalists in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year 2014 Brass Category Final. In 2018 she was once again in the Brass Category Final where she went on to be crowned the winner. In 2017 Isobel was the winner of the BBC Young Brass Award playing live on Radio 2, as the winner she was the featured soloist at the British Open Brass Band Contest, accompanied by Cory, the World’s No 1 ranked band.
Isobel is alumni of the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, The National Children’s and Youth Brass Bands of Great Britain as well as The National Children’s and Youth Orchestras of Great Britain.
Roland was introduced to brass instruments at Sandfield Primary School (Guildford), starting off on euphonium at the age of eight; which, he says, was like playing a tuba! Four years later, he saw the light and switched to trombone (a much more versatile instrument) and was taught by peripatetic teacher Tony Moore; a former session musician with ‘The Beatles’!
Roland was a member of the Guildford Youth Brass Band, before joining Cobham Band in 1980; which, at the time, had a very strong trombone section for a Fourth Section band! He went along to the second ever Friary rehearsal in 1983 and shortly afterwards joined the Band on Solo Trombone.
Roland is a former scaba (Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association) Trombone Solos Champion, and was Public Relations Officer during the Band’s sponsored years as the Friary Meux (Guildford) Brass Band.
Roland’s highlights include winning the 1st Section National Final in 2010; his debut playing at the Royal Albert Hall (Championship Section National Final) in 2014; winning the British Open Senior Trophy in 2014; winning the Most Entertaining Band at the Butlin’s Mineworkers Championships in 2015; and the Band’s debut at the ‘Brass in Concert’ contest at The Sage in Gateshead in 2015.
Roland also manages to find time to play in two big bands, one of which he was a founder member. He says they are a welcome break from Friary’s intensive rehearsals, and a chance for him to let his hair down… what’s left of it!
Roland works for Surrey Choices (formally part of Surrey County Council) as an Activities Facilitator, providing a wide variety of activities for adults with learning disabilities. In his spare time, he enjoys running 10K races, keeping fit with British Military Fitness and is an active member of the local WaterAid Support Group.
Ian started playing trombone at school. He progressed through the NYBBGB and joined the army at 18. After a spell as a bandsman in 2nd Batallion RGJ, Ian completed the Bandmaster's course at Kneller Hall. His final appointment was as Senior Bandmaster at KH.
As well as playing trombone for Friary, Ian also conducts 2nd Section Band, LGB (Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass). In real life, Ian is a Training Manager for Southern (the train people).
Adam started playing at the ripe old age of 8 at Heathcote C of E school, where Adam (being Adam) chose the biggest instrument they had, and so trombone it had to be. With the only Brass Band in the Scouting movement just around the corner, Adam joined his first band, First Ash Vale Scout Band, and when forcibly ejected from the Scouts Adam, at the age of 16, started his relationship with Friary.
At his first Friary rehearsal, at the beginning of 1984, Adam was put on Bass Trombone because he was limited to being able to read Bass Clef only. Since then Adam has been a regular Friary member, with the exception of a one year hiatus when he played for rival band, Alder Valley. After much persuasion (from Alder Valley members!), Adam returned to the band he knew best.
Adam claims that his most embarrassing moment was at Crawley contest when he came in two bars early - everyone in the audience knew it was him! ...or maybe it was when he painted his case bright yellow with Blitz in black on the side ready for a tour of Germany… or maybe it was sleeping under the band bus after a heavy night of drinking… or maybe it was getting up on stage during a contest and telling bad jokes while the audience waited for the results … or maybe it was…the list could go on!