Meet The Band
MD Simon Robertshaw
Principal: Duncan Shepperd
Second Tim Merren
Third Paula Bygrave
Soprano Jack Price
Repiano Kay Schofield
Flugel Helen Sparkes
Solo/First Darren Watson
First Beth Cooke
Second Paul Burt
First Steve Sparkes
Second Edmund Salim
Eb Bass Julia Hathaway
Bb bass Ivan Flitcroft
Kit Bill Outhwaite
Our president is MP for Stretford and Urmston, Kate Green.
Band Manager: John Quirk
Treasurer & PR: Julia Hathaway
Librarian: Kay Schofield
Musical Director – Simon Robertshaw
In January 2017 the band appointed Simon Robertshaw as Musical Director.
Simon comes to the band having recently embarked on a professional career as a conductor. Studying at the RNCM, he was a member of the BBCPO for 14 years as a violinist and has just started a new business importing and selling bows and instruments from Singapore.
Simon has studied not only at the RNCM but also at the Vienna Conservatoire, and has a long list of prestigious appointments including among others the Halle and the Hong Kong P.O.
He also found time in 2009 to retrain as a BBC PSC Cameraman and joined the BBC Northwest Tonight News team for 6 months in 09/10. One of his films was shown on National TV during the break of the BBC Philharmonic’s Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in August 2010.
Having a wide knowledge of conducting, camera directing and orchestral playing, he is very well suited to the world of modern music making and is keen to develop his understand of brass music and brass banding in general. The band is excited to be working with Simon at such a key moment in our development.
And as a footnote, Simon played bass guitar up until December 2016 in a band called Vice. They’re very sad to see him go, and we’re very glad to see him arrive!
You can find out more about Simon on his website SR Music
Former Musical Directors
Our musical directors have been many and varied, but here are some of the more recent ones. Please look at Band History for others.
Ian joined the band in June 2015, having turned up at a rehearsal for a blow through on his trombone. Having realised that we were advertising, he promptly stood up and took his place in front of the band and led us through an invigorating rehearsal. He was appointed very shortly after that and never actually got to play his trombone in the section after all, although he did play a solo at several concerts!
Ian reinvigorated the band, and improved the standard of playing by a mixture of army boots and persuasion. He was always willing and able to help anyone who needed it, and by the end of his tenure, we were playing pieces that we would never have attempted previously – and playing them well!
Ian’s experience also stood the band in very good stead. An ex-army musician and conductor of the King’s Division band, he left to study composition at Durham University. By the time he joined us, he had a wealth of experience and was mentoring new conductors as well as teaching and composing. It’s thanks to Ian that we have such a flourishing and positive relationship with Greenalls Band in particular and with other bands around the region.
Ian left in December 2016 for a role in Oman but made sure that the band was left in safe hands with Simon Robertshaw. We wish Ian the very best for the future.
Nick joined us as Musical Director at short notice after Craig Mann left for Bolton Hoover, and led the band for approximately a year up to April 2015, during which time the band entered the Whit Friday contest for the first time in many years “just for the experience”. This was Nick’s first appointment as Musical Director and the band wishes him well for the future.
Craig has led the band twice in the past and is currently Musical Director of Hoover Band Bolton. Craig’s enthusiasm and passion for banding translated very well to the players and during his tenures many successful engagements were undertaken.
Craig also runs his own group, Integra Brass Ensemble, (www.integrabrass,org.uk) which is much in demand, as well as teaching full time.