Tony Then and Now
I gave up playing professionally in 1987 when I left the Army to have a break and a family, but I was so busy with work and the family, I never got to play again except for a brief spell with wind bands around 2001/02 until last year when I joined Cold Ash Brass. So here goes:-
How and when did you start playing?
When I was seven years old my elder brother joined the local brass band. They discovered that I could blow a cornet really well, so I = started to play with Dinnington Colliery and was taught by a retired Salvation Army bandmaster called Ronnie Chapman. I was then taught by Jim Thompson and Ian Mackintosh at Kneller Hall where I won the Frank Wright Cornet competition.
How many bands have you played with?
15 that I can remember. (you don’t need a list, but I had to do this to count them all!! Dinnington Colliery. Whitwell Colliery. Brodsworth Colliery Band. Carlton Main Frickley Band. Rotherham Schools Band. Yorkshire Schools Band. National Youth Brass Band of GB. Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers Staff Band. Pangbourne Brass Band. St Sebastians Band. Wantage Brass Band. Kneller Hall Band. Woodley Concert Band. Trinity Concert Band. Cold Ash Brass).
What is your favourite piece for brass band?
Suite Gothique by Boellman played by the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in 1977 and conducted by Roy Newsome. In the band at that time with me were Alan Morrison, Chris Wood, Martin Hurrell, Elaine Wolff, Nicholas Childs, Ian Bousfield, and John Gillham, to name a few. All of which went on to greater things.
What would your autobiography be called?
What super power would you like to have and why?
I’d love to have my lip and technique back and a good set of lungs! Playing the Cornet gave me fantastic opportunities and I was fortunate to meet my wonderful wife of nearly 37 years at Pangbourne Brass Band.
If you won a million pounds what would you do?
I’m not a gambler, but if I had a million pounds I would want to buy something special for my wife and help my two boys and daughter-in-law buy a house each with a garden.
If you could be any animal what would it be?
A Meerkat. They are really cute and are very much team and family orientated.
Where in the world would you still like to visit?
I enjoy cruise holidays and the one voyage left that I would like to do is to sail down the Panama canal and end up at Long Beach California to see the Queen Mary.
What is your favourite film or TV Series?
Just Married with Ashton Kucher. I find it very amusing.
What are your favourite things to do/hobbies?
Playing my cornet. Cruising and Caravan holidays. Volunteering at two local libraries.