4BarsRest logo
Butterworth CD - available with 4BR shopping



news desk

articles & features


results archive


classified ads

your comments

go shopping




The Top 10
The ten most influential people in the brass band movement

This was always going to be a difficult one for us here at 4BR to consider - for the simple reason - how do you measure influence?

Difficult enough if we only looked at the most well known, the most high profile or the most successful - but there is so much more to it than that. The word itself means "the effect of one person or thing on another... to sway, induce or affect...the power of a person." With this in mind we asked around and came up with our list - a list of people who we think influence the very way in which the brass band movement develops and progresses into the 21st century. Some are well known, others not so, whilst a couple you may think are more personalities than architects of banding change.

All we have done is tell you who we think are the movers and shakers, the opinion makers and guiding hands that move us along the road of progress. We leave up to you whether or not you feel they are good or bad, benign or malign, powerful or overbearing influences on the movement.

Let us know what you think though, and whether we have missed out a few names -there are surely more men (and women) out there who are doing their bit. This is our list then of who we think are currently the most influential people around.....

Markus BachMarkus Bach

The President of the European Brass Band Association (EBBA) has been one of the most influential movers in the developing the brass movement in Europe over the last 25 years or more. Under his guidance the European Contest has flourished into the premier event of the brass band calendar - new innovations have taken place (such as the introduction of the First Section
contest and composers competition) whilst his views and opinions on dragging the movement as a whole into the 21st century have brought him critics and plaudits in equal measure.

He remains a driving force for progressive change, yet he is seen by many as an "outsider" - a man whose impeccable European credentials sit uneasily with those of "Little England" persuasions.

John RogersJohn Rogers

Not a name you would immediately recognise as being "influential" to the banding movement, but Mr Rogers is the Sales and Marketing Director of Boosey and Hawkes Musical Instruments Ltd, and has been seen of late giving those little "time filler" speeches before the announcement of the results at some of the major brass band contests.

His influence may not be direct, yet as a representative of a company that for the past few years has found itself in terrible financial strife, has moved production out of the UK and whose long-term viability (especially as
the lottery gravy train has all but ended) is in question, his role as the "link" between the movement and perhaps its most important and principal sponsor of major banding events cannot be over emphasised. If Boosey goes
under, then God help us. Listen to what he has to say the next time he appears on stage - his words of late have been very, very carefully constructed.

Philip MorrisPhilip Morris

The organiser supreme. Philip Morris is the quiet man of the banding world - unassuming yet very influential indeed. He is the man who ensures that brass bands have their annual pilgrimage to the Royal Albert Hall, and who has been an important conduit link between the movement and Boosey and Hawkes - the movement's principal benefactor.

His skills are those of the businessman with a love for brass bands, rather than the opposite way around, and whose interests encapsulate both the British Bandsman newspaper and Kapitol Productions - the people who bring
you the newly revived Gala Concert. He survived the demise of the NCC with reputation intact - an achievement in itself, and has since quietly developed his influence so that he has become an integral player in the movement as a whole.

Philip BiggsPhilip Biggs

The brains behind the All England Masters Contest in Cambridge each year (although this part in partnership with Richard Franklin), but whose business acumen and genuine love for brass bands has seen him develop into a
significant figure in the movement. The "Masters" has now become one of the four "major" contests of the UK banding year - an achievement in itself seeing that the contest takes place in the "non banding" hotbed of Cambridge.

Apart from the ground breaking "Masters" he has used his skills to revitalise the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and has become leading entrepreneurial figure in the banding world. A "lone voice" in many respects - his determination to encapsulate innovative ideas has sometimes brought him into conflict with those whose interests he has very much at

Tervor CaffullTrevor Caffull

There was a time when the Salvation Army and the general brass band movement were separated by what seemed an impenetrable wall of suspicion and distrust - not anymore - and one of the reasons for the most welcome cultural symbiosis has been the work of the likes of people like Trevor Caffull.

The Sales and Marketing Manager for SP&S Ltd has been a driving force in opening out the Salvation Army's approach to brass banding - so much so that SP&S joined forces with Doyen Recordings and has become a principal sponsor of events such as the revived Gala Concert. A man with an acute business mind and along term view towards the progressive route banding should travel in the 21st century.

Nich ChildsNicholas Childs

The Musical Director of the most famous band in the world has also been the man who was behind the success of Doyen Recordings - the principal brass recordings specialists in the banding world. Without Doyen, brass band
recordings would have died a death as the major labels simply decided to end their interest in the market.

His amazing successes as a player, conductor and entrepreneur have also brought him critics as well as plaudits - but his influence is backed by an insatiable appetite for hard work and detailed preparation that invariably leaves rivals and the less talented in his wake. A man who knows exactly where he is going in life.

Bram GayBram Gay

A Welshman of an older generation - a man with a lineage back to the supposed "Golden Age" of banding, but who to some, seems out of touch with "modern" thinking concerning the future progression of the banding movement. His influence however has been, and is significant - be it as General Editor at Novello Music Publishers or as the mastercraftsman arranger of "Les
Preludes" and other brass band works.

His advisory capacity on creative and musical matters for the British Open has been widely acknowledged, as has his at times trenchant, yet informed and entertaining views and opinions on the brass band movement as a whole. Still a powerful voice in the banding world.

David KingDavid King

In the twenty year period that the Australian has been in Britain, possibly no other man has had such an impact on the brass banding world as David King.

As an immensely talented cornet player and then as a conductor of irrepressible flair and skill, the antipodean's influence has been significant - add to this his drive in making Salford University the leading educational establishment for brass band related studies and you have a man who is shaping the very future - both playing and conducting of the movement
within the UK and most probably beyond, well into the century. Look at any of the top bands in the country and you will see his influence - the players and even the conductors. That takes some doing.

Paul HindmarshPaul Hindmarsh

Our man at the venerable BBC has done more than most to try and protect the ever-diminishing output of brass band music over the past 10 to 15 years on the "Voice of the Nation".

A man with a background within the movement, he seems to have been fighting impossible odds against the pseudo "luvvie darling brigade" that now occupy the upper echelons of the Corporation. He has however had numerous successes
in securing programme airtime and more importantly, commissions for new major works for contests. Without him we wouldn't have had the opportunity to listen to works from the likes of Philip Wilby - an achievement of real note.

David StanleyDavid Stanley

The Chairman of the British Federation of Brass Bands heads the organisation that in effect runs the brass band movement in the UK.

The BFBB has responsibility for the National Finals at all levels, the Brass Band Registry, supports the Brass Band Heritage Trust and oversees the Boosey and Hawkes Approved List of Adjudicators. As the head of the Charitable organisation he heads a team that now has the very future of the movement as a whole in the UK in its hands. How he leads the BFBB will surely determine whether the brass band movement flourishes or declines in the coming years - now that is some influence to bear on matters isn't it?

© 4BarsRest

back to top

sleeve and cornet

print a bandroom copy


  copyright & disclaimer

Fax: 01495 791085 E-Mail:

Butterworth CD - available with 4BR shopping