2004 European Championships - YBS - Player by player


4BR looks at the men and women of the current European Champions, the Yorkshire Building Society Band, with a little self deprecating help from the players commenting on each other.

Amazingly though they can boast 96 wins at the European Contest between them, whilst one player may make it 14 wins if the band are triumphant on the weekend. This is the line up then of the current Champions of Europe.

Stuart Lingard: Principal Cornet
Stuart Lingard has established himself as one of the very best cornet players in the UK. Stuart is a former member of Williams Fairey where he played on the front row. He came to David King's attention and he was immediately taken with Stuart's quality sound. Stuart has been a winning leader of YBS on 3 European occasions distinguishing himself with quality performances each time.

Dewi Griffiths: Solo Cornet
Dewi joined YBS just before the area and has settled in well. His first outing with the band resulted in first prize at the Yorkshire area. His only problem is that he follows Liverpool Football Club - although after last weeks result at Old Trafford he is a very happy young man uindeed!

Anna Hughes: Solo Cornet
Anna is a former member of a distinguished line up of bands including Desford, Fodens, Wingates and Sellers International. Anna won her first European with YBS last year in Bergen. She is engaged to Eillir Williams who is a former cornet player with YBS.

Matthew Kay: Solo Cornet
Matthew (a former cornet champion of Great Britain) has been in the band since 1998 and has been a member on 5 European wins. Matthew travels from Penrith to each rehearsal in Huddersfield. This strong dedication is one of the hallmarks of YBS. Matt never misses but is however late for band often. Traffic problems and the odd Kentucky Fried Chicken slowing his progress.

Matthew Gledhill: Solo Cornet
The bands newest member who joined from Brighouse & Rastrick last month. Matt was part of the B&R team that defeated YBS in Kerkrade in 1998. It is not held against him anymore - although he still needs to buy an extra round of drinks at the pub to keep the rest of the band happy.

Peter Roberts: Soprano
The "Legend" has recently published his autobiography and released his long awaited solo CD recording. Well worth the wait! Great player and inspiration to the other members of YBS. Peter has played on 6 winning European performances with YBS.

Alex Thomas: Repiano
Alex joined the band from Besses O' The Barn Band for whom he played Principal Cornet. He played on his first win with YBS at last year's European in Bergen. Alex is under the watchful eye of David King at Salford University and is also the current Principal Cornet of the Young Ambassadors Band.

Haley Moore: 2nd Cornet
Haley has been with YBS since 2000 and has played on 4 European wins in that time. Haley is a former student at Salford University and now works as a peripatetic teacher for Rochdale Music services passing on tips for future superstars not to follow!

Mick Green: 2nd Cornet
Mick joined the band from Stocksbridge after a short spell with Black Dyke. He has been with YBS on three European wins. Mick is a production controller for Swan Morton surgical blades in Sheffield - he denies not being the sharpest knife in the cutlery box though.

Nick Lees: 3rd Cornet
Nick is a former long serving member of Fodens Band. He joined YBS in 2002 and played in his first European win with YBS last year. His amazing technique (or so his wife says) has been the secret to his life time of successful back row playing. His ambition though is to play a top C unaided.

Ian Broadbent: 3rd Cornet
Ian started with Queensbury Music Centre Band and later graduated to be a member of Black Dyke Mills Band where he played from 1985 to 1996. Ian has up to going to press enjoyed 8 wins at the European Championships having previously won it with Black Dyke 4 times - the first in 1987. Other major titles included 3 British Open victories and tours of Australia, Japan and Sierre Leone. Ian is the son of former Black Dyke stalwart Brian Broadbent - although that is OK as Dad once conducted the YBS Concert Brass with great success.

Helen Robinson: 3rd Cornet
Helen is the longest serving member of the band. Her time goes back to when the band was Hammonds Sauce Works. She has played on all the YBS European victories to date. Helens other responsibilities include kitting the band out with uniforms - a job that has involved adding extra holes to belt buckles of certain male players as waistlines have expanded over the years.

Iwan Williams: Flugel
Iwan is a Welsh wizard! His performances with YBS have always attracted rave reviews. Iwan joined YBS in 1994 and has been a member on all the bands winning Europeans since. He studied under David King at Salford University and now works as a music teacher in Manchester. He remains the only player in the world who doesn't break sweat even when he is playing treble forte!

Sheona White: Solo Horn
Sheona White, many feel is the finest horn player of her generation. She is a fantastic performer who leads by example. Sheona has been a member of YBS since 1995 and has starred on all the YBS European wins.
Sheona is in constant demand as a soloist all around the world and acts as a consultant for Boosey & Hawkes.

Aidan Smith: 1st Horn
Aidan joined YBS just in time to make his winning debut in the Yorkshire area. This will be Aidan's maiden European. He is currently at Salford University and is studying with Sheona White. He has no excuse therefore for not being able to play his part!

Steve Atwell: 2nd Horn
Steve joined the band in 2002 and has enjoyed two wins at the European. His previous bands have included Todmordon Old and Leyland bands. Steve tied the knot a few months ago when he married Natalie Beer who is the flugel player with Sellers. Marital bliss seems to be making him a happy boy.

Mike Howley: Solo Euphonium
Mike Howley joined the band on 2nd Euphonium after a short spell with Faireys. On the departure of Morgan Griffiths, YBS handed him the chance to be promoted to the hot seat. Mike is a mad Leeds fan and in fact claims he went to school with Alan Smith. A pair of bright sparks then.

Steve Walsh: 2nd Euphonium
Steve joined the band from Hepworth Band where he was Solo Euphonium. Steve is a fan of the "Gunners" (Arsenal) and is a former member of Leyland Band. Steve first won the European in last years win in Bergen. He is currently doing a Masters degree at Salford University. Football rivalry in the Euph section may end this year as Leeds may not be around to play them anymore next season.

Robert Blackburn: Solo Baritone
Robert is a multi talented Baritone player and also one of the most decorated players at YBS in terms of contest wins. Many have said he is the finest! He went a long way to proving that in last years sensational cadenza performance on Aubade. Robert is a very experienced performer having been a past member with Brighouse & Rastrick, Faireys, Leyland and Black Dyke Mills Band.

Mike Walsh: 2nd Baritone
Mike is a former member of Besses Boys Band and also the NYBBGB. He joined YBS on second euphonium but Morgan Griffiths soon sent him packing to the second Baritone seat. Joking apart, Mike is now probably one of the finest 2nd Baritones in the country. Mike has been a member on all the European wins with YBS. He is married to Emma and they have a young daughter Lilly. Mike is the bands legal eagle as he works as a lawyer in Leeds. He is a busy chap then.

Chris Jeans Solo: Trombone
Chris or "Lord Blaston" to give him his proper title is a very experienced trombone player. A previous win in the European came with Desford in 1986 where he was the brilliant soloist on Year of the Dragon. Former bands include Desford, Rigid Containers, Ransomes and Black Dyke Mills.

Simon Powell: 2nd Trombone
Simon Powell is a free lance trombone player who finds himself helping the band out on a permanent basis. Simon's first win came last year in Bergen.

Tobias Bannon: Bass Trombone
Tobby is as Irish as they come. A great Bass Trombone player who joined YBS from Grimethorpe, having previously played for Fodens. Toby has a fledgling-succesful conducting career with Dinnington Colliery.
Toby played with YBS on the European win in Bergen last year. He is currently studying at Salford under David King and is hoping some of the magic conducting dust will rub off on him in future.

Gavin Saynor: EEb Bass
Big Gav is very much a big lad! A great player who won the outstanding soloists prize at last years European. This is Gavin's second stint with YBS. His previous bands include Leyland and Williams Fairey. Gavin does a round trip of 270 miles to YBS rehearsals from North Wales and he has played on 3 European wins with YBS. Another with a very promising conducting future ahead of him, it seems Professor King will have no problems getting a dep with the baton if he ever needs one.

David Clegg: EEb Bass
David, from Saddleworth, joined the band in 2002 replacing Roy Hudson. He is a former member of the NYBBGB and Leyland Bands. David's first win came last year in Bergen. He has just bought himself an Audi TT in the vain hope of attracting the girls, although how any lucky lady could fit in one with a bleeding Bb bass in the back seems to have been on his mind when he parted with the reddies!

Simon Gresswell: BBb Bass
Simon hails from Queensbury and is a former member of Black Dyke Mills, Brighouse & Rastrick, Desford Colliery and Faireys prior to joining YBS in 1994. Give or take a few enforced breaks from the band Simon remains and is now responsible for day to day band management along with his sidekick Darren West.
Simon first won the European with Desford in 1986, this contest has been a happy hunting ground with a total of 8 European Championship wins. Simon was voted into the top ten, all time BBb Bass players by 4Bars Rest.com - something he reminds everyone at YBS about every practice!.

Darren West: BBb Bass
Darren joined YBS from the BT Band in Stockport. He has been a member on all the YBS European wins to date. On graduating from Salford under David King he now teaches music and IT at a school in Hipperholme. Darren forms an integral part of the management team at YBS. No one argues with him as he is a big lad who takes no prisoners! Alongside organisational duties in the band Darren is one of the best BBb Bass players in banding today.

Gavin Pritchard: Percussion
Gavin is the principle Shed Builder with YBS and is now forging a big reputation as a soloist. Gavin joined YBS in 1999 and has won the European five times since then. Gavin studies with David King at Salford University and can hit, thump, tickle and cajole a sound out of any instrument you care to name.

Richard Clough: Percussion
Richard Clough is the son of John Clough the famous Euphonium player with Black Dyke Mills. Richard himself had many years with Dyke before a move took him to Leyland and then YBS in 1998. If YBS are in the winning spot in Glasgow this will be a remarkable fourteenth (14) win at the European. All this and he tells us he is only 23 years of age!

Will Martin: Percussion
Will is a quiet lad but talented none the less. Will works alongside Gavin Pritchard at Salford University and completes what is a very special percussion section. His only complaint is that he gets to carry on stage all the heavy stuff.

Thanks to all the players at YBS for their input to this article.


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