4BR Scouting Report - Andrew Ashworth - Oldham (Lees) Band


4BR casts its eye on another talented young performer who is making a name for himself in the banding world - Andrew Ashworth of the Oldham (Lees) Band.

Andrew Ashworth

Name: Andrew Ashworth
Age: 13
Occupation: Student
Instrument: Cornet
Current Band:  Oldham Band (Lees) and Bare Tree Youth Band
Previous Bands: Delph Junior School Band and Oldham Music Centre
Andrew Ashworth really is one of the brightest young talents around. Just13 years of age, his performances have been catching the ears of many highly impressed critics for some time now – 4BR included.

Currently playing with the successful Oldham (Lees) Band in the North West and Bare Tree Youth Band, he is being nurtured by John Collins and the legendary James Shepherd no less. It seems he has a very big future ahead of him. 

Andrew first took up music at the age of seven and received tuition from Oldham Music Services.  Although his parents didn't think he'd keep it up, he soon proved them wrong, working very hard with his cornet practice. By the time he was in year 4, a year later, he was principal cornet and had been invited along to play at Oldham Music Centre.  By the age of 10 he was in the Youth Band.
John Collins, MD of Oldham Band (Lees) and Bare Tree Junior Band then asked Andrew if he'd help Bare Tree out, and he was soon sat on the principal cornet chair helping the band win an ‘Outstanding Performance Award’ at Symphony Hall and leading them in performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
New challenge

A new challenge came with him joining Oldham (Lees) Band, although just before that he had taken part in a competition arranged by the Future Talent Charity, which was set up by the Duchess of Kent in order of helping young talented musicians with finances. 

Andrew’s performances won him £1000, which helped him to purchase a new Besson Prestige Cornet. 


Since 2008 he has performed solos with the Oldham Band, played at the National Finals, and be invited by the Duchess of Kent to play at the world famous Ronnie Scott Jazz Club.  He's now a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and performed a solo on Oldham’s new CD. 

It took Andrew two years, on and off, to learn ‘Le Cornet Polka’ for the CD release.  He'd first heard it played by Russell Gray and from then on he was determined to it as a solo. 

He's performed it several times now in concert and his talents have been recognised by quite a few top bands who it seems are casting their eyes in his direction!  His latest recognition came from Phil Chalk who asked Andrew if he'd like to start sitting in with the Fairies Band for rehearsal.
Present tutor

Andrew's present day tutor is the legendry James Shepherd.  Andrew is benefiting immensely from Jim's guidance and is working very hard on Arban's ‘Carnival de Venice’, which he hopes to perform in concert very soon. 
Thankfully, Andrew loves the ‘Arban’.  He practices for roughly one hour a day incorporating Arban studies as well as his band pieces.  On top of all that, he sits through five and a half hours band practice each week! 

He loves to play his cornet and loves learning to play something he can't play at the start.  He is currently spending an hour each week in theory class to ensure he can gain further academic musical qualifications. 
Contest stages

2009 sees Andrew performing on contests stages from Blackpool to Preston – and hopefully by the end of the year, in Harrogate too with Oldham, with whom he is currently playing repiano.

Andrew enjoys the hard work and the extra rehearsals that go along with the band's success in contests – especially if it means picking up a nice trophy at the end of it all! 

Andrew's long term ambition is to one day be principal cornet with one of the top bands in the country - and every note he blows is a serious attempt to strive for his goal.
We think we may well be hearing more of this young man in the future.


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