4BR Dinner Guests — Jeremy Wise

This month we have been invited by Jeremy Wise for an evening's entertainment around the dinner table with his guests...

WiseGiven the opportunity, the wish list, the ability to mess about with the Space-Time Continuam like Doctor Who, and the skill to cook like Heston Blumenthal, who would you like to invite around to your place to enjoy a meal and chin wag with?   

4BR started it all off a few days before Christmas 2007 with our 10 dinner guests, so we thought we had better ask a few more brass band personalities who would be on their all time dinner list too..


This month we have asked Jeremy Wise (right), conductor of the reigning London & Southern Counties Regional Champion, Redbridge Brass.

Forthright and passionate about his banding, he has developed a highly successful conducting career with periods at the helm of many of the leading brass bands in the UK - from Cory, Brighouse & Rastrick and Redbridge to his latest outing, leading Thundersley Brass at the National Finals at Cheltenham. 

He is also developing into a well respected brass band journalist too, so we thought we had better find out who he would invite around his large dinner table for a feast and chin wag...

1. Peter Wise

My father, and one of the greatest euphonium players I have ever heard; full blooded and passionate with an 'all or nothing' attitude.

The man who inspired me to give up trying to better him as a player and be a conductor.

My contesting companion for the last 40 years. He taught me what real commitment means and told me to 'always to do it well and properly or not at all'. A natural musician in every way.

2. Stephen Cobb

A lifelong friend who is always trying to make me a nicer person. Consistently good humoured, great company and with a lot of good advice too.

One of the best brass teachers anywhere - just have a listen to Phil if you need proof.

A great cornet player himself too.

3. Howard Snell

He has been an inspirational man to many and I am at the top of his list of admirers.

I have sat through many rehearsals where you cannot see what is happening but somehow the band sounds immeasurably better at the end.

Has a fantastic way with words and knows exactly what to do to get the best out of people without anyone realising how it is done.

Having sat through a rehearsal I was taking many years ago shortly before the National Finals when both I and the band were struggling with the piece I asked him what he thought - 'Necessity is the mother of invention' were his unforgettable words.

4. James Williams

I had the honour of playing for Jim for 9 years at Enfield and hope that I absorbed a few percent of his knowledge in that time.

A peerless band trainer and a man who has been a model of consistency in every way.

He inspired such deference in me it has only been in recent years that I have been able to really talk to him - he chooses his words carefully and every one is worth the listen.
5. William Wise

My grandfather - an 'old school' bander - he used to cycle to band practice with his Bb bass strapped on his back.

Played anything from baritone to Bb bass. Went to the Open and Nationals and sat through every band - I still have some of his programmes with his hand written notes alongside the bands name right back to the 1940's.

A natural story teller and genuinely funny man who never had a bad word to say about anyone. I wish I could spend some more time with him.

6. Frank Renton

Frank has always helped me greatly as an aspiring conductor and I have learnt so much from him.

He was there in my very early days when in one particularly frantic bit of conducting I managed to put my baton through my eyelid.

He said nothing – just grabbed my arms and pulled them out in front of me and then said – 'conduct out here, not round the side of your head' – a very stylish conductor indeed and another brilliant story teller.

7. Lyndon Chapman

A friend since I was 16, former principal cornet of Hendon and a real larger than life character.

I love his attitude to life and I am always laughing when in his company. Contests would not be the same without his bear-hug greeting.

He, like me, is getting nostalgic in his middle age and the recalled tales get more and more exaggerated as the years pass.

8. Matt Smith

My neighbour and best mate.

A really annoyingly talented tuba player who picks it up after a year  and sounds fantastic and the man who made me start running for which I will never forgive him.

I first met him busking outside Marks and Spencers at Christmas 1993 and signed him up on the spot for Hendon – he still says that I groomed him.

9. Keith Hutchinson

Principal cornet at Enfield and a powerhouse player with a beautiful sound and stamina to carry the section.

A great bloke and leader who earned utter respect by playing not talking. Master of the withering 'down the front bench look' and expert bubble blower.

Have reduced him to tears of laughter just once and few can say that – he will remember when.

10. Simon Lindley

Organist at Leeds Parish Church and my school music teacher.

A fiendish accompanist, supremely talented musician and massive character too.

Hauled me by the ears out of his choir practice on many occasions and taught me more than I can ever imagine just by hearing him play. 

Previous dinner guest lists:   

Previous guests have included the 4BR selection; Chris Wormald; David Read; Pete Meechan; Alan Jenkins; Derek Broadbent; Philip Harper; Peter Roberts; Frank Renton; James Shepherd; Dr Roy Newsome; Paul Lovatt-Cooper; Bramwell Tovey; Kevin Crockford; Morvern Gilchrist and Lesley Howie; Richard Evans; Simone Rebello; Ian Porthouse; David Daws; Alan Morrison; Alan Wycherley; Mark Bousie; Steven Haynes; Simon Dobson; Ian Buckley;, John Roberts; Cai Isfryn; James Stretton; Harmen Vanhoorne, Bad Ass Brass, Lewis Musson and Tom Hutchinson.

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Friday 10 December • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ

Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Choral Society

Friday 10 December • Corporation Street, Huddersfield HD1 2TA

York Railway Institute Band - Prima Vocal Ensemble

Saturday 11 December • Selby Abbey. The Crescent. Selby. YO8 4PU YO8 4PU

Glossop Old Band - The Oldham Band (Lees)

Sunday 12 December • Glossop Band Club, Derby Street, Glossop. SK13 8LP

Mole Veterans Band - Christmas Concert

Tuesday 14 December • Fetcham Village Hall. The Street, Fetcham. Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9QS

Harlow Brass Band

December 6 • HBB have a vacancy for a Musical Director. We are a friendly, non-contesting band who reach a good standard. We are asked to play at a variety of events throughout the year and have our own Spring & Christmas concerts. We rehearse on Thursdays, 8-10pm.

Easingwold Town Band

December 5 • Vacancies for Principal Cornet and a Tutti Solo Cornet in our 4th-section registered band, as we look to retain our North of England 4th-section winners title in March 2022. Rehearsals Monday 7.30 - 9.15 p.m.

Avonbank (Evesham) Brass Band

December 5 • Our lively Second Section Band requires an Eb and/or Bb bass player for the Regionals and a front or back row cornet player.. We rehearse Wednesdays at 7.30pm plus other rehearsals in the lead up to competition which takes place on Feb 26th 2022.

Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator


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