One of the brass band movement’s leading performers will be making his mark on the professional orchestral ranks, with the news that Ben Thomson has been appointed as the new Principal Tuba of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow.
Speaking to 4BR after the announcement of the news was made public, Ben said. "I have just started in the role, but was initially offered the position after playing with the orchestra at the BBC Proms.
I was on trial with the orchestra for about a year performing in concerts and recordings including the Proms and Edinburgh Festival, so to be offered the position is a great honour."
Ben told 4BR that he is looking forward to working with Principal Conductor, Donald Runnicles, as well as Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov and other leading conductors from around the orchestral world, although he is sad to be leaving behind brass banding.
"I am sad to be leaving Manchester and especially Faireys, but this kind of opportunity arises so rarely and it couldn't be missed. It's what I've been working towards my entire musical life."
I am sad to be leaving Manchester and especially Faireys, but this kind of opportunity arises so rarely and it couldn't be missed. It's what I've been working towards my entire musical lifeBen Thomson
Ben hopes he will still have time to indulge in his banding passion though, and is delighted that he will team up with former Fairey player Simon Johnson, who is the orchestra’s principal trombonist.
"It may take a bit of working out, but I won’t become a stranger I hope, and I know the brass section always logs in to 4BR to find out what’s happening at the major contests! I will be playing with Fairey at the RNCM Festival of Brass as a bit of a farewell."
Meanwhile, Ben was delighted to hear that his friend Dan Trodden, who he grew up with in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, has just been appointed as the Principal Tuba of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales too.