John's first experience of brass bands was on a family holiday in Padstow. Running down to the harbour, he was always hopeful there would be a band playing on the quayside. The crowd that had gathered was a sign of something amazing happening and the crowd often grew so big that John, being only small, had to be content just to listen to the music without always being able to see all the shiny instruments.
Unfortunately, back in his home town of Walsall, his piano teacher Joyce Mildren didn't play brass instruments but instead taught him the bassoon! He continued to play bassoon throughout his time studying music at Goldsmiths College, London University.
Although, whilst studying for an MSc in music technology at York University and having picked up a Bb bass to play in his secondary school wind band. He took the opportunity to play tuba for a performance of Verdi's Requiem at York Minster.
Following a PGCE course at Kingston University, he moved to Tiverton to teach music at Tiverton High school and joined Tiverton Town Band playing Bb Bass. Since moving to Devon more than 25 years ago, John has taught music in most of Tiverton's schools and now gives instrumental tuition in both primary and secondary schools as well as being the organist at St Andrews church. He has continued to play a variety of instruments for local bands including Tiverton, South Molton and Lympstone (South West Comms Band).
In 2017 John was asked to lead Tiverton Band in a competition. He has since been appointed as MusicaL Director and hopes to make a success with the committed players around him and to produce some memorable musical performances.