Meet the band

Musical Director – John Thompson

John started playing trumpet at age 7, concentrating on classical then jazz genres, before joining his first brass band (York Railway institute) at the age of 18 on cornet, then soprano. After completing his undergraduate degree in music at Huddersfield university, John has continued his eclectic mix of ensemble playing, before turning to conducting through the band he currently plays for, Barnsley Brass as deputy.
Even though it has been a challenge, John has enjoyed his experience with Garforth, building a band from a very low point and is looking forward to a bright future, especially following the bands 2nd place in the first contest they have undertaken in years
 

Principal Cornet – Alun Perry

Born in South Wales, Alun began learning the cornet at 6 years of age. He studied music at Huddersfield which included cornet lessons under the tutelage of Phillip McCann, and has played with numerous bands including Sellers Engineering and Black Dyke. He is also currently a member of The Salvation Army Corps band at Castleford. Alun works in the banking industry, is married to Karen and lives in Wakefield.
 

Solo Cornet – Paul Baross

Paul started playing Cornet for the Salvation Army at 9yrs progressing to front row cornet with York Citadel Salvation Army Brass Band as a teenager. He had a break from playing for 25 years, returned and was soon playing on the front row once again. He has played front row cornet for contesting bands Wetherby Silver band and East Yorkshire Brass, and Repiano cornet for York Railway Institute Band. Alongside this he has played front row for Malton White Star band, Markham Main Colliery band and Principal cornet for York RI Golden Rail Band.
Paul has always enjoyed playing both for fun and contesting, as well as taking part in all the charity and social activities that banding brings.
 

Solo Cornet – Catherine Wiggins

 

Solo Cornet

 

Soprano Cornet – Gary Shelton

Gary was Born in Gravesend. A 4th generation Salvationist, he started to learn the cornet aged 5 with his father & with the YP bandleader, and joined the YP Band at 7 under the instruction of Fred Mills. He joined the senior Band aged 14 and has played with the following bands: Masters’ Brass, Northfleet Silver, South London fellowship Band and Oxted Band. Gary has served in the following positions. YP bandleader, Songster leader, & then Bandmaster, after Bandmaster Brian Hillyer retired with 40 years’ service. He remained Bandmaster until he moved to Havercroft in Wakefield in July 2017, and is a Bandsman in Castleford Salvation Army Band & Brass Impact Band.
Self employed as a Driving Instructor, he is married to Fiona and has a son who is a physics teacher
 

Repieno Cornet – Theresa Robinson

Theresa started playing at 39 years of age after hearing the Last Post in church on Remembrance Sunday, which inspired her to want to be able to play it. She was encouraged to play by a very patient MD in Sherburn band. She has played back row cornet with contesting Bands Wetherby Silver, East Yorkshire Brass and York Railway Institute Bands. She has also played Repiano with Malton White star band and Flugelhorn with York RI Golden Rail Band, Markham Main and until recently, Garforth.
Theresa loves playing, especially Christmas carols. She achieved her ambition by having the honour of playing the Last Post several times alongside partner Paul Baross (solo cornet). Their relationship started 20 years ago when Paul lent Theresa his cornet and have been playing in bands together ever since.
 

2nd Cornet – Amelia Andrews

 

2nd Cornet

 

3rd Cornet – Christine Wiggins

 

3rd Cornet – Kirstin Barnes

Kirstin started her musical career on Clarinet at the age of 7, playing in school and Harrogate music centre bands, achieving her grade 8 when in 6th Form. Her mum and dad bought her a trumpet, however it sat there unlearnt until she decided 20 years later to pick it up. She joined Garforth training band early 2017 and has continued improving steadily since then. Kirstin was asked to play in the senior band just before Christmas to help out and gain some additional experience. She’s now started having lessons for the first time so we’re looking forward to listening to her progress.
 

3rd Cornet – Sara Sutcliffe

 

Flugelhorn – Rachel Andrews

 

Solo Horn – Alistair Hull

 

Solo/1st Horn – Oliver Wiggins

 

1st Horn – Steph Bevan

 

2nd Horn – Christine Keith

Christine started playing around the age of 11 at Micklefield brass under Stuart Watson, starting on triangle for a couple of weeks! She progressed to cornet, then soon moved onto horn.
She had her first taste of contesting with Micklefield brass in the 4th section. She got married in 1983 then moved away 89/90 and stopped playing. She moved back to the area in 2010. Her grandson was learning to play at Micklefield school and she got involved with Micklefield band again. Once she was more confident, joined Garforth brass and the rest as they say is history
Christine became Band manager in 2014 and has been a solid member of the horn/baritone section ever since
 

Solo Euphonium – Andrew Wiggins

 

2nd Euphonium

 

1st Baritone – Paul Lappage

 

2nd Baritone – Jane Nolan

 

Solo Trombone – Naomi Asssame

 

2nd Trombone

 

Bass Trombone – James Silk

Brought up in Wigan in a very musical house. James started to learn to play the trombone when he was 12, at Burscough Priory High School. He played for the Ormskirk Town band before moving to Eccleston Brass Band under Harry Bentham, as well as the Wigan Music Centre Orchestra, Brass Band and Concert Band. He went on to John Rigby College to do an A Level in Music, also branching out into lessons on the Tuba.
After a University break in Huddersfield, he moved to York and joined the Railway Institute Brass Band in 2005 under Derek Warley. He initially played BBb bass, but graduated back to his preferred instrument (Bass Trombone) in 2007. He continued to play with the band until 2010, when he left on a high after winning at the Northern regionals and then going back to his homeland to win the Northern Open in St Helens under Gordon Eddison.
In 2014 James came back to brass banding, after having a few years out to complete his accounting qualifications, and joined Garforth Brass Band as their Bass Trombone player where he has been ever since.
 

E flat Bass – Mark Hinton

 

E flat Bass – Claire Thompson

In primary school, Claire began her musical journey by learning the recorder whilst dreaming of playing the flute. At the end of primary school her dream became reality and she learnt the flute, progressing to take her Music and English Degree at Huddersfield University where she met her now husband, John, our Musical Director(MD).
Claire has always enjoyed playing different types and styles of music and learning new instruments. In music school she took up the steel drums, in secondary school the Saxophone and in university the Bass Viol, Didgeridoo and Banjo. Claire stopped regularly playing after university whilst she started her career and concentrated on her two beautiful boys.
When John took over as MD, he was keen that Garforth continued to be a family band and encouraged Claire and their eldest son, Samuel to come along with him. As Garforth needed Eb bass players at the time, Claire gave this a try and has now been playing the bass for nearly a year. We look forward to hearing her develop as a brass player as part of our family-friendly group.
 

E flat Bass – Aisha Walker

 

B flat Bass – John Freeborn

 

B flat Bass – Rob Lovatt

 

Percussion – Ben Stone

 
More Info/bios coming soon!