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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.



Towcester Studio Brass

At the turn of the century, Ada & Charlotte Phipps, daughters of the Towcester brewery owner, built and equipped "The Studio", a Club where young men could pursue art, woodcarving, sport and other activities. In 1910 Charlotte acquired a set of brass instruments and thus Towcester Studio Band was born.

The Studio closed in 1919 but the band continued under William J. Bell. During the 1939-45 War the instruments were loaned to RAF Silverstone for use by the Station Band. In 1947, William Bell reformed the band which regained full strength in 1949. Thanks to sound financial management in 1958 the band was able to move into their own custom built bandroom.

William Scholes was the band's first professional Musical Director, 1963-1980. By 1977 he had taken the band from the 4th Section to the Championship Section and also established a fine reputation for concerts.

Martyn Brabbins, formerly a member of the Towcester Studio Youth Band, was Musical Director 1980-1984. Martyn is now a world renowned conductor of orchestras and opera. Further details are available from his website: www.intermusica.co.uk .

Peter Wain followed as Musical Director 1985-1998. With Peter the band achieved a major ambition by playing in the Royal Albert Hall and toured various parts of Europe.

Sadly the band was without a resident Musical Director for almost twelve months during which many players moved on. Adele Sellers took over in late 1999 and breathed new life and enthusiasm back into the Band. 2000 was a good year for the Band with two contest successes, a recording and a trip to Ireland. In 2001, the band went on to achieve an exceptional run of contest results with wins at the Midland Area (2nd Section), Buxton, Leicester and Aylesbury contests, with a 3rd prize at the 2nd Section National Finals. The band continued to thrive under Adele's leadership with prize winning performances in 2004 at the Midland Area (1st Section), Milton Keynes, Wychavon and Pontins securing promotion to the Championship Section for 2005 and entry to the world top 200 brass bands rankings on 4barsrest.com.

Adele stepped down at the end of 2005 due to work and family commitments but were grateful to John Hudson (formerly of Grimethorpe) for his help and direction up until the appointment of Barrie Johnson as Musical Director in April 2006.

Most of the band first met Huw Thomas as conductor when he conducted a few engagements and contests for us in 2003. We are delighted Huw agreed to accept the role as professional Musical Director in July 2007.

Unfortunately, Huw Thomas left the band in the summer of 2009 but was replaced by the brass teacher Mark Waltho. Mark Waltho first joined the band after taking up the role as brass teacher at Sponne School and was seated as principal cornet. Due to prior musical director experience, Mark took up the role.

At the start of 2010, David Jones was apponted as musical director. David joined the GUS Footwear Band in November 1967 as their Soprano Player, only the third since the inception of the band in 1933.This was a position he occupied for 23 years. During this time the band won the World Championship (still uncontested), The British Open, BBC Band of the Year, twice,Wills euro champs , twice.Beat of Brass Champions ,twice, and many other major awards. The band also had a rolling contract to record with EMI at their abbey Road studios and has participated in over 20 commercial recordings, at least 50 live BBC recordings for radio, and several T.V. shows. David was also a member of Harry Mortimers All Stars and Men of Brass.During of the his tenure, he also guested with all the top bands of this era.

Since retiring from playing David has been involved with conducting bands of all levels with a great deal of success. He joins Towcester with a great reputation, we hope that Towcester will benefit from exciting concert programmes and great contest performances.