Training Band Conductor Main Band Deputy MD
Mike was born in 1956 in Bolton and educated at Thornleigh Salesian College under the guidance of Father 'Jock' McGovern who totally corrupted him and turned him into an Eb tuba player. He started playing with the Eagley Mills Band aged about 13 and rapidly became a soloist. After leaving school he did a combined maths and music degree at Manchester University, followed by a PGCE at Didsbury and then became a music teacher in the Wigan area. Mike retired from teaching in 2012 due to ill health.
He has over 45 years of experience as a tuba player, playing in several brass bands in the North West of England over those years. A teacher for 26 years, 23 of those in the same school, Mike was appointed as a teacher governor at his school in 2006 and again in 2010.
Mike does lots of arranging for bands and ensembles, and lately for woodwinds, and now has a number of choral works in his catalogue, including a number of Christmas Carols written for his school choirs.
Cheese, languages (especially Italian and German), brass bands, composition, teaching composition, reading, learning, playing, red wine, other alcoholic liquids, chocolate.
Dislikes: Gelatinous substances, lies, pastels, gin, 'career' teachers (i.e. those whose only desire in teaching is to take the golden hello and then get out of the classroom as quickly as possible before retiring early on a fat pension) political correctness, being poor.
Quote: "I would like to be rich. I would like to be famous. I'll probably die poor and unknown - though to help avoid that, you could visit my publishers at:
Chris started to learn the cornet at school aged eleven, also playing in the Hemel Hempstead Junior band and attending several sessions of the London and Home Counties Youth Massed Brass Bands, including a live BBC Radio broadcast from Alexandra Palace.
Unfortunately Chris ceased to play when he left school and went out to work, but, a seed had been sown!
Some twenty five years later when he moved up to the North West, Chris heard Pemberton Old Band playing Christmas Carols and was moved to join them where he started as a total novice on third cornet!
Chris left Pemberton when they gained a place in the second section and he went on to play Second Cornet for Standish Band.
Several moves and bands later Chris was playing Repiano Cornet for Barnton Silver Band and took over as principal after a series of bandsmen retirements.
Chris is having private tuition and also assists Mike Lyons with the Barnton Training Band.
Chris is married to our flugelhorn player, Karen.
Deputy Principal Cornet
Miles J. Turnbull
Having played in many bands in the northeast, from Whickham School Band (Flugel Horn then Principal cornet from the ages of 12 to 25!) to Dunston Silver Band (Front row cornet), to Ovington Tyndale Silver Band (Flugel Horn) then Greggs Bakery Band (Formerly Newbiggin Colliery Band), along with the Tyne Brass Ensemble (Flugel Horn and Cornet).
Miles took a fifteen year break from playing due to family commitments before beginning again with Birchwood after relocating to the Northwest for work.
Miles then moved to take the Deputy Principal seat at Barnton Silver Band where he is very happy indeed. His interests (obsessions) outside of banding include photography, computing and science.
Miles' online image store can be found here: https://miles62.picfair.com why not buy a loved one a nice picture!
Karen was the flugel player for Barnton Silver Band and a Committee member, however has joined the front row of cornets, where she is very welcome. Karen joined the band in 1974 when she left school and has played and contested with Barnton Silver Band ever since.
Karen has previously played cornet and tenor horn in the band. Karen's son Jonathan joined the band, aged 8 years, and now plays tutti cornet for Foden's.
"It has always been a pleasure to help other bands in the area and as a result, I have made many friends and contacts over the years. Banding has now become a fantastic hobby to have during retirement".
Helen was brought up in a small Northumbrian village not far from Ovington where Miles played flugel horn in the Silver Band. She spent her youth walking and swimming, but music is in her genes. A distant uncle was a drummer in the 79th Highland Regiment, a great, great aunt studied music at Leipzig Conservatory and when she was a child her father used to play “I am forever blowing bubbles” on his clarinet at bath time.
About fourteen years ago Helen decided to give up doing worthy things and started playing the clarinet; ten years later she took up the trumpet. Then as Covid restrictions were lifted Helen decided to join a Brass Band lured by fond memories of the Salvation Army Band playing in Stockton Town Centre and the desire to once again meet people and socialize.
In the words of Bob Marley “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Helen is finding playing the cornet more difficult than the trumpet especially playing the higher notes but likes the sweet mellow tones it produces and hopes to improve by practising and listening to the much more experienced members of the band.
Steve has been playing Soprano for many years...
Born in 1940, Tony started playing aged 12 being tutored by Joe Orange of the Salvation Army and attending the Old Kent Street Mission Band, which later joined with the Latchford Band and became Warrington Silver Band, (Sadly no longer active).
“I left banding for scuba diving for about 20 years”
After meeting with Ken Jolley of Birchwood Band, Tony was persuaded to return to banding in 2000 playing for Birchwood for several years and helping other bands when they were in need, Tony then joined the ranks at Barnton Silver Band.
Second Repiano Cornet
At thirteen years old, Steve admired Louis Armstrong’s trumpet playing so much that he joined a local brass band (and acquired a cornet for free!).
Steve had joined Elland Silver Band (4th Section) even though Black Dyke would have been nearer to his home!
“Our conductor there was Roy Newsome and under him, we went on to win the National Championship 4th section c1956 - he (Roy Newsome sic.) went on from there to greater things."
Steve gave up playing when he went to study Civil Engineering some years later.
Steve worked mainly in the water industry, got married and eventually moved to Knutsford where they had a Brass Band. He took up brass playing again some 10 years later when he joined the Knutsford band. Joining a swing band, Steve finally achieved his original desire, to play a trumpet in a swing band, as well as playing the flugel in various local brass bands.
“I am well into retirement now, with the benefit of enjoying more playing (and still trying to improve!)."
"Finally, I have to say what excellent friends & acquaintances I have made through banding as the Covid lockdown has so emphasised! "
Melanie grew up in Berlin, Germany, where she studied for an MSc in Chemistry.
In 2008 she moved to London to start work on her PhD in Chemistry.
Melanie obtained her teaching qualification in 2019 and now works as a lecturer in Chemistry in a local college.
After playing the trombone in the school’s big band and orchestra, Melanie re-discovered her love for music and joined the Barnton Silver Band in 2019, learning to play the cornet.
Solo Eb Horn
Amanda learned to play tenor horn at high school in North Wales, with lessons from the inspiring Graham Jones.
Amanda joined Royal Buckley Town Band in the early '80s, starting at junior 2nd horn and rising to 1st horn in the main band. Highlights included visiting the former Czechoslovakia to play with our twinned band, lots of North West contests and building our own band rooms.
After moving to Northwich in the late '80s, Amanda joined Barnton Silver Band. "A previous short stint at Robert’s Bakery Band had scared the playing daylights out of me!".
Bumper up to Karen Purdie, with BSB contesting regularly. "The band qualified at the Areas (when I was heavily pregnant and worrying the conductor that I’d deliver on stage!)". Highlights included playing with the massed bands of the North West at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Fast forward a few years and a university course forced Amanda to give up band. Later joining Cheshire Constabulary Band, this time on baritone. Highlights included beautiful concerts on Chester Cathedral, being drilled for marching, and several trips to Bad Schlema in Germany to play in the Music Festival. "Think beer, lots of marching, and oompah- it was amazing! "
Amanda had a break for about a year and rejoined Barnton, playing solo horn and becoming Chair of the band Committee.
"I’ve made wonderful friends at every stage of the 40 odd years and through that, got a brass band show on Radio Northwich"
First Eb Horn
Janet started playing the cornet, at the age of 9, with the Salvation Army. Having private tuition with a tutor from The Royal Northern College of Music. Janet also played the trumpet with her school orchestra.
When she was 18, the Barnton Silver Band bandmaster, Mr Joe Coombes invited Janet to join the band where she soon moved from tutti cornet to flugelhorn.
Janet met and married her husband, David (Eb Bass) at Barnton Silver Band and continued to play with the band for several years. Janet also served on the committee as secretary.
Janet took a break from playing due to family commitments and when circumstances permitted, started playing tenor horn for the Salvation Army. Janet moved to Preston Brook band in 2015, until its recent unfortunate closure.
“Having been asked to help out at a concert with Barnton Silver Band I re-joined, where I now enjoy playing 1st horn”.
Second Eb Horn
Could this be you?
First Baritone Horn
Second Baritone Horn
Penny was introduced to brass banding by her children, who at the time were both learning to play in Barnton’s training band. It was suggested that as she was always there, she might as well learn an instrument too, so she picked up a baritone and after seven months in the training band, was playing in the main band, where she has remained ever since. She likes to think that it is never too late to learn a new skill and would encourage anyone to come along to training band and discover a new hobby.
We have an opportunity here.
Raised in the Salvation Army at Preston, Lancs. John joined the RAF at 19 as a Musician. Spent a year in the RAF School of Music studying euphonium. Played in RAF Southern Band (Henlow), RAF Regiment Band (Catterick), RAF Central Band (Uxbridge) for a very short time before returning to Catterick.
A road accident stopped John from playing and he retrained as a Russian Interpreter.
Following his time in the RAF, John went on to Hull University to do a four year course in Russian Studies including a period living in Leningrad (now St. Petersberg) in the former Soviet Union).
Having served for nine years, John gave up playing for 40 years, before restarting at the age of 70. "It's surprising how much you forget!".
John moved to Northwich from Leicestershire in 2021 and still plays with Lutterworth Town Band (Leicestershire).
John's other hobbies: France, Music, TV, Reading, WW1 History, American Civil War History. Divorced then married to Vanessa. Four kids (two with each). Lives in Cuddington since 2021.
Eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.
Chris has been with the band since 1968 when he started on baritone, later moving to euphonium and now bass. Chris is also a member of Mereside Brass and Sandbach U3A Band. "In my time I've helped out several bands in the area. Banding is a disease that I'm pleased to have caught when at school and I've done my best to infect others. Lots of happy memories. Playing at Wembley Arena is probably the highlight.".
David started to play Eb bass in his teens at Winnington Lads Club being taught by ex ICI players. Moving to Barnton Silver Band under the leadership of Mr Joe Coombes, where David played for many years. Playing under numerous conductors and holding the positions of both secretary and chairman.
“I met and married my wife, Janet (tenor horn), and the band played at our wedding in 1980. Due to family commitments, I had a break for several years and when circumstances allowed, I started playing again with the Salvation Army and then moved to Preston Brook band in 2015, until its recent unfortunate closure. Having been asked to help out at a concert with Barnton Silver band I re-joined, where I now enjoy playing Eb bass”.
The foundation of the band, are you the big, strong, bag of wind we need?
If you love to hit things, come to us, we have just the job for you.