In the late 80's and early 90s I did a lot of freelance/semi-pro trumpet playing but these days I spend my time working for a charity and playing the trumpet and cornet on an amateur basis.
I started playing at the age of 10 (french horn) switched to euphonium at 14 (because I really wanted to play in a brass band) and then trumpet and cornet at around the age of 19.
My brass band experience includes Stirling Public Band, Alloa Band (1st and 2nd section) and Alva Band (championship section), Livingston Brass Band, Newlands Concert Brass, principal cornet with Penicuik and solo cornet with Kingdom Brass B. I have played Bb cornet and Eb soprano cornet. This sounds like a lot of bands, but all these changes coincided with house moves.
As an orchestral trumpet player, I have performed a wide range of repertoire from baroque to modern works including concertos and other solos. This includes a lot of piccolo trumpet playing in baroque music.
Favourite players: Maurice Andre, Phillip McCann, Ludwig Güttler, Chet Baker, Jack Mackintosh, Bix Beiderbecke and, of course, Louis Armstrong.
EquipmentI have a range of instruments for different types of playing.
Bb Trumpet - Bach Stradivarius 43I used to play on Monette equipment but switched to this a couple of years ago. It has a larger bell than the standard 37 Bach trumpet that most players use but it is still a medium-large bore. It was bought as a compromise for big band or orchestral playing. I find it works well in all situations.
Bb Trumpet - Schilke S22This is a large bore orchestral trumpet with a heavyweight bell. It sounds very similar to a Bach 25, but with a much better response.
Bb Rotary Trumpet - Scherzer 8218W
Bb Trumpet - Selmer 19A Balanced
|Selmer Paris 19A Balanced Trumpet|
MouthpiecesI have big lips and tend towards larger mouthpieces. I spent a number of years playing on slightly smaller mouthpieces, but after a major lip injury, I went back to larger diameters again. I now play Warburton 1 rims. On cornet 1BC/8*. On orchestral usually, trumpet 1MD/P. I also use a Yamaha John Wallace mouthpiece on the trumpet for more delicate articulation.
Piccolo Trumpet - Selmer
Eb Trumpet - JP 175
Flugel Horn - Courtois 154This instrument is from the early 2000s and is of the narrow bore style of French flugel. It has a massive bell and is a really interesting instrument.
Cornet - Geneva HeritageThis is a truly great cornet. You can read my review of it here.
Cornet - Douglas & SonsThis is a collectors item , made in the late 19th century in Glasgow. You can read the full story of this instrument and my research into the maker here, or view my video review - here.
Cornet - Old Ambassador "Big Easy Mk 3" modified by Peter Pollard
This cornet original belonged to the jazz musician Dave Copperwaite from Manchester. It was modified by Peter Pollard. The leadpipe and bell tail had some expansion, it has a tighter radius main tuning slide fitted and it was converted to trumpet receiver. It plays incredibly evenly across its range and was designed to be easy to play. That's why it is engraved "Big Easy III".
This gives you some idea of the types of music I have performed in concerts over the years.
- Trumpet Concerto in Eb - J Haydn
- Trumpet Concerto in D - Telemann
- Trumpet Concerto in D - Fasch
- Carnival of Venice - Arban (Cornet)
- Trumpet Sonata - Purcell
- Suite in D - Jeremiah Clarke
- Most of the standard classical and romantic repertoire.
- Bach Mass in B Minor and Christmas Oratorio.
- Verdi Requiem.
- Vaughan Williams Symphony no 2 (London) (Trumpet and Cornet parts).
- Played with a 10 piece brass ensemble (using London Brass / PJBE arrangements).
- Marriage of Figaro - Mozart
- The Mikado - Gilbert and Sullivan
- West Side Story
- My Fair Lady
- Kiss me Kate
- Christmas Oratorio - Bach
- Messiah - Handel
- Played trumpet with Forth Dimension big band in the late '80s.
- Occasional playing in local bands.
Brass BandSolo cornet or soprano cornet with:
- Alloa Town Band (1st Section)
- The Alva Band (Championship Section)
- Newland Concert Brass
- Penicuik Silver Band (principal cornet)
- Kingdom Brass B (second solo cornet)
- Bathgate Band (repiano cornet)
ClipsHere are some recent clips of me playing trumpet, cornet and piccolo trumpet. You can find more on my Youtube Channel.
Piccolo TrumpetQueen of the Night's aria from The Magic Flute: