IAN ROBINSON

Ian Robinson was Fishburn Bands' Musical Director between the years of 1990 and 2001, during which time we enjoyed a great deal of success.  Ian followed in the illustrious footsteps of previous Musical Directors including Roy Curran, James Foxcroft, Roger Payne and David Loukes.

Born in Darlington, Ian's early musical influence was through his father and the Salvation Army.  As a cornet soloist he performed at many events both locally and nationally; also at this time he passed the LTCL diploma.  Ernest Ryder MBE, Ian's teacher and also the local Salvation Army bandmaster, encouraged him to conduct and appointed him Deputy Bandmaster at the age of 17.

During college years Ian studied trumpet with Vincent Smith and his musical interests varied from baroque music to jazz, appearing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a soloist.

After ten years as Principal Cornet with the Band, Ian was engaged as Conductor/Musical Director in 1990 and helped lead the band through a very successful period.  Ian also enjoyed working with many other North East based bands during this period. 

Arranging and composing are interests that Ian hopes to develop in the future and he was selected as an adjudicator for the 2000 Regional Brass Band Championships.

Married to Angela with one son, Matthew, Ian teaches brass and conducts ensembles for the Durham Music Service.
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GRAHAM O'CONNOR 

Pictured above with the Durham County Brass Band Association Winners Trophy 2003, Graham commenced taking the Band in November 2001 through to March 2004 and during his appointment with the Band, took us to several contests inclusive of the CISWO Mineworkers Contest in Blackpool,  the Durham County Brass Band Association Contest, the North of England Championships, the Grand Shield Contest, the All England Masters Contest, the Troon invitation Contest and a number of concerts.

Displaying a very hard working and enthusiastic approach in the Bandroom, Graham is a very experienced Conductor having conducted several Championship Section Bands and helped continue the success of the Band. 

Graham was born in Dodworth, Barnsley in 1948 and started playing the cornet in the local village band at the age of seven.  At thirteen years old, he joined world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band and progressed under the guidance of Mr George Thompson to become assistant Principal Cornet.  He kept an association with Grimethorpe Band for the next 20 years.  During that period, Graham had a spell with Brodsworth Colliery Band as Principal Cornet and simultaneously started conducting the Brodsworth Junior Band.  

In 1977 Graham became Musical Director with Andrews Heat for Hire Band and in 1980 gained success at the Pontins and Grand Shield Contests.

1981 saw Graham taking the reins at Rockingham Band as Musical Director and that same year won the 2nd Section Area contest, the subsequent London finals, the Pontins Contest, the CISWO area Contest and the CISWO finals Contest at Blackpool.  A record which has not been equalled since.

In 1988 Graham was appointed Musical Director of Dodworth Colliery Band which later that year became the British Steel Dodworth Band through a sponsorship arrangement.  Under Graham's Baton and their new title, the Band achieved numerous successes in both the contest arena and on the concert platform.

Graham has since conducted numerous Bands inclusive of Stocksbridge Engineering Steels Band, the Cory Band, British Telecom Band, Marple Band and of course Fishburn Band.

Graham has tasted success at many contests with Championship Section Bands inclusive of three Grand Shield wins with Andrews Heat for Hire Band, the Dodworth Band and the famous Cory Band in addition to a runners up placing with the British Telecom Band.

Graham is currently also Musical Director of Hatfield Coal Power Band who were crowned 1st Section champions of Yorkshire in March 2004.  He is also resident conductor of Ransomes Band.

Graham's ability as an adjudicator and Band trainer is well known and his success rate has put him in demand with bands all over Europe.
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CHRIS BENTHAM

Chris was appointed as our resident Musical Director from April 2004, but unfortunately had to relinquish the position due to work commitments in June 2006. 

Chris is also well known as the Solo Trombone player of the Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) Band and has previously gained extensive experience in conducting local bands having success with Westoe (STHCT) Band and Boldon Colliery Band and helped ensure the ongoing development and success of the Band.  

His appointment followed the decision by the Band to revise the Musical Director position to provide separate resident and professional positions in order to take the Band to a higher level.  During his period with the band, Chris worked alongside various Musical Directors such as Major Ian McElligott, Major Jones and Russell Gray
Phil was appointed as Resident Musical Director of the Band in July 2006 until March 2010.

Phil was already well known to the Band both as a Conductor and Bb/Eb bass Player, having guested with the Band on several occasions.

A graduate of Huddersfield University with a BMUS (Hons) Degree in Music, Phil brought a fresh and energetic approach to the Band and constantly works on new programme material and ideas to develop the repertoire of the Band.

Whilst working with the Band, Phil  worked alongside several Musical Directors including
Ray Farr, Russell Gray, Alan Morrison and Richard Evans, whilst also benefitting from masterclasses as part of his Conductor course studies.

The Band wish Phil well for his future ventures and hope to work together again in the future.
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HUW THOMAS
Huw was appointed as Resident Musical Director of the Band in 2011

Huw was already well known to the Band as a Conductor having conducted the Band on several occasions during his Masters Degree course at Durham University under the guidance of Ray Farr.

A Trumpet player in his own right, Huw has also a great deal of experience conducting a number of other Brass Bands, Big Bands and Orchestra's

Whilst working with the Band, Huw has worked alongside Ray Farr and Alan Morrison whilst also benefitting from masterclasses as part of his Conductor course studies with Bramwell Tovey, Peter Graham and Elgar Howarth.