FORMIDABLE FODEN'S - Full coverage from the 2021 National Brass Band Championships

Issue 6112

HOW TO IMPRESS - Amos Miller on flourishing in a conservatoire audition

COMPOSER CAST - Liz Lane on her fascinating early musical life

DEPARTURE - Cornet star Kirsty Abbotts leaves Carlton Main

A rising star - Luke Barker

Wednesday 29 September, 2021

Cornet player Luke Barker has enjoyed a meteoric rise and currently forms part of the solo cornet team at Flowers Band. Earlier this year, the 19-year-old became leader of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and Luke was recently named a young ambassador for the Geneva Group.

Rob Tompkins chats to the rising star about his flourishing musical career.


You started playing at the age of eight. What was it that drew you to playing a brass instrument and why the cornet?

LB: Coming from a non-musical family, I wasn’t introduced to the cornet by my parents. I saw some of the other kids playing brass at school and it looked fun. I was playing the violin at the time so my mum spoke to another parent whose daughter was playing the cornet and I went along to my local band, Shipston, for a trial session. The only reason I play the cornet is because it was what was given to me in the wooden box at that session. If it had been anything else that’s probably what I would be playing now. I also don’t think I would have been able to hold anything bigger!

You had some help each week from Dave Birch. How big of an influence was Dave on you?

LB: Dave was such an inspiration and I really have to thank him for where I am today. He constantly found me new solos to play and gave me so many opportunities. We had our weekly sessions together, where we worked through the Team Brass book at first then later progressed to the traditional cornet solos, such as Zelda, which I would then perform in the various local solo contests against other young players in the area and other members of the Junior Band. I guess that’s partly where my motivation came from.


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Issue 6110 digital September 23, 2021