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Sheona Wade: The voice of the tenor horn

Thursday 28 October, 2021

Sheona Wade is one of the outstanding tenor horn players of her generation, and has occupied principal horn positions with many of the finest bands around, including Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke, Foden’s and YBS.

The Scottish horn virtuoso chats to Brett Baker about her glittering career in music and the figures who played a key role in helping Sheona fulfil her potential.


Sheona Wade may have occupied the solo horn chair with some of England’s finest bands but her musical roots can be traced back to her home in Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland. Indeed, Sheona began playing at primary school. Her older sister, Kirstine, already played flugel, so she wanted to play as well, and as lessons were freely available, so Sheona’s playing career began.

“My only teacher as a child was the brilliant John Boax. I started when I was 10 and we had a fantastic school band called the Carrick Youth Brass Band that John conducted, and we went on to win the European Youth Championships.

“John was a brilliant teacher and conductor as he focussed on all the right things: sound, air, musicality and all the qualities it takes to be a brilliant brass player. I’m not the only successful student he had.”

As she grew, Sheona played for Dunaskin Doon Band, which John also conducted. In a neat case of things going full circle, she was invited to return to the Ayrshire band a few years ago as guest soloist in a concert to celebrate its 150th anniversary, a moment of immense pride.

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Issue 6113 digital October 21, 2021