BERLIN BOUND - Isobel Daws secures place at Karajan Academy

Issue 6125

SCOTTISH FUNDING - SBBA receives Creative Scotland award

CONTEST CANCELLED - West of England Regionals off

CURTAIN RISING - RNCM Festival set for take-off

PUSHED BACK - Australian Nationals postponed

Under the spotlight: Neil Brownless

Monday 27 December, 2021

Conductor Neil Brownless is a musician who is going places. Musical director of Abingdon Concert Band, he was recently appointed conductor of Wantage Concert Brass and in July 2020, he became the second person to graduate, with distinction, from the master’s degree in brass band conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. On the contest stage, Neil has had great success with Towcester Studio Band winning six competitions in his tenure, and has also turned his hand to arranging, published for both wind and brass band.

Rob Tompkins finds out more about the talented musician.


What age did you start playing?

NB: I first started playing the violin when I was seven before seeing sense and switching to the cornet at nine and trombone at 14. I occasionally dabble in euphonium, tuba and percussion.

You were recently appointed musical director at Wantage Concert, you are MD at Abingdon Concert and you are also taking on an orchestra in Burford. How much are you relishing these opportunities?

NB: I’ve enjoyed conducting lots of different ensembles over the past few months after so long without any in-person music making. I have been musical director of Abingdon Concert Band (a wind band of around 60 players) since 2013 and I conducted it to Gold awards at the Regional and National events in the
National Concert Band Festival in 2018 and 2019. I have recently been appointed MD of Wantage Concert Brass, following its third place in the Second Section National finals, and I’m looking forward to working with such a hard-working band. A new challenge for me will be orchestral conducting, when I take up the baton with Burford Orchestra in January, starting with Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony.

To access the full interview, subscribe to British Bandsman today!

Issue 6121 digital December 16, 2021