Registered charity 290209
Rob has been a brass player since he was 4 years old. Originally taught to play by his dad, as a boy he was a member of the Salvation Army and learnt to play in an ensemble at Woolwich SA as a junior bandsman.
At school in SE London he moved from playing Baritone to Trombone, which was an instrument that had always fascinated him. As a teenager he played with the London Youth Jazz Orchestra under Olaf Vass and was Principal Trombone with the London School’s Symphonic Band under the direction of Alan Cave. At 18 he joined the Army as a professional musician, and was posted to Woolwich (his home town) and served The Royal Artillery Band at Woolwich for 7 years. During that time Rob played Trombone and Euphonium in many bands and combinations (Symphonic Band, Brass Band, Marching Band, Dance Band, Big Band, Oompah, Swing, Dixie, Full Symphony Orchestra, and various small brass groups). As a brass player he was awarded the British Army’s highest award for a musician (Army Musician Class 1).
For occasional orchestral appearances, Rob also learnt to play a stringed instrument - the Double Bass (a requirement of the Royal Artillery Band since its inception in 1762).
Rob’s Army career was cut short in 1987 after severe difficulties with his eyesight where he struggled to focus on sheet music. He left the Army but continued to play for several years in various ensembles predominantly playing by ear and improvising in conference bands and pop house bands leading large group singing.
After years of not being able to read music Rob’s eyes were operated on in 2014/2015 and he has been rebuilding his skills and picking up his love for music again. He is proving that musical skills don’t leave you but just get a little rusty without use. After polishing his once finely honed skills, he has begun working with Stowmarket Concert Band and sharing his wide experience of many kinds of brass music.
SCB were really lucky to have had such a great array of visiting conductors over spring 2017, who showed great interest and support for the band. After getting to know each other for a few weeks, the band appointed Rob in June 2017 and we immensely look forward to working with him, initially on our summer and autumn events, including proms, weddings, fayres, bandstands, concerts and services, followed by our Christmas concert season. Welcome aboard, Rob!