Meet our new conductor – Alexander Webb

It's with great delight that we welcome Alexander Webb to the ranks of the Greater Manchester Police Band volunteers, as our new conductor.

Alexander is a graduate of the percussion programme at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and in 2016 accepted a place to become the Timothy Reynish Conducting Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music. He first studied with Guy Woolfenden and now studies with Mark Heron and Clark Rundell. He has also participated in masterclasses with Nicolas Pasquet, Jac Van Steen, and Sir Mark Elder.

He maintains a busy schedule as a freelance musician balancing percussion performance with his conducting engagements. As a percussionist he has worked with the English Symphony Orchestra, Queen’s Park Sinfonia, Desford Colliery band, and in 2012 was awarded the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Scheme place for timpani.

As a conductor Alex has worked with a variety of ensembles across the UK; including The British Police Symphony Orchestra, Swindon Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, and Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. He has undertaken tours around Europe, Asia and to the United States; and has also made recordings for broadcast on BBC Television and Radio.  Alexander is very generously supported by the Waverley Fund.

Alex has already begun rehearsals with the wind band and has a couple of concerts with us under his belt. With some high-profile events coming soon, the band are thoroughly enjoying his conducting and are benefiting greatly from his knowledge and experience.

We hope you'll be able to see us perform soon, and enjoy Alex's conducting as much as we do!

Martin Howarth – trumpet

10835448_855589577840270_5040562996349469739_oMartin has been performing with GMP Band since 2013.  He is a multi-instrumentalist playing trumpet, guitar, bass guitar and percussion.  He started playing cornet at the age of 11 under the expert tutorage of Brian Mather, the then principle cornet of the Besses of The Barn brass band. From that time forward, music has played a massive part of Martin’s life.


He has played a wide range of musical styles over the years and has performed with brass bands, wind orchestras, military bands, jazz groups, big bands, pit orchestras and soul / funk bands.  He has worked on shows including West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Copacabana, Les Miserables and the Rocky Horror Show. He has also worked on large number of studio sessions both with bands and as a freelance player. Immediately prior to joining GMP, Martin spent twelve years playing with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) band.

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Lisa Howarth – Clarinet and saxophone

IMG_1079Lisa plays clarinet with the wind band and dixie band, and the sax with the big band and sax quartet. She started playing age 11 and her musical career has been long and varied. She played with High Peak Concert Band, Poynton RBI band, the Adamson Band and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Bury. One of Lisa's highlights was playing at the Hamilton Military Tattoo in Canada.

Other playing experiences include visiting Holland with the Derbyshire Youth Wind Band and performing at the Festival Hall in London.

13240642_10209106176673225_5652068961405071203_nAs well as volunteering with GMP band, Lisa also plays with the Conwy Clarinet Trio.

Lisa said "Playing with GMP band is such a good giggle! I get to play great music, great gigs and get to spend time with some great people."

Tim Paton – Trombone

Jnr Bandsman Paton 1967Tim’s first ever performance was at the age of two, shaking bells with his Dad’s harmonica band in a Christmas Concert at the Odeon in Weston super Mare.

He began piano lessons when he was eight. When Tim was ten he wanted to be a pop star, so he cobbled together a drum kit and formed a group with some friends. A year later he did something more sensible, joining the Weston Youth Orchestra playing timpani.

In 1966 Tim joined the Wessex Brigade as a junior bandsman, where he started learning the trombone. Two years later he went to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, then, after another year with his regimental band, (Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment), he left the army to pursue a civilian career.

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Andrew Broome – Clarinet

andrew broome1Hi there! I'm currently a student in my second year studying at the Royal Northern College of Music.

I grew up in North Tyneside in Newcastle and I started playing the clarinet from the age of 8. Ever since then I've always wanted to play music, so I joined the Wind Band in North Tyneside a few years later.

Two months after starting College, I joined the GMP Wind Band, eager to be playing as much as I could. Since joining it's been an honour for me to represent them and a privilege to be a part of it.

I enjoy everything about the band like meeting the peandrew broome2ople, and the music playing itself! From film music to marching for a parade, every part of it is what I love doing and want to do after college. And that's to play music.

I also love pets, especially my dog Daisy, who lives with my family in Newcastle.

Frank Green – Trombone

0013 Frank started his musical career playing the cornet at school, from the tender age of 12. He joined the school band and Farnworth brass band. In 1968 he joined the Junior Musicians Troop at Woolwich, London and switched from cornet to the trombone. He went to Knellar Hall - the royal military school of music, and then returned to Woolwich to play bass trombone in the main band. He left in 1976 and took a break from playing, until picking up the trombone again and joining his local brass band in Radcliffe. Frank started volunteering with GMP about 12 years ago and now plays with the symphonic wind band and big band.

Barry Frost – Saxophone and Manager

0009Barry retired in April 2012 after 30 years police service. Having started his career on the Wigan Division, he spent several years on the Divisional Traffic Department before moving to the Force Helicopter as an Air Observer. From here Barry was subsequently promoted and spent time in the Communications Branch as a Control Room supervisor, before moving to the forces then Civil Litigation Department.

Towards the end of his career Barry managed GMP's Occupational Checks Unit where his department received acknowledgement from the Home Office, ACPO, and the then Criminal Records Bureau for their performance and hard work.

He has been supporting GMP Band for almost 20 years, and now manages the band's engagements, logistics and runs the Big Band.

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Helena Hornby – vocals and saxophone

0008Helena has been performing with GMP Band since 2009. She's been playing sax and clarinet since the age of 12 and has always loved performing on stage, entertaining an audience.

She's played with a range of jazz groups, wind orchestras, function bands and for shows such as Guys and Dolls, Chicago and Bugsy Malone, but it's big band playing that is Helena's first love. She joined the Lancashire Students' Jazz Orchestra as a teenager, first on tenor sax and then moving to baritone, and there Helena developed a love for belting out a beefy bari bass-line, and as the rest of the band will tell you, she certainly doesn't shy away from those low notes! Read more