Carol Jason – bass guitar and vocals

Carol is a talented professional musician whose long, varied career has seen her perform and collaborate with world-renowned musicians. She has energy, enthusiasm and passion for making music, and loves sharing that with others.

Carol's life has always revolved around music, for as long as she can remember: both her parents were musicians and her younger sister Johanne is a talented singer, songwriter and clarinettist too. Carol first studied the piano and then picked up the guitar in her teens. A chance encounter with a bass guitar sparked a life-long passion and career spanning almost 50 years.

Carol's early career on bass guitar took her all over Europe playing rock and pop music with touring bands. She joined the Wally MacKenzie Big Band, giving her great opportunities to play and sing, and during the 1980s, Carol worked on cruise ships and at many famous cabaret venues. She co-owned and ran a recording studio and played with the well-known show band - Lemon Tree. They made many TV appearances, including Children in Need in 1985 and 1987, and performing at the London Palladium.

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Mike Thomas – french horn

Mike started his musical career in 1969 by learning to play the cornet in the school Brass Band.
In 1974, he joined the Army and became a Junior Bandsman with the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. During his time there, Mike was encouraged to swap instruments and learn the french horn. Following two years there, he went on a 12 month pupils course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall.
In 1977, Mike joined his regiment, The Royal Hussars(PWO) and enjoyed 15 years playing many engagements throughout the UK and Europe.
He left the Army in 1989 and came to live in Oldham, where he joined the Oldham Royal British legion Band, as it was known the, as both French Horn player and conductor.
When in 1994 the Legion Band folded, Mike had a break from playing until 1997,when he joined the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Band in Bury as principle French Horn player.
Mike became Musical Director of the Fusiliers Band in 2001 and took the Band to Canada to participate in the Canadian International Military Tattoo twice, where he had the honour of conducting the Massed Bands.  
Mike also recorded two CD's with the Band and met members of the Royal Family.
In August 2013, Mike left the Fusiliers Band and joined the GMP Band as a French Horn player. He has also conducted the band at rehearsals and for several concerts.

Rachael Binder – Clarinet

Rachael is originally from Bolton, and started volunteering with GMP band on clarinet in 2012 when she came back to the North West after university. She was looking for a high-standard wind band and GMP was a perfect fit!

She has lots of experience in a variety of ensembles, and has played in concert bands and clarinet choirs/quintets since school - by the end of secondary school she was Grade 8 in both clarinet and piano.

In her former career as a primary school teacher, Rachael loved teaching music to the children - especially the choir, drums and recorder. She left teaching following the birth of her young son and is now in the process of setting up her own business.

George Pinnington – bass clarinet and vocals

George is something of a legend within GMP band: without him we might not be in existence today, celebrating 140 years of music!

An experienced singer, saxophonist and clarinettist, George is most at home fronting our big band. He's often found singing classics from the greats such as Matt Monroe, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra in his own, inimitable style. He also plays bass clarinet with our wind band, and sometimes joins the saxophone quartet on baritone sax.

He was a service police officer for over 30 years, working in three different forces and ending his career with Greater Manchester Police. Much of his service was spent as a member of various traffic units as an advanced driver and motorcyclist.

George took a break from policing for a few years, pursuing his love of music and becoming a professional entertainer - he adopted the stage name 'Steve Lee' and was lead singer and harmonica player with the Steve Lee Show Band. He toured extensively throughout the British Isles and beyond. From Thurso in northern Scotland to

Southampton, and in prestigious venues in Greece, Germany, Italy and Turkey - as far as Adana near the Syrian Border. He worked with many well-known names en route and he has many tales to tell from his time as a pro!

When George rejoined GMP, he became involved with the band, which at that time was a full-time ensemble made up of serving officers. He would sing with the Big Band, and when he eventually passed the audition, became a full time player on clarinet.

The band was disbanded in the early 1970s, but George and several of his friends and colleagues rescued it a few years later, bringing it back as a voluntary ensemble.

 

 

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.

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