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Iain started playing the cornet in 1999 when he was about 13, he joined Reddish Prize Band as a junior player and later joined the senior section and stayed in the band for about 12 years. Iain also achieved most improved player of the year ward in 2005 while he was there. Then joined Belle Vue in 2012 as a back row cornet player and has earned a place on front row, which he has been on for about 2 years. Iain enjoys playing and still learns a few tricks of the trade, he was also asked to go play the baritone for a few months which he did willingly and enjoyed playing a different instrument.
Mark’s first instrument was a valveless Bb trumpet which he took up at the age of 10 when he joined the Boys Brigade and, although he played that till he left at the age of 17 when he left, he didn’t continue with any music till his late twenties. At this point having tried a few instruments he took up the clarinet and saxophone, having lessons from Fred Marsh who was a northwest swing band musician from 1927 to his retirement in 1979. After a while, Mark began to play at church and with a gospel band and later, played with the Warrington Concert band for a brief period.
By the ‘90’s Mark returned to his former brass instrument, taking up flugelhorn and trumpet receiving lessons from Ken Brown of the Halle Orchestra. He also learned to play the Irish uilleann pipes, bodhran and whistles during this time and established a ceili band playing at a number of venues and functions in the region.
Finally, in 2006, Mark focused his attention entirely on the trumpet and in 2007, he established a big band called Swing & Swing Again and was indeed band leader until he stepped down in 2014. During his tenure of the band, they grew from playing once or twice a year at church functions, to playing several times at the Sale Festival, a civic reception for the mayor of Sale and at a number of charity events throughout the Manchester area as well as at weddings and other private functions.
Although still enjoying his swing music and occasionally playing with his former band, Mark is really looking forward to facing the new challenges and disciplines that joining Belle Vue Brass Band will bring to him.