Michael Brooks – Musical Director
Our conductor Michael Brook started his musical career at the age of seven playing cornet in the junior section of the then Championship section, Markham Main Colliery Band.
He joined the main band at age 12 under the professional baton of Walter Hargreaves until he was 15 joining the Royal Artillery Band as a Junior Musician.
The next three years saw him develop his musical skills, learning to play the viola in preparation for joining the main Royal Artillery Band and Orchestra whilst still improving his cornet playing, the orchestra and band were 110 strong making for a big sound.
After three years on ‘boys service’ he attended a course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall where he was taught by the legendary cornet player and professor Jack McIntosh. However the viola was already his preferred instrument and he received the prize for the instrument at the end of the course.
Going back to his band he soon became Principal viola and over the years played in many famous venues, the Albert Hall, Festival Hall, Buckingham Palace to name some and every type of musical ensemble from quartet to full symphony Orchestra from playing Post Horn to full Military Tattoo.
Being accepted when auditioning for the new Opera North Orchestra he found himself eligible for the first wave of redundancy from the forces so couldn’t accept the post but later joined the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra.
This again broadened Michaels repertoire as this post involved a lot of Radio two and television work but as the studio in Glasgow was shared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra it meant he was able to ‘dep’ with them where he played under conductors such as Simon Rattle.
The BBC axed most of their Light Orchestras in the 80’s causing a break in his musical career.
Coming back into brass banding he has managed to resurrect his old band from teetering on the edge of collapse to a full band and has moved on to help save another band in the same circumstances.
BM&W Brass are delighted to welcome Michael as our musical director and, with the musical experience he brings, are looking forward to enjoying our music and entertaining our audiences.