Jonathan was given the opportunity to learn the trombone in school at age 7 and immediately found himself immersed in the Gwent Music Support Service and the South Wales Brass Band scene. By age 15 he was principal trombone of the BTM Band and shortly after the National Youth Orchestra and Brass Band of Wales.
In 1997 Jonathan won a foundation scholarship to study at the Royal College Music with Arthur Wilson, and in the same year was appointed as principal trombone of the Brighouse and Rastrick band. He subsequently made a transfer to the Royal Northern College of Music to continue his studies and while in his 3rd year was appointed Principal Trombone with the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica where he remained until 2003. It was here that Jonathan was given his first opportunity to hold the baton.
On returning to the UK to pursue a freelance career Jonathan worked as a guest principal trombone with most UK orchestras including the Hallé, Philharmoina, English National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He also regularly deputised with Grimethorpe Colliery Band and in 2007 made a fleeting return to Brighouse and Rastrick.
In September 2007 Jonathan joined the Central Band of the Royal Air Force where he played and conducted until April 2015. Jonathan continued to work as often as he could outside the RAF, deputising with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Opera North, English National Opera and was the Musical Director of the Staines Band. He was also Principal Trombone of the Desford Colliery Band.
Since re-joining the freelance music scene he has worked with the RPO, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Bergen Philharmonic, The Madness, Steve Hackett, Max Boyce, and on the west end show Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Just before the Pandemic Jonathan was about to embark on a UK tour with “The Who” as bass trombone with the Heart of England Orchestra.
Jonathan has conducted the English Session Orchestra, library sessions for West One Music and Sony, a tour to Vietnam with the Desford Colliery Band and was assistant Musical Director and 1st trombone/euphonium for the Cameron Macintosh production of Half a Sixpence in London’s West End 2016/17.
As a soloist Jonathan has been featured on the BBC Listen to the Band programme no less than 6 times, was soloist on the 2015 Gavin Higgins and Tredegar band award winning album Dark Arteries and had been guest soloist with the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales and at the Lithuanian National Band Championships. Jonathan’s Berio Sequenza V is featured on the Royal Air Force Music album “Going Solo”.
Jonathan is currently the Musical Director of the Raunds Temperance Band, Professor of trombone at the London College of Music, Head of trombone studies for the British Army (London District) and is an examiner for the online music exam board “MTB”.
He is also resident reviewer for 4barsrest.com where he has a regular feature “Brass Things” and from July to September 2021 can be seen as assistant conductor and heard playing Bass Trombone and Tuba at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production of Carousel.
Martin Dawson began playing the tenor horn at the age of ten in his local village band of Moulton in Northamptonshire. Already a keen percussionist, he alternated between the two instruments for a number of years playing for local bands such as Daventry and District, Northampton Town and the Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band. In 1984, he joined the William Davis Construction Group Band eventually becoming their principal horn player. He also played with the Nuneaton-based 10-piece, Virtuoso in Brass. At the end of 1988, he joined the Desford Colliery Dowty Band, enjoying over 2 years of contests, concerts, tours, recordings, and their hat-trick of National Championship victories.
Work then took him overseas to Thailand and the chance to play with brass players from all over the world and to try his hand at conducting. A return to the UK in 1995 saw him fill a conducting vacancy at Rushden Windmill Band which saw the band gain promotion and achieve many contest successes over the next two years. During this period, he was also resident conductor of the Alliance and Leicester Kibworth Band.
A move to Sri Lanka in 1997 enabled Martin to conduct and play with the Sri Lanka Army Band. A six year period in Indonesia allowed him to play in a number of ensembles throughout Southeast Asia. He was also able to rekindle his attachment to Desford Colliery and join them on a number of their overseas tours to the region.
In 2010, he moved to the Kyrgyz Republic and began an attachment to the Kyrgyz Philharmonic Orchestra. He also formed the Bishkek Brass Ensemble. Over the last 9 years he has been a regular visitor to the UK to conduct the Rushden Town Band and the ladies of Boobs and Brass. A permanent move back to the UK has afforded him the opportunity to become resident conductor of the Raunds Temperance Band. Latest news: October 2021 - Unfortunately Martin is moving to a faraway place yet again! This means that we are currently recruiting for a resident MD. Please contact us for further information