MUSICAL DIRECTORS

JONATHAN PIPPEN

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.

11015295_401130733394347_422504859338534

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.

MELISSA BROWN

Melissa is a freelance trombonist, educator, and podcaster based in Leicestershire.

​Her early brass experiences were in brass bands and she started to learn to play the cornet at 9 years old with her local brass band, Chatteris Town Band. Not enamoured with the cornet, she moved quickly on to the tenor horn and a few years later discovered the trombone.

​​Melissa studied with freelance trombonist (and conductor of Kidlington Concert Brass) Duncan Wilson until 2009, when she was awarded a place at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance to study trombone performance. She graduated in 2013 with a BMus (Hons) in Performance and an LTCL in Instrumental Teaching.​

As a performer Melissa has extensive experience in orchestras, pit bands and brass bands and has played all over the UK and abroad, including performances at Ronnie Scott's, the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall as well as touring worldwide with a particular highlight being a tour of Southern India playing the music for the film Neethaane En Ponvasantham. ​

 

As a conductor Melissa was musical director of Chatteris Town Band from 2013-2017 and has been a regular deputy conductor with Championship section band, Kidlington Concert Brass since 2017. 

Her day job mostly consists of teaching music in various capacities including whole class curricular music, and group and individual brass and piano lessons both in schools and her private teaching studio.

Melissa is also the host and producer of the brass interview podcast, Bold as Brass Podcast which she started in 2020 and is travelling with the podcast to the International Women’s Brass Conference in Texas in 2022.

Outside of work Melissa enjoys travelling, baking, and is studying Greek.