Glyn's Soloist Biography

Glyn was born in Aberystwyth where he was introduced to music by his Uncle and enjoyed playing euphonium with Towyn Silver Royal Oakley and Menai Bridge, all local bands.

Glyn is also recognised as an outstanding soloist in his own right and as a popular musician with the Fodens Band. His appointment as solo euphonium in the Band in 1995 has contributed to many contest victories including the Swiss Open in 1995, All England Masters 1995/2002, French Open 1998, Brass in Concert 1998/2002/2009, North West Area Finals 98/99/00/02/03/06/07/08/09/10/11, the titles of National & British Open Brass Band Champions of Great Britain, English National Champions and All England International Masters Champions.

His repertoire, often captured on commercial recordings, is truly impressive and includes performances with National Radio 2 Brass Showcase and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and as featured soloist at the Annual Tuba and Euphonium Conference. His enviable list of successes includes being awarded winner of the Harry Mortimer Most Outstanding Instrumentalist in his final year at Salford University, Best Brass Instrumentalist at the Urdd Eisteddford and Best Soloist Prize at the French Open and Brass in Concert Entertainment Contests.

During his time with Foden’s, Glyn has been a featured soloist on many CDs and Radio recordings. Breaking with tradition, and undertaking a project that has never before been attempted in the 200 year history of brass banding, Glyn recorded his debut solo CD in 2005, but with a difference; Glyn performs solos not only on euphonium, but also on 7 other instruments, including his voice (well, being a Welshman, he couldn’t resist). The solos are accompanied by the Fodens Band and prove how versatile this man really is, hence the title of the recording: Glyn Williams : Virtuoso.

Glyn recorded his 2nd solo CD  “The Lure of the Red Jacket” in 2011 and says - “I knew after the release of my first solo CD (Virtuoso) in 2005 that my next offering needed to be of a more serious nature, demonstrating just how far I have come in the 17 years I have been with Foden’s Band. All the pieces included on the new CD have special meaning for me, especially the Andy Scott Concerto which was commissioned for me in early 2011.

The title of the CD (taken from the first movement of the Concerto) mirrors my feelings for Foden’s and the attraction it will always have for me. I am extremely grateful to have been accompanied by such a great Band and such great people.”

He was delighted that the CD was awarded Brass Band World Solo CD of the Year for 2011.

Glyn was appointed as solo euphonium with the Cory Band in the summer of 2015, a combination which has resulted in probably the most prolific prize winning period of his career so far. Cory won the Grand Slam (European Championships, British Open Championships, National Championships and Brass in Concert Championships) in both 2016 and 2019 (adding the BrassPass Band of the Year title in 2019 too!) and he has also picked up his first best instrumentalist prize at the European Championships for his performance in 2017.

Glyn regularly appears as guest soloist with bands in the UK, Europe and further afield and is delighted to be able to pass on his experience and expertise as a tutor at the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the National Youth Brass band of Wales.


Helen's Soloist Biography 

 

Helen began playing the cornet at the age of ten encouraged by her father who played cornet with Poynton Band where she also played for 10 years. 

 

She joined The Marple Band in 1986 as Principal Cornet, performing with the band in many concert and contest successes, culminating in Helen becoming the first and (so far) only female principal cornet to win the 1996 British Open Brass Band Championship title in its 149 year history. She was also awarded the Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy as the day’s best soloist.  

 

In December 1999 Helen was appointed as Flugel Horn Soloist with Foden’s Band where she stayed for just over 15 years enjoying many contest and concert performancesContest successes with Foden’s were many, including 6 successive years as North West Regional Champions, English Nationals Champions, All England Masters Champions, US Open Champions, 3 British Open wins and ofcourse the historic “double” when the band also won the National Championships in October 2012. 

 

In the Summer of 2015  Helen was invited to take up the Flugel seat at the Cory Band, subsequently becoming a part of the unprecedented Grand Slam band winning the European, British Open, National and Brass in Concert titles in 2016. She was also awarded the Best Instrumentalist Prize at the Open & the Nationals, Best Flugel Horn at Brass in Concert and earned the accolade of Player of the Year from her peers at Cory. Topping off an incredible year of personal achievements Helen was also named as Player of the Year by 4barsrest.com. Ofcourse history does have a way of repeating itself and in 2019 Cory again achieved the Grand Slam, but this time also added the title of Brass Pass UK Band of the Year to their crown.  

 

Helen works at the Brass Band Player’s Registry which covers all competing English & Welsh bands and also writes for Brass Band World Magazine specifically putting together Diary Dates and focussing on grass roots banding in her monthly Banding Spirit pages. She is proud to be a regular tutor at the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, and to have also taught on National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland (where she was guest soloist in 2019) courses.