The UniBrass Trustees are elected at the Foundation’s AGM to serve for a term of 3 years, according to the UniBrass Foundation’s constitution. In addition, there are two ex-officio trustee positions which are reserved for the Chair and the Treasurer of the current organising committee, and a position for a nominated trustee, who is appointed by Brass Bands England.
UniBrass Foundation Trustees
Chair: Andrew Straiton
Originally from Leeds, Andy is a studying for a PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Bath. He is a trombone player, who has played in brass bands since the age of ten. Having started banding under his teacher Gordon Eddison at Leeds Schools Brass Band, he progressed to play for his local band, the Otley Brass Band, as well as Elland Silver Youth Band. Whilst an undergraduate at the University of York he played for the University of York Brass Band, York Railway Institute Band and Chiltern Hills Brass (whilst on placement in Oxford). He now plays for theBath Spa Band.
He became involved in UniBrass whilst at York, being chair for the 2017 contest hosted in Harrogate, and subsequently joined the Foundation as a trustee.
Treasurer: Oliver Newton
Music has been a central part of Oliver’s life since the age of 8, and in that time he has picked up a range of instruments, including the clarinet, piano, and orchestral percussion. Since those early days he has gone on to perform with numerous bands and orchestras at venues across the UK and Europe, including several appearances at The Sage, Gateshead; Birmingham Symphony, and Royal Albert Halls. Now based in the North of England, he is currently studying towards a PhD in computational astrophysics at Durham University, and plays with the University and Reg Vardy brass bands.
Oliver first became involved with UniBrass in the final year of his Masters degree at the University of Warwick in 2014. He was part of the successful bid to bring the fledgling event from its birthplace at Lancaster University to its new home, and took on Treasurer duties to ensure things got off to a good start. The rest, as they say, is history.
After his degree, and not content to leave behind something with such potential, Oliver helped establish the UniBrass Foundation as a registered charity. In the first instance, this gave the contest better support to grow into the highly respected event that it is today. Not only that, the Foundation has the much broader remit to advance public education in and appreciation of the brass banding movement, spurring the creation of several more exciting projects. From its first day, Oliver has supported these lofty goals as the charity’s Treasurer, and at UniBrass you’ll often see him running around on-stage setting up the kitchen sink department!
Secretary: Conor Black
Conor is a Chemistry PhD student studying at the University of York, having completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick. He started off playing both tuba and double bass at the age of 9 (the tuba eventually won out!), and played in a number of different ensembles while he was still at school, including the East Beds Concert Band, Hertfordshire County Youth Brass and Herts Wind Sinfonia. Both at Warwick and York, he been very involved with music at university; he currently plays for the University of York Brass Band, having previously played with the Brass Society, the Wind Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra at Warwick.
In his time at university, Conor has also been the Secretary for the University of Warwick Brass Society (who were also a registered 4th Section band at the time). Outside of university, he also plays for the Emley Brass Band. After taking part in UniBrass 2014, which was the first ever brass band contest he played in, he volunteered to help at the 2015 event, and then made the step up to become Contest Secretary for UniBrass 2016. He is honoured to be a trustee of the UniBrass Foundation.
Katherine is a BA Archaeology student at the University of York. Hailing from Durham, she started playing trombone at the age of eight and has played in a range of ensembles from street band to orchestra. Her participation in brass bands started with Lanchester Brass Band in 2012, but stems from a lifetime of influence through her family’s involvement and County Durham’s great brass band scene. Amongst university ensembles, Katherine most enjoys playing for musicals and, of course, the University of York Brass Band (for which she is also a committee member). Having been secretary for UniBrass 2018, she is now looking forward to playing a part of the future of UniBrass as a trustee.
Sophie is a BA English Literature student at the University of Southampton. She got handed a tenor horn at age 10 and has since played with several local bands both in her home in Northamptonshire and in Southampton, this has led her to playing at the European Youth Brass Band Championships with Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band and of course, at UniBrass. Sophie is currently President of the Southampton University Brass Band and has been involved in organising everything from a tour of 42 people to go Reims, to setting up workshops in local schools. In the past, Sophie has written for 4barsrest and the British Bandsman, as well as writing the occasional essay. As a part of her degree, Sophie worked in the marketing department of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and gained a number of new skills from it, she is looking forward to applying these to her position as a Trustee in the UniBrass Foundation and can’t wait to see where the charity goes.
Thomas is physics PhD student at the University of Durham, having completed his undergraduate degree at Warwick whilst the competition was there. He was on the UniBrass Contest Organising Committee for all three years at Warwick and now is a trustee for the UniBrass Foundation. Outside of UniBrass Thomas plays cornet and conducts the university brass band and trumpet/conducts in the concert band.
Parky first came to banding when he joined Warwick University Brass band in 2008. Parky has since worked in banding through managing bands, helping establish UniBrass into what it is today and recently returned from Kampala working for “Brass for Africa”. He currently conducts Worsbrough Brass Band in Yorkshire and Stockport Silver Band in the North West as well as working for Brass Bands England.
Parky has been playing cornet since childhood and has studied with Harrow Young Musicians and The Guildhall, where he had his first brass band experience at the Music for Youth finals at Birmingham Symphony Hall. Whilst at university Parky took up conducting and has now conducted everything from opera to community music. His successes at conducting include prize winning performances at the Whit Friday marches and a Platinum Award at the National Concert Band Festival finals in Glasgow. In 2017 Parky conducted Warwick University Band to win the 4th section at the Leicester Brass Band Association Contest.
Parky now works full time with Brass Bands England but whilst at University he worked alongside BBE as he became very involved in running UniBrass, including two years as Chair of the Organising Committee, in the development of the UniBrass charity structure and then as a trustee since 2014 including as chair and liaison officer. Alongside this Parky continued to play with the university band for 9 years, 5 of which in the principal seat as well as finding time to complete a PhD too!
Charlotte graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry in 2017 from the University of York, where she first got involved with UniBrass as marketing manager for the 2017 contest. Having played the piano since the age of 6, Charlotte later took up the tenor horn aged 9, joining North Wiltshire Youth Band and Ramsbury Silver Band before becoming solo horn in the University of York Brass Band. Charlotte is now at the University of Edinburgh, studying for a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, and currently plays for Edinburgh University Brass Band and Newtongrange Silver Band. Charlotte is honored to be a trustee and continue to work in marketing and design to help spread the work of the UniBrass Foundation.
Anthony graduated from York in 2016 with an MEng in Computer Systems and Software Engineering, and now works in Bath as a software engineer. After beginning to play the trumpet at the age of 9, in 2011 he first entered the world of brass banding when he joined the University of York Brass Band, and now plays repiano cornet with Bath Spa Band. Anthony was involved in student radio and TV throughout his time at York, and hopes to bring these experiences together to improve the Foundation’s media and technology abilities.
Ex-officio: Sam Hartharn-Evans
Sam finished studying Marine Biology and Oceanography at Bangor University in the summer of 2018, and will be studying for a masters in Physical Oceanography in 2019. He has played brass instruments since year 4 and moved to the dark side of the trombone 10 years ago. He has played with his local brass band, Port Sunlight Lyceum Brass Band for a number of years, and whilst at university has played for Beaumaris Band, as well as being a member of the Concert Band, University Symphony Orchestra, and the University’s Brass Band, for which he has been the treasurer and chair.
Sam got involved in UniBrass by leading the bid to bring it to Bangor at the end of his second year and is now looking forward to being the chair of the organising committee in its first year in Bangor. With the contest being outside of England for the first time outside, Sam hopes to bring something new to the contest as well as to reach new audiences.
BBE Nominated: Max Stannard
Max studied music at Lancaster University. He was President of the Music Society and led a group of students to create the first UniBrass contest in 2011. He has continued to be involved in the contest after graduating, compèring the event since 2012 and working as a trustee of the UniBrass Foundation since 2015. At the same time, Max was invited to join Brass Bands England as a trustee focusing on youth development.
Max is a music teacher and now works as a Head of Music at a school in Manchester. He has played in bands across the North West and Midlands, and has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Symphony Hall. In addition to playing, he has conducted bands and composed and arranged music which has been published across Europe. His composition, Into the Future, was the anthem of BrassFest UK 2018.