The Organising Committee

UniBrass Organising Committee

The committee is responsible for organising and running the contest, both in public and behind the scenes. Without their hard work and dedication, UniBrass would not be able to run each year at all, let alone be the spectacular event that it is.

Voirrey Baker

Chair

Voirrey (also goes by Vos) is a third-year MEng Engineering student at the University of Sheffield, and a self-confessed brass band nerd. Coming from the Isle of Man, she started playing cornet in the local Ramsey Town Band, aged 12. After finishing Sixth Form in 2016, she spent a year in the USA, where she enjoyed playing with the Princeton Brass Band. Since starting university in Sheffield, she has become even more involved with brass banding, playing cornet in Unite the Union Band and soprano cornet in the University of Sheffield Brass Band. She also holds committee positions on both of these bands, which have ranged from Librarian to Treasurer. 

Voirrey has attended each UniBrass since York 2018, and is delighted to be chairing the 2021 Organising Committee. She is very excited to bring some new ideas to the contest and to give it a Sheffield twist.
 

 

Rebecca Rowley

Treasurer

Rebecca is a second-year BSc Physics student, originally from Wolverhampton. She started playing the trumpet at age 9 and went on to play in her local arts centre’s wind band for several years. 


She joined the University of Sheffield Brass Band playing the cornet in September 2019 and has grown to love the world of brass banding. Her first competition was Bangor 2020 UniBrass which inspired her to join the Sheffield organising committee. 

 

Rachel Onions

Secretary

Rachel is an MEng Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Sheffield. Coming from a musical family, she first started playing the piano, and then picked up the cornet at the age of 13 at school. She has since had spells on the tenor horn, but mainly plays cornet and percussion. She has enjoyed competing with several bands - most recently with Unite the Union Band. She has played with the University of Sheffield Brass Band since 2017. She is looking forward to helping make UniBrass 2021 happen!

Sophie Barwick

Contest Secretary

Sophie is an MEng General Engineering student, and a tenor horn player from Cheshire. She started playing cornet in the Lions Youth Brass Bands at age 8, and after progressing through the organisation, she moved to tenor horn aged 11. With LYBB, Sophie has competed at multiple National Youth Championships and represented England at the European Youth Championships in 2019. She has also competed at many Championship and First Section Regional Brass Band Contests in the North West and Yorkshire, as well as a First Section National Finals. Sophie has been Librarian for the University of Sheffield Brass Band 2019-2020 and is President for 2020-21.

Dylan Leyland

Social Coordinator

Dylan is in his last year of an MEng Mechanical Engineering with German degree and a keen cornet player. His banding began at the age of 7 in the City of Bristol Training Brass Band but didn’t stay for long and turned towards orchestral trumpet playing. He rekindled his love of brass bands when he came to the University of Sheffield and acquired a cornet. He’s never looked back. He now plays in the wind orchestra and brass band and has occasionally conducted both ensembles, taking the orchestra on tour to Cologne in 2018. Dylan first competed in UniBrass in Harrogate in 2017 and only missed last year because of his study abroad in Germany. Dylan will soon graduate and move back to Bristol to pursue a career as an engineer while still keeping up his musical escapades.

Theo Letts

Volunteer Coordinator

Theo is a first year Music and Philosophy student originally from Cambridgeshire. He originally started his musical journey on the cello at the age of 4, but then made the decision to play the Euphonium as well at the age of 7. He joined his local community band, March Brass 2000, soon after and has played with them for nearly 12 years.

Joining the University of Sheffield Brass Band and competing with them at the 2020 UniBrass competition in Bangor has been inspiring for him and encouraged him to take an active role in the 2021 competition.
 

Rachael Ayres

Marketing Coordinator

Originally from Rochdale, Rachael is a soprano cornet player, currently studying BSc Genetics. She started playing in brass and concert bands aged 7 and competed nationally with Rochdale Borough Youth Band. Rachael also competed in the first and second section with Whitworth Vale and Healey band for three years. She has been social secretary of USBB for 2019/2020. 

Ashleigh Howe

Accommodation and Logistics Coordinator

Ashleigh is in her last year of a Psychology degree at the University of Sheffield. Growing up in a musical family in Sheffield has allowed her to see brass banding in the city evolve. She started playing tenor horn when her Dad, a lifelong Euphonium player, bought her a tenor horn at the age of 12. Ashleigh went on to join the small community band run by her Dad, and played there for 6 years, until lack of funds caused the band to go under. Watching a small local band struggle for players inspired Ashleigh to join the University of Sheffield Brass Band, and take a role on the UniBrass Committee with the goal of ensuring that younger players will stay in the brass banding community. Her first UniBrass was York 2018, and seeing the enthusiasm of the players and audience there encouraged her to take an active role in hosting the competition in Sheffield 2021. 

Tara Appleyard

Inclusions Officer

Tara is a Physics and Philosophy student at the University of Sheffield. She is originally from Leeds where she began playing the cornet in primary school playing in local bands including Otley Brass Band, Wharfe Brass and York Railway Institute Brass Band. She joined the University of Sheffield Brass Band in her first year and has been a member ever since. Tara is delighted to be the inclusions officer and can’t wait to see what UniBrass in Sheffield holds. 

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