Rob’s early years were full of music. His father, a keen bander and classical-music fan started him on piano lessons when he was 5 and then brass when he was 7. Asked what he wanted to play, Rob said he’d like to play baritone. And, within a few months of starting, he found himself joining a local brass band,… on 3rd cornet.
In 2003, he joined the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force Band and Corps of Drums on cornet. As a part of this military band, Rob played at venues such as the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Ascot Racecourse, toured Europe (playing at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Thiepval Memorial and the Menin Gate), studied at the Royal Military School of Music, Knellar Hall, as well as performing for the likes of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Dame Vera Lynn.
In 2006, Rob studied for a BSc in Mathematics and Music at the University of Leeds, focusing on composition, conducting and musical analysis. He received some tutorage from Professor Philip Wilby and started to work as a consultant for some of the top bands in the area. Playing wise, he performed with the University’s brass band (including the forerunner to UniBrass), symphony orchestra and wind band. It was in the latter that Rob began to play the percussion. During these years, he also freelanced as a trumpet player.
After University, Rob moved to London and switched to the tenor horn. In 2011, he performed on BBC Radio London and, in 2012, qualified for the National Brass Band Championships held at the Royal Albert Hall with Staines Brass. In 2013, he moved to West Yorkshire with his wife, where he joined Drighlington Brass Band, under Jim Davies.
In 2015, Rob’s time as a percussionist started in earnest as an ill-timed holiday to New Zealand meant he’d return to the UK only 2 days before a contest. Rather than not play at all, he suggested playing the percussion; the band came second. With this success, Rob only played brass once more before sticking with percussion. Rob left Drighlington in 2018, having played under John Roberts and Duncan Beckley. He then spent a year with the Yorkshire Imperial Band (under Jack Capstaff and then Simon Gresswell). He now happily helps out any band that he can, whilst remaining committed to composing, arranging and conducting.