At the beginning of the summer Ware Brass said goodbye to their Musical Director of 11 years, Phillip Littlemore. Philip left big boots to fill and the band and committee have had a busy summer auditioning applicants for this position. Following on from this, Ware Brass are delighted to announce the appointment of Craig Patterson as their new Musical Director. Craig started playing the cornet at age 7, taught by his father, and joined the Salvation Army Junior Band then conducted by his oldest brother. When he was 12, he received a scholarship to study the trumpet at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. In his final year, he was awarded an ARCM, won the French Besson National Trumpet Competition and reached the brass final of BBC Young Musician of the Year. He continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music where he was awarded the Iles Medal for orchestral playing. In his final year, he joined the Nemo Brass Quintet and went on to win the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music prize and international quintet competitions in both France and Germany. Nemo have performed on BBC Radio 2 and 3, Classic FM, ITV, Radio France and Finlands National Radio.
As a young cornet player, Craig was a member of Enfield Citadel Band under the great bandmaster James Williams MBE then went on to join the Britannia Building Society (Fodens) Band under the direction of his trumpet teacher, Howard Snell.
Craig began his conducting on a UK tour of Les Miserables. While a member of the orchestra, he took over as one of the Assistant Musical Directors, making a rather scary debut at the Liverpool Empire with an audience of over 2000 people. Since then, he has gone back to his brass band roots taking Hitchin Band from the 3rd Section up to the 1st, winning the 3rd Section National Finals and the London and Southern Counties Regional Competitions in both 3rd and 2nd sections along the way. In the Championship Section, Craig has conducted Wantage Silver Band for the last 2 years, winning the Southern Counties Autumn Contest twice and qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall.
As a performer, Craig has appeared with many professional orchestras such as English National Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. He continues to work in the West End as a trumpet player performing on shows such as Les Miserables, Cabaret, Mary Poppins, Porgy and Bess and The King And I.
The brass playing heritage continues with his two daughters, one of whom plays solo cornet in the National Youth Brass Band and the youngest plays trombone in the National Youth Orchestra. As well as teaching his own children to play, Craig teaches at several schools in the area including Heath Mount Prep and Freman College.
Lisa King, Chairman of Ware Brass spoke of the new appointment “We are very pleased that Craig applied and auditioned for the position of Musical Director. He immediately impressed the band with his outstanding musical ability as a player and conductor. We feel that he will challenge the band musically and also fit in as well as a member of the Ware Brass family. We are looking forward to the musical journey ahead with Craig at the helm”
You can see Craig’s debut concert with the band on Sunday 10th September in Ware Priory Gardens, from 3-5pm (a free concert). Craig will then lead the band in their spectacular show ‘A Journey Through Space and Time’ at The Drill Hall, Ware on Saturday 18th November at 7.30pm. Tickets and further information available at www.warebrass.eventbrite.co.uk