Joining the postgraduate MA Music course less than a year ago, Steve has already made a huge impression on his tutors and peers. He has taken his enthusiasm for music back to his community in France where he is based, as an active and long-standing member of the British brass band movement. Steve was keen to build upon his prior experiences in the context of his new role as a member of the decade-old Brass Band of the Charente. Steve’s motivation is to build the aspirations of young musicians, widening opportunities for those that may otherwise be unable to access artistic expression. His expertise, enthusiasm and energetic dedication are sure to go far in furthering his goal to grow the brass band movement across the pond.
Steve says: “Brass bands and playing the Soprano Cornet are my music passion. This award nomination is a wonderful recognition of the effort we are putting into spreading the joy of playing a brass instrument and in developing the infrastructure of youth brass music-making in our rural community in Western France. As a mature student on the course, it has been so refreshing to learn from very capable tutors who are so personally engaged in your projects. The French banding community is on a good growth path and frequently looks to the UK for inspiration. The University of Salford is a great connection helped by its experience of offering the UK’s first Band Musicianship degree. My wife, daughter and I all play for the Brass Band de Charente – the only brass band in our county (twice the size of Lancashire). As a brass organisation we have enjoyed several youth workshops with international brass soloists and as part of my MA studies, we are currently working with a local primary school on a combined youth and senior band concert. Our current project has involved especially arranging pieces that will appeal to a French audience, conducting a child survey to assess the project’s impact and building our website / social media presence. We will use this nomination to promote our community project to the parents of the children involved. The parents’ support in our sparsely populated region is so important in making music happen for the children. Vive Le Brass Band!”