A proud Mancunian born and bred Phil had his first trombone lesson at the age of 10 and started to play at the Bury Music Centre in North Manchester. He soon became a member of Besses Boys Band and by 14 joined Besses O’Th Barn Band touring Finland later that year and performing at the Lieksa Brass Festival. He had lessons with Neville Roberts from the Halle Orchestra and after gaining entry to Chethams School of Music at 14 he studied with Peter Leary, BBC Philharmonic. Both of whom have remained his greatest inspiration. Whilst at Chethams Phil was for 2 years Principal Trombone at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and first performed with the Halle Orchestra at 18 whilst still at school. On leaving Chethams he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, became a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra, won the Hiles Medal for Orchestral playing and was by his 2nd year a regular freelance player with the Halle, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras. For 2 years he was invited to attend the Christian Lindberg summer schools in Sweden where he discovered a whole new approach to solo playing, work ethics and dedication.
Phil stayed in Manchester for over 20 years freelancing with all the countries major symphony and chamber orchestras, he was also a proud member of the Manchester based contempory music group Psappha. Since 2014 he has been Sub Principal trombone at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. For many years Phil has been in great demand as a teacher, holding positions at Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Keele, Cardiff and Bangor Universities. In 2002 Phil was invited to join the Brass Department at Chethams School of Music where he is still a teacher of trombone and Chamber music. Many of his former students are now successful trombonists and musicians in many different fields and Genres.
Phil joined the staff at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2016 where he also enjoys teaching trombone and tutoring the chamber music ensembles. Through his children, he had a 10 year association with Stockport Schools Brass Band and with his daughter Rebecca also enjoyed a very happy and successful return to Besses Boys Band in 2010. Phil is delighted to have been given this opportunity with Greenfield Band and is very much looking forward to the challenges and future ahead.
The band is now preparing for a busy Christmas programme and are working hard towards Butlins Contest in January and the North West Area in February. We are currently looking for a Bass Trombone and Tuned Percussionist to complete our line up. We rehearse Monday & Thursday nights (8pm – 10pm) at Friezland Bowling Club in Greenfield. Please contact Phil on 07971026508 or band Secretary, Andy Clayton on 07801351046 if you are interested in joining the team.
After 7 successful years with the Greenfield Band which has included many contest wins, entertaining concerts and a great amount of fun and hard work our MD Tom Halsam has decided the time is right for both himself and the band to move on and explore new opportunities.
Tom will be taking over the baton at Meltham & Meltham Mills Band in the near future and the committee, players and supporters of the Greenfield Band would like to take this opportunity to thank Tom for his time with the band and wish him all the best for the future.
During his time with the band we have risen from the 4th Section to our current position in the 2nd Section North West and our debut in the 2nd Section Area at Blackpool resulted in a respectable 8th place finish out of 20+ bands.
The band is now looking to engage a new conductor to take us forward into 2019 with a varied programme of contests, concerts and other engagements already planned. We are now settled in our home at Friezland Bowling Club in Greenfield which is a great rehearsal facility, we are keen to progress and also enjoy our banding.
Please apply in confidence to Band Secretary, Andy Clayton on 07801 351046 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenfield Band would like to wish all our friends and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The band has had a great year, finishing off with a busy December full of Christmas carols, fingerless gloves and mince pies.
We are looking forward to 2019 when we will continue competing in the 2nd section.
We would like to wish all the local bands good luck for the forthcoming year!
We competed at the annual Rochdale Festival of Brass on 29th October. Our own-choice test piece was ‘Fire in the Blood’ by Paull Lovatt-Cooper. We were drawn last band on in our section and came off stage feeling like we had left our best performance in the band room. Although we were disappointed, the adjudicator Alan Widdop, placed us 4th. We thoroughly enjoyed our last contesting performance in the 3rd section and are now getting straight back in the band room to prepare for Butlins in January which will be our first showing in the 2nd Section.
Our congratulations go to all winners on the day!
We're delighted to welcome 2 new players to the band. After rehearsing with us over the Summer months they have decided to make it official! Ian Morris has joined us on 2nd baritone and his wife, Sue Morris has joined us on 3rd cornet.
We would also like to welcome back into the fold Matt Pollitt on BBb bass who is back from completing his Masters.
An extra special thank you must go to Mavis and Norman Vizard who after years of dedication to the band have decided the time has come to step down. Mavis has cooked not only for fund raising events but has catered for the whole band on numerous occasions. Norman is her able assistant and has also served the band stoically on 3rd cornet for many years. We must also thank Lindsey Vizard who left the band over the Summer months for both her dedication to the band as a player and for being quite often the life and soul of the party!
Everyone at Greenfield Band wishes you all well and you will always be more than welcome at any of our events!
Announcing our very first concert in our new home, Friezland Bowling Club.
The Summer concert will take place Sunday 27th August, 2pm-4pm outside the bowls club (weather permitting!). Whilst bowling games take place, there will be music for the whole family to enjoy alongside refreshments and even a raffle!
Admission is completely free and open to non-members of the club.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Whit Friday 2017 was a fantastic day for the band! We got round an impressive 10 contests, finishing our evening as ever in front of a great home crowd in Greenfield! Here are a few photographs from the day:
We are pleased to announce Friezland Bowling Club as our new home!
After being given 2 weeks notice of the imminent closure of the Conservative Club in Greenfield, our home for the past 30 years, we were forced to look for new rehearsal facilities. Although we looked at many viable options, the bowling club set in the heart of Greenfield, was the stand out by far. The club, which has recently undergone renovation including a new floor, have kindly let some of their space for the band to continue rehearsing in our home village.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the other local bands who helped out in offering their rehearsal facilities in our hour of need, namely Delph, Uppermill and Boarshurst Bands.
We are all really excited about our new chapter at Friezland Bowling Club - watch this space for news of our Summer Concert!
On Sunday we made the trip to Buxton Contest, where we last visited in 2015. As we are still in the process of looking for a new rehearsal room – we had a difficult run up to the contest. Usually we would have sectionals, extra rehearsals and spend lots of time concentrating on our chosen test piece. With our time taken up moving out of the Conservative Club and transferring all our gear into temporary storage, rehearsal time was limited! We had a last minute change of test-piece giving us just two-weeks to get it up to scratch. We would like to place on record our thanks to Delph Band, Uppermill Band and Boarshurst Band for their kindness in letting us use their rehearsal facilities as our hunt continues for a new room.
Drawn fourth in our section, we performed our chosen test piece, Oceans by Goff Richards. We came off stage pleased with our performance and were rewarded with three prizes:
Best Euphonium Section in the 3rd Section
Best North West Band in the 3rd Section
3rd Overall in the 3rd Section
Our congratulations to all other prize winners!
We are now looking forward next Sunday which is the Westhaughton Mayoral
Greenfield Band are delighted to announce that as of 01st January 2018, we have been officially promoted to the 2nd Section!
We have been waiting patiently for official confirmation after tieing on points for automatic promotion with 3 other bands. The news officially came through on Friday morning and we are all absolutely thrilled! We are looking forward to the rest of our contesting year in the third section and can't wait to begin competing in the second section at Butlins in January!
Thank you to everybody who has supported us!
On Saturday 1st April, we performed as part of a Mass Brass outfit at Uppermill Civic Hall. Alongside us at the event were Dobcross Youth Band, Delph Band and our Boarshurst Band. Each band played a 20-minute stint forming together at the end of the concert to play a rendition of the Whit Friday classic Death or Glory. We had a fantastic sell-out crowd listening on as the sound of 120 brass players filled the hall. Thank you to everybody who helped in organising what was a great event. We are already looking forward to the 2018 Mass Brass!
We had our annual trip to Blackpool last Sunday for the North West Area Contest. We had a late start to the day due to the third section not beginning until 3pm. Drawn 15th we took to the stand to
provide our rendition of Darkwood composed by Dan Price. It would be fair to say that the acoustics in the Arena took us by surprise but after an uncomfortable start, we produced a great
performance to be proud of. Steve Pritchard-Jones and Glyn Williams, the adjudicators in the box on the day, commented that the acoustics and conditions were difficult and also stated:
"We very nearly heard two performances for the price of one as the band sound bounced around". The results were announced around 7pm and we were awarded fourth place and first reserve for
the National Finals in Cheltenham. Although a fantastic result for us - it would have been great to have gone to the Finals.
As a band we are really proud of how much we have progressed over our two years in the third section. Our last four results include a 1st, a 3rd, a 2nd and a 4th and there is definitely a feel-good factor going round the band room.
As usual we would like to pass on our congratulations to everyone that managed to qualify for the National Finals! Special mentions go to Milnrow on their amazing second place, Delph with third and their qualification as well as our neighbours Boarshurst on their respective fourth place in the second section.
For the second year in a row and the third time in our history we were placed as runners up in the Third Section at Butlins Mineworkers, in January. Playing the set test-piece 'The Lion and the Rose', we left the stage feeling confident after our performance. Drawn 3rd out of 13 bands we had plenty of time for enjoying ourselves before the results were read at 7.30pm. We are already back in the bandroom busy preparing for the North West Area Contest at the end of February!
We began our 2016/17 contest season with a podium finish at Rochdale Town Hall. We were drawn first in our section and chose to play The Lion and the Rose by Philip Wilby. We
left stage feeling we had given a good account of the 2017 chosen Butlins testpiece. With a third place and some constructive remarks from the adjudicator we feel in good stead for the upcoming
Just a reminder, it is our October Flea Market this coming Sunday (30/10). It would be great to see you there supporting the band!
The band were proud to be asked to play at Durham Miners Gala for the first time. After a 3am start to our Saturday morning we left the band room in high spirits to head to Washington, Durham. Representing Usbech Top and Gleve Collieries, we marched through the streets at 7am, waking up the bleary-eyed local residents, with renditions of Great Escape and Uptown Funk. After this we had another short bus ride into the centre of Durham to meet up with all the other collieries and their bands. We marched through the packed city centre, before stopping to play our chosen piece, The Blues Brothers, Everybody Needs Somebody. Watching were politicians, ex mine-workers and other muscians and after a great reception we carried on to the meeting point. After leaving our instuments we left to explore Durham and its drinking establishments. A few hours passed and we met back up with our colliery to march back through the packed city. Another short bus ride had us back in Washington where we were welcomed with a buffet and karaoke. At about 7pm we left to head back to Greenfield after a really enjoyable, memorable day. We must have made a good impression as we've already been booked for next years gala!
We were pleased to be asked once again to take part in the annual Whit Monday Walks in Manchester City Centre. It is one of the bands favourite jobs of the year as we march the length Deansgate alongside many other musical outfits. A service is held in St. Ann's Square in which the band play the National Anthem to close before we march back to the church. Our next concert is this coming Sunday (05/06) at Uppermill Conservative Club. We hope to see you there!
We had our most successful Whit Friday in the bands history (and also one of the wettest!). Our day began at 9.30am as we marched down Shaw Hall Bank Road in Greenfield to Hail Smiling Morn alongside Friezland and Lydgate churches. Meeting up with the other churches and their bands in Uppermill park, we had time for a quick drink whilst the service was carried out. We marched back negotiating the other brass bands, roundabouts and speed bumps playing crowd-pleasing marches including: Slaidburn, True and Trusty and Death or Glory. We then had a couple of hours break to get a bite to eat before meeting up again for a quick rehearsal at 3.30pm. We arrived at our first contest, Friezland, and were the first band to play for adjudicator Terry Newbigging. Despite 47 other challengers, nobody could beat our performance and we scooped the overall prize! Leaving Friezland we continued to Carrbrook, Mossley, Lees, Scouthead, Lydgate, Uppermill and finally Greenfield. As well as winning Friezland off the number 1 spot, we also gained best local at Uppermill and 10th overall, won the 3rd section prize at Scouthead and 13th overall, 2nd best 3rd section band at Lees and 16th overall and finally 2nd best 2nd section band at Greenfield as well as 14th overall out of a record 72 band turnout. An amazing set of results for us beating some top bands on the night!
We must also thank our fantastic head chef Mavis Vizard and her team for working so hard making and selling sandwiches, hot food, and cakes all night!
Our congratulations go out to all other prize winners on what was a fantastic (and quite wet) Whit Friday!
On Sunday we took a trip over the hill to Holmfirth contest. Drawn third we chose to play the hymn tune Lloyd from the red book and the test piece Oceans by Goff Richards. We came off stage feeling proud of our performance given we had only had about three weeks to get it up to scratch. We won 2nd best hymn tune performance, outstanding conductor, best percussion section, best trombone section and 1st overall in the joint 3rd and 4th section contest! Congratulations to all the other prize winners!
Back into the band room on Thursday to start Whit Friday preperation!
On Sunday we took our annual trip to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool for the North-West Area Contest. Fresh from our success at Butlins we were full of confidence ahead of our performance in the infamous ballroom. As a band we felt we delivered a great performance of Michael Ball's test piece; A Cambrian Suite. We also received positive comments from 4 bars rest: 'An intriguing one (performance) full of style, musical character that just may be a contender today, who knows, but the first in a while to make an impact'. The British Bandsman also stated: 'One of the best so far from Greenfield Band. Well read by the MD and the band plays with rhythm, dynamics, control and style.' Both sources also predicted us to finish in the top 3 and so it was with some disappointment when we found out we were placed 8th overall. In retrospect it was a positive top half result for us, improving on last years 11th place. We are now looking forward to Holmfirth contest at the end of April!
Our congratulations also go to all the bands who qualified to go to Cheltenham over the weekend with special mentions to our neighbours Boarshurst!
After weeks of preperation, hard work and extra rehearsals we were rewarded with second place at the 2016 Butlins Mineworkers contest. Drawn 11th in our section, we had time for a rehearsal before we took to the stage. As a band we felt proud of the performance we delivered and this was echoed in the adjudicators remarks. Barry Thompson and Peter Roberts who oversaw the 15 competitors, told 4BR that: "...only the top two really got to grips with Paul Lovatt-Cooper's colourful 'Platform to the Heavens'. It proved to be a good choice, but in truth only the top two really got near it." We're now looking forward to the area contest at the end of February and hope to continue our winning ways!