Musical Directors

Ben Jones (The Tilbury Band)

Ben’s musical journey started at a young age when he picked up the tenor horn as a child and started learning through his local music centre in Thanet. Within a year, Ben had already started taking part in music festivals around the area and was picking up trophies and awards in competitions for his performances.

Despite this success, Ben’s desire had always been to play a “slidy” instrument and aged nine; he started Trombone lessons with local tutor Tim Vinall. It was during these early years that Ben’s passion for various different styles of music grew as he found every available opportunity to take part and perform groups across Kent and further afield.

At the age of 10, Ben was awarded a place in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain where he progressed to the seat of Principal Trombone. At the age of 14, Ben accepted a specialist music scholarship to attend Wells Cathedral School. Ben performed throughout the country in some of the country’s most well known concert venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre. He also toured Europe and the USA on Euphonium with the School’s Symphonic Brass Ensemble and Wales and France on Trombone with his prize winning Brass Quintet and Brass Ten-Piece Ensemble.

Ben continued his studies by attending the Royal Academy of Music on a Trombone scholarship, under the tuition of Ian Bousfield and also Dudley Bright, Denis Wick and James Watson. During these years, Ben was provided with opportunities to rehearse with some London’s finest orchestra’s including the LSO and the LPO, working with some of the world’s greatest conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Harding and André Previn.

Ben’s Brass Band career to date has seen him perform around the country and abroad and has included appearances at the British Open Championships in Birmingham and numerous appearances at the National Brass Band Championship Finals at the Royal Albert Hall. Previously holding the position of principal Euphonium, Ben hung-up his instrument to become the 26th Musical Director of The Tilbury Band in 2016.

 

Steve Johnston (Tilbury Brass & Percussion Academy)

 

Gregory White (Bandmaster/Deputy MD)

Greg studied music at the Colchester Institute Centre for Music and Performing Arts where he was tutored in tenor trombone with Helen Vollam, piano with Francis Reneau and voice with Tarsha Cole. He became interested in conducting and studied under Christopher Phelps (himself a student of Herbert Von Karajan). Greg conducted both the Brass Band and Symphonic Wind Orchestra whilst at Colchester, working for two years as Student Leader of the Symphonic Wind Orchestra.

Leaving music college, Greg undertook teacher training at the Institute of Education, University of London. He kept his hand in working as a freelance teacher and conductor for Thurrock Music Services, conducting and organising their own Concert Band and Brass Ensembles as well as working as an Instructor and relief Conductor for the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps. Greg is now Director of Music at Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School and is Musical Director of Thurrock Spectrum Brass and the Essex Yeomanry Band.