John is Martin Warner’s father and therefore Christine’s father-in-law. He believes it was Christine who was the driving force behind getting him interested in playing bass trombone for the Tewkesbury band.
John took up the trombone in September 1999,
about nine months after he retired. Martin & Christine were long time
members of the Chase High School Brass Band and had arranged a re-union
concert in the August of 1999. John and Bronwen went along, just to
support Martin and Christine really. However, he recalled being
interested in playing the trombone when he first went to high school,
but the one trombone that the school had had already been allocated, so
a budding musical career was quickly extinguished in favour of a
scientific career. On retirement, John thought that learning to play the
trombone might be a good hobby; he said as much to Martin and Christine,
and he was immediately welcomed into the band and offered the loan of a
said "I'll give it until Christmas to see if I like it". Suffice to say
that he was presented with his own new trombone, a Yamaha YSL354 tenor
trombone for Christmas and started having lessons from a professional
teacher in February 2000.
Several years have since passed and he has worked through his ASBRM grades to level six and has also attended two International Brass Band Summer schools. He still plays for the Malvern Chase Band and until recently also played tenor trombone in the Evesham Celebration Reed and Brass Band for several years. Trombone music for wind bands, such as the Evesham Celebration Band, comes in treble clef (Bb transposed) or bass clef (concert pitch) flavours so he had to learn to read music written in the bass clef.
Because of this John was asked to “help the Tewkesbury Band out” on bass trombone for the recent Butlin’s Mineworkers Competition (January 2006) using a borrowed bass trombone. He enjoyed the experience so much that he’s bought his own bass trombone and joined the band!
Here’s an odd coincidence: John has a daughter, Kate (yes, Martin’s sister) who is married to Gavin. Gavin just happens to be Dan Slater’s landlord in Malvern so he has been getting expert advice from Dan on how to play the bass trombone loudly!
February 2006: A Warm Welcome for Warner!
Musical Background: Started playing in 1999 (post retirement activity after civil service career). Stuart Blake taught me. Achieved Grade 6 (merit) in March 2004. Also attended several brass band summer schools. No musical background other than a desire to blast a Trombone!
Which Bands / Ensembles do you (have you) played with on a regular basis? Malvern Chase Brass band (where I started), Evesham Celebration Reed & Brass Band (where I learned to master the mystery of bass clef), our own Tewkesbury Town Band (of course!) and occasional Trombone player with "pit orchestra" - Pepper Pot Players (Upton) and Malvern Chase School Orchestra.
What has been your most outstanding banding experience to date? Many memorable experiences from touring Germany in 2007 to playing in Gloucester Cathedral (also 2007), playing in huge, but tuneful band summer school, being a member of world's largest trombone choir at International trombone festival in Birmingham, playing in large trombone choirs at British Trombone Society meetings.
What is the best advice you have received? Play the rests!
What are your favourite pieces of music that you have played? I mainly play ballads at home. London River in Brass Band is a favourite. I also enjoy "carol bashing!".
What are your favourite pieces of music to listen to (brass band)? Traditional ensemble pieces.
What are your favourite pieces of music to listen to (any genre)? Depends on my mood...Sky's "Hotta" is pretty good. I also like guitar music - Chet Alkins for example. I'm a bit of a closet ABBA fan too! (well its all out in the open now John!!)
Who is your favourite performer and why? Martin Warner - "That's my boy!"
What are your musical ambitions? It would be nice to continue to improve, but realistically at my age, I would hope to maintain my standard. I'll put it all away when I stop enjoying it.
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