Mark Sidwell - Musical Director

Born in 1972 Mark started playing the trumpet at the age of 8, moving quickly over onto the cornet.

After early teaching from Wilfred Heaton an eminent Salvation Army musician and some years of playing with local bands, Ripon City, Harrogate and Wakeman Brass, Mark studied the cornet with two legendary players, Philip McCann and Alan Morrison. At the same time, whilst studying at college, Mark received conducting tuition from Major Peter Parkes, one of the Brass Band movements’ most successful and respected Conductors.

Mark took up an invitation to become the resident conductor of the Northeast based Championship section band Northumbria Police at the age of 20 and has conducted ever since enjoying various conducting posts through all of the sections.

In July of 2007, Mark joined the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band and was a member of the cornet bench for two of the most successful years in the Bands illustrious history: highlights included a BBC Proms concert and the successful defence of the National Brass band Championships in 2007 – both in the Royal Albert Hall, two European Brass Band Championships Competitions, winning the English Nationals in 2008 and numerous European tours.

Mark has worked closely with many fine musicians including Professor Roger Webster running workshops for young brass players and has also conducted some of the brass band movement’s finest soloists.

Mark spent 11 years as Ripon’s Deputy Hornblower (an ancient tradition dating back to 886) and was very fortunate to be closely involved in two Royal visits.

Today Mark divides his time between freelance performance as a brass player & conductor and also teaching brass both privately and in many local schools. As a teacher a number of Marks former pupils have gone on to study performance and composition at Music College and conservatoires and a number now also play with some of the country’s finest bands. 

Mark is also the resident musical director of Lockwood brass, a championship section band based outside Guisborough.

Marks has two children Matthew and Rebecca both of whom play the cornet and are involved in the main band and training band respectively.