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Musical Director - Ian Brownbill

Ian Brownbill is a musician and producer. He has developed ideas with leading artists across disciplines and his work takes him regularly across the UK, into Europe, North America and in 2008 to South Africa. In 2009, as then Director of Metal, Liverpool, Ian was responsible for restoring the world’s oldest passenger railway station at Edge Hill into a thriving arts centre.

Ian has enjoyed 40 years' involvement in the world of brass banding. Widely regarded as a cornet player, he has been a playing member of several bands, commencing at the age of ten with Pemberton Old and later with bands including Leyland DAF, where he played assistant principal cornet to the legendary, Phillip McCann, Black Dyke and YBS. He has won The Grand Shield, The Nationals, The British Open and European Championships (on four occasions) as a player.

In 1995, playing flugel horn, he won all three of these titles in the same year with Black Dyke. Ian was also Black Dyke's Bandsman of the Year in that special year, an award from his fellow bandsmen that he is very proud of. In 2015 Ian dug out his cornet and returned to the contesting arena at The Open and National Finals with Brighouse and Rastrick.

In what has been up to now a brief conducting career, Ian has been MD of just four bands, taking Ifton Colliery, Rhos Silver and Milnrow to major prizes in National Finals. He also led one of his local bands in St Helens, Haydock, to the Championship section of the National Finals in 2003.

Ian has been adjudicating since his early twenties and he has judged at The National Finals, The English Nationals, The Belgian Brass Band Championships, The British Open Spring Festival, The Scottish Open, National Youth Championships, The British Open and Swiss Open Solo Championships.

Since 2003 Ian has worked extensively as a director and producer in the arts. Working with the UK's foremost screenwriter, Jimmy McGovern in 2007, Ian realised his long-held ambition to bring his King Cotton project to the stage. A production that drew musical inspiration from the industrial roots of the brass band and the plantation songs and spirituals of America's deep South, Ashton Brass Band featured in the nationally acclaimed first productions at The Lowry and Liverpool Empire.

Ian is currently Director of Engine, an arts production company based at Greengate, Salford where, with his close friend Jai Redman, he has developed 'ArtWork Atelier'. This provides studio and production space to around 100 artists.  In September 2016, Ian and Jai revealed ‘Engels Beard’, a unique permanent sculpture which you can climb and that stands outside the University of Salford’s new School of Art and Design.

Ian is particularly keen to work with Flixton Band to further its role as an outlet for music making for people of all ages across Trafford and to help the band get more engaged in the rich and diverse cultural and artistic calendar that Manchester offers.


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Musical Director - Ian Brownbill

January 2017 - February 2018

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