Tewit Youth Band

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Charity No: 514676

Musical Directors

Martin Hall, Tewit Musical Director, Senior Band MD

Born in Wakefield, Martin started playing the cornet at the age of 7 in the local brass band where his father played Bass.   He went on to privately study cornet under James Shepherd (former principal cornet of Black Dyke) for over a decade and then with the likes of Richard Marshall, Roger Webster, and Paul Archibald at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Martins’ cornet playing has taken him to play for bands such as Carlton Main Frickley, Yorkshire Imps, EYMS, Wakefield Metropolitan, Knottingley, Drighlington, and he has competed at the very highest level of contesting, playing at British Open, French Open, Scottish Open, All England Masters, Spring Festival, Butlins Championships, National Finals, and many others around the country. Martin has had the pleasure of playing cornet for the Black Dyke Band in some of the most prestigious venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall and St David’s Hall in Cardiff. He has also been on a tour to Norway and played on numerous CD recordings with the band. In 2010, Martin took up the position of Musical Director with South Milford Brass and conducted the band at many prestigious concert venues, including numerous occasions at Selby Abbey. On the contest platform, his record speaks for itself having wins at the North of England Area, Easingwold March Contest, Kippax Entertainment, and the mighty National Finals of Great Britain in 2012, in doing so promoting South Milford into the 1st Section. In January 2014 Martin accepted the role of Musical Director with Yorkshire Championship Section Skelmanthorpe Band and he enjoyed a very successful 18 months winning the Brass at the Guild in 2014 and achieving podium finishes 5 times during that period, all in the very competitive championship section, as well as producing some very well acclaimed concerts. As a conductor Martin is often in demand as a “guest” around the country, and he is currently the Musical Director of 1st Section Ripon City who came runner up at the 2016 Area contest and in doing so qualifying for the 1st Section National Finals; their highest achievement to date. Martin took on the position of Senior Musical Director of the Tewit Youth Organisation in 2015 and under his baton in 2016 claimed Victory at the entertainment contest in Ripon as well as Gold success at the National Youth Brass Band Championships and a host of victories at the Whit Friday March Competitions. Martin is also a regular adjudicator and a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors. 

Dave Dunn-Birch, Intermediate Band MD, Junior Band MD

David has over 25 years’ experience in the banding world and has been directed by some of the best, including Russell Grey, Roy Newsome, Geoff Whitham, David King, Major Peter Parkes and Richard Evans. He has held seats in the championship section with Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Redbridge and Ransome bands and has competed in the UK’s top competitive circuit winning regional and national titles throughout the sections. David worked in special units and in mainstream schools for children with special educational needs from the age of 19, developing and engaging them individually as well as through group and class work. Wanting a career change, he went to university in 2008 to read music at York. During his 3 years there, he conducted the concert band, big band and gospel choir. After completing his degree, he turned his hand to workshop facilitation in schools, developing music and music technology for mainstream and special education. David received the ‘inspire mark’ from the Arts Council in 2013 for his work with Stoke Mandeville School on the project ‘Light Up The World’. Since then he has received over 20 awards and nominations in Hollywood and across the globe for his musical works on children’s films and animations in the UK and Europe. On returning to Harrogate in 2012, he set up his own teaching service, becoming MD for Harrogate High School’s jazz band, ‘High Jazz’ in 2013. He also rekindled his relationship with Tewit and, within a year, was offered the position of MD of the Junior Band Since then music has become a professional career as well as a way of life. Singing, playing guitar and brass keeps him involved playing solo and in professional bands such as The MG Band and The New York Brass Band as well as teaching in schools throughout the community and at his studio. He produced the Tewit Gold CD in 2014 in his studio near the centre of Harrogate, the hub for production of his audio, video, photographic and animation projects. Best banding moment: Winning off number 1 draw on Eric Ball’s ‘Journey Into Freedom’ at the Blackpool Belle Vue Contest Best Tewit moment: Standing on the banks of the Rhine, Budapest in 1996 with the whole of Tewit Youth Band watching the fireworks for the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising.

Kathryn Wood, Training Band MD

Kath discovered the Tewit Youth Band in 1989 when she joined on Euphonium under then Musical Director, Malcolm Dibb. She had some brilliant experiences during her time as a player including winning the Northern Brass Band Championships in 1992 and playing at her first Whit Friday Marches. She left Harrogate to study music at Huddersfield University, which included brass band studies under Major Peter Parkes and Euphonium/Baritone under Geoffrey Whitham. Returning to Harrogate and Tewit in 1997, this time she worked with a group of four beginners and helped to develop what was to become the Junior and Training Bands. She is a ‘Jack of all trades’ and has competed at championship/first section level on Cornet, Tenor Horn, Baritone, Euphonium and Trombone, as well as having a good grounding in the lower sections and reaching the National Finals on five occasions. This has given her a wealth of experience which she tries to pass on in the training of young brass players across a wide range of instruments and abilities. Thanks to being introduced to brass banding at an early, Kath has been able to fulfil many ambitions – competing against the best at the British Open, Butlins Mineworkers Championship, Scottish Open and Spring Festival, performing with world renowned soloists such as Wycliffe Gordon and Ian Bousfield and working with some top musical directors such as Dr Roy Newsome, Richard Evans and Ray Farr. Kath currently plays trombone with the Knottingley Silver Band and is a founder member of YEP Brass, an orchestral brass tentet. Away from banding, she has performed in pit bands on shows such as ‘Cabaret’ and the ‘Wizard of Oz‘