We caught up with Principal Cornet of the Foden's Band, Mark Wilkinson, ahead of the band's performance at Morley Town Hall on Saturday 7 March 2020 as part of the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 series.
How long have you played with the Foden’s Band?
I joined Foden's in January 1992 at the request of Howard Snell, the band's conductor.
What's the best thing about playing in a brass band?
The camaraderie is very important due to the amount of time we spend in each others company as well as performing at prestigious venues in this country and abroad.
What’s your highlight so far with the Foden’s Band?
Winning the Double (British Open and The Nationals Finals) in 2012. Both these contests are classed as the major brass band competitions in the world.
How did you get involved with playing a brass instrument?
A letter was sent to my primary school from the local band advertising brass lessons to beginners.
What was your earliest musical experience?
Joining my local band Ellenbrook and Boothstown aged seven after learning for a year.
Who has been your biggest influence?
Brian Taylor (from the Fairey Band) has always been my biggest influence. Brian is a fantastic player, loyal servant of Faireys and a great guy!
Do you enjoy practising or find it a chore?
I have always enjoyed practising and need to do this to constantly improve my playing and areas of performance.
Were your parents musical?
My parents were not musical and I was the first in the family to play a musical instrument.
What piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
I enjoy playing test pieces and my favourite brass band composer is Eric Ball.
What’s the best and worst things about performing?
I enjoy playing under pressure so not sure if this is the best or worst thing about performing!!
What can the audience expect from a performance by the Foden’s Band?
Foden's always like to entertain their audiences and feature a wide range of music styles as well as showcasing their fantastic soloists.
View the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 brochure online
Leeds Best of Brass Series 2019/20:
Saturday 19 October 2019 - Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
Saturday 16 November 2019 - Tredegar Town Band
Saturday 7 December 2019 - Leyland Band
Saturday 18 January 2020 - Black Dyke Band
Saturday 8 February 2020 - Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Saturday 7 March 2020 - Foden's Band
Saturday 4 April 2020 - Brighouse & Rastrick Band
Saturday 25 April 2020 - Rothwell Temperance Band