Musical Director

pictire of the bands md

Steve Ellis has been Musical Director of Thornbury Town band since 2013, he is an accomplished Cornet and Flugel Horn player as well as being a well-respected conductor and band trainer of both Brass bands and Wind bands.

Steve was born in Maidstone, Kent in 1963 and began piano, aged 7 and trumpet aged 12, passing Grade 7 and 8 respectively by the age of 17.  Whilst at school Steve joined his local brass band and soon became hooked, helping to form and run Kent Youth Brass, organising tours to Scotland and Germany by the age of 19.  He played with many local bands and orchestras at this time on trumpet and cornet, gaining a wide experience of different musical styles.

Steve left school with 3 A levels and began working for Lloyds Bank and pursued his musical hobby with great energy, becoming secretary of The Medway Band who progressed from 2nd to Championship Section of the brass band world, with Steve playing Repiano cornet.

Relocation by Lloyds Bank to Bristol brought a break in Steve’s playing and a rest from brass bands.  However in 1991 he joined Bristol Concert Wind Band and soon after began attending the Brass Band Summer School where, with the encouragement from world-class tutors the seed of a teaching skill was sown. In 1994 Steve joined City of Bristol Brass Band on Flugel horn (although they won the Area contest with him playing soprano cornet) and as deputy Musical Director.

In 1996 Steve was asked to conduct Redland Wind Band, an adult beginners group. Encouraged by the band’s response, and being ready for a change of direction Steve gave up his career in project management with Lloyds Bank. He walked solo round the South West Coast Path, some 600 miles lasting 6 weeks and raising £5000 for Bristol Music Space, a music therapy charity. There then followed a time of reflection giving rise to a period of study in which Steve passed Grade 8 and the Associated Board Advanced Certificate on Flugel horn and also Grade 8 Theory of Music.

Starting with a little piano, brass and woodwind tuition, teaching opportunities began to increase and Steve also completed the Teaching Certificate of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) during which time his daughter Maggie was born.

Over the last 15 years Steve has become an established teacher of brass with Bath & North East Somerset Music Service leading many bands and ensembles and completed a Licentiate diploma in teaching from the ABRSM.

Steve shares his love of music with his wife Kathryn, a musician in her own right and presently splits his time between teaching, conducting and dry stone walling.