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John Atkinson

Council member

John graduated from the University of Salford in 2007 having studied brass band arranging with Peter Graham; soprano cornet performance with Russell Gray; and brass band conducting with David King, Nigel Weeks, and Howard Evans. As a soprano cornet player, John enjoyed four courses with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain under Elgar Howarth, Nicholas Childs, Garry Cutt, and Bramwell Tovey, prior to university and played with many bands local to his hometown of Manchester.

In 2008 John joined Pemberton Old Wigan DW Band and enjoyed many successes with the band, including qualification to the National Championships of Great Britain in 2009 and 2011 and podium finishes at the Grand Shield in 2010 and 2011 and the Scottish Open in the same years. John has also achieved personal success winning Best Soloist at Preston Brass at the Guild in 2009 and 2011 and being awarded Best Soprano Cornet at St Helens contest in 2010.

After a successful two-year period conducting Blackley Band, Manchester, John got the bug for playing again joining Wingates Band, and is currently enjoying his fourth year at Longridge Band where he has also been acting as an associate conductor with Mark Peacock. Longridge have successfully gained promotion to the Championship Section, won Bolsover 2022 (playing an arrangement that John had made), and placed a record 7th place at the North West Area 2023.

In his professional life, John has been a music teacher since 2008, mostly in Lancashire, including being a peripatetic music teacher for Lancashire Music Service and is currently Head of Performing Arts at a High School in Bury, and will be joining the school’s Senior Leadership Team in September. John’s approach to his teaching follows the same philosophy he has gained from his banding experience, which is at the heart of everything he does – everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy making music to the highest level!

Outside of his busy work and banding schedule, John enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog Bach, named after John’s favourite composer.