Masterclass with Colin Hales

Saturday 8th February 2020



Colin Hales

   LRSM, BMus (Hons), MMus


Tenbury Teme Valley Band is pleased to announce that it has organised a Masterclass conducted by Colin Hales-an outstanding experienced musician with a magnificent military background.

Born in Scotland, Colin moved to the Portsmouth area in 1977 and with great encouragement from his trumpet playing grandfather and musical parents, began learning the cornet in the local primary school training Brass Band. He was later selected to perform with the Hampshire County Youth Brass Band on Soprano Cornet and the local Brass Band, Solent Concert Band, as Solo Cornet.

After a relatively straightforward audition, he joined the British Army in February 1991 and his first position was with The Band of The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME Band), located near Reading in Berkshire.

In 1999 Colin decided to undergo a career change, and applied for the Student Bandmaster Course held at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, Twickenham. He passed through a stringent and robust selection process and together with five other musicians from other bands within the Corps of Army Music, and three from overseas, began the three year course in September 2000.  Throughout, he continued with his trumpet studies and was a part of the seven-person Fanfare Team chosen to perform from the organ loft of St Paul’s Cathedral at Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Upon successful completion of the course in 2003, and in addition to being awarded several prizes; best Wind Band composition, best Arrangement of poplar music, best at Brass and Woodwind arranging and a BMus (Hons) degree, Colin was posted to Swanton Morely, Norfolk, as Bandmaster of The Band of The Dragoon Guards.  Subsequent assignments were the Queen’s Division (Minden) Band near Royston, Cambridgeshire (2006), The Band of The Royal Corps of Signals, Blandford, Dorset (2008), and the Royal Artillery Band and Orchestra in Woolwich, London (2010). This post concluded with his final Master’s Degree conducting examination in May 2012. This was followed by a period of non-musical duties as a Military Stabilisation and Support Group, Team Second in Command. Following a 6 month deployment to the Nahr E Saraj district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, he was assigned back to the highly privileged musical position as the Bandmaster of the Life Guards Band; the most senior band in the Army.

Colin completed the five month long Mounted Dutyman course (famously known as The Household Cavalry’s ‘Riding School’) in October 2013. The Life Guards Band combined with the Blues and Royals Band in Windsor in September 2014 to become the Band of The Household Cavalry. During the subsequent three years as Bandmaster on horseback he was at the very heart of all the most prestigious and famous ceremonial events there are; the highlight of which was the Mounted Band’s performance for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations in Windsor Great Park. As if that wasn’t enough, he also managed to fit in the time to lead the Military Wives Choir of Sandhurst as their Musical Director. Sadly only for one year throughout 2016, it was a role he enjoyed immensely. The Household Cavalry Band is where he happily remained until retirement from the Army in March 2017.

Now fully embedded in rural Herefordshire, Colin continues to enjoy his music, working freelance as a conductor, tutor, trumpet player, composer/arranger and mentor at a variety of locations across the region and as a cornet player in the Band of The Royal Welsh. He is the founder of Hereford Fanfare Trumpets, a small team of herald trumpeters, available for performances at any function imaginable nationwide.  He shares his country cottage with his wife of 23 years, Tonya, two daughters, Libby and Abi, two cocker Spaniels, Ella and Mindy, five ducks and four chickens.