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Shirley Band appoints Tom Stoneman as its new Musical Director

The Shirley Band from Solihull near Birmingham in the West Midlands has appointed Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s (RBC) first postgraduate brass band conducting student, Tom Stoneman, as its new Musical Director.

Tom, 22, who was awarded a first-class BMus (Hons.) degree from RBC last year is to start his role with immediate effect.

Tom, who is studying for his master’s degree under the direction of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Director of Brass Band Studies and Cornet Tutor, Ian Porthouse, works as a music teacher for Birmingham's Services for Education.

As part of his final year project at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, he organised and conducted a joint concert between the Conservatoire Brass Band and Birmingham Schools Brass Band.

Tom, who hails from Northamptonshire, has played for a range of brass bands and ensembles including Tredegar Town Band, Virtuosi GUS, Birmingham Conservatoire’s Symphony Orchestra, and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. He has also performed in numerous venues as a soloist, including Birmingham's Symphony Hall, the International Flugel/Tenor Horn Conference, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and has represented England's youth in the European Brass Band Championships.

Tom Stoneman, said: “I’m delighted to be joining the band as its new MD in my first role as a band’s full-time musical director. This is the start of a very promising partnership, and one that will grow with the upcoming concerts and contests with the Shirley Band.”

Brian Johnson, Shirley Band’s Secretary, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Tom onboard and having Tom join the band in this our centenary year. He is an extremely talented musician who struck up a great rapport with the band from his very first rehearsal. The coming months ahead promise to be a really exciting time for the band.”

Ian Porthouse, who is also MD of the award-winning Tredegar Town Band, added: "I’m delighted that Tom has secured a position with such an established band so early in his conducting career. Tom will definitely bring energy and drive to the ensemble and hopefully it will be the start of a long and successful partnership. As our first post-graduate student in brass band conducting at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, I’m very much looking forward to seeing his career develop!”

Forthcoming events for the band include competing at Wychavon, and concerts, which include Wythall Poppy Proms, the band’s annual Children’s Christmas concert and its traditional Brass at Christmas family concert.