Best Tuba Player?

Tuba or Bass?

  • Total voters


1 = John Fletcher
2 = Patrick Harrild
3 = James Gourlay

These are the best 3 by far!!!!!!!!!1 steve sykes is competition but he's behing by a few! In MY opinion anyway!!!!!


also Robin Haggart of the Royal Liverpool Philamonic is an amazing player! Patrick Harrilds ex pupil!!! He is an amazing player, sure to one of the best in a few years
After listening to the bands at the Northwest Area today, I would say that Fodens have a v. strong tuba section. Not sure who the players where, but the bass duet was superb from both players. Excellent playing!!!


New Member
After reading page after page of this thread it was a great relief to finally see Carol Jantsch mentioned. Not surprisingly, it took an American to do it. I can't believe there's been just one mention of my old teacher Arnold Jacobs (who John Fletcher, during a Philip Jones US tour, called the best tuba player he'd ever heard). The fact that no one seems to have mentioned monsters like Floyd Cooley, Steve Rosse, Gene Pogorny or even Philip Johnston (who 4BR keeps calling the best Bb bass player on the planet) tells me that this thread should be named ' best British tuba / bass player with a few Europeans and a couple of token Yanks thrown in'.;)


Active Member
Mark Bousie said:
We also have many great players in bands at the moment- Shaun Crowther, Joe Cook, Gav Saynor to name but a few.


If you mean Bass or tuba players in the form of soloists then Steve Sykes has to be just about the best and he is a gentleman as well

If you are talking general bass or tuba players then I have to agree with Shaun Crowther you could also have Neil Crowe (Sop_or_Bass)(Lydney) or Jonathon (The PowerHouse) Allen (Tewkesbury) They are like nothing you have heard before:biggrin:

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Best all round - Sam Pilafian. Jutst fantastic, great technically, great musically, and obviously just loves playing tuba. Fabulous. A Joy to listen to.

Best Brass band tuba player - Dean Morley. Gives Grimey a foundation they could build st Paul's cathedral on, and can generate such effortless volume that, along with the other 3 lads, the section can dominate the whole band when necessary without compromising quality. Plus, is a Godlike pedal player!
Eirik "the Viking" Gjerdevik, fantastic player & a funny man. He is also a great MD...
Øystein Baadsvik, and Elisabeth Vannebo (European Champion in street-tuba)
heres a good question

which band currently has the best bass section overall?

from having heard the top 8 bands at this years yorkshire area, grimey had it for me, dont think dyke, ybs, or brighouses bass sections were of the same standard in my opinion, altho individually those 3 bands may have some of the best who are still playing at the top of their game.

also ive noticed that so far, most of the players who have been mentioned, have also had some big name band next to there name aswell, are there any players either young future stars or current stars who aren't actually playing with a top band or a band whos big in status, any bass players who havn't been mentioned at all yet?

i could name a couple but i'd get blamed for being biased, although i genuinly think they are really good :)
again tho brassneck, he's playing in a champ section band, 1 who are doing pretty well in scotland aswell from what little i know about the scottish regional area.

are there any future stars playing outside of the champ. section?

are there any really young players who you could see being a future star?

a friend of mine's younger bro played in the yorkshire 1st section this year and i think he's only 13
Well Clive, there's a young lad (think he's 14) called Alex from my old school who's going to be a fantastic Tuba player. He's one of those people that just has a passion to learn and is playing in my old band in the 3rd section. Definatley one to watch out for :)


I have to give a lot of credit to my deputy at Stannington. He will be one to watch out for in the future. He's 16 this year (i think) and has been with us for 3 years now. He provides great support as a no 2 and it won't be too long before he's no 1 at this rate!! I don't think he'll mind me blowing his Tuba for him! It's great to see talent, enthusiasm and commitment from someone so young on this instrument. I'd like to think i've been able to help mould him into the player he is now (and will be in the future), although he is taught by a very experienced Euph player. He also plays with a youth orchestra which i think is really helping grow his confidence and ablity. He just needs to gain a little more brass band playing 'experience' - he's got most other parts of being in a brass band down to a T !!!;)
nickjbeaumarisband said:
Just had a thought....Andy Duncan ,

My second time quoting Nick in two days! I have to agree, Andy Duncan! What else could I say, he will be playing with us at Stevenage on Sunday. :cool:

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
madandcrazytromboneguy said:
.....are there any players either young future stars or current stars who aren't actually playing with a top band or a band whos big in status, any bass players who havn't been mentioned at all yet?

There's a chap I know who's really one to watch. Just finished his degree last year, so that'll put him at about 23. (ish? Embarrassingly enough I don't know!!!!) Been round the bands, in the midlands and yorkshire, most recently on top Eb bass at United Co-op yorkshire. Sort of fella everyone knows. His name's Anthony Whittingham, but if you do know him, you'll know him as Tony Tuba.

Don't suppose he really counts though, as he now has a big band's name next to him. He's just moved on to take up residence with Brighouse and Rastrick!

Still one to watch though.


Active Member
And of course there's this thread's starter, Ben Thomson, who's just reached the finals of the Radio 2 thingy-bob. I'm pretty confident he'll be a big name to watch (outside of bands, not just in them!) with loads of experience already. At just 20 (I think?) he's already been a member of Besses, Leyland and Sellers as well as Principal Tuba with the NYO and other orchestras, and the Groves Brass Ensemble to name just a few.


Active Member
Ipswich trom said:
My second time quoting Nick in two days! I have to agree, Andy Duncan! What else could I say, he will be playing with us at Stevenage on Sunday. :cool:

Would you stop quoting me , people might start to think I know what I am talking about!!!!!but back on topic Andy is a giant fantastic player , If the Stocksbridge Band CD "Heritage" is still available , Andy's interpretation and sound in the Edward Gregson concerto is Awesome. having got hold of the British Tuba Concerto CD with James Gourlay , the playing is amazing , but for me I still prefer his interpretation on the East meets West CD of the RVW concerto..
Still one of the best young soloists around is Les Neish , the solo tuba player with the Foden's Richardson band , sound , technique and a great section player , I have known Les since 2000 and was a fantastic solo Tuba player at the Point of Ayr Colliery and Beaumaris Bands , he has also played and recorded solos with the Fairey and BT Bands.
check out to check out what Les is up too including a win at the Royal Overseas League.
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Active Member
I suppose it depends who anyone has been exposed to, whether live or recorded. I also have a lot of time for the Swedish player Jens Bjørn-Larsen. His treatment of both the Vaughan Williams and the Vagn Holmboe (Op.127(M.280)) concertos is astounding, especially the latter with the extended cadenza using complex multiphonics. Shame there aren't many players willing to air the Holmboe ... it certainly can be used as a yardstick for musical and technical prowess!