Best Tuba Player?

Tuba or Bass?

  • Total voters


tubaplayer said:
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!!!
I have recently had the honour of playing with the now North West Champions, Fodens on a few occasions and they are a cracking set of people. The EEb tuba section is made up of Les Neish (of whom a lot has already been said about, and yes he is quality) and Paul Hughes (former principal tuba with the BT band), whilst on the BBb is Matt Wade (former Polysteel Flowers BBb) but Im not sure who sat next to Matt. But a big congratulations to them. That team know how to make a sound. Other quality tuba players of note (and Im suprised they havent been metioned so far) are Phil Green and Toby Hobson (both former Fodens) who up until recently were the EEb section of possibly one of the best ever tuba sections ever to grace the banding scene.


I think John Fletcher has won in everyone's mind but who is second??? Arnod Jacobs or Pattrick Harrild. Anyone agree
bassmittens said:
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 !!!;)

I know who you're on about! I play in the youth orchestra with him. Yes deffo one to watch out for too :)
AndyCat said:
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.

nope, just 19 im afraid
(and again for the record, im not a member at sellers)

Steve Gittins

New Member
As a brass banding BBb Bass Player personally as a section you couldn't beat the Desford section of the late eighties early nineties EEb's Ken Ferguson, Stuart Bernie, Dean Morley and Lawrence Eccleston

Dean Morley is the finest exponent of the BBb Bass along with Derek Jackson and also Brett Whorton formally of Fodens.

my prize possession is thew recording of he Vaughan Williams by the late great John Fletcher


Active Member
big_benthomson said:
nope, just 19 im afraid
(and again for the record, im not a member at sellers)

Haha! Looks like it in the BBW this month. You need a mask!

Keep it up mate, anyway.


chizzum said:
whats he called?
which bands/orchestra's?????

I guess you are refering to my post??

The name of the young star is Will Roberts. He plays with Stannington Brass band, and Sheffield youth orchestra (i think - perhaps Danwys_flug can confirm or correct this??).

Watch out Sykes!!!!!;)


New Member
Got to be Derek Jackson - slightly biased viewpoint .... he's my dad - but I'd like to think I'd vote the same way even if he wasn't!


Jim Self
Norman Pearson - Los Angeles Phil

Has anyone mentioned Charles Daellenbach of the Canadian Brass? At a Canadian Brass concert I heard him play The Flight of the Bumblebee which is not so unusual except that as Daellenbach blew the air one of the trumpet players worked the valves of the tuba. As you can imagine it brought the house down.


stopher said:
For me, Big Gav!

Top bloke, good laugh, excellent musician and gives the kids in the band someone to look up to, literally!

He is the loudest bass player I've heard - I played in a theatre pit with him once where he ripped a note on the bass. Not only did he make the dancers jump above him with the power, he also knackered the bass by blowing a lump of solder out of it!!!! Animal!

hmmm, sounds familiar! LOL

As for the best player...

For technical...Les Neash
Power...Gav Saynor
Last edited:
One of the top tuba players alive today must be Patrick Harrild, I had the pleasure of working with him at the Royal Military School of Music and having him come to my home town for a weekend to give workshops. This was alongside workshops by Roger Webster, Sheona White, Bob Childs and Simone Ribello and I was captivated for the whole weekend. He has taught most of the new generation of tuba players with Britains leading orchestras and what a great guy he is. No doubt in my mind and even though I was priviliged to work alongside the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble when John Fletcher was there Pat has carried on the legacy that John Fletcher left behind.


These threads are such fun. Lets not confuse bass players with tuba players as they are different. There are so many good banders and legions of tubists littering the globe. For me over the past 20+ years my favourites include from banding world on the kaiserbass in no particular order - Derek J, Dean Morley, Brett Wharton, Simon Gresswell, Andy Cattanach, Tiny. On the one lung bass the daddy Geoff Harrop, Toby Hobson, Phil Green, Shaun Crowther..the cross over guys (1 lung and 2 lungs) Jon Davies, Big Eirik Gjerdervik

Tubists - Andy Duncan, Owen Slade, Oren Marshall, Graham Sibley ( blander also) Fletch, Jim G. The younger generation ie without grey hair Les Neish sings...

PS none of this lot need to play Czardas on 1st valve or a hilarious kitsch solo, to be from a personal perspective 'great'..Never get tired of hearing this esteemed bunch of gentlemen pumping it out...

Its all about bass

Bass Trumpet

Active Member
Hoss said:
Tubists - Andy Duncan, Owen Slade, Oren Marshall, Graham Sibley ( blander also) Fletch, Jim G.

I'm sure you are not saying that Graham is bland! I would agree with your choices though, Graham is an outstanding tuba player and an absolute joy to sit in the section with. One name which may not have come up is Nigel Seaman. I've never come across someone who can sound so good without ever doing any practice! I was working with the BBCNOW when he came back after his heart operation and he sounded as good as if he hadn't had 10 months off. Nigel is such a nice bloke too :clap:


I agree, Nigel Seaman is very good - He conducted the Clwyd Youth Band when I was in it from 1995 - 2000.
Had many 'tips' and the like from him and a thoroughly nice guy.
Also had a 'class' with Tom Wyss when he was with 'Quintessence' on a Band Course, again, some great tips and a nice guy.
Agree with Nick J - Big Gav is a cracking player and sounds like concorde going over - North wales has produced some v good players over the years.
Gav S, Nick J, also Andy Pritchard (now at Northop)and Pete Smith (Wrexham) - ex classmates at School!! (ex products along with me of St David's School in Wxm).
Also Pete Denton is a great player (apart from when he's blowing that Conn thing), Tojo and Jimmy M from Point (shame they're not blowing anymore).
Also, another player not many will know of is Alan Birch (Eb at Crewe), used to play BBb at Wxm and was a very good player.

James H

New Member
Talkin about up and coming fantastic tuba players, the principle of the NYBB for the last 2 or 3 years, and now i think is in the NYO is a guy called Sasha Kousk-Jilali (wrong spelling im sure, but you get the idea).
this guy sat 2 places above mew in the NYBB and I've never seen someone his age, (i think 17 or 18 now), play like he did. he won the NYBB soloist prize in my final year, beating the likes of Philip Cobb, he's defo a name to watch out for.

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