Supporting Demelza with Tom Hutchinson

Supporting Demelza with Tom Hutchinson

14th Oct 23

Two years on from our fantastic concert with Trombone Maestro, Chris Thomas (See report), it was time once again to feature a guest soloist for our annual fundraiser concert supporting Demelza. This year we were very excited to announce that our guest for the evening of the 14th October would once again be from the world famous Cory band, and this time would be their Principal Cornet player, Tom Hutchinson.

Tom spent the morning hosting a brass workshop with some of the members of our own training band, Shepway Brass Academy and other young players from the local area, before moving on to rehearsals in the afternoon with the main band.  It was here that the band first heard the solos Tom would be performing and after a few minor adjustments to our tempos (mainly speeding up), we were ready and sure the audience were in for a treat later that evening.

The band had a great programme with several new numbers with which to support Tom and were delighted with the performance, even the ambitious “Shine as the Light” seemed to go well despite being a difficult one for the band and still a “work in progress”.

Tom gave a superb performance with two solos in each half.  The first of which was a stunning rendition of “Zelda” followed by the sublime “Don’t Doubt Him”, both pieces were familiar to the band who had played them with our own soloists over the years, but Tom raised the bar with his outstanding playing. His second half solos of “The Green Hornet” and “The Harry James Trumpet Concerto” were a little less familiar, with the former giving the various sections of the band some serious “finger trouble” in their early stages of playing it. However all the hours of home practice and rehearsals proved well worth the effort allowing us to keep up as Tom wowed the audience and band alike with some amazing playing.

Solos over, it was time for a complete change of mood and Tom joined our two top cornets, one of  whom swapped to flugel horn for our debut of the “Rings of Saturn”. This piece attempts to convey the vastness of time, space and the universe, and mankind’s miniscule and fleeting existence within it.  Something quite different for the band and hauntingly beautiful if played right. You can judge for yourself in the playlist in the next tab.

We think Tom enjoyed himself as he sat in for the encore, a piece we have played frequently this year and one loved by audiences despite it’s “Cheesiness”, arranged by our own MD, Ian Lanceley, the band finished a superb evening with “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

The evening also gave an opportunity for the Training band to open the second half and their performances of “Smoke on the Water, Angels and Apache” were well received by the audience. It is great to see the youngsters engaging in brass music and performing in front of a large audience in a venue like St. Dunstans. It was their debut for some of the youngsters and they all deserve huge congratulations for their performance.

Our thanks to Tom for being this years guest. For a band like ours, to accompany someone so gifted is a privilege and not something you get to do very often, this was undoubtedly the  highlight of the year for us all musically and something we can not wait to do again in the future.

The whole concert can be viewed in full on the next tab.

The Concert

Full Programme

First Half Second Half
Prismatic Light Smoke on the Water : Training Band
Seaside rendezvous Angels : Training Band
Les Miserables Apache : Training Band
Zelda : Cornet Solo Nightingale Dances
Don’t Doubt Him : Cornet Solo Don’t Stop Me Now
Ticket to Ride The Green Hornet : Cornet Solo
The Hustle Harry James Trumpet Concerto : Cornet Solo
The Wellerman The Rings of Saturn
Shine as the Light Let There Be Light
Stayin Alive : Encore

More about Tom

Taken from About – Tom Hutchinson (

Tom Hutchinson is the principal cornet player of the world famous Cory Band and Besson Artist. Tom began learning the cornet at the age of nine and joined his local brass band, Stannington. As an early teenager he joined Barnsley Building Society Band and quickly ascended to the position of principal cornet. Tom’s first taste of playing ‘top man’ in a championship section band happened a few years later, aged fifteen, when he joined the Rothwell Temperance Band.

During these formative years Tom also played solo cornet with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain including two courses as Leader. It was the Band’s Associate Conductor, Dr Nicholas Childs, who noticed his talent and later invited him to join the world famous Black Dyke Band.

Tom played for ‘Dyke’ on repiano cornet and, at the age of eighteen, was promoted to tutti solo cornet. He played with Black Dyke for four years, contributing to many contest successes, including the British Open, English National and National Championship of Great Britain titles. During his time with ‘Dyke’ he also toured extensively across Europe and Australia.

After his graduation from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2009 studying under Richard Marshall, Tom was invited to join the mighty Cory Band as principal cornet. After leading the band in his first year to its hat-trick winning European title in 2010, he has since lead Cory to British Open titles in 2011 and 2016, Welsh regional titles in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017, Brass in Concert Championship wins in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, the European title once again in 2013 and 2016, and three National Final wins in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

A few highlights of his time so far at Cory have been receiving the bands player of the year award twice in 2012 and 2015, releasing his debut solo CD ‘In Principal’, and leading Cory to its historic Grand Slam achievement in 2016, with the band finishing off the year as the world’s No.1 ranked brass band for a consecutive and unprecedented ten years.

As well as playing principal cornet with the Cory band, he is a Professor of Cornet at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Brass specialist with Ev-entz Music, Cornet tutor for the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and Cornet tutor for the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain.

As a Besson artist Tom represents the Buffet Crampon Group across the world and over the past few years has performed as a soloist in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the USA.

MD's Voice

The first thing to say is that this was a tremendous day throughout.  It started with a two and a half hour Training Band rehearsal led by Tom Hutchinson, the principal cornet player of the Cory Band.

The rehearsal featured youngsters (and some adults) from the Cranbrook Town Band Training Band, Shepway Brass Academy and Hilden Grange Preparatory School.  Tom spent the first half of the rehearsal on playing technique, giving lots of advice and answers to questions – all interspersed with interesting and funny stories.  The second half involved lots of playing – some of it on prepared music but most on sight reading.  The response from the youngsters was fantastic – intense concentration for the whole time and many pertinent questions for Tom to answer.

The afternoon rehearsal with the Senior Band focussed on Tom’s solos – ‘Zelda’, ‘Don’t Doubt Him’, ‘The Green Hornet’ and the ‘Harry James Trumpet Concerto’ with Philip Harper’s ‘Rings of Saturn as an encore.  The band were definitely in awe of Tom’s technique and sheer playing ability throughout but, being the smashing person that he is, he soon put everyone at ease.

Finally, the concert itself.  It is difficult for me to find the words to describe just how enjoyable the whole evening was.  Everyone in both the Senior and Training Bands played brilliantly; there was a very large and very appreciative audience; and finally, Tom Hutchinson’s playing was unbelievably good!  The whole evening was a delight to be a part of and congratulations should go to anyone who had anything to do with its organisation.

Ian Lanceley – MD


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