Mark Wears: Soprano Cornet
I was born in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham in 1964, then moved to Yorkshire, aged 6.
One of my first memories of living in Yorkshire was seeing a Brass Band marching down the Street in Holmfirth and from that day on I knew I wanted to play in a band.
About 2 years later, I blew my first note at Wooldale Junior School and shortly afterwards joined Holme Silver Band on 3rd Cornet.
My first teacher was a gentleman called Alf Boothroyd who taught anything up to 20 pupils a week, but never took a penny in payment. If he was alive today, he would be well over 100 years old, but I will always be indebted to him for (hopefully) setting me on the right track all those years ago.
I played at my first 'area' contest in 1975 aged 10, where I believe we came 4th, just missing out on a place in the London Finals.
A year later, I started at Holmfirth High School and played in their school band, conducted by Alan Simmons. At the age of 12, I was given the chance to move onto Soprano Cornet and have played this instrument ever since.
During my time at Holmfirth High School Band, I made many life long friends and had some wonderful playing experiences - too many to mention here. If I had to pick one of my favourites, it would be the time we did a TV recording and were conducted by none other than the great man himself, Harry Mortimer!
After leaving school, I played for Hade Edge band for 3 years, Meltham & Meltham Mills band for 9 years, then in 1993, I joined The Marple Band just before that year's British Open.
The piece we had to play was called 'Masquerade' and we managed to pull off a very creditable 4th place and then repeated that result the next year.
In 1995, I joined YorkshireCo-operatives Band and played for them for 4 years, then moved to the newly-formed Pennine Brass in April 1999.
The last few years at Pennine has been a whirlwind ride to being of Championship status, something that none of us could have dreamed of in those early days of the Band's formation.
As regards the future, I hope that Pennine Brass can continue it's success, hopefully gain sponsorship and continue to make some great music, giving pleasure to players and listeners alike.