We are delighted to announce that Stephen Sykes has been appointed as our new  Principal Trombone. Stephen won the BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year title in 2009, then in 2010 was the best instrumentalist at the British Open. He was a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) and was also Principal Trombone of the National Youth Orchestra. In 2016 he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and underwent a stem-cell transplant, all of which took him off the musical scene, but he has since made a full recovery and rejoined the banding scene with Ebbw Valley Brass, helping it to become 1st Section National Champion in 2023.

Speaking of the appointment Cory’s Musical Director Philip Harper said “I’m very pleased to be able to welcome Steve to Cory Band. His life journey so far has been remarkable and, after a hiatus from playing due to his illness, I’m sure he will take this golden opportunity to pick up where he left off on his rise to become one of the brightest stars of the banding world. Everyone at Cory Band is looking forward to being with him on his next steps.”

Stephen Sykes commented “I’m so excited to be invited to play at this level again and very much look forward to continuing my musical journey with Cory. Phil and the band have already been so welcoming and the recent concerts at the RNCM, Huddersfield and Bristol were fantastic. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all my friends at Ebbw Valley Brass and especially Gareth Ritter, who has provided significant support and encouragement over the last several months. I look forward to a very successful and busy future with Cory.”

Philip Harper concluded: “Stephen has already played some high profile engagements with Cory in the last few weeks and will join us officially after the Welsh Regional. For that important contest we will be joined by Brett Baker, one of the finest around and an old friend of mine from our NYBBGB days. I’m looking forward to linking up with him again in March.”

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