Alan Morrison

Alan Morrison

Executive Member

Alan started to learn the cornet at the age of seven. He was taught to play by his father Arthur Morrison and enjoyed the support of his parents and sister through to him becoming a professional musician and beyond.

He was born and bred in Middlesbrough and developed an interest in trumpet playing as his father was a semi-professional trumpeter in a local dance-band. At about the same time he became a fan of Middlesbrough Football Club and to this day is an ardent supporter of `The Boro`.

His first band, who also supplied his first cornet, was the Cargo Fleet Works Junior Band, a company that later became part of British Steel Teesside. This was as Principal Cornet when the band was reforming in 1967. He later became a member of the senior band and played 2nd cornet at the London Finals Section 3 - his very first brass band contest in 1968. The family soon progressed to other local bands becoming prominent members of the Billingham Silver Band and then in 1971 Alan`s father reformed the defunct Haverton Hill Silver Band of which Alan was Principal Cornet for several years during which the band developed into a very successful organisation.

Alan also joined the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in 1972 and completed 11 courses in total, working his way through the cornet section ending up as Leader for the two courses in 1977. It was at one of these courses in 1974 that he was approached to join a leading championship section band in the Durham area and made his Royal Albert Hall debut later that year on the front bench of Patchogue Plymouth Amoco Band. Several months later he became the bands Principal Cornet at 15 years of age.

In his earlier years he used to enjoy competing in local music festivals and won literally hundreds of prizes. He also played trumpet, saxophone, clarinet and piano as well as studying theory to diploma standard. He played semi-professionally in a local dance band on saxophone for a period, then took over from his father on lead trumpet on his retirement. This led to many prestigious engagements in the area, backing big-name entertainers in local night-clubs and the Town Hall etc. However his first love in music was always the cornet and brass bands, and in 1976 he won the coveted title of Champion Soloist of Great Britain at Oxford when he beat all the big-names of the soloist circuit and was presented with the award and trophy by Harry Mortimer. Then, in 1978, he traveled to Australia and came away with the Champion of Champions title in Queensland for good measure.

After spells with the Amoco Band, Ever Ready Band and Fishburn Band, Alan joined the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band in April 1980, initially as second-man on the solo cornet team. He toured Italy, Austria, Germany and Australia with them before being promoted to Principal Cornet in mid-1982.

This was the launch-pad for a brilliant solo career that has taken him the length and breadth of Great Britain and many overseas tours and visits to all parts of the world.

During his time as Principal Cornet, Grimethorpe won the British Open twice, the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, Granada Band of the Year, Brass in Concert at Spennymoor several times, National Mineworkers Championships every year between 1983 & 1994, Yorkshire Area Championships twice and several other competitions including the UK Entertainments at Doncaster in 1991. They toured extensively throughout Europe and played at many International Festivals including Henry Wood Promenade Concerts at RAH, City of London Festival, Edinburgh Festival and many more. Alan was often the featured soloist in these programmes and over the years played dozens of different solos with the band.

Individual awards were also plentiful having won the best soloist award at Brass in Concert 3 times, (a record), and the best Principal Cornet award on no fewer than 6 occasions including 5 times in succession between 1990-94.

At the end of 1994 Alan left Grimethorpe Colliery Band to concentrate more on conducting, however he remained in demand as a soloist playing several major festivals as guest soloist including the All-England Masters Gala Concert and the Pre-Festival Concert of Enfield Citadel Band at St.John Smiths Square, London.

At the beginning of 1999 Richard Evans persuaded Alan to return to mainstream playing and he joined the JJB Sports Leyland Band as Principal Cornet - regrettably this turned out to be only a relatively short appointment due to the loss of sponsorship and in August 2000 Alan joined the Travelsphere Holidays Band, formerly known as GUS.

Alan accepted the position of Principal Cornet with the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band, and took up his responsibilities at the beginning of 2003.  In 2006 he was appointed Musical Director and steered the band to immediate success at the Yorkshire Area Championships in March 2007.