Jonathan Bates – Musical Director
Jonathan hails from Huddersfield and is currently an undergraduate student of performance and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He began his playing career aged 9 with the Thurlstone Brass Band near Penistone, where he worked his way through the ranks as a player, formed (and directed) a training band there in 2010, and now regularly acts as conductor for the main band.
He first appeared on a competitive platform playing with the Elland Silver Band, before spells at Skelmanthorpe Prospect, Carlton Main Frickley, Brighouse and Rastrick and 6 years at Black Dyke Band.
Aside from his senior band commitments, Jonathan was also the principal horn of the Elland Youth Band, Sellers Youth Band, Yorkshire Youth Brass Band and National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, and it was there he won both the coveted Katie Ogden and Harry Mortimer solo awards, as well as the inaugural Bernard and Harold Tovey Memorial
Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement.
As a soloist, Jonathan was a finalist in both the 2010 and 2011 BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year competitions, and also became only the 2nd ever tenor horn player to reach the televised BBC Young Musician of the Year Category Finals in 2012. He has also appeared as a guest soloist across the UK and Europe, and hosts an annual tenor horn spotlight which attracted over 200 tenor horn players in the first 4 years.
Aside from tenor horn performance, Jonathan commits a lot of time to composing and arranging, and his major works for brass band have been selected for use at the British National, French Open, Dutch National and New Zealand National championships, whilst also being selected as own choice works at the World championships on two occasions. In 2014, the Flowers Band released the first full CD of his music entitled ‘Stratos’, featuring a new Euphonium Concerto composed for David Childs and the band’s entire Brass in Concert programme for that year.
Flowers also premiered Jonathan’s ‘Symphony No.1’ for Brass Band at The Sage Gateshead in 2015. Jonathan’s output has spanned to commissions and performances from Grimethore, Black Dyke, Brighouse and Rastrick, Tredegar, Virtuosi GUS, Leyland and both the National Youth and Children’s Brass Bands of Great Britain.
After holding the principal horn seat at Black Dyke since 2013, and winning the Yorkshire Area, National Championships, British Open and European Championships in that time, Jonathan moved to Grimethorpe Colliery in August 2016, before taking up the position of principal horn with Fodens Band in May 2017