Mike began to learn cornet initially at a very young age, and joined the Walkden Band as a youngster firstly on soprano (no no no not for him !!!) and then moved to the euphonium. After many years on the solo euphonium seat he realised his ambition thanks to the guidance and tuition from a superb Music Director, friend and teacher the late Mr Ernest Vint, when he joined the world famous CWS (Manchester) Band in the wonderful years of the 60s/70s under the legendary Alex Mortimer.
The CWS Band travelled extensively, playing in most of the famous venues throughout the UK and overseas, including The Royal Albert Hall in London (another ambition milestone) ! They participated at many events including The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain on several occasions, The Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls and many other wonderful venues both in the UK and abroad.
Since his transition from player to Musical Director, Mike has conducted and directed Brass Bands throughout the UK and abroad, culminating in many concert and contest successes along the way. His very first band as an MD was Darwen British Legion Band, who won the North West Area contest (at The Pembroke Halls in Walkden) on his conducting debut in 1969, following it up with a 2nd prize at the London National Finals in the same year.
His very final contest was in 2019 with Darwen Brass who won the Hardraw Scar Contest...so a debut win in 1969 and 50 years on a finale win, both with Darwen bands.
Major highlights of his career were conducting the Alvins Walkden Band (now Farnworth and Walkden Band) to becoming North West Champions and National Champions in the same year 1989,... and also again with Alvins Walkden Band around the same time, after winning the Isle of Man Contest, was a remarkable performance of Elsa’s “Procession to the Minster” from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin...such an awesome and emotional performance, never ever to be forgotten !!
Over the years he has conducted many bands including, Leyland Motors, Hoggarth’s Preston, Sun Life (Stanshawe), CWS (Glasgow), Fodens, Longridge, Flowers, Camborne, St Austell, St Dennis and his beloved Farnworth and Walkden Band, to name but a few.
On numerous occasions he has conducted in the Royal Albert Hall and has both played and conducted in most of the other prestigious venues in the UK, as well as tours in Canada, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, France and more !
Having now put the baton to rest he is both honoured and proud to become the President of the Farnworth and Walkden Band, a new challenge to which he looks forward to with enthusiasm, commitment and total dedication to the Band which has given him a lifetime of musical enjoyment and an abundance of invaluable friends across the UK and further afield. Thank You