About

The Central England Concert Band is a warm and welcoming ensemble who perform at various concerts and events throughout the year. We play a wide range of repertoire including film music such as James Bond, and How to Train your Dragon, hits from the musicals, marches, and more established wind band repertoire such as the works of Holst, Vaughan Williams and Arnold. The band is available for events, and is always looking for more members. 

 

The band was formed around 1980 as the Black Watch Association Band, with the majority of its members coming from a military background. Following relocation to the United Services Club in Birmingham City Centre the band renamed to the Birmingham United Services Concert Band. For a short while in the 90’s the band reformed as the Rover Group Concert Band, rehearsing on the Longbridge site, before becoming the Central England Concert Band in 1999 to reflect the area from which the majority of our members come.

 

Ben Jones - Our Musical Director

Ben is a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with tuition from Graham Sibley, Les Neish and David Gordon Shute. During his studies, Ben successfully auditioned for the CBSO orchestral scheme, Royal Ballet Sinfonia scheme and the Welsh National Opera Scheme. On Top of this, Ben also took part in numerous competitions including:

 

Winner (2015)-Bernard Brown Brass Ensemble Prize with Colmore Brass

Brass Representative (2016+2017)-Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Prize

Finalist (2016)-Andrew Downes Competition with Colmore Brass

Finalist (2016)-International Jan Koetsier Brass Quintet Competition with Colmore Brass.

Finalist (2017)-Dublin Brass Week Concerto Competition.

 

Since finishing his studies, Ben’s freelance music career comprises a mix of performance and education work. Highlights include educational projects with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, dressing up as a monkey with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and being a mentor with Cheltenham Music Festival’s Musicate project. With a high level of energy and enthusiasm, Ben loves spreading the joy of music!

Kris Davies-Kohler - Our Deputy Musical Director

Kris is a former music student of the University of Huddersfield, and then of the University of Wolverhampton where he gained his postgraduate degree.

He has received musical tuition and guidance from Andrew Corker, Daniel Barker, Jonathan Beatty, Chris Foster, Steven Spencer,

Anne Marie Beaumont and Chris Aldridge.

In his early years as a musician, Kris played the clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone in pit bands, concert bands and orchestras.

During school, A-levels and his Extended Diploma in Music,

he achieved high marks in ensemble classes involving

multi single-reed woodwind performances, improvisation and jazz, as well as excelling in overall music ensemble performances.

Kris gained experience from the Royal Military School of Music (Summer 2016) and was awarded

            'Best Male Attendee for Attitude and Skill.'

He conducted Leonard Bernstein's 'West Side Story' (2018) and was a clarinettist for the Sicilian Symphony Orchestra (Summer 2019.)

Since finishing his studies Kris is currently working on an

Original Creative Composition method which may lead to a PhD project. His freelance, community support and general music career comprises teaching, directing and providing music for private and community events. Supporting the family music business in Sheffield is important, too.

After securing the role in August 2020, he is a tutor of woodwind, music theory and composition at The Beatdown Music Academy.

Following his move to the West Midlands, as well as becoming a Scout Band Music Director and woodwind instrumental teacher, he supports his local parish church with music for annual events.

 Kris is a passionate musician who believes that music is truly

life-enhancing.