Dr. David Thornton
Along with our Musical Director Ray Munday, David will be working with Kirkintilloch over the next few months leading up to Scottish Championships in 2018
Dr. David Thornton is regarded as one of the foremost euphonium players and teachers of his generation and has a global reputation. His work as a soloist, conductor and educator is renowned throughout the brass playing world to have a distinct hallmark of extreme virtuosity, professionalism and an ability to connect with audiences like few others in his field.
His work within the brass band world has seen him at the top flight for almost twenty years. He has held solo euphonium positions with the Fairey Band (1997-2000), the Black Dyke Band (2000-2010) and the Brighouse & Rastrick Band (2011-2015) having won five National titles, three British Opens and one European Championship during this time. David is currently the solo euphonium player with the world famous Foden’s Band.
Born in Nottingham in 1978, David began his euphonium lessons at just eight years old and only five years later became the first ever euphonium player to gain a place at Chetham’s School of Music, one of the UK’s most prestigious institutions for specialist musical education.
Since then his success has earned him many awards, such as scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust and the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe, a hatrick of solo awards at the National Euphonium Conference 1995, 1997 and 1999, first prize at the Verso Il Millenio International Euphonium Competition, but most notably as the International Euphonium Player of the Year 2001.
David is constantly working to seek out new solo repertoire in as many different guises as possible. He has given world premieres by composers such as Philip Wilby, Peter Meechan, Simon Dobson, Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, Peter Graham, Phillip Venables, Lucy Pankhurst, Richard Rock, Kit Turnbull and D. Edward Davis.
As a recording artist David has released four solo albums. His debut CD, ‘Three Worlds’, was awarded Solo CD of the Year for 2004 by the British Bandsman magazine. David released his second solo album, ‘Devil’s Duel’ in May 2007, Sempre Libera in January 2014 and Parallel Realities in March 2015. Furthermore, David features as a soloist on 30 different albums of band music, including ‘Epic Brass’ and ‘Jubilee Brass’ – live recordings of two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
Considering David’s relatively young age, his achievements in education are also quite remarkable. He tutors at the RNCM, the University of Huddersfield and Chetham’s School of Music. His current and former students already hold principal positions in many leading bands around the UK.
David is a course director for the Bolsover Brass Band Summer School and has been a course tutor for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, National Youth Brass Band of Wales, National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain, National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, the International Brass Band Summer School (Swansea) and the Wessex Band Summer School. David is also a fully certified member of ABBA.
David Thornton is a Sterling Musical Instruments performing artist and consultant and plays exclusively on the Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium. He also holds an undergraduate degree from the Royal Northern College of Music and a DMA from the University of Salford
Ray Munday A.G.S.M.
Ray Munday was born in Singapore. At the age of 10 -with a huge amount of encouragement from “Grandad”- he took up the cornet. [Grandad had played Flugel in Grimethorpe Colliery Band in the 30’s –under Billy Foster].
At first struggling with the instrument – it was Grandad who set him on track. Rapidly climbing through the ranks of cornet sections of bands. At the age of 16, being principal cornet of two bands, he set a track to become a professional musician.
Moving onto trumpet, Ray studied at Guildhall School of Music under Rod Franks, Maurice Murphy, Ray Simmonds, Philip Jones and Crispian Steele-Perkins [Natural trumpet]. Ray was the first trumpet player to be awarded the Bernard Brown Prize. Whilst studying, Ray formed a brass Quintet – Regency Brass. This rapidly met with great success and were regularly performing in the presence of the Queen, Queen Mother , Prince Charles and Princess Diana, etc., as well as with The Philip Jones Brass ensemble and London Brass Ensemble.
He freelanced for a number of years in London before moving to Scotland to get married and he continued his musical freelance work with the RSNO, BBC Scottish Symphony and Scottish Opera. Work also included TV and CD recordings.
Ray has also worked as an educator and conductor –he has always been passionate about the work of music within schools and community. As a coach /conductor, regularly being faced with a trumpet section in excess of 70 young 10-12 year olds –hungry to learn, hungry to play- was a real privilege.
Conducting and directing has always been a part of Ray’s career and has included small brass ensembles, brass bands and full symphony orchestras.
Whilst maintaining his Brass Band roots, playing for the past 20 years with Whitburn band –under the Major” and the “The Co” under Howard Snell, amongst others, he has had a long term desire to take up the baton full time.
Taking the role of MD at Kirkintilloch is another step in giving back to the culture that enabled his musical career in the first place and a great opportunity to direct a top notch band performing and competing at the very highest level.
Outside music, Ray is married and has a daughter. He is also a Championship Show Judge of Cairn Terriers and has judged in the UK and Europe.