Alan started playing the trumpet in September 1962, whilst attending Oakes Junior School, and was taught by Edgar Whitham, a peripatetic brass teacher and former soprano / MD with Meltham and Meltham Mills Band.
Edgar had formed the Huddersfield Youth Brass Ensemble from young brass musicians from the Huddersfield Youth Orchestra’s and local bands. Alan joined on 2nd Cornet in September 1966, moved to front row at the beginning of 1968 and became soprano in the band in September 1968. He has only played soprano since then and never left the youth band, except for enforced breaks such as a broken jaw! The sudden death of Edgar, in January 1970, had a massive impact on him so he continued to play and assist Chris and Gillian Makin with the youth band until they retired in 1996, when he then became MD.
Throughout the past 20 years Alan has provided instrumental brass lessons, mainly for young people, within the HYBEA. He is also a founder member and contest secretary with Huddersfield Brass which was originally formed using current and ex members of the youth band. Both bands are now part of the Huddersfield Youth Brass Ensemble Association (HYBEA), which was created exactly 30 years ago when we gained independence from the Kirklees Music Service.
For a number of years Alan has been a Director of the Yorkshire Regional Championships Limited and Chief Steward for their annual contest at Huddersfield Town Hall.
In 1972-3 Alan played in the old second section with the Hebden Bridge Band, under the baton of Norman Hudson, but left when he reached 19 years to undergo police training.
Alan joined the West Yorkshire Police Band in 1986, on soprano, and played under Mike Leeson, George Morgan and Barry Thompson until 1997. From 1997 – 2000 he attended the Band Studies degree course run by Richard Evans and Darrol Barry and obtained a BA (Hons). Whilst attending the course he enjoyed the input from several influential musicians and received individual instrumental tuition from Alan Morrison and Melvin Bathgate.
Alan rejoined the West Yorkshire Police Band (then directed by Captain Gary Clegg) in 2010 as a front row cornetist using his Eb cornet. He still plays with the band and is also deputy MD and MD for the bands 10 piece / fanfare group.
In January 2019, Alan was appointed Musical Director of the Grange Moor Brass Band, a non contesting community band.
Alan is a retired police officer but is now a primary school teacher, currently employed by Kirklees Council. He has two sons and two grandchildren. One son plays cornet and the other is a percussionist with the Marsden Silver Prize band.