Bob Vivian studied at the Birmingham School of Music (now the Birmingham Conservatoire) and Westbourne Road College of Education, after which he began teaching for the Birmingham Music Service. Shortly after this, he continued studying trumpet in London for many years with John Wilbraham.
As well as playing for many Musical Theatre Companies in the West Midlands, including the Alexandra and Hippodrome theatres, and Grand Opera at the Bournville Concert Hall. Bob played regularly at the Night Out Club in Birmingham and accompanied such artists as The Three Degrees and Diana Ross and the Supremes. He also played in a CND Concert with the CBSO, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
In 1980, he formed his own professional brass ensemble Gemini Brass. The group has appeared on BBC TV, recorded for both national and local radio and performs in festivals across the country and abroad. The group performs annually for the CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Children) Sargent Christmas Charity Concerts in Symphony Hall. The group has also, for the last five years, played for the Wombourne Music Festival.
Bob also conducts the Birmingham Schools’ Concert Orchestra. He has toured with BSCO to Switzerland, Germany and Norway, and has, on five occasions, been invited to perform in the Schools’ Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. Guest artists with BSCO have included Sir Simon Rattle, John Wallace, Gordon Langford, Crispin Steele-Perkins, the King’s Singers and the late Ron Goodwin who was the orchestra’s patron. Bob also directs the Birmingham Schools’ Brass Ensemble.
Dan Watson is a freelance UK based conductor, developing his professional career through a varied portfolio of engagements encompassing orchestral and chamber work, opera and musical theatre. He completed a Masters in orchestral conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire.
Dan currently holds principal conductorships with Stratford-Upon-Avon Symphony Orchestra, Djanogly Community Orchestra, Blackwood Clarinet Choir, Thumb contemporary music ensemble, the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and Nova Orchestra Classica. He has regular freelance work across the Midlands including conducting Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's LEAP Ensemble, which is dedicated to enthusing young musicians to pursue a lifelong passion in creating and performing.
In 2016 Dan was featured in the BBC series All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, as then principal conductor of The People's Orchestra. The program, designed to inspire and promote amateur music making, reflects many of Dan's continued aims as a conductor, to bring together professionals and community musicians alike, culminating in high standard performances and rewarding life experiences.
Dan has a particular interest in contemporary music. He is Conductor and Artistic Director of Thumb contemporary music ensemble with whom he won a Musicians Benevolent Fund Emerging Excellence Award, and has directed numerous performances resulting in over 50 premières of new works by established and emerging composers.
He lives in Hinckley, Leicestershire, with wife Sally, cats Morris and Florin, and an increasingly adventurous daughter, Bethan, who was born in December 2017.
Richard Jeffries has had a lifelong interest in music and began learning the trumpet at the age of ten. This interest grew as he moved through secondary school, playing in bands and orchestras, performing at the Symphony Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall on several occasions. He achieved Grade 8 trumpet before leaving school. Richard qualified as a primary school teacher with music as a main subject in 1997, and then taught at Four Oaks Primary School until 2011.
Richard became a freelance music educator and choral specialist in 2011. He is passionate about music and has taken on numerous musical projects over the past 16 years, musically directing various concerts, musical performances, shows and workshops for singers/choir leaders.
He has always encouraged children to get involved in playing an instrument or singing, and in April 2005 founded the Four Oaks Cluster Choir (now Intermediate Voices - a vision which embraced singing across a community of schools in the area. He is excited that this choir, originally with just 19 members, has since grown into a large collection of ensembles! - The Accidentals and Youth Voices being formed in 2008 and 2009.
In January 2012 a new Training Choir was set up for younger children, and currently boasts 60+ enthusiastic singers, which ultimately feed the Cluster Choir. He currently works with ten choirs on a regular basis, including three 'social singing' choirs.
He is a member of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD) and passed their Intermediate Conductors course in March 2009, and now leads workshops for them locally, as well as leading and rehearsing other choral projects across Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Richard completed the 5-day vocal training course with the Voices Foundation in 2012, and is principal trumpeter and former Chairman of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Orchestra. He also plays the piano and reached grade 5, but admits that he didn't start learning until he was in his second year of teaching!