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Steven Mead
EUPHONIUM

His brass playing whilst at Bristol was with the University Symphony Orchestra (1st trombone) and with the Bristol Easton Salvation Army Band, then later, the Sun Life Stanshawe Band, his first ‘contesting' band. As he completed his studies at Bath he received an invitation from Howard Snell , the musical director of the Desford Colliery Band, to join the band with immediate effect. As luck would have it a teaching job at the DeFerrers High School in Burton on Trent, in the Midlands, quite close to the band room, came vacant and Steven won the job and joined the band.

Television success undoubtedly helped his early career. On two occasions he won the solo prize in the BBC Best of Brass Competition (1983 with Sun Life and 85 with Desford). He also was awarded the Euphonium Player of the Year Award 1986 and 1993. The Desford years 1983-1989 saw the band playing at its very best, achieving many awards, including the European Championship, the Granada Band of the Year, BBC Best of Brass and the hat trick of victories at the National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. London (1987-89).

He enjoyed the high school teaching too with several outstanding music students going on to superb professional careers in music, He was also the conductor of the school brass band, string orchestra and directed 3 of the school shows.

By 1989 Steven had been invited to teach euphonium at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Birmingham Conservatoire, and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester . The diary was getting very full and reluctantly the high school teaching had to be phased out over the next 3 years. The professional solo engagements also were already at around 40 per year, raising to its current level of about 75.

It is a spirit of innovation which has driven his career, from his early success with some of the leading brass bands in the UK, to his founding of the British Tuba Quartet to the countless premieres and commissions of new music. He premiered the Euphonium Concerto by Martin Ellerby in Switzerland with the Brassband Berner Oberland, and the Euphonium Concerto by Philip Sparke with the Breeze Brass Band in Osaka, Japan.

Innovative too is his work with the unique Brass Band of Battle Creek (USA), his involvement with the 5 National Tuba Euphonium Festivals (1994-2000) in the UK, and his setting up of specialist euphonium ‘schools' in the Benelux countries and Japan. His innovation has extended to mouthpiece and instrument design, including the new Besson Prestige Euphonium, with many Steven Mead products now in demand the world over.

Now his lives with his family in the little village of Fenny Drayton, near Nuneaton and concentrates most of his energies to his extraordinary solo career, the Royal Northern College of Music, Boosey and Hawkes (where he serves as a clinician and instrument consultant)– and his long suffering wonderful family. Whether as a campaigner for the instrument or on the concert hall stage Steven is rarely out of the spotlight, each year he continues to take the euphonium to new audiences including concerts with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, the Capella Cracoviensis (Poland), London Brass, the Dutch Marine Band and the US Army Band, and the Classic Quintet (woodwind quintet from Bolzano, Italy).

Web: www.euphonium.net

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Steven Mead's extraordinary pioneering work with the euphonium has gained him worldwide recognition as one of the world's leading euphonium players and he has been acclaimed as the most travelled soloist in the history of the instrument. Based in the East Midlands in the UK, in the village of Fenny Drayton , near Nuneaton, his hectic schedule sees him playing concerts with leading ensembles, orchestras, brass and wind bands the world over. In recent years he has diversified still further he has begun to play popular styles and jazz.

He is currently in great demand as a recitalist and clinician throughout the world of brass playing. Not only has he been at the forefront of performance but is credited as a pioneer in euphonium education and repertoire. Steven has been a professional euphonium soloist for some 17 years after a successful career with some of the top British brass bands and as a full time music teacher. It is this wealth of experience that has helped to create a musician who communicates with his audiences.

Born in Bournemouth , February 26th , 1962, he grew up at this popular south coast seaside town, attending Bournemouth School for Boys from 1973-1980. His earliest brass ‘training' began at the age of 6, with the Boscombe Salvation Army Junior Band. The euphonium was too big at that stage (!) and over the next few years, gravitated lower, onto tenor horn, then baritone, then at the age of 11 to the euphonium. From the age of 8 to 12 he took singing lessons passing his Grade 8 singing exam with distinction, as a boy soprano!

His love for the euphonium seriously developed from the age of 13 and he was entering competitions at local music festivals from this time. Early teachers included Bernhard Roberts and Glyn Bosanko at the Boscombe SA. From the age of 17 Steven took lessons from brass band euphonium legend Trevor Groom, travelling by train from Bournemouth to Kettering regularly, a round trip of 7 hours on Saturdays. From Bournemouth he moved to the West Country to begin his studies at Bristol University. Whilst at Bristol he came into contact with the composer Derek Bourgeois who encouraged him greatly to persevere while many others gave him advice that to become a professional player he would have to move to the trombone. Although Steven was playing a lot of trombone at the time, the Bristol years clarified that the euphonium was the instrument for his future career whatever that would be. He graduated with a BA Honours degree in Music and moved 12 miles south to the Newton Park College, Bath where he gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, qualifying him to teach at secondary school level, (high school).