Our Musical Director

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

Musical Director

Josh was born in Bury, Manchester in September 1992. Starting on cornet, Josh tried many different instruments before settling on what some people would call the “suicide seat”; soprano cornet. His first band was Tottington Public Band (4th section) where he started on 3rd Cornet and over time worked his way up to the repiano seat. Josh enjoyed 4 years with Tottington including a 7-day tour of Germany, giving contest performances and his first ever solo performance, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King.

In 2007, Josh started to play with the Haslingden and Helmshore Band in the 2nd section, where several of his family members played. It was here that he started to the get the contesting bug with numerous wins including the North West Brass Band Championships, Pontins Championship and also the National Championships of Great Britain. This gave him an early taste of some of the experiences he would have in his future banding career.

Whilst at Haslingden and Helmshore Band, Josh was persuaded to join the (non-contesting) Radcliffe Brass Band on repiano, however, after a few months, the musical director approached him and asked if he would like to try the soprano cornet. It was hard work but he eventually got the hang of it!

In 2008, Josh was asked to join the world-famous Besses O’th Barn Band. During his time at Besses, Josh joined Wardle Youth Band and competed at the Music For Youth Contest in the Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Action Medical Research Youth Entertainment Contest in Blackpool and went on tour in summer 2010 to Barcelona. Josh left Besses in June 2012 when he moved to Coventry to study at university. A message from Steve, Committee member at Besses, was ” He has been enthusiastic in many of his Besses roles, from being a Whit Friday runner, to attending Contest Draws, to remaining till the end of contests to collect our winner’s cup, to redecorating the Bandroom and, last but not least, sometimes playing soprano. we must thank him for taking those opportunities and putting his own unique imprint on the band! It has been said that you cannot stand in the way of talent, and there can be no doubt that Josh Hughes is a talent!”

Josh was appointed musical director of the Coventry Festival Band in September 2012, his first full-time conducting position. During his time with the band, he reintroduced them to the contesting scene after a 50-year absence and, together with the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, the band performed a successful stage version of the popular brass band film “Brassed Off!” Following his move back to the North in 2014, Josh spent several months back at Besses as the associate musical director and soprano cornet player. In June 2014, Josh conducted the Boarshurst Silver Band at the Saddleworth Whit Friday march contests, where they won several prizes. In July 2014, Josh was appointed musical director of Sale Brass Band, under his leadership the band won the Butlins Mineworkers Championships 4th Section and came 3rd at Rochdale Contest as well as collecting several prizes on Whit Friday.

Josh was brought in as the musical director of City of Chester Brass Band in April 2015, having only spent 6 months with the band as he had to relocate to Chorley, City of Chester where placed 3rd/12 in the 2nd section at Rochdale Contest 2015 a considerable improvement from the 15th/16 place at the North-West area before he arrived, this lead him to be regarded as one of the UK’s youngest most successful conductors working within the brass band circles.

After moving into the area Josh was appointed the full time Musical Director of BMP (Europe) Goodshaw in January 2016. He is looking forward to working with the band and progressing together as a team, both on the contesting circuit and in concerts, and hopes that the partnership will be a lasting one.