Cottenham Brass Band was formed in 1974 from a small group of young players and an enthusiastic and dedicated MD, using well -worn instruments and borrowed music. The band is self -funded, and over the years, through performing in local Cambridgeshire villages has raised considerable amounts for many varied charities, local and national. The players are all amateur musicians from varied backgrounds and the ethos of the band is very much to retain the fun and enjoyment of ‘banding’ whilst seeking to improve the musical standard. Under the baton of Peter Mackley the Band’s reputation and profile has grown significantly and this year they achieved unprecedented success, with a fourth place in their first appearance at Butlin’s, and a third place in the Regional Championships, leading to promotion to the Third Section and an invitation to the National Finals.

Cottenham Brass has a wide repertoire and enjoys playing at local agricultural shows, village feasts, and bandstands. In the last few years, the Band has developed a thriving Junior section who made their debut appearance at the National Youth Brass Band Championships earlier this year and one or two of these young players are now an integral part of the Senior Band.

Principal Players

Sue Neville - Solo Horn
Sue started playing at the age of 7 for Cottenham Brass. She moved to Waterbeach Band and then to City of Cambridge before taking a break to raise her family. We were pleased to welcome her back in 2011.

Christine Gillan - Solo Euphonium
Christine played with the Ireland Colliery Band in Chesterfield for 10 years. She joined Cottenham Brass in 2013 and has occupied the solo euphonium seat for the last 2 years.

John Nooijen - Bb Bass
John hails from New Zealand where he played for St Kiilda Brass for 9 years. In that time the band won the New Zealand Brass Band Championships and John achieved 2nd place in the open Bass section of the National Solo Contest. On moving to the UK, John joined Hillingdon Band and has been with Cottenham Brass for a year.

David Lenton - Soprano Cornet
David has played at all levels of brass banding, including several years in the Championship section. He is looking forward to the National Finals and has suggested that lower section finals test pieces of the last few years have become much more challenging.

Craig Gallagher - Solo Cornet
Craig grew up in the South West and has played with Cottenham Brass for the last 8 years. Five years ago he started a Junior Band which now has 45 members and recently gained a Silver Award in the National Youth Brass Band Championships 

Emma Holliday - Solo Trombone
Emma grew up in Pershore where she played Tenor Horn with the band there. Some 8 years ago she moved to Cottenham Brass and 5 years ago moved on to trombone, quickly moving through all the Associated Board grades 1 to 8.

David Read - Front Row Cornet
We are privileged to have the legendary David Read playing with us after a 70-year career as cornet player, conductor and adjudicator of international renown. David has always offered advice and assistance to Cottenham Brass and his appearance at the 2019 London Southern Counties Regional Contest was his first as a player since the European Championships of 1978 when he was a runner-up with Grimethorpe!