Robin Upcott: Trombone
Robin Upcott joined Surrey Brass in 2012. He learnt the euphonium at school in order to miss maths lessons, taught by Malcolm Smith he progressed to trombone just before leaving school and studying music at Royal Holloway College, London University. After University, Robin taught brass for Surrey County Council before moving to a long career in I.T.
Robin has played trombone in big bands, brass bands, orchestra pits, and Rock bands over 4 decades. Joining Surrey Brass has in a way taken him full circle as he played with
John Goodwin - Trumpet
John started playing the trumpet at 7 and was extremely fortunate to benefit from the superb support to music from Essex County Council and from cultural life in Harlow at the time. By 11 he was a Junior Exhibitioner at the Junior department of Guildhall School of Music, culminating in a performance of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto at the age of 16 at the annual concert. He was a member of Essex Youth Orchestra and formed Bel Canto Brass Ensemble at the same age. Joining the National Youth Orchestra a year later, he later became co-principal trumpet and an outstanding memory of this time is a performance of the epic Janacek Sinfonietta at the BBC Proms with fellow SB member Steve Dawes and SB trumpet soloist John Shaddock.
Since schooldays he has always run brass ensembles and was grateful to be taught by Philip Jones, master of the genre.
Whilst an undergraduate at Royal Holloway, London University, John organised the first student performance of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble arrangement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" at the time considered to be "professionals only" in the RHC Picture Gallery, also founding the Farnaby Brass Quintet, and playing in the highly controversial "Le Quintet Hot d'Englefield Green".
Whilst a postgraduate, a professional playing career beckoned with freelance engagements including several tours with the Royal Ballet touring company, Ballet Rambert, Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and another BBC Prom concert with the London Sinfonietta. However despite such success, he saw the light whilst on tour one cold wet Tuesday morning in a no-star Liverpool hotel, decided a musician's life was not a long term proposition, pursued a career in acoustics and eventually became an IT consultant.
John was also a longtime member of the London Tijuana Showband and the soul band Royal Scam, as well as the Egham Band, Linden Wind Orchestra, Royal Orchestral Society, and Surrey Mozart Players and continues to play with countless other groups in and around Surrey. Brass ensemble playing beckoned again and John formed Surrey Brass in 2001 expecting it to last less than a year but is delighted to be so very disappointed.
John has been married to Su for ages and is delighted to have three amazing children and a growing number of gorgeous grandchildren. In between times he likes holidays in Cornwall and messing around with oily cars.
Outside of music Robin enjoys cycling, brewing his own beer and puppetry.