The Kingdom Brass Ensemble
Mark Upton – Lead Trumpet
Mark began studying the trumpet at the age of six. His parents were professional trumpet players and encouraged him to play at this early juncture. He quickly developed a passion for playing the trumpet and performed in various bands including The Kent County Youth Orchestra, The Railway Swing Band and Betteshanger Brass Band.
In 1997, Mark Studied at the Royal Marines School of Music where his outstanding ability was quickly recognised. He was awarded the bronze medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, London and The Parker Cup for best performing brass player in consecutive years, 1998 and 1999. At this time, Mark was given the enviable opportunity to study and advance his big bands skills with the world-famous trombone player and bandleader Don Lusher. Mark was also honoured to study with the British trumpet legend, Derek Watkins; one of the best trumpet players in the world.
Mark has toured the world extensively, visiting Europe, the United States of America, South America, The Caribbean, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Dubai, India, New Zealand and Australia.
Mark has performed at high profile venues including solo performances at the Royal Albert Hall, Live film premiers, West End Shows and The London Olympics 2012. During this time, he has performed with many artists including Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow, James Blunt, Ed Sheeran, Rod Stuart, Shirley Bassey, Joss Stone, Jamie Cullum, David Garrett, Katherine Jenkins, Beverly Knight, Laura White, Alesha Dixon, Andrea Bocelli, Lesley Garrett, Alfie Boe, Gordon Campbell and Raphael Ravenscroft.
In 2012, Mark’s exceptional trumpet playing was recently acknowledged and he is endorsed by Eclipse Trumpets; the United Kingdom’s leading trumpet manufacturer and specialist. He has been working closely with Leigh McKinney, developing an Artist Series model trumpet due to be launched towards the end of 2017.
Tom Hodge – Trumpet
Tom’s passion for music was realised from an early stage when he started learning the trumpet at the age of 5 and pianoforte shortly after. Later he began a musical career and studied the pianoforte and cornet at the Royal Marines School of Music under Professor Dave Jones and Sidney Rose in Deal, Kent.
In 1996, he was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal in recognition of his musical abilities. During this year, he also gained a diploma from the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music for Conducting and Bandmastership. More recently, he achieved the AMusTCL, a diploma in written musical skills and styles from the Trinity College of Music, London.
For many years, Tom worked as the Pianoforte teacher and it was at this juncture that he gained invaluable experience as a mentor and conductor; teaching many musical combinations including the wind band, big band, function band and orchestra.
During this period in his musical career, he gained a Certificate in Teaching with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree. At this time, he was privileged to have had the opportunity to be involved with world renowned musicians such as Tasmin Little, Peter Donahoe and Marin Alsop.
Tom has a passion for composing and arranging music of various genres and this desire to be creative has be fulfilled with much of his music performed and recorded in many prestigious venues nationwide to include the Royal Albert Hall, London.
He has travelled extensively around the World; highlights include performing at engagements in Russia, America, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand, Dubai, India and Sri Lanka.
In June 2012, he was privileged to be awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his contribution to the Royal Marines. Tom is currently working towards the Licentiate Trinity College London in Piano teaching.
Doug Scott – French Horn
Doug Scott was born in Glasgow in 1972. After leaving school at the age of 16, he started his career as a professional musician playing for the Royal Marines Band Service. During this time, he has travelled extensively around the world including two years spent on-board Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia performing for international dignitaries and members of the Royal Family including Her Majesty The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II and participating in historic events such as the handover of Hong Kong. Doug is currently the Principal horn for the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth (Royal Band).
Doug has performed with numerous professional and amateur orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, and Southern Pro Musica. He has also performed in theatre orchestras for many musical productions and as a soloist in various brass and wind ensembles.
Nick West – Trombone
Nick grew up in Guernsey, Channel Islands and began learning piano aged 5. He first started studying brass at the age of 8, initially on Euphonium and later on the Trombone and Tuba. At the age of 16, Nick gained a place in the National Brass Band of Great Britain under the baton of Elgar Howarth, with the tutelage of Dr Robert Childs. At age 19, he began a career in the Royal Marines Band Service as a Euphonium player, studying with Andy Cresci. During this time, he gained a Licentiate Royal School of Music diploma in Euphonium Performance, also the Bronze Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for solo performance. Later in his career, he was awarded the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for Conducting. In 2009, Nick concentrated his musical career on the Trombone and has since completed a Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree in performance. He has been a featured soloist at many prestigious concerts including; Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall and South Coast Proms.
Nick is in high demand as a composer and arranger, and has written works for a variety of ensembles including; wind band, brass band, big band and smaller groups. He is currently the Trombone teacher and mentor at the Royal Marines School of Music, Lead Trombone with Rhythm and Fuse and a busy freelance player. Recently, he has performed with many ensembles including; Chris Dean’s Syd Lawrence Orchestra, the Gordon Campbell Big Band, the John Miller Orchestra and the Simon Bates Big Band. He has performed on recordings with Phillip Brown and for P & O Cruises.
Jase O’Brien – Tuba
Jason O’Brien was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Growing up in a musical family he started playing the Tuba aged 9 and was soon immersed in the Brass Band tradition of the area. From the age of 13 to 18, he played with Skipton Brass Band, performing in Championship Section Areas and National Finals. During this time, Jason played with the Bradford Youth Orchestra and the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra receiving tuition from John Price-Jones and Rob Burtenshaw.
At the age of 18, Jason joined the Royal Marines Band Service and three years of musical tuition followed under the tutelage of Andy Cresci. It was at this juncture Jason was delighted to be awarded the silver medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his performance of the Gregson Tuba Concerto. Two years later, he was awarded the Bronze Medal, performing the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto. After several years of further study, Jason gained a first-class Bachelor of Music honours degree from the University of Portsmouth.
As a master of the tuba, double bass and bass guitar, Jason has travelled the world performing in many of the greatest musical venues. Highlights of his tours were playing in New Zealand, America and much of Europe.