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Daniel Thomas

Solo Euphonium at Black Dyke Band

Daniel Thomas was born in Abergavenny and raised in Rhymney in the South Wales valleys. He signed up for peripatetic brass lessons in Blaenau Gwent when he was thirteen, starting his tuition at the Abertillery Comprehensive School.

His first band was the now reformed Ebbw Vale Town Band, a local fourth section band who regularly came recruiting into local schools. Daniel competed in his first National Finals in 2009, aged just fifteen sitting on principal euphonium. 2009 was also the year that he successfully auditioned for the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and worked with such distinguished musicians as Stephen Cobb, Nicholas Childs, and Edward Gregson.

Daniel then joined his first Championship section band, Markham and District, conducted by Nigel Seaman. He occupied the principal seat there for a year before being invited to join the Cory Band; this was also the year that he won the local ‘Caerphilly Young Musician of The Year’ competition, beating 140 musicians from schools throughout the borough. Dan won the Welsh Area with the Cory, competed at the EBBC in Montreux, and participated in many high-profile concerts. Unfortunately, due to new academic commitments, Daniel had to relinquish his position at Cory and transferred to Cory’s local rivals, Tredegar. He is very proud to have participated in the band’s British Open win of 2013, also scooping up the ‘Best Euphonium’ prize for good measure.

After two years, and following another period at the Cory Band, he moved to Manchester to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. He joined the Black Dyke Band, taking over from Ian Yates as the band’s second euphonium. Daniel was very fortunate to take part in winning performances at the Nationals, Europeans and Yorkshire Championships with Black Dyke, plus many high-profile concerts. Since starting his studies in Manchester, Daniel has participated in and won both the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award and the Euphonium Artist Competition at the ITEC (International Tuba Euphonium Conference) festival, held in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He became Black Dyke’s Solo Euphonium in December 2016, occupying the seat previously held by many of his playing idols, such as Morgan Griffiths, Robert Childs, John Clough and Gary Curtin.

In 2017, Daniel won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ at the Yorkshire Regional Championships with Black Dyke and in 2019, he was awarded the Geoff Whitham award as the outstanding euphonium player at the British Open Championships. He is currently a semi-finalist in the Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award 2020.

He is currently studying for a Masters Degree at the RNCM, under the tutelage of David Thornton and Steven Mead.

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