Iain was born in Dundee, Scotland in December 1986. His first trumpet encounter was with a toy one bought for him as a baby. Whether this influenced Iain’s choice in later years is difficult to say, but at the age of eight, when his school gave him the chance to join some others learning to play the real thing, he was very keen to do so!
After a slow start for the first year (due to teacher absence as the result of an accident), things started to gain momentum with a new teacher. Just before Iain’s tenth birthday, a local community brass band had an article in the press appealing for players to halt its decline into oblivion.
After just a few weeks, the band (Dundee Instrumental Band) found itself with a new 3rd cornet player. With the determination to get to grips with “real” music, Iain soon had to be switched to individual lessons, as it was becoming increasingly obvious he was pacing ahead of the others in the group sessions. As the local band were non-competing at that time, he briefly became a member of Forfar band where, encouraged by bandmaster Ron Cook, Iain got his first experience of the contest platform both as soloist and band member.
By the age of eleven and still only in his first year of secondary school, Iain had already won the British Open Junior title, was playing trumpet in the Dundee Schools’ Senior Wind Band, and at twelve had graduated to principal cornet of Dundee band, which by that time had started competing again. Just one year later, he attained a pass with distinction at grade 8 on his cornet.
A short spell as principal cornet of Tullis Russell Mills Band followed on-route to taking up the repiano chair with championship Bon Accord band in Aberdeen at the age of fourteen. After several months here, Iain moved on to become principal cornet of 1st section Clackmannan District Brass where he stayed for nearly two years, helping them gain promotion to the championship section in the process.
After a short spell with the Scottish Coop (formerly CWS Glasgow) band, Iain developed a connection with the town of Bo’ness – first spending a year with championship section Boness and Carriden Band as principal cornet and more recently in the same role with their rivals Unison Kinneil. He also gained both his LTCL and ATCL Diplomas in Trumpet, and was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland since the age of eleven, most recently as principal cornet.
Time for Study!
Iain holds a masters degree in performance from Salford University, as well as having previously graduated from there with a BA (Hons) in music. As an udergraduate student Iain was principal cornet with Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band while their regular principal was on maternity leave, before moving on to the end chair at the now defunct Sellers International Band based in Huddersfield followed by YBS.
Iain currently occupies the principal cornet seat with the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band. He previously spent a significant time as principal cornet with Leyland Band, during which he recorded his Vanguard CD. In his capacity with Grimethorpe he has been involved in several CD recordings and a major tour of Australia. Prior to playing with Leyland, Iain had been principal cornet with the Fairey (Geneva) Band, performing numerous concerts and contests with them both here and abroad. Iain also continues to further his career as a guest soloist and tutor with appearances throughout Europe and in the USA.