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People of the Band

Martyn Stroud
Senior Musical Director / Conductor

Martyn Stroud was educated at Cowes High School and began playing the trombone from the age of 12, receiving tuition initially from John Gower, our very first Musical Director.

He enlisted into the Army in 1976, and after an intensive course at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall he became principal trombonist and staff arranger in the bands of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

His musical career has covered performances with Evelyn Glennie, Sarah Brightman, Chris Rea, Ron Moody, Black Dyke Mills Band and various radio orchestras. Assorted media broadcasts include BBC's "Friday Night is Music Night" along with Shirley Bassey, Vera Lynn and Morcombe and Wise.

Martyn has organised and participated in music workshops in schools throughout the country. including a series of workshops in Scotland alongside Evelyn Glennie. He has produced arrangements for use at Royal occasions, cathedral services, receptions etc. and has also published wind-band arrangements and brass ensemble pieces, some of which have also been recorded.

After leaving the Army, Martyn took a position at the IOW Music Service, teaching trombone, brass and music theory, both in schools and privately.

Martyn took over directorship of the  IOW Youth Concert Band in 1994 and over the past years has built up a very good rapport with the band, dedicating many hours to their needs and helping them progress with their musical activities. Martyn conducts the senior band.

Committee Members‚Äč

Brian Saunders


After being born in East Cowes, Brian Saunders was educated at Denmark Road and West Wight Secondary Modern school. After an early agricultural career , Brian attended Sparsholt Agricultural Collage to study farm management. In 1953 Brian left farming and enlisted in the Royal Air Force, training as an Electronics Engineer, He retired from the Royal Air Force in 1976, having served world wide, including Belgium, Germany , Kenya, Cyprus, Malta and finally the Maldive Islands ( Addu Atoll).
Brian joined Plessey Radar in 1976 as a Principle Lecture working in the Customer Training Centre. He retired as a member of the senior management team (Customer Training Manager) in 1999. Brian joined Cowes Rotary Club in 1995, becoming President 1998, and is still a very active Member. Brian was a regular audience member for many years before being elected band chairman in 2010, and elected band president in 2016.

Jill and Ken Lock have been involved with the band for over 20 years. This initially came about as their son, Daniel, was a band member and they wanted to get involved and help with the running of the band. 

Jill later started the Friends of the Band association which has provided a very popular ticket reservation service with regular concert-goers for a number of years.  

Ken served as Band Manager for a number of years before being elected a Vice President of the band.  In March 2011 Ken was elected President of the band following the retirement of Ray Rowsell from this position.  Sadly Ken passed away in 2016 and we will add him to our Band Legacy page in due course.

Following the passing of Mike Hayles in 2008, Jill became secretary for the band.  She continued to co-ordinate the Friends of the Band association until Gwen Hawkins took this over a couple of years afterwards.

Jill and Ken Lock

Secretary & Past President

Steph Smith


Steph Smith was appointed band treasurer during the 2016-2017 band year, taking over from former treasurer Geoff Waddington on his retirement.  Steph looks after both the Senior and Junior Band accounts.

Ben Bartram

Ben Bartram joined the band as a playing member in 1995, initially playing Euphonium but later transferring to Bass Trombone in 2004.  Ben was Senior Band Manager 2007-2014 and organised successful tours to Ostholstein (Germany) in 2008 and 2010.  Ben moved to the role of Press, Publicity & Web in 2014.  Ben was later elected as vice-chairman in 2015 and then elected as the band's Chairman in 2016 after the promotion of Brian Saunders to President.

Tina Parsonage
Child Protection Officer

Tina  joined the band in 1977 as a playing member, and continues to play with the band. Following the introduction of CRB (and later DBS) checking and related procedures a few years ago, Tina took on the role of Child Protection Officer. Tina is happy to liase with band members and parents if necessary to resolve issues.  

She has had much experience of working with young people through her involvement with Girl Guiding, Scouting, Rangers, and other youth bands on the Island.

Maria Nicholson


Maria joined the band in 1984 as a playing member, and has been with us ever since.

In 2009 she became the bands librarian, overseeing the move of the music library (from Bembridge to St Georges School, Newport in January 2010), and undertook a much-needed total audit of the entire music library - some 700 pieces of music!  Maria has conducted the band on certain occasions, and has also been musical director of Medina Marching Band in past years.

Gwen Hawkins took over the operation of the Friends of the Band organisation in 2012 and keeps all our Friends up to date with regular newsletters and books their seats for concerts.

Gwen Hawkins

Friends of the Band

Donna Brihmani

Junior Concert Band Musical Director

We are pleased to announce that Donna Brihmani has recently joined us as Musical Director of the Junior Concert Band with effect from September 2016.  Also, we are pleased to anncouncethat Donna has also taken on the role of Junior Band Manager from January 2018.  Donna was a member of the band before studying at university and returning to the Island as a music teacher / clothing shop owner.

Charissa Bartram
Committee Member

Charissa Bartram has been a playing member of the band since 2001. She has played clarinet and saxophones since the age of 9, and worked through her grades to a high standard; she has also played with other Island bands and groups.

In May 2011 Charissa was elected as Junior Band Manager, and in November 2014 Charissa became Senior Band Manager before stepping down at the 2016 AGM to pursue a career opportunity; Charissa intends to still remain involved with the band as much as she can.

Atalanta Hersey

Press, Publicity & Web

Atalanta joined the band in back in 2009 & although she left the island in 2015 to go to university, is often seen helping out at concerts. She is currently in her 3rd year studying Medical Genetics at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the Principal Oboist of the Queen Mary Symphony Orchestra, President of the QM Music Society and has a music scholarship with the London Chamber Orchestra. She took on the role of Press, Publicity & Web in February 2018.