FROM a young age, Nicholas Childs was surrounded by music. Both his father and brother became conductors and so, for him, it was only natural for Nicholas to follow in their footsteps.

Living in a small village in South Wales meant that Nicholas learnt to play the euphonium – a small tuba.

He said: “My father realised that I was very good at playing the euphonium and said we would move to the north of England, so I could play in the best brass band in the world – and the next Thursday we did!”

Nineteen years ago, Nicholas became part of the Black Dyke Band. He was in a band called Fodens that played at the Royal Albert Hall and won the championships.

Nicholas was then asked to join the Black Dyke Band – a brass band who have been running for 165 years.

Nicholas said: “I am the second longest conductor of the band, the first had been with them 37 years.

“It is in my DNA, it is what I love to do. To me, my work is not a job at all.

“There are many great orchestras but there is only one Black Dyke Band.”

All the members of the Black Dyke Band have their own jobs. The band is technically amateur but, as Nicholas said, they are “Olympians” – the band is still the best in the world.

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Nicholas said: “Competitions are what we do best at – we are the best brass band in history. And concerts are the life blood of the band, we perform at over 50 a year.

“There is so much passion and dedication from people, they really want to be the best. There are some students who study in the UK just to play in the Black Dyke Band.”

The Black Dyke Band are keen to encourage the brass band movement and Nicholas is keen to encourage young people to learn and pass on their skills.

Nicholas added: “I always say that you need to achieve your personal best and once you have, you can pass your skills onto others.”

With the guidance of Nicholas, the band formed the Yorkshire Youth band and Nicholas also formed a National Children’s Brass Band (between eight and 12 years old) 10 years ago. Since then, one of the students has become the principal trombone player in the London Symphony Orchestra.

The Black Dyke Band have not only created famous musicians, they have worked with famous musicians too, including Elton John, James Morrison, Hayley Westernra, the Beatles and many more.

Nicholas said: “There was a show where Elton John and the Spice Girls were performing, and the spice girls took three and a half hours to record a three minute section with their band, whereas we recorded with Elton John and it took six minutes to perform a three-and-a-half-minute section.

“Elton John said we were the greatest brass band in the world.

“I always say to people that in the 60s, the most famous band was the Beatles. We were asked to work with them on Yellow Submarine. On side A, you had the Beatles and one side B, you had the Black Dyke Band.”

They have also performed in various different places – from local venues, to places like Japan for around 3,500 people. Last year, the Black Dyke Band performed at Glastonbury on the Pyramid Stage.

With almost four hundred recordings to its name, Black Dyke Band also has an Oscar nomination for music and sell out concerts in the Sydney Opera House, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall in London and to rave reviews on the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival.

Nicholas said: “It’s been a long time since the Black Dyke Band performed in bandstands in parks etc, so I joke that Glastonbury was our first park job in about 50 years!”

The band will also adapt their performances depending on their audiences – they will play popular tunes as well as include and array of soloist performances.

In August, the Black Dyke Band will be performing at the Bridgwater Operatic Society’s major fundraising event.

They will be performing on August 18 at 2:30pm in the newly refurbished St Mary’s Church in Bridgwater.

This performance will be one of the first performances where the Black Dyke Band will be performing a piece of music specially composed for them by Bruce Broughton. This brand-new piece is called Heroes and is all about the Apollo 11 moon landing (the 50th anniversary will be on July 20th).

The music is 15 minutes long and will include a quiet moment to represent the moment they looked down onto the surface of the moon and an exciting finale, symbolising their journey home.

Nicholas said: “I like to guide the audience during the concerts.

“I like to give as much information as possible about the music, but they also want to listen to the music, so it’s nice to have a balance.”

Tickets cost £18 (plus £1 booking fee).

To book or to find out more visit or call 01278423008.