Helen Varley

Helen Varley is solo horn of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, well known as the band from the film ‘Brassed Off’, and plays in concerts and competitions across the UK. Helen is the specialist tenor horn tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire and Junior RNCM, and has previously held similar posts at Chetham’s School of Music and Salford University. Helen is also a peripatetic brass teacher for Bradford Music Hub, and a regular tutor on numerous summer schools including the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Helen was brought up in West Yorkshire, an area well known for its prolific banding heritage, and was taught to play tenor horn by the renowned cornet player James Shepherd. She studied Physics with Acoustics at Salford University, and worked for over a decade as an acoustic consultant for the UK’s largest architectural practice, designing educational buildings and concert halls. In 2015 she decided to take a career move into music, completing a Masters degree in performance at the Royal Northern College of Music (distinction). Since then Helen has regularly featured as a guest soloist, tutor and workshop clinician across the UK, and in locations as far afield as Europe and Canada.

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