Ian Porthouse

Director of Brass Band Studies & Cornet Tutor

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Ian Porthouse began his musical career aged nine with Flimby Saxhorn Silver Band and he was a founder member of the Cumbria Youth Brass Band. Ian became principal cornet of Leyland Vehicles Band aged 17 and also led the National Youth Brass Band for three years.

A move to Desford Colliery with James Watson proved to be the start of a very successful relationship, gaining the sought-after Nationals hat trick. That relationship continued when Ian was offered the principal cornet position with Black Dyke and another National title followed. Further success came with YBS and Faireys from 1997-2004.

Ian accepted the position of conductor with Tredegar Town Band in 2007, since then the band have progressed to be one of the world’s leading ensembles. They are the only band in history to hold the titles of Grand Shield and British Open Champions in the same year, 2010. Tredegar repeated this British Open victory in 2013. Ian has appeared as soloist all over the world in venues as far afield as Carnegie Hall, New York to the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. He appeared as guest soloist with RLPO under Vernon Handley and on many TV soundtrack recordings including Poirot.

He holds the position of Head of Brass Band Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire a position he has held for the past 24 years. Recent events include appearances in the award winning film Pride, on screen and soundtrack. Tredegar band also became the first brass band to perform with Rambert Ballet on the Gavin Higgins work Dark Arteries at Sadlers Wells Theatre.

Ian is the musical director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and in 2020 was the guest conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Ian was awarded the Illes Medal in 2020 for his services to brass bands.

Tredegar Band performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a brand new work by Gavin Higgins, Concerto Grosso, at this Year’s BBC Proms in August. They followed this performance the next evening with a prom of their own, the first brass band to do so.