Martin Irwin

Martin hails from Barnsley and started playing the cornet at the age of eight, playing in his first concert with Barrow Colliery Band on his 10th birthday. After 6 years he joined Warren Band in his first principal cornet position.  Following this, Martin played principal cornet with both Stocksbridge and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery bands.  In his early playing career, Martin had many successes on the solo contest circuit, most notably being the North of England Solo Champion.

A major step in his playing career came in late 1992, when he accepted an invitation to join Brighouse and Rastrick Band as assistant principal cornet.  After 3 years, Martin moved on to the soprano cornet seat, and in the late 90's he enjoyed numerous victories with B&R at the Yorkshire Championships, All-England Masters, National Championships and European championships, also gaining himself the Best Soloist award at the British Open in the triple-champions year of 1998.

Following a break from playing due to work commitments Martin eventually returned to B&R and had further triumphs at the Brass in Concert and National Championships.  In between periods with B&R, he played for the Hepworth band, enjoying victories at the Scottish Open and the Grand Shield. Martin also had a successful period with the Marsden band prior to joining Black Dyke in July 2012.

With Black Dyke, Martin has enjoyed wins at the Yorkshire Championships, English Championships, National Championships, British Open and the European Championships.  Particular concert highlights have included playing on the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival, playing at the KKL in Lucerne, and the tour of Japan.  In the summer of 2017 Martin moved from assistant principal cornet to the soprano cornet seat, a position he loves and is relishing the opportunity this presents.

For over ten years in his earlier playing career Martin was also a member of the Young Ambassadors Brass Band of Great Britain, a touring band made up of players from GB's leading bands.  During this time he played on 3 tours of USA / Canada plus 15 European tours, primarily as principal or soprano cornet.

For his day job, Martin works in IT Consultancy within the banking / insurance sectors, specialising as a Programme Test Manager.

Soprano Cornet