Tony Whittingham

Originally hailing from West Bromwich, near Birmingham, Tony was introduced to the world of brass at the age of seven, when he started playing the cornet. After only a few months he moved straight onto tuba (mainly because it was bigger and therefore better – naturally!). He worked his way up through the Sandwell Youth Music scheme, finally securing a place in the highly acclaimed Sandwell Youth Band – the breeding ground of many of today’s top Championship players.

Tony’s first taste of ‘proper banding’ was with the Langley Band, and subsequently the Staffordshire Building Society Band, both on BBb bass (reluctantly!!). Aged 19, Tony flew the nest and moved up to the banding heartland of West Yorkshire to study for a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Huddersfield, under the directorship of Gavin Woods, Shaun Crowther, and Phillip McCann. Whilst at Uni, Tony was fortunate enough to perform with some of the top ensembles in the country; including the Orchestra of Opera North, ‘Travelling by Tuba’, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Hepworth Band, Fodens Band, Sellers International Band, and the Brighouse and Rastrick Band; with whom he held the position of Principal tuba.

Over the years, Tony has undertaken many foreign tours, most notably to Singapore and New Zealand in 2005 with the sadly now defunct Yorkshire Co-operative Band, who were invited to compete in the New Zealand National Championships in Wellington. The first UK band ever to be invited.

In 2011, Tony made the difficult decision to leave Yorkshire – his self-confessed ‘spiritual home’, and relocate back to the Midlands. Upon his return, became a member of the Thoresby Colliery Band before then making a return to his beloved Staffordshire Band (formerly Staffordshire Building Society). After a very successful two and a half years with ‘Staffs’, Tony was invited to join the Virtuosi GUS Band, and gladly accepted. He is very much looking forward to working hard with the Band to further build on their already excellent record of contest results, and widely celebrated concert performances.