LeighBaker.co.uk

About

Leigh Baker hails from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire (home of the pies!). After his school education he moved to Huddersfield Polytechnic (now University) to study Euphonium Performance (under Geoff Whitham) and Composition on the BA (Hons) Music Degree course.

Leigh was the composer in residence at Brighouse and Rastrick Band, and a member of the band for 19 years producing a range of compositions and arrangements after studying at Huddersfield University.

This website draws together his published, and unpublished works with links to publishers and CD recordings where appropriate.

Brighouse and Rastrick Band usually perform at least one of Leighs pieces in their concerts. To see their latest schedule please visit www.brighouseandrastrick.co.uk.

If you would like to get in contact with Leigh, please use the contact page or click here

Playing

Leigh’s playing career commenced with the local town band (Melton Borough) and he quickly progressed to Championship Section banding with the Ancient Order of Foresters Band (again under Geoff Whitham). His move to Yorkshire saw Leigh appointed Solo Euphonium with the Jayess (Queensbury) Band where he worked with Jim Shepherd.

In 1990 at the age of 20, a slim, wavy haired Leigh joined the Brighouse and Rastrick Band on second Euphonium and it was this musical organisation that was to become a major influence on his life.

Leigh had a short (doomed!) spell on Solo Euphonium with Brighouse but settled on the Prince of Instruments-the baritone in 1995 and held the Solo Baritone Position until his 'retirement' from playing in 2009.

Whilst performing with the band Leigh played in most parts of the UK and on tour to Europe and North America and the Brighouse and Rastrick Band usually attracts sell out audiences.  This has varied from a floating stage on Bergen harbour to The Royal Albert Hall to a Mushy Pea Millionaire’s 60th birthday party!

Contest wins have also included every major contest (apart from the elusive British Open!) and these have formed some of the highlights of his playing career.

Composing and Arranging

Leigh was the Composer in Residence with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band. His output is prolific and his work has varied from arrangements for soloists to original Test Pieces. Leigh won the “Best New Composition” Award at The Brass in Concert Championships (Britain’s top brass band Entertainment Competition held at The Sage, Gateshead) in 2006 (Bare Necessities) and 2007 (Mr Sandman).

He has completed many Commissions for Brighouse and Rastrick but has also written for other Ensembles including Desford Colliery Band, Redbridge Band, Flowers Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band and he is working on a number of pieces for other varied groups and soloists.

Leigh’s work is colourful and imaginative and is always well received by musicians and audiences alike.

“Roman Triptych” was selected as the set work for the 4th Section National Brass Band Finals in Harrogate in 2007 and was selected for the 3rd Section French Open 2009 and the 4th Section Butlins 2010 competitions.

Conducting

Leigh has conducted a number of Ensembles over the past 20 years and has had associations with a large number of bands.

In 2008 Leigh was appointed as Musical Director of the South Yorkshire Police Brass Band and leads the band, drum corps and fanfare team in functions and competitions both locally and nationally. The band were promoted to Championship section status in January 2015.

In the Summer of 2011, Leigh was appointed Resident Conductor with Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, and helped prepare the band for their highly rated podium finishes at the British Open and National Finals.

Leigh was appointed Musical Director of Leyland Band in November 2011. He helped prepare them for their Brass in Concert 2011 victory and is delighted to be part of the team, working alongside Michael Bach and Richard Evans.

In 2013 Leigh returned to the Musical Director post at Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, being a part of an immensley successful period in the band's history. Leigh is also Associate Conductor with the Staffordshire Band and has lead them successfully in a number of high profile competitions.

Teaching

Leigh completed his PGCE teacher training course after his degree and after 7 successful years as head of music at Minsthorpe Community College (South Elmsall), he has held a similar post at Honley High School in Huddersfield since 2002. In 2008 Leigh was nominated for the “Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year” Awards and was delighted to finish runner-up in this national competition.

Leigh Baker is married with 3 small children and now living near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Adjudication

Leigh is an ABBA Member and is enjoying adjudicating at a variety of festivals and competitions around the UK. He is delighted to be adjudicating at the Yorkshire Regional Championships in 2015.