DR. ROBERT CHILDS - MUSICAL DIRECTOR
A proud Welshman, Robert Childs was born in Crickhowell in 1957 and was introduced to music at an early age by his father, John, a coal miner and euphonium player.
Having left school to begin a mechanical apprenticeship at Ebbw Vale Steelworks at the age of 15, by the time Robert was 19, he was married to the love of his life, Lorraine, and was playing with the famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band under the baton of the legendary Elgar Howarth. On his arrival in Yorkshire, Elgar Howarth recalls:
"Robert Childs arrived at Grimethorpe as a teenage virtuoso and matured to become master of his trade. He is a stunning example of what can be achieved by natural talent allied to open-mindedness, hard work and intelligence."
During his time at Grimethorpe, Robert premiered Golland’s Euphonium Concerto at Sydney Opera House, was voted International Euphonium Player of the Year, and secured his first teaching post at the University of Salford. His reputation as a soloist and brass teacher quickly led to simultaneous posts at other universities, all whilst continuing his day job as an engineer and being a loving Dad to his children, Lisa and David.
In the years that followed, Robert toured the world as soloist and educator, performing at prestigious venues and delivering master classes at leading conservatoires. He also formed a musical partnership with his euphonium-playing brother, Nicholas, and together made their debut as the Childs Brothers at the Royal Albert Hall in 1985. Nick revealed:
"I've only had two teachers, my father and my brother. As the Childs Brothers it was always good to know that when I entered the stage and the lights came on, Bob was by my side. He's a fantastic musician, friend and brother."
Robert later became principal euphonium and associate conductor of Black Dyke Band, and it was during this time that he cemented his position as one of the world’s leading euphonium soloists, and developed his reputation as a conductor, working with the likes of Evelyn Glennie, Lesley Garrett and Lady Susannah Walton.
By now his career had moved from engineering to music, and having left school at an early age, Robert decided to educate himself as a mature student, gaining a Master’s Degree in Advanced Musicology from The University of Leeds, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the Open University, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Salford.
In 2000 he returned to Wales when he was appointed Musical Director of Cory Band. At the time Cory was ranked 13th in the World, but Robert made an immediate impact, and with more than 20 contest victories, including a World Championship, a hat trick of European titles and five British Opens, he led the band to its current position of No.1 in the World, and whilst doing so, broke new ground artistically through commissions, recordings and high profile collaborations.
His remarkable achievements were recognised by the Worshipful Company of Musicians when he was awarded the prestigious Iles Silver Medal in 2007, before receiving ‘Freedom of the City of London’ and the Welsh Music Guild’s prestigious John Edwards Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to Welsh Music in 2008.
As an educator, Robert is pre-eminent in his field, and became the Royal Welsh College of Music’s first Director of Brass Band Studies in 2005, whilst also Musical Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales. He is currently a visiting Professor at Tokyo’s Senzoku College of Music, Musical Director of the Woodfalls Band, Managing Director of Performing Arts in Education, Musical Director of the North American Brass Band Summer School and Chairman of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britian, where as a young Welsh euphonium player, he met his wife, Lorraine 45 years ago.
Paying tribute to Robert, Bramwell Tovey - Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Canada's Calgary Opera said:
"Robert Childs is a master euphonium player, and a wonderful conductor and musician. He is also one of the warmest and wisest people in the world of brass. A consummate professional and real gentleman."
In 2018 Robert became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music.
DAVID CHILDS - COURSE DIRECTOR AND ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Born in 1981, to a family whose name had been synonymous with brass for the past two generations, David Childs is today regarded as one of the world’s leading brass soloists.
He has collaborated with ensembles including the BBC, Manchester and RTE Concert orchestras, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonie Baden-Baden, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, Welsh National Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed recitals at London’s Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. He has also premiered 14 euphonium concertos by composers including Sir Karl Jenkins, Paul Mealor and Edward Gregson, in venues including Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
As a recording artist he is regularly broadcast on radio and television, and can be heard on Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Universal, Chandos, Doyen, Erased Tapes, Obrasso and World of Sound record labels.
A proud product of the British brass band tradition, David has performed with, and conducted many of the world’s finest brass bands. He is currently Professor of Euphonium at the University of North Texas, an Ambassador for Buffet Crampon’s Besson brand, Editor of the Brass Band World magazine, Managing Director of Prima Vista Musikk, Artistic Director of Cardiff Symphonic Winds, and recently became one of the first honorary associates of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
David Childs is NABBSS' Course Director, Associate Conductor and Euphonium Tutor. For further information visit: www.davechilds.com