Musical Director

Jonathan Parkes

Jonathan grew up in the brass band world, playing Principal Trombone for the Rotherham Schools Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain before going on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Whilst at the RNCM he started his career as a freelance trombonist working with the Halle Orchestra and went on to work with all the professional orchestras in the North West of England, including the Manchester Camerata, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North and Northern Ballet. In 2004 he played Principal Trombone for the Philharmonia of the Nations in Germany, touring Europe and South Africa.

Jonathan has taught all over the Greater Manchester region since 2001 and began tutoring and directing music courses shortly after and began conducting in 2005. His first full time appointment came in 2011 when he was appointed musical director of the Dobcross Youth Brass Band. The following year he was appointed MD of the National Children’s Wind Orchestra – a prestigious residential course performing concerts in venues such as the Cadogan Hall, Royal College of Music and Saffron Hall.

In 2019, alongside Kathryn Wood and Jonny Watkins, Jonathan founded the National Youth Concert Band, a new residential music course that attracts some of the top young woodwind, brass and percussion players in the country.

From September 2023, Jonathan has taken the role of Head of Prep School Music at Oldham Hulme Grammar School, however we are relieved that he is staying on as Werneth Concert Band’s Musical Director as well as his new role.
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