Born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Colum began playing the violin at the age of 7 at school before learning the cornet at the age of 9. After enjoying the cornet more, he moved to secondary school, leaving the violin behind. Throughout school, he worked through the performance grades and in 2007 became the youngest member in his school's history to achieve grade 8. Since the age of 10, Colum has been playing in Brass Bands, firstly at Ireland Colliery Band in Chesterfield, Riddings Band, Blidworth Welfare Band and most recently, The World Famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
Throughout these years Colum has learned from some of the finest players and conductors in the country. As a conductor, Colum has always been grateful for the chances offered him by All Saints’ R.C. School Mansfield, being asked to cover band rehearsals and concerts as well as a year as Conductor of the School Choir. Colum is a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors and has had successful appearances with Foss Dyke Band, Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band, and is the current Musical Director of the Chapeltown Silver Prize Band, in addition to being asked to visit many bands around the country.
In 2012, Colum jumped at the opportunity to apply for the Musical Director vacancy at Newark & Sherwood Concert Band, and since being voted into the role in January 2013, the band has continued to go from strength to strength. Colum is a firm favourite with band members and audiences alike.
James began his musical education at Bramcote Lorne Preparatory School where he started learning the cornet. He continued his lessons through secondary school at Lincoln Minster School where he spent his spare time in the excellent wind and jazz bands. 2010 saw James join The Band of Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force where he really found a passion for music and public performance, eventually taking up the tuba which he plays at NSCB when not fulfilling his role as Assistant Musical Director.
James carried on as a music instructor with the Army Cadet Force, eventually commissioning and being appointed Director of Music. After taking a few years off to concentrate on work he rejoined the ACF as Director of Music of a Hull-based band. Since 2022 James has also held the appointment of Musical Director of the nearby Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Concert Band; a post which has seen him develop his conducting and compering abilities, both skills which he is always keen to make use of when conducting NSCB.
In 2019 James was part of the team to launch the Newark and Sherwood Development Band, and became their first musical director, a post he proudly held until stepping back in 2022 to concentrate on other commitments. James conducted the band at their first public performance in late 2019 and even with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organised virtual rehearsals through Zoom in 2020 and into 2021. While no longer actively involved in with the Development Band, James continues to be immensely proud of what it continues to achieve.