Bandsman Bio

Andy Collins
Andy joined the band after being asked to take on the role of Musical Director in January 2017 having been the MD of Whitstable Brass for the previous three years. Whitstable Brass was Andy’s first appointment as Musical Director of any musical organisation but the band was pleased to appoint him. Andy began his brass banding around the age of 6 years old when he began playing the cornet with the Bowaters Band at Sittingbourne. He was initially taught by his father Alan, who himself was a very prominent and well-known figure amongst the brass band world in the South East. Andy often comments that he was ‘weaned’ on brass bands and they have always been in his blood. He went onto join the Medway Towns Band, playing soprano cornet and then became principal cornet of the Kent Police Band at the age of just 15 in 1977. As a result he has played at many established venues both in this country and abroad. Andy studied cornet at Bordon Grammar School, Sittingbourne under the tutelage of Peter Reeve, an eminent trumpet player with the world famous ‘Philip Jones Brass Ensemble’. As a result he was to gain Grade 8 with distinction on cornet with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music at just 14 years of age. Andy returned to the brass band world after a complete break of over 20 years but is enjoying music-making once more and the challenge that conducting and rehearsing the band brings. Away from the band Andy enjoys his golf, a nice beer and is a qualified cricket coach.