Gary Standeven MCGI LRSM
Gary started to learn the cornet aged 8 under the expert tuition of former Royal Doulton euphonium player Derrick Deakin. He played Solo cornet in various bands including Hanley/Stoke Brass and Wind Bands, Staffordshire County Youth Brass Band and Ceramic City Brass.
He joined the Royal Marines Band Service at Deal in Kent in September 1986 and spent the next 26 and a half years studying music and travelling extensively, playing for British Royalty and foreign dignitaries at exclusive and exotic locations around the globe.
Gary retired from the Royal Marines Band Service as a Warrant Officer Bandmaster and moved back to Stoke On Trent in April 2012. One thing we have learned is that for a former oboe player he's one hell of a good musician and a brilliant guy to have in your corner. Ask him any question and he will have an answer for you; it's not the usual rubbish the rest of us come out with either - oh yeah, he's one of the '3 Amigos' too.
A founder member of PVB, he is currently a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages based at Stoke Civic Centre. Gary has a grown up daughter and son and lives in Trent Vale.
Matt joined our band in summer 2022 after hearing us play at Stoke Minster Spring Fayre. He started to learn the cornet aged 6 with the Salvation Army in Poole, Dorset, with further guidance from his Father, a former professional military musician. He has played Solo cornet in both Salvation Army bands and brass bands including a stint a principal cornet of Newport Town Band. Until recently Matt was the Flugelhorn player in the West Midlands Divisional Youth Band - a position he was proud to have held for 15 years!
As a musician he has travelled all over the UK and parts of Europe with school bands. Musical highlights include playing a solo as part of a Massed Bands at the Royal Albert Hall for the 'Youth Makes Music' concert.
Matt has recently moved to the area and after a long search found his new Brass band home at PVB, where he enjoys the family feel of the band (and the banter!). He has worked as a maintenance engineer since 2012 and currently works as resident engineer of a large automation company in Uttoxeter. Matt is married to the lovely Alex and they have two sons, Albert and Eric.
Glynn is Managing Director of his family roofing business and enjoys gardening and baking. Let's just say we all LOVE Glynn, especially at birthday time when he brings in a cake. Glynn started playing just before the band was formed and is one of the founding fathers of PVB. A word of warning to our audiences, be aware of his laugh! When he gets the giggles there's little that will stop him and you will probably end up joining in too!
Mark played Cornet and Trumpet at school and was in Moulton Village Band near Northapmton when it formed in 1977. Occasionally tinkering on the Trumpet more off than on over the years, he went to a brass band concert in 2016 and was inspired to buy a cornet and start practising again - painful for the family and neighbours after a 25 year break!
Conservation Officer Mark saw the advert for PVB's new training band in 2017 and turned up to find out more. He is really enjoying the wide variety of music and open and friendly atmosphere and banter. His ambition one day is to be able to sight-read music.
Deb is Joint Artistic Director of Claybody Theatre, based in Stoke on Trent. She is an award-winning playwright, and in her acting career she is best known for playing Angie Freeman in Coronation Street in the 1990's.
Deb joined us in January 2017 after coming to our Christmas concert. She started with the band on tenor torn but moved around when there was a shortage of second cornets. The best part of band rehearsals according to Deb is the break time cuppa, which she reckons is the 'best cuppa of the week'.
(Youth Band Tutor)
Claire has a backgound as an industrial chemist, specifically in waste management. Her musical education began as a baritone player in the Salvation Army. Now a private tutor, specialising in Science and Mathematics, she runs our youngsters training band, ably assisted by Lou, Phil, Isabel and Anna (when available). Claire also has her own online business catering for a very niche pet supply market - Totally Degu! As we found out on our band ZOOM quiz nights during lockdown, if you want a Ninja-standard science round that sorts out the wheat from the chaff, Claire is the one to ask! Any spare time she has is spent hunting for her adopted escapologist tortoise called Xena.
David joined the training band in January 2017 after a long break from playing, and feels very at-home. Previously a French Horn player (which we have not held against him!) he has picked up the Tenor Horn - under Lou's careful and patient guidance he quickly joined the main band and hasn't looked back since. David has even devised his own special jazz chord notes which he occasionally puts in to amuse the second Cornets!
A chemist by training, David can often be found walking his dogs in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands or watching a rugby match, pint in hand.
Conrad is joint Artistic Director of Claybody Theatre, based in Stoke on Trent. He is an actor, composer and musical director, and his film credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Apparitions and The Flea. Theatre roles include his acclaimed performance as Iago in the Northern Broadsides productionof Othello when Lenny Henry played the lead. As well as playing with the band, Conrad enjoys choral singing and ballroom dancing. Con loves brass band and has incorporated it into many theatre productions.
Isabel is the youngest member of the ensemble and joined our training band in February 2017 after her family saw us busking in Hanley town centre the previous Christmas.
She has settled in really well and we were very pleased to congratulate her on passing the Grade 2 music exam with merit during summer 2017 - clearly a young lady with a very bright musical future.
Isabel is currently studying Animal Management at Reaseheath College.
(Players & Welfare Representative)
Following a full career in the Royal Signals, Carl is now an estimator in the construction industry. His musical grounding was in the local area with various youth bands like several other members of the band. He has also passed on his considerable military experience as a cadet instructor. In his spare(!) time Carl's hobbies are sailing, attending rock concerts and collecting all manner of guitars.
Euphonium (was Tenor Horn)
You're quite lucky that we have a picture of Lou, she's as elusive as an Amazonian Tribal Elder. The 'horn' in the 6 cornets and a horn who formed PVB, Lou has a wicked sense of humour with a very loving and gentle touch and also assists Claire with running the kids training band. One thing we do know she has a wonderful sound even if the trombones try and drown her out sometimes!
Chris is a multi-talented musician and in addition to teaching and playing brass is the bass guitarist for local band The Sherry Counsellors. I'm sure there's some Romany in there somewhere; look at his hat collection!! Chris is currently a peripatetic music teacher in Staffordshire but is also a qualified Geography teacher! Another real joker, Chris has found a happy home with this bunch of misfits and loves the music we are playing, along with his slightly rusty but beautiful Mini Cooper.
Well we all love the deep rich sound that Tilly makes on her tuba but perhaps what we love more than that is Tilly's deep knowldege of real ale! It doesn't matter where we are playing, Tilly always knows which beer we should try first and there's usually a queue for her expert tuition. Now I don't know what makes somebody want to play the tuba (especially as I hated carrying a trumpet case up the hill to school) but I know we are glad to have Tilly supporting the band with her bass so if you see her trudging up the hill to Penkhull, stop and give her a hand!
'Big Al' is the scholar of the band - apparently he must be because he drives a library! He is a typical bass player, a jolly face and rosy cheeks from all that blowing; it makes for some wonderfully comical expressions but never let it be said that a bass player will follow a conductor or drummer in a band - Alan, like the rest of his section knows the speed he is comfortable with and makes sure we all know it too. If you ever want a delicate touch with a pinch of finesse on a huge bellowing instrument - look no further!
Update May 2021 - Alan has swapped his mobile library for a milk tanker and is enjoying the scenery on his new routes.
Jon’s musical career began at the age of eleven learning the bell lyre in the 8th North Staffs Boys Brigade, which led into playing marimba and other orchestral percussion in American-style drum and bugle corps. He was a founder member of the Staffordshire Knights, bringing musical education to children in Staffordshire for over 25 years.
Honours include Stoke BB (BB National Champions 1992), Staffordshire Knights (BYBA National Champions 1998 and 1999) and The Company Performance Ensemble (DCUK National Champions and DCE European Champions 2016). Jon also had the privilege of spending a summer in Pennsylvania, USA competing with former world champions the Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps.
He has taught and arranged orchestral percussion for a number of groups, and can now be found playing a weird and wonderful selection of percussion instruments in the corner of PVB’s ensemble.
Jon is a quality and risk management professional by day, and is also the owner of Jim the Sheepdoodle, who likes to attend the band’s outdoor events (you won’t fail to spot him!)
Hans Offen Meine Nuts
Oompah Band Mascot
Hans (formerly know as "Bear") was officially christened by audience member Basil Hoover in a competition at our Oktobeerfest in 2016. There were some excellent suggestions but the team thought the full name came out on top just ahead of Bear Necessity!
Hans was born in Erlangen, Stoke on Trent's twin town in Bavaria and he is currently studying music and Potteries Dialect.
He has tried to play a number of instruments in the band but his best effort so far has to be on the drums with Johnny as his tutor. That said he is most famous for his photo bombing...
Training Band 2017