A HORN player has been performing with Wantage Silver Band for almost his entire life.

Gareth Coulson, 35, joined the brass band in 1996 as a cornet player and “hasn’t looked back”.

The technical advisor for Oxford Brooks University, who lives In Wantage, said he enjoys the social aspect of the band as well as the competition.

He said: “I joined because my primary school music teacher was in it and encouraged me to join and I haven’t looked back.

“It’s a family atmosphere, it’s huge but also small at the same time. You know everybody and everybody knows you.

“I have played the cornet since 1994 but changed to the horn in 2008. I also conduct the Community Brass Band and City of Oxford Silver Band.”

Mr Coulson rehearses for about seven hours per week across the three different bands.

He said: “It’s weird as when I play I miss conducting but when I conduct I miss playing. When you play you know what to expect but as a conductor you know how to improve people.

“You can give over what you have leant so far as a conductor which is a bonus but whenever I go to band practise I learn something new.

“I wouldn’t do if I didn’t enjoy it. Music is a universal language and everybody can learn it.”

Wantage Silver Band, which was founded 50 years ago, is one of the largest brass band organisations in the UK and it is currently looking for more members.

To take part, or for more information, visit: www.wantageband.org or email Eillen Sykes, the band master, at eileensykes18@gmail.com