AN AWARD-WINNING conductor is coming home to Essex to perform with a world class brass band.

Philip Harper, who lived in Thundersely and went to school in Westcliff, will be performing with the Cory Band at the Grays Civic Hall, in Blackshots Lane, on Saturday, February 15.

Philip was recently named conductor of the year by a leading music website, and last year led the band to victories in three of the four major titles in the brass band calendar – the European, national and Brass in Concert Championships – and finished runner-up in the British Open.

The successes have established the band at the top of the world rankings.

Philip, who now lives in the West Country, is excited at the prospect of coming back and performing in the county close to his heart.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to come back more than I have. The concert coming up will be a great occasion for that.

“I’ve been telling all the people I know in the area I’m on the way. People have always asked when am I coming back. I’m really looking forward to catching up with a few people.”

Philip and the band will also be bringing their trophies on the night for audience members to see.

Philip added: “I’ve come a long way since Thundersley. I’m now conducting the world’s number one band. People can expect to hear some brilliant brass playing.”

Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 0800 1404678 or online at