Adrian Morris was born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in 1965 and started playing the Bass Trombone aged 10 with the Bridgnorth Town Band. The main reason for this sudden interest in music was because his friend told him there were girls in the band!
Adrian studied at the Royal Northern College of Music from 1983 – 1987, Graduating with the PPRNCM Performers Diploma. In 1987 he was awarded a major scholarship from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust which allowed him to move to London for his Post – Graduate Year at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
During his earlier years Adrian enjoyed playing with Telford Band and Telford Youth Jazz Orchestra, and his first taste of orchestral playing was with The Shropshire Schools Symphony Orchestra, with whom he enjoyed a memorable tour of The Soviet Union. Truly an eye opening experience for a Shropshire Lad.
During his time as a Student Adrian was lucky enough to have lessons from many fine players and teachers, including Nev Roberts, Terry Nagel, Ian Bousfield and Peter Gane at the RNCM, and Ray Premru, Denis Wick, Dick Tyack and Eric Crees at the Guildhall.
Whilst at College Adrian had stints with both the Leyland Vehicles and Desford Colliery Bands, with whom he appeared as a Soloist on both TV (Granada Band of the Year) and Radio. Adrian also guested with many other bands including the Fodens Band, with whom he made his final Contest appearance before “turning Pro”. This was the NW Area Contest in 1988 and Fodens were victorious!! In an interesting turn of fate it was with Fodens, playing Whitsun Wakes that Adrian made his next Contest appearance 15 years later. Same band, same venue – Same result. A lucky return to the mainland and Contesting.
Adrian maintains an active interest in bands and still enjoys playing in Contests and Concerts when his Halle schedule allows. Recent exciting band outings have been playing at Spennymoor with Grimethorpe Colliery Band and working with his old friend Paul Andews and the up and coming Wire Brass from Warrington.
Back to the “Time Line”…. In early 1988, after auditions and trials, Adrian prematurely ended his time at The Guildhall to take up the Position of Bass Trombone in The Ulster Orchestra, Belfast. Adrian had 11 fantastic years in Ulster, during which time the Orchestra was thriving under the Leadership of Vernon Handley and Yan Pascal Tortelier. During this period the Orchestra made many recordings and enjoyed numerous foreign Tours, the highlight of which were to South Korea and a marvellous time in the USA, a large portion of which was in Florida.
During his time in Northern Ireland Adrian enjoyed his teaching at The Queens University, Belfast, and the Ulster College of Music. For the whole 11 years he also taught at Bangor Grammer School, teaching youngsters from their first day on an Trombone, right through to grade 8 and Diplomas. You learn a lot about your own playing from this, and he really recommends it!! On the Band front, Adrian enjoyed many happy hours and made many life-friends working with the Bandsmen and women in Ulster, especially his friends in The First Old Boys Band. He did everything there was to be done with bands in Ulster – Adjudicating Contests, appearing as a soloist, conducting bands and playing in them. A memorable performance was playing second baritone (Andy Berryman blagged the first baritone chair) with The First Old Boys on Bangor Sea Front.
Coaching the talented young players of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland on courses in Waterford, and The Ulster Youth Orchestra were also very rewarding experiences that he enjoyed over the years. It was during his time in Ireland that Adrian met, and fell “head over heels” with a cornet player from The Agnes Street Band, one day while playing with them. He married Carole a few years later, under a palm tree on Miami Beach. To be recommended!!
In 1999 Adrian was appointed as Principal Bass Trombone with The Halle Orchestra in Manchester, a position he still holds. He is also Professor of Bass Trombone at The Royal Northern College of Music. During his time Adrian has played with many of the Country’s leading orchestras, and has performed in most of Europe’s finest Concert Halls. As well as performing Adrian very much enjoys teaching and also doing solo and Master class work. From November 2005 he will be starting a series of solo performances with Brass Bands that focus on the “lighter” side of the instrument. There will be some novelty items and some “charts that George Roberts would have enjoyed”. The first of the Concerts will be at The Parr Hall, with Wire Brass on 26th November 2005.
Another of Adrian ’s interests is composition. His first published work for unaccompanied Bass Trombone, “Confliction” (Warwick Music) was released in 2001, being first performed by the Composer at the Repton Trombone Festival. His second work, “Saddleworth Sounds”, was premiered by Garrath Beckwith in his Final Recital at The RNCM. It is scored for solo Bass Trombone, Piano, Timps and Percussion. Adrian recently recorded the adapted Brass Band version of the piece with Wire Brass in Warrington.
Sadly Adrian passed away in 2015. https://www.rncm.ac.uk/news/adrian-morris-tribute/