Joe Palmer - Musical Director Harlow Brass Band


Harlow Brass Band are pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Palmer as Musical Director
Joe is a freelance professional tuba player based in London. He took up tuba at an early age progressing through various midlands based symphony orchestras, wind orchestras and brass bands.
Joe has recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied tuba with Patrick Harrild, gaining a Masters Degree with distinction thanks to generous support for his studies from the David Richards Memorial Prize, the Help Musicians UK Fund, the Countess of Munster’s Trust, the David and Claudia Harding Foundation, the Carron Charitable Settlement, the City of London Combined education charity, the Kings Norton United Charities, the Greenwich Bluecoat Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust.
Prior to this he gained an undergraduate degree with Honours from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, studying with Oren Marshall and George Wall. Master classes he has participated in have included those by Oystein Baadsvik and Sergio Caralino. Individually, Joe was a finalist in the Trinity Laban orchestral soloist and brass competitions and received a grant from the EMI Sound Foundation.
Joe has played as an extra for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, been Principal Tuba of the World Youth Orchestra (2012) and ULSO (2014). He has also taken part in the Britten Pears Orchestra, the LSO Brass Academy and the London Sinfonietta Academy, and has also made television appearances for UK Gold and Big Brother.
Joe keeps a freelance diary of performance and teaching work, and is a keen chamber musician being a three time winner of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble competition, and one of these groups, Westcombe Brass, has gone on to become members of the Live Music Now Scheme and were finalists in the Royal overseas league competition 2015, and won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Prize in 2016.
Harlow Brass Band looks forward to working with Joe. For more information on upcoming concerts and news please check our Events page.

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Our bass player - Chris Harriss

Chris Harriss
Born in 1935, and joined the Life Boys (Junior Boys Brigade) in 1945 and then in 1947 at the age of 12 became a member of the 41st London Boys brigade company, with approx. 80 members and a Brass Band.

Began playing the Cornet, then progressing from 3rd Cornet, to 2nd Cornet, Repiano Cornet and then on to the front row at the age of 16. At this time there was 12 Boys Brigade bands in London and the Home Counties, and they also held their own Contests, we were crowned the Champions for 3 years running! As we were the Champions we played the Hymns at the opening service at the Royal Albert Hall annual Boys Brigade displays, a 20 minute TV program and for the 1951 Festival of Britain I played at Buckingham Palace to King George the VI.

Whilst living in North London in 1951 I was invited to join the Enfield Central Band (Championship Section Band London & Home Counties) on Tenor Horn, one of the best Bands in the South Of England. Playing every home game at Tottenham Hotspur Football matches. I was then playing the Baritone at this stage.

My family moved to Harlow in 1952 and in 1953 I did my National service in the RAF, and the last 18 months of which I played in South Wales with Barry Silver. Finaly being de-mobed back to Harlow.

In 1958/59 Harlow Brass Band was formed so I started playing again, I then joined the Epping Band on 2nd Euphonium and after a number of years I ended up on Eb Bass.

Having been with Epping Forest Band for 25 years, 1960 – 1985, Chairman for a Number of years and in 1985 officialy opening the bands own band room, reaching the 3rd Section national area contest at Watford achieving 2nd place out of 29 Bands! Conducted By Dr Dennis Taylor.

Today I am back to my roots playing with the Harlow Brass Band, also playing with the Harlow Salvation Army Fellowship Band and the Brass of St Mary’s ( Sheering) Brass Quartet.

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Creating a logo for Harlow Brass Band

Hello, my name is Ellie and I was asked to create a logo for Harlow Brass Band.

HBB Original Logo

They gave me a short brief with specifics to colour and I began designing. The band were so helpful when choosing the design and any adjustments they wanted. The design itself is simple yet recognisable as to what it is representing. The brass instrument around the lettering was the initial idea and with the band's feedback, the stave was added. The colours match with the band's main colours and shows class and style.

I loved working with the band and it was a pleasure that they chose me to design their logo. So, I thank the Harlow Brass Band for choosing me and choosing my logo, it is a honour.  Ellie

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Scaba Entertainment Contest 2014

Scaba Entertainment Contest 2014

Harlow Band attended the Scaba Entertainment contest on Sunday the 18th May 2014, the bands second contest appearance after over a 10 year break from contesting.
An early start to arrive at the Hawth Theater in Crawley for 9.30am, and what a wonderful venue for a Brass Band, a very well organised contest with every facility required including a warm up room, café & a Bar!


We were up against some bands that are graded on a National basis a lot higher than us as we are not even registered Nationally.

Effectively if we were registered Nationally we would be graded in the 4
th Section as this is where every band starts.



We set up on stage in a different formation than a standard brass band and this was intended to provide a totally different sound and presentation, which in my opinion worked very well.

Our 20 minute programme commenced with the March Brass Adventures, a lovely lively march, followed by an unpublished arrangement of Malaguena, a terrific arrangement, then we featured our Flugel soloist Mel Hanmore with Share My Yoke a very soulful composition by I Bosanko and played beautifuly by Mel.

We then featured our Great Solo Cornet section Roy, Mike, Jo & John and also Chris on Soprano Cornet with Cornets a Go Go, the team really got into this one. Our final item was Gospel Brass Machine which showed the bands rythmn qualities and great full band sound!

The band performed to there best and sounded very good indeed, we could not have played any better.

The result, being placed 4
th behind two 3rdsection bands and One 2nd section band, and being awarded the Highest unplaced 3rd section band award.

A great day was had by all, the band enjoyed the day out and are very proud of the way they performed and so they should be.

A great band, great people, great atmosphere!


Chris Johnston (MD)

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Harlow Brass Band - Second Place in Oxford Entertainments Contest


The Harlow Brass Band formed in the nineteenth century has just competed at a Brass Band Entertainment Contest in Woodstock Nr Oxford, organised by The Oxford District Brass Band Association.

This is the first time the band has entered a competition for over 10 years, under the Musical Direction of Chris Johnston who took up the role earlier this year.

The Band achieved a fantastic result winning second prize, also Roy Frost Cornet Soloist was awarded The Best Soloist in the section, and Daniel Andrews was awarded The Best Percussionist of the day!


A wonderful achievement from a great team of people.

Harlow Brass Band are always on the lookout for new players, and to improve and play to their very best. Rehearsals are every Thursday evening 8-10pm.

Further information can be found on this website.

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©2019 Harlow Brass Band