Darren Ashman

Having started playing recorder at the age of five, Darren soon realised that brass is best and moved onto cornet. Aged nine, he joined the Ashington Colliery Band in Northumberland, and was selected to play solo cornet with the National Youth Brass Band and the Northern Junior Philharmonic Orchestra.

After reading electronics at Brunel University, Darren settled in Cambridge with his musician wife. He played principal cornet for the City of Cambridge Brass Band for seven years, and trumpet for all the major orchestras around Cambridge, as well as being a founder member of the Something Brass orchestral brass quintet.

On the arrival of a son, Darren temporarily hung up his mouthpiece - at least until the sleepless nights subsided!

Darren was delighted to join the Virtuosi GUS Band in 2005, and thrilled to be part of the band's return to the very top of the banding world. However, after eight enjoyable years with the band, he stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Darren still runs the band's website and helps out occasionally on cornet.