Philip Blake-Convey

At the age of nine Phil realised that ice cream wasn't the only good thing to come out of a cornet as his potential for releasing beautiful music from the hidden depths of a brass cornet was discovered! As with life, it was never enough, and as he got bigger so did the instrument; by the age of sixteen the Bb Tuba and he were an item! Their engagement was consummated in the back row of the BSC Port Talbot Band and they embarked on a life time of making beautiful music together.

True to his earlier promise bigger and better continued to be the order of the day. The world became his oyster as he moved from the Port Talbot Band to the West Glamorgan Youth Brass Band and then to the Guards Division who flaunted his talents across the globe. Well, actually, he had a successful audition with the Welsh Guards which led to a period of study at RMSM Kneller Hall, under the tuition of the great Patrick Harrild! There followed a highly enjoyable career in military music, lasting some 27 years. Travelling the world and working with some of its finest musicians Phil enjoyed some of the best times of his life; and the tuba did too! By now he and Phil were inseparable and neighbours were often mystified by the strange noises emanating from their most private moments - the daily practice session!

The 1993 change in the banding rules, meant that military musicians were only permitted to play with the band they were registered with at the time of their enlistment. Phil went along to the John Laing Hendon Band and rediscovered the 'banding bug'. The travelling continued as he enjoyed a successful time competing with many bands in and around London and as far a field as Carlton Main in Yorkshire! The tuba resigned itself to extended periods encased in black as long as they continued to make beautiful music together!

Phil joined Desford in 2003 and enjoyed seven years there the highlight being winning the All England Masters International Contest in 2008.

2010 saw a move to Grimethorpe Colliery Band and a weekly 600 mile to commute to band. Tours of Switzerland and Australia along with a Brass in Concert title were the highlights of his time there. As much as Phil enjoyed the band the M1 was just too much and reluctantly Phil stepped down in October of 2011.

2012 sees Phil back in the fray with the Virtuosi GUS Band - the most local band he has ever competed with and looking forward a lasting successful association at GUS.

After playing Phil likes the odd pint of beer so if you see him in the bar don't be shy!

Since retirement from the army and relocation to Milton Keynes Phil has discovered yet more hidden talents in those skilful hands and retrained as a massage therapist. He now divides his working life between massage, music and developing new skills in accountancy. Is there no end to the man's talents?

Phil has a wonderful and supportive wife in 'Blakey' whom he met on the concert platform whilst she was singing with the Royal Choral Society; the tuba has a rival but is gracious in defeat. He and Phil have moved into the gym and neighbours continue to wonder about the strange noises that still abound when he and Phil enjoy private sessions together!