Virtuosi GUS Band

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The Virtuosi GUS Band is a world-famous[1][2][citation needed] brass band, based in Kettering, England. Originally known as the Munn and Felton Works Band, it was formed by Fred Felton in 1933 in Kettering, England.[3] Since then, the band has won many prizes and competitions over the years.[4][5]


On 2 January 1933, the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph reported[3] the formation of the Munn and Felton Works Brass Band. In that article, Mr Fred Felton, co-managing director of the firm, said: "We are out to make it the finest combination in the country, and to make it a contesting band of note throughout the country". Two years later the new band were champions of Great Britain.[6] Since then, under the names of Munn and Felton, GUS (Footwear), The GUS Band, Rigid Containers Group Band, Travelsphere Holidays Band and now the Virtuosi GUS Band,[4] the band has travelled Britain, Europe and America, appearing in concert halls, on television and radio,[7] and has released many records and CDs.[8]

Major Honours[edit]

The band's contesting successes include winning 1 World Championship, 6 British National Championships, 2 British Open Championships, and 15 Midlands Championship titles.[4][5][9]

World Champions: 1971
National Champions of Great Britain: 1935, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1966
British Open Winners: 1954, 1988
Midlands Regional Champions: 1946, 1947, 1957, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
National Mineworkers Champions: 2013, 2017
All England International Masters Winners: 2015, 2016
Royal Trophy: 1935, 1954, 1955
National Quartet Champions: 1966, 1967, 1968

Musical Directors[edit]

The following list of resident and guest conductors is compiled from past contest results.[4][5]

Dates Name
1933–1938 William Halliwell
1946–1975 Stanley Boddington MBE
1955–1960 Sir Harry Mortimer CBE
1975–1978 Geoffrey Brand
1978–1985 Dr Keith Wilkinson
1985–1987 John Berryman
1985–1989 Bramwell Tovey
1988 David Stowell
1989–1990 Robert Watson
1991–1998 John Berryman
1998–2000 Melvin White
2001 Frank Renton
2002 Brian Grant
2003 Russell Gray
2003 Major Peter Parkes
2004–2007 David Stowell
2007 Rob Wiffen OBE
2007–2008 Jeremy Wise
2008–2013 John Berryman
2013–present Adam Cooke

Partial Discography[edit]

The band has released over 50 albums,[8] a selection of which are listed here:

  • Christmas Fantasia - The Music of Andrew Wainwright
  • Freeh-Way
  • A Mingled Chime
  • Bandology
  • British Bandstand
  • Bandstand (volumes 1 to 10)
  • Brass in Perspective
  • Celebration Golden Jubilee
  • European Journey
  • In a Tribute to Eric Ball
  • Journeys in Brass
  • Kings of Brass
  • Rhapsody in Blue - with Don Lusher OBE Soloist
  • Travelling Light
  • The World Champions Play Test Pieces for Brass
  • English Landscapes
  • Around the World in Eighty Minutes


  1. ^ "World Rankings". Top ranking bands from around the world. Brass Stats.
  2. ^ "World Rankings". Top ranking bands from around the world. 4barsrest.
  3. ^ a b "1933 Northampton Evening Telegraph article".
  4. ^ a b c d "Brass Band Results Archive".
  5. ^ a b c "Contest Archives". 4barsrest. Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  6. ^ "National Championships Results". Contest Archives. 4barsrest.
  7. ^ "Virtuosi GUS Band In The Studio". Listen to the Band. BBC. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  8. ^ a b "GUS / Munn and Felton Discography". Recordings Archive. The Internet Bandsman's Everything Within.
  9. ^ "Roll of Honour". The National Finals Archive. Kapitol Productions. Retrieved 17 February 2012.

External links[edit]