Our key people

Rachel Veitch-Straw

Senior Liaison Officer
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Rachel, a communication and community development specialist, came to Brass Bands England in March 2013. She has played cornet and flugelhorn since the age of 8, and was introduced to brass banding via the City of Sheffield Youth Brass Band, touring the former Yugoslavia, Italy and Australia with the band. Since then, she has performed with bands in all sections.

Rachel has worked for over a decade in the education and social enterprise sectors, successfully bringing together people and organisations for mutual benefit. She uses this experience to link, facilitate, train and support member bands to get where they’d like to be. Examples of Rachel’s work include connecting bands and other musical artists for collaborations, founding the networking events, which focus on topics like funding and social networking, and coaching band committee members and volunteers in producing successful funding bids.

Darren Lea

Liaison Officer
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Introduced to banding at an early age through the Salvation Army, Darren is currently the Principal Cornet of Jaguar Land Rover Band.

Although the majority of the last 25 years has seen Darren playing soprano cornet he has also occupied Bb cornet, flugel, solo horn and percussion positions. He is well known in the Midlands and has performed with a large number of bands (most notably Desford, GUS, Ransome. William Davis and the Brass Band of Central Florida). As well as banding, Darren enjoys playing the trumpet in orchestras and for theatre shows.

During his career, Darren has successfully been involved in numerous organisations and funding projects. He is keen to help bands in his area strengthen and develop their organisations.

Vicky Lenton

Liaison Officer
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Vicky has been involved in brass bands all her life. With both parents playing it was just a matter of time before she started to learn and rather than sitting through numerous rehearsals, concerts and contests be a part of them herself. She has continued to play and be a part of local banding, which is something that she very much enjoys.

Her family have even started on the next generation now and the tune a day book is once again being brought out of the cupboard for her five year old daughter. She has a passion for banding and especially the benefits that it can bring to a community both the younger and older generations alike.

Louise Jones

Operations Co-ordinator

As an experienced administrator, Louise came to Brass Bands England in January 2016. She has played the flute since the age of 10 but unfortunately not a brass instrument and is hoping to be forgiven for this.

Louise started her career in a financial services apprenticeship, auditing grant applications and then moved to hotel accounts to gain practical experience, working for The Lowry Hotel and the Radisson Blu group. She then moved into ticketing, working for Ticketmaster and Quaytickets (part of The Lowry Theatre) and her team provided the online box office for the Youth Championships 2015. She has recently relocated to Yorkshire, working for the RSPB in administration and finance, before gaining a position at BBE.