Phillip McCann

Phillip is one of the best-known names in the Brass Band world. He was born in Bo’ness, Scotland, where he began his playing career with the Kinneil Colliery Band. He held the position of leader with National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain for five years. His long tenure as Principal Cornet at Black Dyke was during the band’s world-beating period. His acclaimed series of CD Chandos recordings – The World’s Most Beautiful Melodies – is universally admired for the exquisite tone and musical expression in the playing; these recordings are featured regularly on BBC Radio and on Classic FM. Other broadcast credits recently have included an interview with Richard Baker’s informative Comparing Notes series.

Phillip’s unique style and tone quality has been used by composers to combine with orchestra for film/TV soundtracks such as Anna of the Five Towns, Woman of Substance and the immensely popular BBC TV series Hetty Wainthropp Investigates – the latter receiving an Ivor Novello Award in the category of Best Music commissioned for a Broadcast Production. Broadcasting and media credits include personal appearances as guest (eg Richard Baker’s Comparing Notes, Radio 4, Parkinson BBC, Wogan Radio 2, Good Morning with Lorraine Kelly (ITV 1). Frequent transmissions of Phillip’s playing both studio live and on recordings are regularly experience on Classic FM, Radio 2 &c.

He has toured extensively both as a recitalist and for master-classes throughout the world and is a Development Consultant & Performance Artist with the Geneva Group, assisting Geneva Instruments in the development of their range of brass instruments.

Phillip has always been firmly committed to the teaching of brass band music and served for almost thirty years at the University of Huddersfield, including a period as Head of Brass and Woodwind. He founded the university's Brass Band and Symphonic Wind Orchestra, bringing each to a degree achieving universal local, regional, national and international acclaim. Many of the students mentored by him occupy significant positions within the musical community as performers, conductors, composers and arrangers.

Charitable work as both soloist and conductor has been extensive over a forty-year period and includes involvement with All Star Brass type presentations, much current activity for Help for Heroes and Prostate and Breast Cancer charities. In 2011, the University of Huddersfield Brass Band (with Phillip McCann) completed the Virgin London Marathon – raising in the process well over £40,000 for the charity SENSE.

Although Phillip’s main activities continue to be a soloist and teacher, in recent years he has progressively increased his commitments as a conductor, being the founder of the Sellers International Band. At the All England Masters Championship, 2003 Phillip was the recipient of the Masters’ Dedicated Service Award. Additionally in 2003, in recognition of his prominent position as cornet soloist and band trainer and his resourcefulness in teaching so many brass players of the younger generation, Phillip was awarded The Mortimer Medal from The Company of Worshipful Musicians. His most recent accolade came in September, 2013, as the recipient of The Iles Medal once again from The Worshipful Company of Musicians, now being, uniquely, the recipient of both these highly prestigious awards.

In November 2019 an honorary doctorate of the University of Huddersfield was conferred upon Phillip McCann in recognition of his services to music and education.

Phillip McCann image

“We all have a unique voice, this new HERITAGE CORNET is an extension of YOU and allows you to find ‘your musical voice’........ the result of my collaboration with Geneva Instruments.”


Bore 11.79mm (0.464")
Bell 125mm (4.9"), Yellow Brass
Lead Pipe Yellow Brass
Side Bows Yellow Brass
Triggers 1st & 3rd triggers, with Mini Ball Release
Valves 3 Stainless Steel Piston Valves (Top Sprung)
Inner Slides Nickel Silver
Outer Sliders Yellow Brass
Tuning Slide Yellow Brass
Waterkeys 2
Finish Lacquer or Silver Plated

For more information about the Geneva Foundation and much more, visit our Geneva Bandroom website