Musical Director

Martin Humphries


Martin Humphries was appointed Musical Director of Ocean Brass in July 2016.

Martin Humphries (b.1989) is a Southampton-born composer and conductor currently based in South Wales. His music has been performed at numerous events and venues including the Barbican Centre, National Museum of Wales, Abacus Gallery (Cardiff), Fête de la Mare (France), ICTUS Academy (Belgium), Idstein Jazz Festival (Germany), Club Inégales (London), and the Cheltenham Music Festival. He has been featured four times in Cardiff’s longest running chamber concert series at the Cardiff University Concert Hall where his amplified French horn concerto was described as ‘exciting’, ‘innovative’ and full of ‘dark dramaticism’ by Sinfonia Newydd. Martin’s first opera was performed during his undergraduate studies and his first major orchestral work was performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Lighthouse (Poole) in 2015.

As a conductor, Martin works extensively with community music ensembles and was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Best Student Conductor’ award at the National University Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (2013). He is currently musical director of the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra and is the founder and director of Oblique3, a contemporary music group who have commissioned and performed more than a dozen new works. Recent performances include the European premiere of Ralph Steadman’s BLOT Symphony and AEON, a twelve-hour continuous improvising score co-composed by Martin.

Martin holds both bachelor and master’s degrees from Cardiff University where he studied composition under Robert Fokkens, Louis Johnson and Arlene Sierra as well as receiving extensive supervision in musicology from Professor Stephen Walsh. In 2014 Martin was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship to fund doctoral studies across Bath Spa University (James Saunders), Cardiff University (David Beard), and the University of Southampton (Benjamin Oliver). The project explores ways of creating rewarding contemporary music for amateur musicians and in community settings. Martin is also an active academic and has presented conference papers at the universities of Bangor, Birmingham, Brunel, Cardiff, London (Institute of Education), Southampton, York, and at the Barbican Centre.

Previous Musical Directors

Edward March BSc ATCL CELTA

Edward March

Edward March was appointed Musical Director of Ocean Brass in January 2014.

Having started to play trumpet at 10 Yrs old, Ed moved onto Euphonium when he was 16, and quickly progressed to grade 8 standard, playing regularly in local wind and brass bands and for the West Glamorgan County Youth Music ensembles.

Although he studied Mechatronic Engineering at University, he continued to play music and founded the University of Glamorgan Wind Band (which is still going strong as the 'A470's Big Band' almost 20 Years later!) Whilst studying he played with the Royal Regiment of Wales TA Band and this led him to changing career and joining the regular army in 1999, where he was persuaded to learn to play trombone AND ride a horse. After almost 10 years with the Blues & Royals, playing at numerous state occasions and notably as the Queens Trumpeter for the visit of the King of Saudi in 2007, Ed moved to Switzerland and became the Musical Director of the Swiss Cavalry (volunteer)Band in Bern, as well as conducting a local wind band and leading sectional and brass workshops in the Bernese Oberland.

In 2012 Ed returned to the UK and has been working as an Engineer and playing in a variety of brass bands, big bands, orchestras and pit-orchestras.

Ed has played with many top section bands over his Brass-banding career (Lewis-Merthyr, Staines, Egham, Sandhurst, Regent, Brass Band Berner Oberland and Alder Valley Brass), but this is his first foray into conducting a contesting brass band in the West of England area.

Jonathon Lush-Camps L.R.S.M

Jonathon Lush Camps

Jonathan Lush-Camps was born in Cornwall into a musical family; his mother known as a fine mezzo-soprano singer, whilst his father was an enthusiastic player and conductor of brass bands in the mid-Cornwall region. After early cornet lessons from his father he joined the St. Dennis Youth Band, at that time the National Champion youth band of Great Britain, and played in his first contest just after his twelfth birthday, defending the title in the Royal Albert Hall. He was to play there on another three occasions, twice with the youth band and once in the Championship section, before leaving school.

He joined the Royal Marines School of Music at Deal, Kent in 1979, passing out in March 1982 just in time to miss involvement in the Falklands campaign. He was to remain in the Royal Marines Band Service for twenty-three years, serving in many places around the world, including a period as lead violinist on board HMY BRITANNIA.

He was selected for Bandmaster training in 1992, and distinguished himself by winning the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians for being the top student, the Chappell conducting prize for conducting, and by gaining the LRSM diploma.

Throughout his service career, Jonathan maintained a passionate interest in brass bands, and has conducted and played for many bands across the west of England region. He has also performed with the Fodens Band and Black Dyke bands; he numbers these as among the most thrilling musical occasions in which he has ever been involved.

Lieutenant Colonel N J Grace OBE BMus (Hons) FLCM LRSM RM

Lt. Col. Nick Grace

Nick was appointed Musical Director of Ocean Brass in July 2004 and was with the band for almost six years. In that time his leadership and direction allowed the band to flourish and raise the standard of performance.

His enthusiasm and motivation was key to the band's development contributing to many successes including becoming West of England Second Section Regional Champions in 2007, qualifying for the National Finals and gaining promotion to the First Section.

His long and distinguished career in the Royal Marines reached its pinnacle when he was promoted to Lt. Col. and appointed Principal Director of Music, Royal Marine Band Service. His duties and responsibilities in this post meant that he found it difficult to give the necessary time to Ocean Brass so reluctantly he decided to relinquish his position as MD.

His association with the band did not end though as he continue to help the band wherever and whenever he can in his role as vice-president.

Leighton Rich M.B.E

Leighton Rich

With the formation of Ocean Brass in 1998 Leighton Rich was appointed as the Band's first MD. At the time he was also the musical director of the Hampshire County Youth Band, one of the premier youth bands in the country.

Under Leighton's directorship the Band immediately built a reputation for musical excellence. Leighton's term of directorship culminated with the promotion of the Band to the First National section and participation in the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2000.

Unfortunately early in 2001 Leighton had to relinquish the position of MD due to his commitments with the Hampshire Youth Band.

It was with great sadness that the Band learnt in October 2006 that after a number of years Leighton had lost his valient fight against cancer. His loss has been felt around the world.