Lesley Howie started playing Tenor Horn at the age of 10 at her local school. She progressed quickly winning many awards and competitions, the most prestigious being the Scottish Schools Solo Championships in 1994 and 1995. She was the Principal Solo Horn player of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland at this time.
In 1995 Lesley accepted a place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where she studied with Howard Snell, James Gourlay and Sandy Smith. During this time she played with some of the Country’s top bands including Fodens, Marple and Wingates. She graduated from the RNCM with a BMus (Hons) and then went on to gain her PGCE at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Lesley currently works in a Secondary School in Hyde as Head of Music.
Lesley’s career grew again in 1999 when she became the first female player of the famous Black Dyke Band on Principal Solo Horn, a position that enabled her to perform in various festivals and concerts around the world, including the Harrogate festival, Swiss Open Gala Concert, Eric Ball Centenary Concert and further a field at the Bermuda Arts Festival. Lesley has also performed with Peter Gabriel, James Morrison, The Beautiful South and Victoria Wood.
Lesley has visited America on a number of occasions, to play with the Brass Band of Battle Creek and more recently performing to great critical acclaim in the ITG festival. Lesley has also worked throughout Scandinavia and in February 2005 recorded the newly composed Horn Concerto by Elgar Howarth with the Eikanger Brass Band of Norway. In Easter 2005 Lesley gave a further two performances of the same Concerto as Guest Soloist with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
As a soloist Lesley has had many new and exciting commissioned works, including one from leading brass band composer Philip Wilby who dedicated his Horn Concerto to Lesley. She is regularly asked to review articles for the British magazines and web sites. Recently Lesley was asked to write a chapter for ‘The Brass Players Cookbook’ which is currently storming America.
Lesley regularly works with young brass players across the country as Horn tutor for Brass Band Workshops. Lesley is currently the Tenor Horn tutor for the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain Children’s Band. Lesley currently works as the Professor of Tenor Horn at the Royal Northern College of Music and Chethams School of Music in Manchester alongside other universities throughout the country.
Lesley performs with a brass sextet of Professional players and regularly appears with the group and as a soloist. Lesley is also very pleased to join the Fodens Band as Principal Horn.
Lesley has been active for Besson as a clinician, performer and in instrument development for several years.