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After fighting a losing battle with a French fingering system bassoon that he found in the music room cupboard at school Hugh picked up the tuba that was also lying there and, since it had only 4 buttons to press, found he was better able to make it work reasonably satisfactorily.

In his youth he played with the British Youth Symphony Orchestra, British Youth Wind Orchestra and the Oxford University Orchestra and, in his first term there, founded the Oxford University Wind Orchestra which is still going strong some 45 years later. Eventually he was invited in 1975 to play 2nd E♭ Bass in the prestigious Morris Concert Band. He was incredibly privileged to have this introduction to the Brass Band world playing at the top level under the legendary Harry Mortimer. The experience of Championship Section contesting, live radio broadcasts on the BBC, recording LPs and even playing at Wembley Stadium while Evel Knievel attempted (and failed) to fly a motorcycle over 13 London buses cemented his love for the genre.

However, after moving to Canada in 1979 the time spent developing a career in software development precluded much music making until he discovered the Markham Concert Band some 18 years later. Since then he has played in various other bands and orchestras as well including the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, Brass Conspiracy and occasionally subbing in for the Weston Silver Band and Upper Canada Brass.

The advent of retirement finally provided the time to take up composition seriously, after which he had always had a hankering. However, he had never had enough time to devote sufficient attention to it previously. The Brass Band genre is thus his first attempt at this expansion of his musical endeavours, and this has led to learning how to write for Concert Band as well. He is currently working on expanding his understanding of orchestration and instrumentation techniques where he will need to understand how the string section works too.

Hugh Wallis Headshot - 2017-08 - original.jpeg
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