Born in Bolton, Matt Ryan is a freelance conductor, tuba player and pianist brought up through the brass bands of the town. Before graduating from Hull University in 2011, he had already won numerous National and World titles with Smithills School Senior Brass Band. His interest in conducting (and thus teaching in general) began at just 14 when he conducted at the Royal Albert Hall for Music For Youth’s National School’s Proms (Last Night) becoming the youngest person ever to complete this engagement. Since that time he has been Musical Director, and made numerous guest engagements across the UK, for Hull University (HU) Symphony Orchestra, HU Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Hessle Sinfonia, Radcliffe Brass Band, Tottington (Public) Band, East Riding of Yorkshire Band and is now Musical Director for The Eagley Band in Bolton. As a guest conductor he remains in demand thanks to fast paced- and often crazy-themed- rehearsals.
A keen believer in engaging and working with musicians who would not normally be found together, in June 2012 Matt became the co-founder and conductor of the Merge Arts Festival Orchestra and Chorus, in Hull. An ensemble brought together from University students and recent graduates, local choruses, and members of many local orchestras and bands to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the conclusion of the week long Merge Arts Festival. Continuing the theme of outreach and community engagement, together with the festival committee, Matt commissioned a suite of Humberside folk songs collected in the 1960’s to be orchestrated and performed- “The Singing River” by Matthew Moore was given it’s world premiere by conductor, chorus and orchestra at the festival.
Since January of 2014, Matt has been the brass tutor working with Smithills School and shortly after that began teaching at Booth’s. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has taught all brass instruments with a focus on the pure mechanics behind making sound from a metal pipe. As a conductor, he also believes in looking beyond just the notes into “music” more broadly. Matt can also offer lessons on piano, and specialises specifically (for now!) on beginner-intermediate level piano.
Lessons are available from piano and trumpet to tuba and Matt boasts a 100% pass rate with students completing grades with both Trinity and ABRSM. However, exams are nothing compared to create a fun learning environment with an emphasis on creating well rounded, knowledgable musicians who can think and work for themselves- as much as relying on lesson time to progress!