Astley Youth Band rehearse every Thursday night during term time in the Astley Christian Fellowship, Manchester Road from 7pm-9pm. 

If you'd like to join in this great organisation, please do come along!

Toby Hobson PPRNCM

Musical Director

Toby wasn't brought up in a particularly musical family in an instrumental sense, but much like many families of that era who didn't even own a Television, he was surrounded by music. Via singing and whistling and the radio and from records. No stereo's in cars meant long journeys MAKING entertainment, singing songs, rounds, making up songs, changing lyrics to songs (much to the exasperation of parents!!!) This upbringing was important and maybe undervalued these days. It was instrumental in developing an imaginative,  broad musical taste which he happily has until this day. 

He started playing brass instruments aged 11 but only dabbled, it was when he was 15 he took a Tuba home for a summer holiday as a bit of fun. When he came back to school in September he had learned all the grade 5 repertoire. He soon joined his first Brass Band, The gloriously titled 'Flimby Saxhorn Silver Band' and his love of music blossomed from there. He enjoyed local wind bands and youth bands and orchestras, he enjoyed the musical opportunities, he enjoyed the camaraderie. 

School was a problem for Toby so in a blind panic his mum rang the Royal Northern College of Music. They reccomend an advice audition with the late, great Stuart Roebuck and a relationship that lasted until Stuarts death. With Stuart's quirky yet intense inspiration (a trait that didnt go unnoticed) Toby managed to find a way into the RNCM despite having no academic qualifications at all and was allowed to study The Tuba for 4 years. During his time at the RNCM, he played for The BT band of Stockport and the Kennedy Swinton Band but eventually joined the Fodens Band under Howard Snell in 1993 where he stayed for around 15 years winning the National Final, The British Open, The All England Masters on 3 occasions and various other titles. He  toured the country and the world playing, he worked with some of the world greatest players and conductors and recorded over 20 commercial CDs. 

Nowadays Toby is busier than ever, conducting various groups, teaching for The Bolton Music Service as well as teaching privately. He is a musical director of The Boltones organisation that offers performance opportunities to S.E.N.D. and socially isolated young people and when he's not at AYB he also enjoys playing "oompah" along with Helen in the Blue Barons group. 

Astley Youth Band MD Report 2023.pdf