Opus One Big Band




Ted Higgins

TED HIGGINS:- Leader, Trumpeter ~ info@opusonebigband.com

Played with Tony Lucas Big Band 1971-74; Ware Brass Band 1971-1981; Bishop's Stortford Town Band 1981-83. Played on TV and for a film; composed and arranged brass band music. Also appeared as band leader on live radio and British and American TV networks. Now a successful Music Director.

JON SCOTT:- Lead Trumpet

Jon started on piano at 7 years of age and started having trumpet lessons at 9. He studied trumpet at Kelly College in Devon, then transferred to Birmingham School of Music under the tutelage of John Wilbraharn. He has since worked with Sammy Davis Jnr., Phil Collins and Donna Summer. He is now touring and recording for Jools Holland,as well as Opus One, with whom he has worked since 1997.

MARK HUTTLESTONE:- 2nd and Jazz Trumpeter

Taught to Grade 8 standard at Ware Secondary School. Also plays guitar. Played in Ware Brass and led own 5 piece band. Became founder member of Opus One in 1983. Mark, an ever-present member, has been featured in all our top concerts and gigs, including the Royal Albert Hall. Married to Lyn Hart, Opus One's vocalist and member of singing group, “Satin Dolls".

DAVE OSBORNE:- 3rd and Jazz Trumpeter

Taught to play by Paul Eshelby while at school in Clydebank, while Paul was with Scottish Radio Orchestra. Dave has worked for two summer seasons with Chipperfield's Circus, then on cruise ships, including the Q.E.2, all over the world. Summer season at Hemsby. Settled with family in Norfolk area. First Opus One gig was the Jitterbug Ball in 1995. Also plays with other function bands.

GUY LUDBROOK:- 4th Trumpet

Originally a guitarist, Guy was taught to play by his father, a professional trumpeter in a Leicester big band and converted to trumpet some 12 years ago. He has played on Q.E.2 cruises and he has worked with LioneI Blair in pantomime and played at many big band gigs, backing Denis Lotis.

PHILL HYDE:- Lead Trombonist

Following courses at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music Phill moved into the world of the freelance musician, starting with tours with the Herb Miller Orchestra and the Kaye Sisters and, of course, Opus One Big Band, including the very popular dates with the Beverley Sisters. Phill has worked all over the world but has also been the resident trombonist with such bands as Johnny Howard and Denny Wise, primarily in the West End of London. Phill has also freelanced with a vast number of bands, he first played with Opus One in 1993.

DAVE WILLIAMSON:- 2nd Trombonist

Dave started playing piano at 7 and transferred to trombone at 10. Achieved Grade 8 with Distinction at 16. Obtained 1st Class degree at Leeds College of Music, then Post Graduate Diploma at Trinity College of Music. While finishing education toured America ,Canada, Denmark and France with Nottingham Youth Orchestra. Dave is now a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as well as Opus One with whom he has been for 2 years Dave is 25 years old.

STEVE THOMPSON:- 3rd Trombone

Steve started playing trombone at 11 years of age and then joined the Essex Youth Orchestra with whom he toured Italy, Spain, Germany and Romania. He continued studying at Trinity College of Music, then to the Royal College of Music in 1991 where he gained Dip.Tcl. Diploma and ARCM Diploma. Since College days Steve has worked for the London Concert Orchestra, London Film Orchestra, Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra, Memphis Belle Orchestra and Virtuosi of London. In 1997 he set up his own Company "The Music Design Company", writing and arranging music for various clients including H.R.H.Prince of Wales, H.R.H. Princess Royal, Rt. Hon. John Major MP, Rt. Hon. Paddy Ashdown MP. Steve did his first Opus One gig in 1996.

KIERON O'NEIL:- Bass Trombone

Kieron attended the 3-year classical course at the Trinity College of Music. This has been followed by freelance orchestral work, including working for the BBC. He is also much in demand as a big band bass trombonist, having worked for Ray Dexter's "Flying Fortress", String of Pearls, Mark Bassey Combo, as well as Opus One. He has performed at all the major venues in London, including the Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall. He has also appeared on TV in "The Big Breakfast Show". He has been playing with Opus One for 4 years.


Also plays clarinet and flute. As a Big Band musician Ronnie was with Joe Loss for many years, playing venues including Buckingharn Palace and Windsor Castle; also cruising for P & 0 with his own band. Joined Harry Gold's "Pieces of Eight" and played with them at the Los Angeles Jazz Festival, sitting in with many jazz "Greats". Then with the Glenn Miller Orchestra he was featured as clarinet soloist at concerts here and throughout Europe. In 1990 he began a happy association with the Opus One Orchestra. Ronnie is an L.R.A.M. and has recorded Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. He performs professionally on flute and bassoon.

JACKIE VINE:- 2nd Alto Sax & Clarinet

Jackie gained her L.R.A.M. at the Guildhall School of Music on clarinet. She converted to alto sax while with Opus One. Jackie also plays for Maltings Symphonia and local band called "Rick's Place", as well as various shows in the pit. Her first job with Opus One was on 3rd March, 1984.

NOEL MURRAY:- 1st Tenor Sax & Soloist

Noel learned to play clarinet at Salesian College, Liverpool and while with that school band appeared on “Opportunity Knocks” three times. After doing well on this the band went on the road. After leaving school he joined the Army at the age of 18. When he left the Army he performed on cruises, including the Q.E.2. He then did a tour of Great Britain for a year in the musical "Annie". He has played with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra and now works with various big bands and function bands. He played his first Opus One gig in 1987.

FRANK WHITE:- 2nd Tenor Sax

Frank comes from a musical family and plays all the reed and flute instruments. He has played in the pit at the London Palladium and Victoria Palace and has worked with such stars as Engelbert Humperdink and The Bachelors. Frank tours all over Europe with the Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra. He has been with Opus One since 1990.

PAULA BORRELL:- Baritone Sax

Paula originally played the flute and became our baritone sax player on Les Cooper's retirement in 1988. She has played on cruise ships and with the John Bennett band. She is now a full-time professional musician touring the country in a Soul & Show band.


Originally a clarinet player, on which he attained Grade 8. Has composed and arranged music for Opus One. Russell is also one of our original members. He is a trained sound engineer and works in that capacity in the TV industry.


Frank has been an ever-present member of the Opus One Rhythm Section for the last 9 years. He has also worked for the George Thorby Big Band and regularly rehearses with Stan Wheatley - a local band. He has also run his own trio and quartet over the years and is an ideal big band pianist, with many years of experience.


Steve gained the Graduate Diploma in Jazz and Contemporary Music at Leeds college of Music at the same time as lead singer Heather Carmel Most of Steve' s early work was on cruises for Cunard and P & 0 and depping on several shows, both in the West End and Provinces. Steve is equally at home playing jazz, classics or pop on string bass or bass guitar. Steve replaced Russell Swift as bass player with Opus One in 1999. Steve is 38 years old.

PHIL CHILDS:- String Bass & Bass Guitar

Has worked with (among others) Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, Elkie Brooks, Dee Dee Warwick, Joan Armatrading, Lulu, The Drifters, The Platters, P.J. Proby. Phil has also played in the shows “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Evita”, and extensive work for BBC TV. He also records as a session musician.


Alan began his professional career working on cruise ships and then in a palais band. Eventually he joined the Joe Loss Orchestra and afterwards worked with most of the big bands, notably Johnny Howard. Apart from big bands his work has seen him playing in virtually every department of music business, i.e. theatre, shows, cabaret, jazz rock and country music. Some of his recent work has included drumming for Dionne Warwick and Lyndsay de Paul. Alan comes from Harlow.

JOHN SHARPLES:- Vocalist & M.C.

John is also a fine bass trombonist and plays the euphonium in a brass band. He sang in a Sixties' Pop Band doing covers of Beatles and Stones’ music, as well as music hall groups. He played with the Tony Lucas Big Band from 1971 to 1974 and joined Opus One in 1987, as bass trombonist. He soon switched to vocals and M.C.ing and has become part of a fine vocal team with Heather and the other girls. He has performed at all the top British venues, including the Royal Albert Hall.


Heather is Music Director of our vocal group 'The Satin Dolls" and has been with Opus One since April, 1990. She has sung in the West End Show "Starlight Express" and on various live radio and television programmes. She has also worked with the Glenn Miller Memorial Orchestra touring Europe and also on various world cruises. Heather specialises in solo piano/vocal work and teaches at various colleges throughout London. She has been singing since the age of 12 and is equally at home covering standards or the latest chart hit. She also M.C.'s some of our gigs in John’s absence.

LYN HART:- Vocalist

Lyn trained as a dancer and became a member of the Forest Operatic Society in which she has had many starring roles. She has become our longest serving female vocalist, having put in 10 years service. Lyn has played all the major venues and her acting ability came to the fore in our World War II 50th Anniversary Concerts. She is married to Mark, our 2nd trumpeter.


Babette is the daughter of Joy, one of the Beverley Sisters, and football legend, Billy Wright, C.B.E. Before joining Opus One's vocal group "Satin Dolls", she toured the world with The Foxes comprising her sister, Vicky and cousin Sasha. Recently she has sung backing vocals for the Beverley Sisters on their last three major tours. Her first Opus One gig was in 1994.


Peter has been arranging for Opus One since the mid-1980's and is responsible for many of the pieces of music we play, including “At Last” “American Patrol”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and "Trumpet Blues & Cantabile" to name but a few. He specialises in recreating the music from the Glenn Miller era and is the unsung hero of the Opus One Big Band.

email: info@opusonebigband.com