Kevin Ackford and his music

Kevin was born in Trebursye, near Launceston, Cornwall, in 1962 and began playing the tenor horn at the age of six. His first band was the Holsworthy Town Band where he sat next to his father, Michael, in the horn section. After brief spells with Totnes Town Band and Bude Town Band Kevin, at the age of 12, moved to Championship section Bodmin Town Band where it was not long before he took over the principal horn position making him one of the youngest ever in the UK to hold a principal seat in a Championship Section Band.

Kevin’s first solo radio broadcast, playing “Watching the Wheat,” was at the age of nine after winning the children’s section of the BBC’s “Search for the Stars”. Kevin won again in the following year and was broadcast playing W. A. Allison’s “Iona”. At the age of 17 Kevin made his first television appearance representing his school as soloist for BBC Television’s “The Music Quiz,” since then he has appeared with such celebrities as Roy Castle and Harry Secombe.

Leaving the Bodmin Town Band at the age of 14, Kevin moved to St Austell Town Band where he took the position of principal euphonium. Throughout his teenage years he enjoyed long spells with the Cornwall Youth Band and the National Youth Band of Great Britain, as well as having much success in solo contests both locally and nationally.

Kevin has played under the baton of some of the great names of the brass band world, including: Harry Mortimer, Edward Gregson, Roy Newsome, Professor Walter Hargreaves, Major Peter Parkes and Albert Chappell.

After living in the North West of England for many years, Kevin moved back to his native Cornwall in 2004 to take up the positions of musical director of the St Austell Youth Band, senior tutor to the St Austell School of Brass and Percussion and principal euphonium with the St Austell Town Band.

At the beginning of 2007 he took over as temporary resident conductor of the Bodmin Town Band, and musical director with the Bodmin Junior Band.

Kevin’s composing career started in 1997 when, with encouragement from Goff Richards, he had his euphonium solo “Cornish Sunset” published. His music has been described as “very melodic” and “audience friendly.” Amongst his works is the theme tune to BBC Radio’s “Sounds Of Brass” programme, which has been recorded by the world famous Black Dyke Band on their CD Essential Dyke Volume VI.

As well as continuing to compose, arrange and teach brass and percussion both privately and in schools, Kevin is working with the St Minver Silver Band in the role of musical director as well as being asked to work with other bands in a professional capacity. He is also producing and presenting his own weekly one-hour radio programme “Brass In The Bay” dedicated to Brass Band music which at present is available on Source FM and the internet radio station


Some of Kevin Ackford’s Music


The titles in blue are links to that tune’s page



(soprano solo)

Written for Mike Bunt. This beautiful melody is a mixture of old and new. The solo starts in the traditional style before being brought up to date with the accompaniments changing to more of a modern ballad style, the piece then reverts to the traditional style to finish.


All by Myself


(soprano solo)


A 1975 hit for Eric Carmen.

Arranged for Amanda Gardner of Lanner & District Silver Band.


Amazing Grace


(tenor horn solo)


One of the most popular Hymns of all time. This arrangement from Kevin has a touch of something different about it; a great crowd pleaser. (Also available as Bb solo with piano)


An Huni a Garav (The One That I Love)

(tenor horn solo)


Dedicated to Kevin’s partner Barbara, “An Huni a Garav” is Cornish for “The one that I Love”. This beautiful melody will fit well into any concert programme. Tenor horn legend Gordon Higginbottom said, “Lovely piece…a nice change to have a good melody not ruined by loads of twiddly bits… A real beauty”.


Autumn Scenes

(euphonium/baritone solo)

A dreamy/tranquil opening followed by a waltz. Light in style and melodic throughout.




(tenor horn duet with piano)

Jacques Offenbach’s beautiful Barcarolle from Act II of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Originally arranged for Kevin and his partner Barbara to play as a duet in music festivals.


Berceuse de Jocelyn


(tenor horn solo)

Benjamin Goddard’s beautiful Berceuse has been available as a brass solo for many years, now arranged as the original is sung which is different from the standard solo version.


Brass In The Bay




Celtic Dreams


Celtic Rock


Cornish Morn (The Mist in the Valley)

(flugel solo)

A stunning melody featuring the flugelhorn inspired by the view of the mist in the valley while driving to work one morning.


Cornish Sunset

(euphonium solo)

Originally called “A serenade to a Summer’s Evening” this was Kevin’s first published piece. Written in a park in Manchester where Kevin was living, he heard the church bells chime which reminded him of home and his childhood which then inspired this piece of music.




Coventry Carol


Crowning Glory


Deep Harmony


E Da Sa Qaqa


Four Cornish Songs


Gimme A Minute (or so)

(tenor horn solo)

Best described as a xylophone style solo written for tenor horn. Fast and furious from the start and written by Kevin as the final solo that he played at his “50 Years A Bandsman” concert in October 2019


Goodbye My Love




Holsworthy Church Bells


Indian Queen


From Henry Purcell’s unfinished semi-opera which was finished by his brother Daniel, this piece was originally ripped out of the score as it was deemed too cheerful due to it immediately following the death of the Queen. Subsequently it was lost for many years before being rediscovered and put back into the work. This arrangement has given it a very up to date feel.


In the Bleak Midwinter


Junior Bobby Shaftoe


Kojo No Tsuki (Moon over the Ruined Castle)


(cornet solo)

A beautiful haunting Japanese melody. Starting with solo instrument then introducing the simple but effective accompaniments, this arrangement is very atmospheric and a great addition to a solo repertoire.


Lazy Summer Afternoons

(euphonium solo)

A gentle dreamy euphonium solo in three time written for Heather Edwards-Entwistle of the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band


Londonderry Air


(tenor horn solo)

This timeless melody which is said to have over 100 different sets of words to it arranged for tenor horn is as popular now as it has always been.


Mis Meurth

A short march written for the St. Minver Training Band to march through the village of Bugle at the West of England Bandsman’s Festival. The training band was the only training/youth band to both march and play. Mis Meurth is Cornish for ‘March’ or ‘Parade.’


Nadelik Lowen (Merry Christmas)


Nearer My God To Thee


New Beginnings


Reflections of Love




Sen Menvra Suite



(tenor horn solo)

A slow melody written in the style of a modern ballad. The melody came to Kevin one evening while he was out for a drink, he quickly wrote it down and the next day scored it for tenor horn and band.


Silent Night


(tenor horn solo)

One of the most loved Christmas carols of all time subtly arranged for tenor horn



(tenor horn solo)

Written in memory of a family member Solace is a reflective melody accompanied by big chords.


Sonata No.8 “Pathétique” 2nd Movement


A feature for the tenor horns and flugel, this arrangement of one of Beethoven’s best loved sonatas has stuck firmly to the original in style. Percussionists can have a rest.


Sounds of Brass




Takeda no Komoriuta




Viennese Delights


Voyage to the Stars


Watching the Wheat


(tenor horn solo)

Watching the Wheat (Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn) is an 18th century traditional Welsh love song, here arranged as a tenor horn solo.




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