Composer in Residence


Samuel Shelley

Samuel Shelley is a young, up-and-coming composer and arranger that is making a name for himself in the brass band world.

Hailing from Cannock, Staffordshire, Sam was first introduced to the music of brass bands by his Grandad, Keith Hender at just 12 years old. After attending many concerts and contests, he was inspired by the music and particularly interested in how composers create and write their pieces. Being bought up by a musical family, at the age of 14 Sam joined his local Salvation Army Brass Band on the drums, something that he still enjoys doing today.

At the age of 16, Sam composed his first piece, ‘Heart Of Mine’, which was first performed at the West Midlands Summer School in 2013. After this, he was invited to attend a composition masterclass with Kenneth Downie and Andrew Blyth which enhanced his writing skills to another level.

In 2015, Sam had his first piece published with The Salvation Army entitled, ‘Your Grace is Enough’ which features in the scripture-based series. This led to his compositions being played by Salvation Brass, Birmingham Citadel Band, Coventry City Band, and the West Midlands Youth Band. In 2016, Sam won the Nock Deighton Young Composers Competition with his piece, ‘Matka’. The competition was adjudicated by Michael Fowles and the piece is now in publication by Lake Music.

Since then, Sam has been commissioned to write solos and band pieces for, Isobel Daws; The Staffordshire Band; USA Western Staff Band of the Salvation Army; International Staff Band; Salvation Brass; Staple Hill Citadel Band and The GUS Band. His pieces have been performed in many concert halls and Venus including, The Birmingham Symphony Hall; The Royal Albert Hall; Star Lake Music Camp and The Roy Thomson Hall, Tustin Ranch, Canada.

Sam became the Composer in Residence at The Staffordshire Band in 2020 after the band performed his pieces, ‘Of Distant Land’ and ‘The Celebration of Christmas’. In July 2022, the band recorded a CD, ‘Soaring Through The Skies’ which features eleven of Sam’s original compositions. You can download or purchase a hard copy of the CD here.