HALLÉ4BRASS, one of the Hallé’s core education programmes, is an award-winning scheme run at HMP Thorn Cross, under the inspirational leadership of the Hallé’s Principal Tuba, Ewan Easton MBE. Throughout the year, prisoners at HMP Thorn Cross are given the opportunity to learn to play brass instruments as part of the institution’s objectives for reintegration. Since the programme began in March 2004, hundreds of offenders who have passed through Thorn Cross have taken part in the scheme which continues to be a popular activity.

Under the tutelage of Ewan Easton and Chris Lydon, inmates are taught to read and play music, learning to link the acquisition of these skills to life skills and situations they will encounter when reintegrating into society. For many of the inmates the project has been a turning point in their journey towards rehabilitation. Discovering that they are able to play an instrument is a huge confidence boost and provides an example of how determination and hard work can bring a rewarding outcome.

The scheme has given inmates the opportunity to play in joint concerts with professional musicians from the Hallé’s brass section, with occasional opportunities outside of Thorn Cross at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, as well as internal concerts for inmates, staff and visitors. One group also had the opportunity to perform for Princess Anne during her visit in 2013.

HALLÉ4BRASS is generously supported by The Band Trust.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about any of our projects and how to get involved, please contact the Education team on

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