Helen began playing the cornet at the age of ten encouraged by her father who played cornet in with Poynton Band. She also joined Poynton Band 12 months later and over the following ten years worked her way up the cornet section to assistant principal.
She joined The Marple Band in 1986 as Principal Cornet, performing with the band in many concert and contest successes, culminating in Helen becoming the first and (so far) only female principal cornet to win the 1996 British Open Brass Band Championship title in its 149 year history. She was also awarded the Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy as the day’s best soloist. Helen lead Marple to first prize at the French Open Championship in 1997 and, making a unique double, was again awarded the “best soloist” prize. It was around this time that Helen was appointed as Principal Cornet with Girls of Brass.
In December 1999 Helen was appointed as Flugel Horn Soloist with the famous Foden’s Brass Band with whom she travels throughout the UK and into Europe for both concert and contest performances. Contest successes with Foden’s have been many, including 6 successive years as North West Regional Champions, English Nationals Champions, All England Masters Champions, US Open Champions, 3 British Open wins and ofcourse the historic “double” when the band won the National Championships in October 2012.
Helen appears as a soloist on CDs and has been featured on numerous occasions on Radio 2’s “Listen to the Band” programme. She performs as guest soloist on both cornet and flugel horn with Brass Bands around the country and abroad.
In 2004 Helen was horn tutor at the National Youth Brass Band of Switzerland Summer Camp and has been Flugel Horn Specialist Tutor at the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain since Easter 2004.
Helen works with her husband and fellow Foden’s Band musician, Glyn Williams, in their own business supplying top of the range brass instruments to brass bands, but also finds time to give private brass lessons too.