Death of Tommy Wilson

The death has been announced of the outstanding Salvation Army and Scots Guards cornet player Tommy Wilson.

Tommy Wilson
  Tommy Wilson was a remarkable cornet player who had a remarkable career.

The death has been announced of Tommy Wilson, regarded as one of the finest Salvation Army and British Army cornet players of his generation.

He passed away in Ontario in Canada on December 27th where he had lived with his family since emigrating there in 1975. He leaves his beloved wife Prema and children, Graham, Kevin and Julia, as well as a loving, extended family.


Respects and condolences have come from throughout the banding world for a player who as Col. Sgt was principal cornet of the Band of the Scots Guards for 16 years. During that time, he worked closely with Denis Wick to develop the first models of what were to become the company's iconic, bestselling mouthpieces.

He also worked closely with Boosey & Hawkes in the development of the equally iconic Sovereign cornet — the model still in production half a century later. His personal cornet was stamped 001.

He first played under his father, also called Tommy, at Bellshill Salvation Army Corps and the SA Red Shield Band, before later joining the Band of the Scots Guards.

He emigrated to Canada with his family in 1975 and performed with the London Citadel Band of the Salvation Army in Ontario for the decades that followed.

Musical gifts

In releasing the news, the band stated that it was "with profound sadness"that he had been "promoted to glory"and that their prayers were with his family.

They added: "His musical gifts have had eternal impact on those who heard him live, and on so many recordings as a soloist with the band. His lyrical cornet sound was iconic, and sense of musicality stunningly impeccable.

His personal gifts were his infectious sense of humour and humble encouragement behind the scenes."

Others recalled his humour, kindness and inspirational qualities


In a mark of respect, they linked to a performance of him playing William Himes' arrangement of 'I'd Rather Have Jesus'.


A further recording of him playing the cornet solo 'Alleluja' from the Mozart's motet 'Exsultate, Jubilate' with the Scots Guards Band under Director of Music, Captain Jimmy Howe, recorded in the Guards Chapel in London in 1966, can be heard at:


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