Marcus Venables is a brass band musician and composer, who hails from Toronto in Canada. He began learning the cornet at the tender age of just 6 years old, devoting himself to practising. His family were extremely encouraging of his musicianship and it was a large part of family life. His mother is an organist and freelance pianist and his father is a professional trumpet player.
His family also includes 5 siblings, who all used to sing together. Also brass players, they became ensemble performers. Some of his earliest memories were of being with the North York Temple Band in Toronto. The Salvation Army became important and influential in his life and he devoted himself to his Christian faith.
Venables started to become interested in writing music as well as playing it. When he was 13 years old, he began to dedicate a great deal of his time to composing pieces for brass band. A proud moment came at the age of 16, when his composition Motondo was performed in a concert by the Hannaford Street Silver Band.
With age, he gained experience and improved his composing skills. Inspiration gave Venables a boost in 2010 he met his idol Captain Martin Cordner, while at Jackson’s Point music camp. Cordner was a top Salvation Army composer and this was a great moment for Venables. He taught him that writing music is an opportunity to preach to the listeners as well as the players. This advice inspired Venables to change his main goal to give messages and blessings to people through his compositions, not just to get his music recorded and published.
A notable highlight of his career was his Uni Brass competition win in 2011 with his composition Lord Of My Youth, which then went on to be published in 2012.
2013 saw him visit the UK whilst on tour with the North York Temple Band. He had written a piece called God’s Love Is Everywhere and this became the theme of the tour. This was very successful and well received and another proud moment in his life. In the same year, he achieved success in the Just Music competition with Concerto For Brass Band.
In 2016, he played as a soloist with the International Staff Band at Birmingham Symphony Hall in the UK. He entered the Cory Band composing competition in 2019 and won with his piece entitled Colossus.
Venables enjoys teaching music to others as well. He is enthusiastic in promoting how it reaches people emotionally and spiritually. He attended the University of Toronto where he is a graduate of trumpet performance. His ambition remains to continue writing, performing and teaching music whilst being an inspiration to others.
He continues to play as principal cornet with the Canadian Staff Band as well as the North York Temple Band and he composes pieces for both these ensembles. He has made several trips to Europe as a conductor, soloist and composers and has written pieces for string, choral and wind band as well as for brass band. He has won awards and competitions and is often commissioned to write original pieces. His music continues to be popular and has been recorded by many groups.