Mike Ford has been playing the Tenor Horn since the age of 14, after having previously learnt the cornet for 3 years. As a teenager, he was inspired by listening to recordings of Tenor Horn virtuoso Gordon Higginbottom with the James Shepard Versatile Brass. His first National title was winning the New Zealand Junior Tenor Horn title in 1977.
In the ensuing years, Mike has won the New Zealand Open Tenor Horn title 15 times and the National Masters title 6 times. He's been placed in the New Zealand Champion of Champions event 10 times, with a win in 2002. In 2023, he was a runner up in the event after winning the Masters solo title. He's been a member of the NBS Nelson City Brass Quartet, who are the current NZ quartet champions. He has also won the NZ Duet title in 2022 and 2023 with Ross Gerritsen.
Mike has been a member of 8 National Bands of New Zealand, having been Solo Horn in every band since 2007. He's also been very involved in National Youth and Secondary Schools Bands, having been featured as a guest soloist, horn section tutor and including a 3 year stint as the Manager of the National Youth Band of NZ.
Mike has a busy life as an Airline Pilot Training Manager, which means a lot of time in hotel rooms. His Tenor Horn and his sshhmute go with him everywhere, and he says that the sshhmute is the tool that allows him to utilise all that down time in the hotels around the country.