Deaf trombonist from Preston creates National Youth Concert Band

Daniel Regan

Daniel Regan, 15, joined the National Youth Concert Band (NYCB) thanks to his talent on the trombone.


Daniel, from Preston, was born deaf in one ear, which was not identified until the age of six, a few years later, at the age of nine, he started playing the trombone.

He auditioned for the NYCB and was accepted in February 2022 and on April 16 he performed in a live gig in Birmingham. He also passed his 8th grade music exam with honors in the same month.

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Daniel removes his hearing aid when he plays and relies on vibrations to get the right pitch and tone.

He currently plays with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Brass Band and the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Kearsley Youth Brass Band and the Freckleton Youth Brass Band.

In September 2021 he took part in ‘Are You Listening’, a conference for deaf musicians from across the UK held at Wells Cathedral School. He appeared in a short video, in which he played the trombone and gave a speech about his experience as a deaf musician.

Daniel also took part in a National Youth Orchestra ‘Inspire’ ensemble event in Coventry in February, along with two other aspiring professional musicians. These events are designed to provide valuable musical opportunities for teenagers who attend public schools or come from communities that are underrepresented in the world of orchestral music.

Most recently, Daniel auditioned and won a place in this year’s Opera North Summer Orchestra Academy, an immersive orchestral training program for exceptional school-aged musicians.

He cares deeply about other Deaf children and young people who aspire to musical careers pursuing their dreams, as he has and has this message for them.

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He said, “Music lives in your heart, not in your ears. Your ears are just tools – you have to find your own way of doing things. Everything will be fine if you are willing to put in the effort. Your hearing loss probably makes you a better listener. Believe in yourself; hearing loss is not an inconvenience, it makes you who you are.

“I play in different bands, but I’m the only one with a hearing loss. I would like to see more kids like me playing in bands and orchestras. We can do it too.

Mark Bolton, assistant director for young people at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “We wish Daniel all the best in the National Youth Concert Band. We know it will be a great success.

“He told us he faced many challenges growing up, but it was his passion for the trombone that carried him through and now he has a bright future ahead of him.”

“He sets a fantastic example for other deaf young people who aspire to a career in music or performance by proving that deafness should never be a barrier to achieving your dreams.”

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