I began playing the Bb cornet at the age of eleven under the tuition of my father, Ernest Ruddock, in The Agnes Street Band. I gradually moved up the ranks to 2nd Solo Cornet. At that time, the Soprano player of the band left. So I started off playing Soprano parts on the Bb cornet, then started to actually play the Soprano in test pieces but remained on Bb Cornet for concert work, and finally moved full time on to the Soprano.
In 1992, I then joined The Laganvale Band where I continued playing Soprano.
I have competed in the local solo championships in most years since I started playing and have had great success in the competition, including a hat-trick of wins in the senior section from 1996 to 1998, and a total of 6 wins in the contest.
This success spread to the national level in October 1997 when I entered and won the British Open Senior Solo Championships. I also came 3rd the following year whilst defending the title.
I am also Chairman of the Band and actively involved in ensuring the smooth running of the Band.
My other musical claim to fame is that I was recorded playing a 2000 year old stone age "horn" instrument for the Belfast Museum (and for a short clip on a BBC NI TV show), demonstrating the sound of the instrument for an exhibition. My rendition of "Brahm's Lullaby" was certainly different!