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My first brass instrument was the trumpet, which I started

learning at school when I was 12. I discovered the Sidmouth

Youth Band by chance a few years later after hearing them

in the Connaught Gardens one Sunday evening and, after a

bit of persuasion, my parents agreed to bring me to rehearsals

once a week. Here I was given a cornet to play and was quickly

hooked. I later moved up to the senior band and onto soprano cornet.

Outside of band, I enjoy pretty much anything that involves being active and outdoors and tend to fill my spare time with coastal rowing, running and the odd long distance walk. I also find a bit of time for work, where I'm a researcher in water engineering.

Christine Sweetapple

I have been playing a brass instrument for a long time, but have

yet to master the art of counting bars rest.

I have been principal cornet with the band for about 8 years

now. Coming in the top 6 at the Nationals two years running

was amazing, although probably my favourite moment of recent

times was the relief at getting through the 2011 Area test piece

with most of the right notes and mostly in the right order! We are certainly seeing some tougher music now as we progress up the sections, and living with the conductor means I have no choice but to practise very regularly.  (Oh, I ought to say that getting married to him in 2011 was of course been my favourite moment of recent years ...)

I love being a part of STB - the friendliness and fun times make it a real pleasure, and if the team spirit carries on, we should see more successes in the future. As long as I stop putting my lucky lipbalm in the washing machine...

Fiona Bell

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I have been playing with Ottery St Mary Silver band for the

last 6 years.  In 2010 I was invited to help Sidmouth band

out on a Sunday became a hard habit to break!

- seriously enjoyable with a great bunch of friendly people.

My only previous attempt in a contest ended in a dry

breathless effort to play a few notes and a wasted day, so

I wasn’t keen to go to Harrogate. My husband Ivor (see the baritone section) persuaded me otherwise. Now, I don’t always listen to his advice...but step in The Willow Pattern. Wow, it engulfed me on occasions and kept me awake at night... but enough of my drooling about the music.

Most days of the week I travel around schools teaching the violin. It is most rewarding to see the development of young musicians whether blowing or bowing.

I am married to Greg and as he has so eloquently described

 I am right behind him in every way! (see his profile above).

My hobbies are dog walking, horse riding and music, plus

socialising with family  and friends. Our family and friends

are hugely important to us and are the focus to so much

we do. I have lived in Devon all my life , going to school in

Buckfastleigh and KEVICS Totnes. I moved to North Devon in

my 20s and lived at Clovelly for awhile before moving to West Devon Hatherleigh/Okehampton area.

I have a son called Will who is 27 and a daughter Cath who is 25 - both are now well into their adult lives and so now I have time to explore East Devon. A move to Sidmouth Band is a new and exciting challenge. Thank you STB for making us so welcome.

Claire Morgan

I am delighted to be playing with Sidmouth Band.  My wife

Claire and I have been playing with Sidmouth for three years

and loving it. We live in Okehampton and enjoy spending

lots of time with our family and walking up on beautiful

Dartmoor.  During the daytime, I work with the Riverford

Group at Staverton within their retail section.  And to charge up the batteries, we love to holiday both in the UK and abroad.

Greg Morgan

I joined the band after being invited to play at the National Finals

in Harrogate in September 2006. I was very honoured to have

been asked to play and grateful for this experience.

Subsequently, band members and the musical director were

very welcoming and encouraged me to join the band on a full

time basis. Unable to resist their charms, I decided to take the

plunge and join the competing world of brass banding.

I am a wife, mother of two children and a dog owner and it can be very challenging to organise family life, work and banding. However, I have enjoyed the many engagements and social events. I continue to learn and improve and strive to get even better.

It is my mission to continue to encourage others to experience the joy of learning to play a musical instrument. I teach a variety of instruments in schools throughout East Devon and encourage all ages to take up the life long learning skill of making music.

Gail Denning

When I was 7, my mum (see Gail on repiano cornet) got me

To make a buzzing noise on her cornet.  I was so impressed

That she played cornet for a brass band that I wanted to learn

to play one too.

In 2007 I was asked to play 3rd cornet at the Connaught

Gardens summer concerts.  I warned my mum that “I wouldn’t

be very good so don’t ask me to join”.  My mind was changed when I got to play some good pieces and meet some nice people.  I played in my first contest with the band later that year.  I really like playing in band contests against other South West bands, and qualifying for the National Finals was a bonus!  I’m glad I belong to the “best band in Sidmouth”, as Adrian would say.

Josie Denning

Profile coming soon…

Lowell Pinn

Richard sits on solo cornet for the band. Richard is a primary school teacher with a great deal of musical experience. He served as a musician in Army Music for 22 years, initially in the Grenadier Guards as a solo cornet and 'cello player.

He was selected for the Bandmasters' course at Kneller Hall in 2002 and went on to become Warrant Officer Class One (BM) of the RLC, the Blues and Royals and finally the Irish Guards. Richard has conducted and played for Potters Bar Town Band and Welwyn Garden City Band in North London.

Alan Usher - 3rd Cornet

Profile coming soon…

Sarah Usher - 3rd Cornet