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.
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...
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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 evening...it 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.
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.
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.
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.
Profile coming soon…
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.