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New Player Trio

Derwent Brass are pleased to announce the signing of 3 new players to their ranks. 

Firstly Ben Armstrong completes the bass section, being appointed the seat of Principal EEb Tuba. Formerly a British Army musician, Ben holds a diploma on both Tuba and Cornet and has played for various ensembles, most recently local contenders Newstead Brass, before joining Derwent after the recent Midland Regional Championships.

Adding to the percussion team is Stephen Hargreaves, a highly experienced and well-travelled orchestral percussionist who joins the existing talents of Ross Alexander and Elliot Davis. Steve was welcomed into the band on the run up to the area contest. 

Finally the band welcomes back Chris Clayton on Bass Trombone following the departure of John Hickling due to intense work commitments. Chris stepped straight into the Bass Trombone seat after the area, leaving Ibstock Brick Brass as second section champions and promotion to the first section. Chris was a key member of Derwent Brass in its very early years back in the 1990s having previously played for several bands, inclusive of Britannia Airways (later becoming the Thornton’s band) and it is great to see him return to his old band and indeed reunite with some of the same members. 

Keith Leonard the band’s musical director added: 

“I am delighted with the recent player additions at Derwent Brass and also proud that we rarely have an empty seat for long. The most difficult for us has been to find a suitable Principal EEb Tuba player and there is no doubt that we have done that in Ben; he is a very fine player indeed and blends in well with our band values. 

Steve I know already is going to be a great asset… he is a very talented percussionist with a wealth of musical experience, but is also a great character and forms part of a strong team. Finally it’s fantastic to see Chris back in the band room. He was a key player in kick starting the band’s ascent from the third section to where it is today and he brings not only a great sound, but importantly reliability. Many people still don’t realise that we only rehearse once a week so an equal understanding and respect in terms of dedication from all our players is a vital ingredient in our continued success.”

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