Derwent Brass are delighted to welcome several new faces as they return to full time banding.
Few bands have come out of the Covid-19 pandemic unscathed, with players across the country re-evaluating their priorities in life, not able to return due to new health complications, and a plethora of other reasons. Sadly Derwent Brass was no exception to this, with a few members deciding that the return to full time banding was no longer an option for them.
We are however delighted to confirm the appointment of some fantastic new players and replacement talent in the form of:
Abbey Watson. Abbey joins us on 2nd Horn, from the Gresley Colliery Band, having been a regular dep with the band for some years including at contests such as the Spring Festival. Abbey passed Grade 8 whilst completing her A-levels and was accepted into the Royal Corps of Army Music before embarking on a career in dentistry.
David Holling. Joining alongside Abbey is David Holling onto 2nd Baritone, but also taking on the role of Assistant Music Director. David is a hugely talented and successful musician, as a player, composer, arranger and conductor. He completed his Bachelor of Music with first class honours under the wing of world-renowned cornetist Phillip McCann and Euphonium virtuoso, Geoff Whittam. Completion of his degree led to a PGCE and a career in teaching after gaining the Sellers Engineering Scholarship and the Harry Mortimer award for exceptional brass studies. He has played Solo Baritone with bands such as Sellers, Desford Colliery and Rhodian and has enjoyed successful periods as MD at bands such as Silk Brass, Strata Brass, Kibworth and Thoresby Colliery.
Mandy Holling. We are also delighted to report the appointment of Mandy Holling onto Repiano Cornet, who joins us from the seat at Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band. Ben Jowett makes the move from Repiano Cornet onto Assistant Principal in the absence of Izzy Jepson (formerly Rutherford) who is away from the band having recently become a Mum. Mandy has previously played Principal Cornet with many bands including the likes of Thoresby Colliery, Strata, Oddfellows and many more, and also benefitted from tuition from Philip McCann.
Tom Wallage. Bolstering the Cornet section even further is Tom Wallage who joins us from the Assistant Principal Cornet seat at NW Championship Section band Accerler8 (formerly known as TCTC Group Band and Co-op Crewe) onto Solo Cornet. Prior to playing for Acceler8, Tom also played Solo Cornet with Midland’s contenders Hathern Band. The band will now sport a permanent 5-player front cornet bench.
And we aren’t finished there... also making a full time welcome return to the band is Sion Hathaway. Many of you will have seen Sion at the odd concert or contest here and there, but we were delighted to receive communication from Sion that he wished to up his commitment to the band and return as a full time member. Sion is a highly qualified and
fantastic musician - previously Principal Euphonium with the William Davis band - and brings both experience and great character to the band.
"I couldn't be happier with the recent appointments of Abbey, Dave, Mandy and Tom. They are all extremely talented players that are already adding a real depth and quality to the band. Adding to this the strength and experience of Dave as Assistant Music Director puts the band in a really strong position for the future as well as ensuring continuity of musical leadership. Bringing Sion back in as a regular full time member really is the icing on the cake of this influx - such a highly experienced musician and friend to so many in the band. We wish all our new and returning members the warmest of welcomes and a long, enjoyable and successful tenure with the band." (Chris Leonard, Band Manager)