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The band is back!

Charlie Fleming

The band is now up and running again fully after the necessary Covid restrictions

The band is now up and running again fully after the necessary COVID restrictions and rehearsing with intensity, twice a week as before. It was a difficult time without meeting to play because brass bands are very much about team work and performing together. After a break of around 16 months it was a challenge to get back in to the band room and hope that not too much had changed.

During that time some players stepped aside and others were recruited. I am glad to say that we arrived back in a very strong position. New players joined on bass trombone, tenor trombone and tenor horn as well as cornet. Dougie Williams returned to play principle trombone and Colin Dance joined us on EB bass. With their experience and expertise we can look forward to good times.

The big news is the appointment of Stephen Sykes as the band’s musical director. Stephen comes to us with a wealth of talent and experience. He is from a very well known family of brass musicians with both his parents and brother also being leading lights in the wider brass band movement. As a trombonist, he has played with the countries very top bands and performed with well known orchestras all over the country.

During the summer, the band played on Dawlish Bandstand as part of the town’s celebrations and also took part in an Exmouth Rotary Club Concert in the Pavilion, a concert that finally took place after several cancellations. This concert was conducted by me. As a retired musical director, I stepped in prior to the appointment of the new MD. It was a great night and the band were highly praised for taking on the entire concert after the very late withdrawal of other performers due to COVID restrictions. This was a true testimony of the band's skill and professionalism having needed to double the amount of music played with the same amount of rehearsal and without a proper musical director! Well done everyone.

The band will be playing at the well-known Whychaven Contest in late October and very intense rehearsals are ongoing with the band’s new MD displaying enthusiasm, musicianship and great leadership which has already taken the band to new heights while we seek to establish ourselves as Devon’s first and only Championship Section Band. Check back for regular updates on the band’s latest news.

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