Discussion in 'Obituaries - Unregistered visitors can post here' started by Paddy Flower, Feb 12, 2011.
Just heard 'The Major' Peter Parkes has passed away
RIP, thoughts are with family and friends
As you say Paddy, another legend gone. I'm running out of things to put in these threads there seems to have been so many recently.
I met Major Parkes when i was an army bandsman at Kneller Hall, very sad loss...RIP Sir..
A very sad loss indeed. RIP
I've been fascinated in reading his colourful, musical life story in The Brass Herald and wonder how much more was to come. He's had some outstanding achievements, certainly with brass bands. A name and reputation to remember.
That is a great loss. I must admit he didn't look or sound well when I last spoke with him at the ABBA AGM.
Rest in Peace Peter, you will be greatly and very sadly missed.
First Murph, then Jim Watson, now the Major. It's too much to take in at once.
Unlike the other two legends I had the honour of working with the major at Faireys. A wonderful musician and warm hearted man with a dry sense of humour. The most successful conductor in contesting in modern times, his knowledge and experience will be sorely missed. We will certainly be dedicating a piece of music to his memory at next weekends concert in Wales.
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You said it all Paul, what a musician, what a man. He had such an influence on me I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. RIP Major.
R.I.P. Major Peter Parkes. It's about time the Fairey Band released what would probably be his last full CD recording, of Gordon Langford music. Recorded in 2004 with a stunning band, yet never released.
I'm so glad to have worked with all these legends, albeit briefly. The Major was one of the biggest BBb Bass "fans" I've ever met, and made a band sound different after just one rehearsal.
as a young brass player i would have loved to meet some of the legends including Major Parkes but never have had the privilege to. Rip :/
Peter was director of music of the Grenadier Guards when I auditioned in 1975. I got through and joined the Army in the same year. Years passed and I was the resident conductor at the Ever Ready Band while he was professional.
Many years of interesting and good memories.
RESURGAM - Peter Parkes
My favourite we did with him was the Langford "Fifth of August". I'm playing next weekend, see you then.
I couldn't believe it! Gawd! What a year it has been! So far all these great peoplke gone! I am shocked!
RIP MAJOR PETER PARKES
Sympathy to his family and freidns.
Firstly my condolences to Birgit, Jonathan and Christopher at this terribly sad time.
I first met and played under The Major at Whitburn in the late 1970,s early 80’s when he guided that band to a hat-trick of Scottish Championship wins. He was also responsible for my move to Yorkshire in 1981. I had already auditioned and been accepted for a place at Birmingham but when he found out he said “ Why are you going there ? All the best bands are in Yorkshire.” - so Huddersfield it was !
The memories of the music making are wonderful. He was fiercely competitive and I remember at both Black Dyke and Faireys he would be like a little kid at Christmas when the scores for the latest test piece would arrive at the bandroom. Particularly if it was a newly composed piece. He had a great reputation for making some of the classic test pieces sound fresh and exciting but I think he preferred to get to grips with a new score. He could conjure real music from some pretty ordinary pieces and more than once I recall a composer telling the Major that “I didn’t realise I’d written something that good!”
Some of the contest performances were electric, none more so than on those very rare occasions when, with the band in full flight, driving towards the end of piece and The Major - arms outstretched and hair flying - you just knew that we were going to win !
… and that famous ear to ear grin at the end of the performance ! Although the grin was never bigger than when he managed to get hold of the trophy if we had been fortunate enough to triumph.
It wasn’t just the contest performances though. Concerts had an air of swashbuckling derring-do as well, the music full of vigour and passion but nothing was ever done “cheaply” - no effects just for the sake of it.
I’m so glad I managed to get a chat with him at the test piece workshop at Cleckheaton in January.
Thank you Major for some unbelievable memories.
Oh … and by the way if the Big Man upstairs is listening - that’s enough for now. B****r off and leave us in peace.
Very sad news indeed, 'The Major' held a record like no other
Well said Sandy. Many memories as you say.....some funny...do you remember him giggling along with the rest of us when the organ at Halifax civic refused to descend into the stage and he conducted over Simon the organist's head!! We won't see his like again, he's up there with the Mortimers, Rimmer, Halliwell, Owen etc. etc. (and I mean in stature, not just up there!)
This is a great and fitting tribute to the man. Thank you for sharing this with us.
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