Baker calls it a day

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by cbridge, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. cbridge

    cbridge Member

    Long serving Solo Baritone of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Leigh Baker has announced his retirement after clocking up 19 years in the purple and gold.

    Leigh joined B&R in 1990 as a slim and wavy haired young man (his own choice of words…), having previously played with Melton Borough and Ancient Order of Foresters in his native Leicestershire. A move to Huddersfield saw Leigh join Jayess Queensbury before moving to Brighouse on 2nd Euphonium. A brief move to Solo Euphonium eventually saw Leigh settle on Solo Baritone.

    Speaking of his announcement to call it a day, Leigh said
    ‘the decision to step down has been very difficult but it's something I need to do at the minute. I want to put more time into my family (I have son Jack, 1 and daughter Lily, 3 and a very understanding wife) and the busy schedule of band plus other composing and conducting projects make juggling everything very difficult.

    I would like to thank the band personnel and numerous conductors over the past 19 years who have shaped me into the musician and character I am now. I have been so lucky to be part of something so special-as a player and as composer/arranger-long may it continue!’

    Leigh will continue composing and arranging for B&R (and others) and has numerous projects on the go. He is also looking forward to developing his conducting work with South Yorkshire Police Band and looking forward to implementing exciting new initiatives at work (head of music at Honley High school-Huddersfield).

    ‘I will miss playing to big audiences throughout the land, winning contests and of course all the fun and banter that goes along with being in a band like B&R. I have made some fantastic lifetime friends along the way during my 19 years.

    Having my pieces played and enjoyed by audiences whilst sat in the band, especially the Brass In Concert pieces and the awards that went along with them has been wonderful. I always got away with writing myself easy parts!’

    Speaking of the people who influenced him most during his time with Brighouse, Leigh mentioned Sheridan Fryer (long serving ex 2nd Baritone player )
    ‘He was my rock for many years and was an absolute legend! The current euph/bari line is also fantastic and a great team too. In conductors, Alan Withington is a genius who always inspired me. Outside of Brighouse, Geoff Whitham had a massive influence on my playing career. He was conductor of Foresters during my time there. Geoff was the main reason for me moving to study at Huddersfield Poly. He was instrumental in my "character building" as well as brass playing.’

    Leigh will be missed tremendously by the band and audiences alike as a player and a personality but there will be much to look forward to from his pen in the near future.

    John Ingman
    Publicity Officer
    Brighouse and Rastrick Band