Big goodbyes and a few hellos...

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by Pemberton Old Wigan Band, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. The last few months have seen us lose a number of players (Simon Jolly – Second Horn; Carina Halliwell – Flugel; Lynne Campbell – Solo Horn; Rebekah Caldwell – Solo Cornet; Richard Johnson – Solo Cornet; Rhiannon Grant – First Horn). Each and every one has been a big loss to the organisation. For most, replacements have been found (Kirsten Broadhurst – Flugel; Katherine Riding – Second Horn; Elsie Chadd – Solo Horn) and the announcement on other replacements will be made soon. However, our most recent departure is perhaps our greatest loss.

    Upon our return to rehearsals after Christmas, our conductor of four and half years announced his departure to his new Resident position with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. When Mark arrived in Summer 2008, he took over a band that was a struggling Championship Section band. We were on the brink of relegation, depending on result at the Area (we needed to come third to stay up) and were ready for a shake-up. His first contest, Wychavon, the band came second and his second contest, the Scottish Open, the band came 10[SUP]th[/SUP]. Compared to the other bands there and the standard of Pemberton at the time, this was a fair result.

    It was at the beginning of 2009 when Mark’s appointment began to show form. We won Preston Brass at the Guild playing “Music of the Spheres” and then came third at the North West Area playing “Salute to Youth”, not only fighting relegation, but also qualifying for the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall. This was the band’s first appearance since 1907 and the first time since 2004 a band other than Fairey, Leyland and, of course, Fodens, had qualified. It was from then that the band realised just how special this partnership had already become.

    We had numerous other successes, including two top three finishes at the Scottish Open (2009 and 2010), further Preston Brass at the Guild success (2011 and 2012) as well as qualifying for London again in 2011 and almost qualifying for the British Open twice (2010 and 2011). Our concerts became unique and vastly entertaining and the band’s work ethic has become that of a serious contesting force in the Championship Section, including competing at the English Nationals (2011 and 2012) and the All England International Masters in Cambridge (2009, 2010 and 2011).

    We wish Mark every success in his new venture and thank him for turning this struggling Championship band into an established Championship Section band.
    Currently the band is welcoming conductors down to try and find a replacement for Mark, and the name of the conductor who is taking us to the Area will be announced shortly.

    If you wish to audition for the Musical Director position, please contact the band’s Acting Secretary John Atkinson on 07837934213 or email
  2. Stracathro

    Stracathro Member

    A great tribute. All the best to both Mark and the band for the future.

Share This Page