Death of Geoff Whitham.

Discussion in 'Obituaries - Unregistered visitors can post here' started by Frontman, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you all that Geoff Whitham passed away this morning. David James received a phone call informing him of the death today.

    Geoff was a Great Man within our movement and will be very sadly missed. RIP Geoff.
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Oh this is sad news. I'd like to send my sincere condolences to Geoff family at this time from all at tMP.
  3. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    The death of Geoff Whitham is a devastating loss to his family, banding world and his many friends. A true gentleman and inspiration. He was one of the funniest people I've known but coupled with that he was a very generous, warm hearted person. It is a very sad day. Young or old no matter who you played with Geoff would always say hello.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories and friendship Geoff.

    We will miss you always.

    Rest in Peace
  4. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    There aren't many people who epitomise all that brass banding is, but Geoff really was one of them. A true bandsman for decades and truly one of the greats/legends of the movement. It's a great shame to lose anyone, but this man was a real icon and an inspiration to us all. R.I.P geoff. My thoughts are with his family.
  5. critic

    critic Member

    Yes a real character and great musician/ Areal bandsman
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Nice words, Jonny - a phenomenal player in his day, and a thoroughly nice man.

    A sad day for banding.
  7. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    A sad loss to the bandiing world, though I'm sure his musical analogies will live on in bandrooms and rehearsals across the country for many years to come!!

    RIP Geoff.
  8. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    I'll never forget some contest (Can't remember where, think it was the NW area). He had adjudicated and said he hadn't heard a good band all day (Or words to that effect, not to be mis quoted). He said he had to pick a wining band and had found it difficult! In the nicest way, that was Geoff, spoke his mind and I, as lots of others, loved him for it. RIP Mr Whitham and thoughts with his family.
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Though I've heard the tales, alas, I'm too young to remember Geoff as a player. Though I met him on a number of occasions, I only had the privelage to play under his direction once, (reheasing Les Preludes for the grand shield) but he left a lasting impression, instantly putting the band completely at ease, without ever once losing focus - amazing considering the stories we heard that night. And what an insight he had. He brought things out of that score I've never heard before or since.

    Him telling the basses to play "as smooth as a nudist's belly," and having a laugh at me for using "a mouthpiece like a NAAFI teacup" have stuck in my head to this day.

    He even endeared himself to my mum, who only ever met him by serving him tea at the yorkshire areas. She didn't even know who he was, (not being a bander then herself,) until she saw him on stage at the end of the day and asked me who that chap in the glasses was. All she knew up until then was that he was the nicest chap she'd made tea for all day, and had always had a smile and a kind word for the caterers.

    The world has lost a proper gent and a true great.

    A sad day indeed. Rest in peace Geoff.
  10. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    I played under Geoff at Hammonds 1977/78 and he was all that has been said, a true Gent and a fine conductor, a sad loss indeed
  11. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    What a sad sad loss. Geoff was a true gent and embodied everything good about our movement. Our movement owes him a huge debt of gratitude for all his years of hard work and loyal support.

    RIP Geoff.
  12. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Geoff always reminded me of the Big Friendly Giant when he conducted Bradford Youth Band - a gentle giant who could change your mood with a huge smile. There were times when he didn't need to tell you you'd done well - this huge beam would slowly appear on his face and be directed in your general direction, and his ability to relax a band was second to none. Woe betide anyone who upset him or any of his band though - one priest who was slightly snappy to the band at a Jayess concert got a blast from Geoff because "he wasn't having anyone upsetting his girls!". And as for his "double act" with Jim Shepherd... move over Morecambe and Wise!

    I hope the outpouring of sympathy from around the banding world will provide a small degree of comfort to Joyce and his family. Geoff was a one-off in the best possible way and I for one will never forget him. RIP Geoff.... and THANK YOU.

    Rach x
  13. weenie

    weenie Member

    Yes, a huge loss to the banding world. He would always say hello. A lot of todays younger bandsmen and women could learn a lot from him. A true British gent and model bandsperson.

  14. JamesResurgam

    JamesResurgam Member

    I have been extremely fortunate to know Geoff since I was a fifteen year old on an NYBBGB course at Bradford. He turned up with his pal Maurice Murphy on a day when the band was split up into groups for a competition. They decided that there was going to be an extra group and I was privileged to be invited to join. It was Geoff, Maurice, Cliff Edmunds the horn tutor and myself. It's extremely rare to play in something which was perfect, but believe me that was.
    He was the adjudicator at the Edinburgh Charities Contest when I conducted Broxburn on Eric Ball's Resurgam, and won it. In fact I showed him the adjudication only recently when visiting the Eddison family in Otley. Joyce and Geoff where invited along with Rita and myself. Superb food wonderful company and when we left my sides were aching from laughing so much. Great company at both Salford and Huddersfield, the stories come flooding back as I remember a wonderful human being, and superb musician and a friend. My deepest sympathies to Joyce, Andrew, and the family.
    With the wonderful array of superb players that have gone in recent months one would think the good Lord is entering a band for London. They'll win hands down!
  15. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    Reading this post really made me smile, I can just picture it, the way his face just lit up and his eyes were full of joy and spirit.

    I was with Sandy Smith in the car going home from teaching today when I found out about Geoff, and Sandy said the same thing 'That's some band He's assembling up there.'

    So glad he could make it to the Black Dyke Festival, in the Q & A with Dyke Legends, he had the youngsters spellbound and chuckling at his amazing anecdotes.

    RIP Geoff.
  16. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Indeed it is! If they start contesting I'm giving up! ;)
  17. a great signing for that heavenly band up there, bless them all.
  18. Highams

    Highams Member

    At the age of 11, I was inspired by his solo in Le Roi Dy's on the little Paxton 45rpm EP. I still have it, it still inspires me and always will.

  19. JamesResurgam

    JamesResurgam Member

    I was there at the Albert Hall, and believe me it was magic. Dyke gave an inspired performance and Geoff stood out above them all, even the great Maurice Murphy, that day. I can still hear the performance in my head and it makes me cry with tears of joy and sadness.

  20. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Heard this sad news very late last night after band.

    I was lucky to play under Geoff as a very green, very young kid during his time conducting the Foresters. Although I was only there for a matter of weeks before moving on, I can still remember his rehearsals vividly, and he would always ask me how I was getting on. Says a lot when there are some conductors who have taken rehearsals for years and I can't even remember their name!!

    RIP Geoff, banding has lost one of its favorite sons.

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