Death of Geoff Whitham.

Discussion in 'Obituaries' started by Frontman, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    The first time I met Geoff was at the first major contest my Dad took me to - it was the Grand Shield (still held at Belle Vue) in 1984 when Le Roi d'Ys was the test piece...I stood there patiently while they exchanged 25 year old stories of their (not only solo euph) rivalries between Besses and Dyke until eventually they got round to 'that' performance...I've been perpetuating it ever since...
  2. JR

    JR Member

    Geoff Whitham

    Very sad news - as I expected Geoff was a year younger than my Dad Gordon Roberts - they both grew up playing in solo contests together in the 1940s. Every time I met Geoff he would remind me what a good player Dad had been and what a waste when he packed in!

    I had the privilege of adjudicating with Geoff a few years ago and had a great time - he was still telling me a story about Maurice Murphy and Dyke from 50years previously when band no. 1 struck up..

    I will definitely play something tomorrow night as a tribute

    John Roberts
  3. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    I'm very much saddened at hearing this news.
    I had the honour & privilege of receiving just a handful of euphonium lessons from Geoff in my student days and learned so much from him in such a short space of time because of the way he combined his knowledge and experience with his unique humour. You just had to listen and respond!
    He will be much missed.
  4. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Burgess Hill West sussex
    It is a great losss to the brass band movement of the legend that is Geoff Witham. condoclenses to hsi wife and family. (Mods. I accidentally started a thread about this in 'The rehearsal Room' can you lock it or divert to hear, please)

    RIP Geoff Wtiham.
  5. HornMaster

    HornMaster Member

    This is very sad news indeed. I only met Geoff on a couple of occasions and can't claim to have known him but many people I know spoke so highly of the man - and his playing speaks for itself. RIP
  6. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    Geoff was my euph teacher at Huddersfield Uni and the stories he told were so intriguing (and a little rude too).
    His humour will live long in peoples memories.

  7. Mephi

    Mephi Member

    Geoff was a great man and musician, his passing will put a big hole in the wall of banding characters and legends. Condolences go to his family and all who were close to him.
    RIP Geoff.
    From all at Delph WF Contest (we'd only just featured a photo of GW enjoying last year's contest in the 2009 magazine - he always seemed to turn up if he wasn't judging!)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  8. Scotty

    Scotty Member

    I can't claim to have know the man personally but the only time I ever met Geoff was at the NYBBS summer course in 2006 when he was invited by Richard Evans as special guest with his great friend Maurice Murphy. The afternoon he spent talking to everyone about banding was truly inspirational and very funny, although the moment that lived with me most was when he took the band through the 2nd movement of salute to youth, the music he made with such a young band was unreal! Everything else about the man speaks for itself and young players today would do well to follow his example. A true legend in banding...RIP
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  9. snazzy_cornet_sound

    snazzy_cornet_sound Member

    A sad loss to lose such a brilliant man, His witty humuor will greatly be missed.

    A true legend.
  10. Toni2

    Toni2 Member

    Such sad news. A real gentleman and always with a smile ready for everyone. RIP Geoff.
  11. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    I never met or knew Mr Whitham but nonetheless sorry to hear of his passing away and my thoughts go to his family
  12. Hove Edge

    Hove Edge Member

    Where do you start?

    I owe a lot to a lot of people. To Geoff, I have to thank him for his unstinting belief, help and understanding. A great musican, inspiration and mentor.

    Geoff took me into Hammonds after an audition in my living room, telling my mother and father how much work I needed to do and that he needed their help to keep me focussed. He told my mum I had to 'live and breathe' my BBb and that nothing else would do.

    All the way through my life Geoff has been a constant source of encouragement, truth and belief. You rarely find all these three from one person. His sometimes brutal honesty and wit is something that I will treasure and miss.

    My thoughts are with Joyce, Andy and family.

    Simon Gresswell
  13. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks to all

    Dear All

    On behalf of Andy and Joyce, and myself, we would like to thank everyone for the many messages and tributes which we have received. It is much appreciated.

    Details for the funeral will shortly be announced.

    Yours sincerely
  14. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    West Midlands
    In 1978 i was at the Royal Albert Hall having walked up the road from listening to a few of the 2nd section bands at the National Finals:
    I happended to walk into the cafe area to be told by my Dad :
    There is Geoff Whitham,Stanley Boddington & George Thompson it would be worth getting there autographs.
    Anyway i went up and asked all 3 were more than happy to do so.
    My dad said to Geoff Whitham i rememember you in 1959 playing the Euph Solo here in Le Roi D'Ys,Geoffs eyes lit up as he recalled the bands performance from the day.
    It was great listening to him saying about it.
    R.I.P Geoff Whitham
  15. samandy

    samandy Member

    Funeral arrangements

    Dear All

    Geoff's funeral will take place on Wednesday 22nd July, 1.45pm at Halifax Parish Church followed by a private commital at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland. After the funeral people are invited to Sandal Farm Restaurant, Queensbury. Any donations to cancer research.

    Many thanks
  16. critic

    critic Member

    West Yorkshire
    Could not have summed him up any better. Was a privilidge to have known him.
  17. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Leeds - Yorkshire - UK
    Geoff and I crossed paths a couple of times in the 1960's.
    We chatted, but it was only a fleeting association.

    I next met him approx 35 years later (? 1997) when I played at Trevor Walmsleys funeral when he conducted the band of respectful musicians who had previously played under Trevors intuitive stick.

    Unbelievably, he came over to talk to me after we had "Played Trevor out" and asked me how I was, and reminisced about our previous chat so many years ago.

    This is not just a stalwart of the movement who has passed on, but a legend.

    As was Norman Ashcroft who also passed on this week.
    I met him occasionally.
    He lead the Faireys front row for many years not just musically, but physically - a true leader of a front row cornet section.

    - Wilkie
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I first met Geof at Huddrsfield Uni in 1984. I put my head round the door and quietly asked if he was Mr Whitham and he said 'I lass...come in n sit darn!' I had the pleasure of him teaching me for 3 years after that day. In a 1 hour lesson, I would be lucky to play for 15 mins as he related tales of his life at Black Dyke. He didn't teach me notes he taught me to be a musician and I have been forever grateful for that. He always brought a Euph to my lessons but sadly I never heard him play.
    In those 3 years he guided me, supported me, protected me to the point of offering to hit one of the tutors for bullying me! I've only bumped into him a handful of times in the last 20 years but I think of him everytime I pick up my Euph because without him, I wouldn't still be doing so.
    A one of a kind and sadly missed.

    Jayne Illingworth (Nee Reeves)
  19. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Just heard last night about Geoff passing away, first met him in 1981 when i arrived at Huddersfield Poly, 2nd study Euphonium and was soon told that i'd be better at playing the EEb bass by Geoff. Months later I was playing in the Hammonds SW Band with Geoff at the helm, always straight forward plain talking, a great musician with many a tale to tell.

    You'll be playing a tune up there Geoff no doubt

    Regards Phil Craner
  20. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    My memory of Geoff

    Very sad to hear this news.

    I recall how LSC bands at Folkestone and Brighton tended to be wary if Geoff was in the box, but my band always did well when we played if he was the adjudicator.

    At Brighton one year, Geoff summed up by saying he'd had a wonderful day, heard some old favourites, a couple of newer pieces that he thought would become old favourites, and one new piece he hoped he would never hear again. He also said that it was unwise to try and match the volume of the top northern bands if the result was razzing, and that he thought that northern players he'd heard recently were better. He added, "Bar one. There was one excellent performance form one soloist, both in the march and in the test piece. Best Southern player I've heard a this level in years." I suspected he had his tongue in his cheek at that point, as he was jovially reacting to the gentle booing from the crowd. My band won the march prize, and as I collected and signed for the award, I was asked who the solo cornet player in my band. I told, and proceeded on up to shake Geoff's hand. "Good player, that cornet of yours. Where's he from?" "Hartlepool."

    A broad smile spread across Geoff's face as he said, "Aah, I rest my case."

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