Fred Muscroft

Discussion in 'Obituaries - Unregistered visitors can post here' started by Valvecap, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    This evening, the banding movement lost one of its nicest, most genuine and most charisimatic characters. Fred passed away in St James Hospital, Leeds. Personally, Fred was a fantastic friend, a pleasure to know, a confidant, and teacher to me. I would like to think I end up half the man he was. Heres to a man who didnt really seem to kno what "thats not possible on a cornet" meant. Legend. No other word will do.

    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
  2. Brian

    Brian Member

    Never met him but played many of his arrangements. And always sad to see one of the great stalwarts of the movement pass away. He will be missed by many who never met him, but he will live on in his pupils and his arrangements.
  3. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    What sad news, I didn't even realise Fred was so ill. He was a lovely man, true brass band legend, very sad that so many of his generation are now no longer with us. Condolences to his family and many friends. His memory will live on.
  4. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    This news came as quite a shock this morning for me, it is only a week or two since I saw Fred in the Kippax Band Club, (Fred was living in Kippax) I considered Fred a good friend since the time we spent at Hammonds 1977/78. A very sad loss to the world indeed
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Really sad news.
    I played with Fred for nearly 10 years at Imps in the 60/70's.
    A big, ebullient wonderful character with a font of entertaining stories.
    He was Principal Cornet of the Scots Guards Band for 22 years before joining Imps in 1964.
    He showed remarkable talent from the very moment he picked up a cornet.
    I am told that as a young lad he was a child prodigy and would stand on a box in front of Leeds Model Band and play virtuoso solo's.
    He was billed as "The Boy Wonder" (He often reminded us of this !)
    As a player his technique was extraordinary.
    As a player with Imps in their wonderful success period, Fred would front the band with Del Staegers "Carnival of Venice" and many other outstanding exhibitions of the cornetists art.
    To see him stand and play the long cornet glissando at the very beginning of "Rhapsody in Blue" was a spine tingling experience.
    After retiring from top flight banding Fred often helped us out at Kippax and was quite happy to play in any cornet chair.
    Sincere condolences to his family.
    So farewell Fred, gone, but certainly will not be forgotten.
    A cornet legend
    - Ian Wilkinson
  6. JR

    JR Member


    Very sorry to hear about Fred. He was a real character.
    He also let me have many of his excellent arrangements, many of which were ahead of their time.
    His stories, such as when he persuaded Trevor Walmsley to programme Rhapsody in Blue at the Albert Hall concert were unforgettable

    John R
  7. Dago

    Dago Member

    Certainly not forgotten by any who met him
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Indeed JR. I remember buying a copy of his arrangement of "In Munchen Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus" for Eb bass, early in my banding days, and can recall being very impressed at the writing. Showy, technically challenging and hilarious at the same time.

    A sad loss.
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Speaking of Bavarian Music.
    While we were both at Imps in 1970, I formed a 5 piece Bavarian Oompah Band.(Nothing to do with Imps).
    Fred was one of the early members.
    We had Trumpet,Trom, Tuba, Accordian and drums and we played twice a week in a local Bierkeller.
    Our repertoire was a bit limited to say the least.
    Fred sat down and arranged about 50 suitable pieces, mostly German,and copied each part out into an individual manuscript book, each item numbered for easy reference.
    This was in the space of about a week.
    He made no charge for this.
    Such a generous man.
    After Fred left, the band turned pro and continued for 33 years.
    He looked good in a green Bavarian hat with a feather !
    - Ian W.
  10. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    There still exist photos of that band Ian.... ;) And the books still exist too - he played top man for me at Driffield Band for 6 years - including attending a recording AFTER a heart attack - the most insane riff to go with "lil darlin" u have ever heard.
  11. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    Just got in from work and very sad to see the news, Fred was a good mate and a true Legend. I played with Fred for 4 years at Imps (following iancwilx) and also did the odd bierkeller gig with him.
    For those old enough to have seen the film "The Loneliness of the long distance runner" that was Fred playing trumpet throughout the film.
    He really was an awesome player - what a bumper to Graham Walker - and a brilliant arranger, it was largely the influence of Fred that made Imps such a great and innovational concert band back in their hey day. Also the stories and jokes were always in evidence.

    Many condolences to Linda, John and all the gang, truly the end of an era.
  12. robcornet

    robcornet Member

    I remember the recording well, Fred sat with me on 3rd cornet and told me to do all the off beats and he would do the high bits. I for one will miss him, but I will never forget him. He was a big help to all Driffield Band when you got stuck and always had a story about whatever you were talking about. RIP Fred you are 1 in a million.:(
  13. Pierre

    Pierre Member


    A true gent and a magician on Cornet and trumpet. One of an ever dwindling group of "Bandsmen" in every sense of the word. Please post details of the funeral when known.
  14. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    That is truly amazing. I can picture them now in my minds eye. Blue and a bit tatty around the corners !
    Wonderful that they have survived for 37 years.
    Speaking of riffs, he'd stand up in "American Patrol" and play a riff that would absolutely blow the socks off the audience, so slick, accomplished and professional.
    As you say, he would help out anywhere.
    We were stuck for a 3rd cornet for the 2001 Area on "The Undaunted".
    Fred volunteered to do the job, which of course he did brilliantly.
    I remember that as we came off stage he laughingly said to me "Well, that's full circle, I started on 3rd Cornet and here I am again"
    - Wilkie
  15. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have been reading the many tributes that have been posted about my father, Fred Muscroft and all his family thank you all.

    His funeral will take place at Pontefract Crematorium on Thursday 18th October at 1.30pm. He always said he didn't want anybody to be sad at his death because he had had a fantastic life doing what he enjoyed most in life -playing - which he did from being 4 yrs old until he was 82 so it will be a celebration of his life rather than his death.

    Linda Jarvis (daughter)
  16. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Fred was an amazing character, I sat as his second man. I sat next to him for 6 or 7 years at Driffield Town band and other bands too, and there wasn't a rehearsal or concert where he didn't have me in creases or laughter!
    I am only 20, but Fred was a guide and mentor to myself and countless others, including children who had just picked up an instrument. He will be missed dearly, and his contribution to the world not just as a musician, has not gone unnoticed.

    I will never forget his sense of humor, " I Love animals, its people that are hard work!"

    Si Nichols
  17. Bit-part Bari

    Bit-part Bari New Member

    Just heard the sad news of Fred's death from Rachel. On behalf of all the Fairburn family I wish to pass on our sincere condolences to Linda and the rest of the Clan.

    Lee Fairburn
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    like my sister linda i have enjoyed reading the posts from you all on here about our dad .
    we are pleased to hear the music he wrote over the years is still in circulation the memories of him sitting for hours... no days doing manuscripts and parts then popping into the kitchen and getting a rollocking from mum and her telling him how she should have married a plumber or builder to which he would quickly reply ah but would he have been able to play carnival of venice then retreating fast before she could answer .
    in his later years of playing he took great pleasure in sitting among the younger players and passing on some knowledge the odd story and no doubt getting them giggling with some remark just when they least wanted to ..
    thank you all
    john muscroft (freds lad)
  19. ChrisHelme

    ChrisHelme Member

    Sad Loss

    I only ever spoke to Fred once and that was whilst researching a story about that old 1970s LP that Yorkshire Imps recorded, when almost all the tracks featured individual soloists. Whilst every solo was played brilliantly Fred's contribution was incredible.

    Any one not read that story which includes the musical life of Fred and the other five soloists and Trevor Walmsley might like to share in a nice piece of nostalgia - search the Yorkshire Imps story on 4barsrest or the back issues of the Brass Review, it was also at one time on the Yorkshire Imps website.

    There are many memories that Fred's family and friends will share about him but there is one small memory that comes to mind for me which Fred was a part of. On the occasion the Kings of Brass were performing at, was it Bradford or Huddersfield Town Hall, I forget, but it was a performance to a full house. On walked Geoffrey Whitham, he looked at the band of fine musicians he was about to conduct and then took one look at the audience, and which was the one face he picked out from the vast sea of faces - his old friend Fred Muscroft. "...Hello Fred, how are yah...", "...Not bad Geoff, nice to see you..." Geoffrey took the opportunity of reminding the audience about his old friend's qualities as a cornet player.

    Just what the professional musicians of the Coldstream Guards thought about this reacquaintance of old friends is long since lost in the midst of time. But for those in the audience that night who might have picked up on this acknowledgement of friendship would have thought, just as I did, where else would such a greeting be made.

    I will close this message of thanks to a great musician just as many of my nostalgia stories in the band media often do by simply saying "...thanks for the memory...."

    Chris Helme
  20. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I've still got the LP in the loft, but nothing to play it on.
    I really must invest in a deck at some time and transfer all my old vinyl to CD.
    It's a pity someone doesn't re-release them.
    We (Imps) recorded our very first LP in 1966 at Abbey Road studio in London where the Beatles used to record.
    Fred and the rest of us took great delight in being photographed on the famous zebra crossing outside the studio which was immortalised on the front cover of a Beatles LP sleeve.
    - Wilkie

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