It is with great sadness that the Langley Band announces the passing away of band President Bert Masters on Saturday 24th April 2004. Bert has not enjoyed the best of health in recent years and had been suffering with Dementia. Bert Masters first began his banding career playing tenor horn for Oldbury Salvation Army Band at the age of 9. He then moved onto Baritone and eventually settled on Euphonium at 12. After playing with the Salvation Army for 8 years, Bert was introduced to the Langley Band by a former player with the Salvation Army. He joined the band with father, Bert Snr, and brother Dennis, in April 1935. For fifty-five years Bert played Euphonium for Langley Band and was acknowledged as one of the finest in the country and won a variety of solo contests despite never having a music lesson in his life. For his last few years in the band Bert moved onto Eb Bass and became the longest ever-serving band member with 65 years continuous service. Bert was also band secretary for 34 years through both happy and turbulent times and was always keen to encourage younger players often helping out with the youth band. During this time the band gained promotion to the Championship Section and played at the national Finals at the Royal Albert Hall. He was loyal to the band throughout his banding career and never considered transferring to another band despite various offers. In December 1995 the West Midlands Brass Band Association presented Bert with a long-service award marking 60 years on banding. Bert’s brother Dennis Masters conducted the band for 46 years. Bert was appointed president of the band in 2000 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the band.