SA Sop Players

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Razor, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Razor

    Razor Member

    Just been reading through the thread rgds former ISB sop player Ron Harrison and the some comments about his style of soprano cornet playing that made him a very exciting, distinctive and inspiring player to hear through the 60's and 70's. I can remember listening to some ISB LP's from that era and recall in particular the sop work on The Kingdom Triumphant. Quite inspiring.

    Another SA sop player of a similar era that regrettably over the years of his playing didn't have that many opportunities to put down more discs to record his skilful and staggering playing for all to enjoy and be amazed at, was Robert Bell former soprano player with Govan SA band.

    The majority of Robert's playing was with Govan under George Brown (50's and 60's) and Allan Ramsay(90's), though he also had spells with Paisley Citadel SA band in the 70's and the Parkhead SA band in the 80's, both again under the leadership George Brown.

    This was a player that literally had lips of leather and quite phenomenal stamina. The way he could power through and soar over the band was something else. Going up the octave when appropriate and playing d's and e's was nothing to this guy and to hear him playing on the march was an experience never to be forgotten!

    I recall the quality of his his powerful playing in the likes of Heatons 'Just as I am' and Himes 'Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral' .

    As with Ron Harrison he might have knoocked a few over occasionally but with that style of playing that was a risk these type of players took.

    I was privileged to play in Govan band during the last 10 years or so of Roberts playing career, from around his late fifties and wherever the band played he was the star and revered by all who heard him.

    As well as being great player he was a model SA bandsman and an inspiration to those who heard him.
  2. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I heard Robert Bell with Govan when they came to Canada (around 1968?) and agree that he was exceptional. He made quite an impact.
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I think it's a very good thing that SA bands are now more open to allow their members to play with non-SA bands. Without this greater spirit of cooperation, we would not have so many opportunities to hear one of the best players around today - of course Mr Gary Fountain! A wonderful player and a very nice bloke too.
  4. Razor

    Razor Member

    Hi John,

    That would have been 66 when I believe they were only the 2nd UK corps band to have toured Canada and the US, following Tottenham's visit in 64.

    When Govan toured Canada in 2000 under Allan Ramsay, Robert was on soprano doing stand up solos. Exceptional considering that he was almost due his bus pass!

    Again he made quite an impact on those who heard him that time round.
  5. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Dennis Edwards of Birmingham Sparkhill was very insirational, I would be listening to the sop flying over the top of the Band and on occasion would forget to Count and get back to playing my own part. Thankfully that was mainly in practice, A great insiration to a then young Player.
  6. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    To add an international flavour, how about Bob Venables & Kevin Metcalf with the Canadian Staff Band; Max Orchard with Melbourne Staff Band and Gordon Ward with New York Staff Band?
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Ronald Waiksnoris does a pretty good job with Montclair Citadel as well.

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