KEVIN Donaldson, the former soprano cornet star with Williams Fairey and YBS, has joined the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band. Donaldson, who has also guested with all of the top bands in an illustrious 39-year career, decided to return to full-time playing with Hull-based EYMS after a spell helping out. EYMS chairman Tony Newiss said: “A quality soprano player gives a boost to any band. To find Kevin working just down the road only weeks after our sop seat became available is a real bonus. “Kevin’s pedigree speaks for itself and having depped for us for the past few weeks, the fact he has now joined is great news for the band.” Donaldson said: “For the past few years I have not been able to commit fully to banding but after spending time with EYMS and being made very welcome I felt the time was right to again get back into serious playing with a great group of people.” Having started playing soprano aged five in his church brass band in Salford, he moved on to Besses Boys before becoming part of an exciting group of youngsters at Swinton being developed by Prof David King. Donaldson moved to Williams Fairey during the prolific era of Major Peter Parkes but after two years had to step down because of work and family commitments. A spell with Besses and Paul Hindmarsh led to him then becoming the first soprano player with Yorkshire Building Society after it emerged from the shadows of Hammonds Sauce Works. He then spent another three-and-a-half years with Prof King and YBS and enjoyed some spectacular festivals and electrifying contest performances. Donaldson again took time out to start his own business but could not resist the pull of top-flight banding and returned to Fairey with James Gourlay, culminating in a sparkling winning performance of Philip Wilby’s Jazz at the All England Masters. Raising a family of four boys has meant that since 2005 his banding has been limited to the odd appearance helping out, although he did have another brief spell with Prof King, his friend and mentor of nearly 30 years, and YBS until a bandroom switch left the journey to rehearsals too far. Donaldson’s first contest appearances as a fully-fledged member of EYMS are set to be at the Bolsover Festival of Brass in October and the Scottish Open the following month, whilst the band also has a busy concert programme. EYMS thank Pete Roberts, Geoff Hawley and John Parkinson for their help with sop duties ahead of Donaldson signing.