St Austell Band Club
I started playing cornet at the age of nine years old, and eventually joined the Mount Charles Youth band. After about a year, I then also joined the Indian Queens band as it was my local band, but kept playing with Mount Charles youth. Upon starting secondary school, I transferred to the Bugle silver band, but unfortunately began to realise a stamina issue playing the cornet so transferred to tenor horn. After too many attempts at turning a tenor horn into a post horn, I made the choice to move onto euphonium and started weekly lessons with two legendary tutors, Mr Wayne McCarthy and Denzil Stephens, after realising an interest to pursue a career in military music, which also stipulated the necessity to learn the trombone alongside euphonium. In 1994 came my first opportunity to enter the world of championship section banding, when I joined St. Austell for the first time, on second euphonium, next to Stuart Butt, playing Montage as my first test piece, which seemed pretty daunting at the time, but very enjoyable. My first time at St. Austell came to an end when I left the county to go to college, which unfortunately didn't allow me to continue playing, resulting in a sabbatical for several years. Upon returning to the county, I started helping out Redruth band on a dep basis which soon resulted in me sat on the solo trombone seat for a memorable trip to the royal show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire and my first trip to a national final. After following the conductors' change to St. Pinnock band, I spent a couple of years there as solo trombone or euphonium as player availability dictated. Then came my move to St. Stythians band as solo euphonium where I played my first contest on the end euph seat on Resurgam where I nailed my first cadenza!! Then came a move to Bodmin town band where I remained for a considerable time, playing euphonium, trombone and percussion.
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Profile coming soon...
Profile coming soon...
I Started playing Tenor Horn in August 1979 with St Austell Youth Band with Bernard Sutton as conductor. I also played for the Cornwall Youth Band 1982-1984. Then in 1984 the St Austell B Band was formed so that the players in the Youth Band who had reached the grand old age of 18 or 19 could continue playing. The conductor was Rodney Richards. We progressed from 4th Section to 3rd Section in a few years and a new conductor took over – the late Jimmy Taylor. I moved from Tenor Horn to Euphonium. In 1988 a new percussionist, Alister joined the B Band and I ended up marrying him! In 1990 the B Band finished when Jimmy moved to Indian Queens Band and I finished for about 12 months as I got married and had a baby.
In 1991 I joined Indian Queens Band and stayed there for 3 years then briefly joined St Austell Band but left when I became pregnant with my second child in 1994. I then gave up for 6 years to bring up my 2 boys.
In 2000 I was asked to play for Bugle Band on Baritone and stayed there for 14 years, moving onto Euphonium. In 2014 I was approached to join Mount Charles Band where I played for nearly 3 years. Then at the start of this year 2017 the opportunity came up to sign for St Austell Band again. I jumped at the chance and thrilled that my sister in law Helen Toms has also returned to the Band after a break… I’m delighted to be back in purple.
Playing Highlights –
Playing at the Royal Albert Hall 3 times with St Austell Youth, St Austell B Band and Cornwall Youth.
Qualifying and playing in the National Finals at Harrogate with Bugle Band.
Playing at the Grand Shield in Blackpool and at the Minack Theatre with the Mount Charles Band.
About me –
Married to Alister since 1991, 2 children – Michael and Daniel, 2 grandchildren – Callum and Oliver, 2 step-grandchildren Toby and Harry
Born and lived all my life in St Austell, Cornwall – proud to be a Cornish maid.
Career – Dental Nurse, 20+ years
Hobbies and Interests –
Live Music, socialising, holidays, swimming, generally enjoying life.
After another sabbatical, however unplanned and highly undesired, for personal reasons, the banding family came to the rescue and brought me back home to St Austell band in 2007 where I have remained ever since, mainly on second euphonium, sometimes filling in on trombone and occasional percussion (apologies to the now deaf bass section!) and have recently moved onto the solo euphonium chair and enjoyed the challenge of recent contest prep on Pageantry. Alongside working a day job as a technician for Nissan, I also play trombone for a well known local Motown band (Motown pirates) and occasionally dep on trombone for another local well known jump jive band (Company B) so anyone needing a function band be sure to look us up!! My favourite banding highlight has to have come at my first visit to my now favourite contest, Whit Friday, where after an entire evening in the pouring rain, ending the Delph contest following the legendary Black Dyke Mills Band into the square, and also experiencing that professional players can suffer from epic split notes!! I am hoping that soon the band can return to Saddleworth to participate in this brilliant contest. I might also be a slightly bad influence on certain members of the band, encouraging a compositional streak by taking random pieces of music and attempting to introduce the Imperial March from Star Wars wherever possible, and probably at the most inconvenient moment.
My hobbies include (obviously!!) music, shooting, fishing, and cycling and the occasional pub quiz.