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Meet the band.

                                                                                               

Claire Khan. (Tutti cornet).

Our “Poster girl” for August is a member of the much-envied front row and very popular member of the band, cornetist Claire Khan, who has played for Hall Royd for six years.

As a little girl, Claire loved to sing and she also learned to play the recorder, but at the age of nine, she achieved her ambition to join her friend, who played a brass instrument. Claire must have had brass in her blood because her Grandfather played jazz trumpet, sometimes with the internationally acclaimed Geraldo’s Swing Band, during the Second World War.

Claire continued to study music at school, attaining her ‘A’ level and playing with Hammond’s Sauce Works Junior Band and also diversifying, with her “trumpety” sound to Phoenix Concert Band.  Now, besides playing with Hall Royd Band, she, together with her husband, Daniel, is also a member of Hot Aire, a Bradford based symphonic concert band and Sultans of Swing, a 28 piece big band. What dedication to her art!

During her precious spare time as a hard-working teacher, Claire enjoys playing the piano, flute and, unusually, the Celtic harp.

Finally, Claire has two musical ambitions, one, to complete concerts without fearing that her overworked top lip will let her down and two, to challenge herself by playing different types of music.

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A note from the editor of the News Page.
This is the fourth of our monthly editions of “In the spotlight”. After the first couple, I felt a somewhat reticence for players to “spill the beans” about themselves, so I created a prompting form with the following questions, to make it easier for them. I normally transfer the information, gleaned from the form, on to the website, in my own words.
Anyone who knows the comedian of the band, Mike Deakin, will appreciate that his offering was just too funny to alter, so, I have transposed it directly, as it was given to me. 
I challenge you to read the following, without laughing!! 😂😂😂. Mary Binns.

     
Mike Deakin.(Euphonium)

Instrument in band. Friday night, Euphonium; Monday night, E flat bass.
 
Do you play more than one instrument?  Unfortunately no... I would settle for playing one well.
 
 At what age did you start playing and why? I remember vividly. It was my first day at Thorpe Middle School at the tender age of eleven and my name was amongst those
 selected to join the school orchestra. For someone who had spent the previous two years jamming midget gems (yes, I was on them even then) and pen nibs down my recorder to render it unplayable, this was not exactly the start to my new school I had been hoping for.
By the time I dragged myself to the Assembly Hall at lunchtime, violins and clarinets had all been handed out to more deserving protégés and I selected a cornet, simply because it was the  easiest to carry and the case had a secret compartment where I could hide my fags (yes, I was on those as well).
The wonderful Atkinson brothers, Arthur and Tom visited once a week to provide tuition and were like the granddads I no longer had. If my mother had been responsible for my orchestral nomination, Arthur and Tom can share the blame for lighting blue touch paper that sparked my musical career.
A few others at school played at Hall Royd and it wasn’t long before I joined them, working my way up from third cornet to the front row and playing such illustrious venues as High Royds and Armley jail.
At sixteen, I realised that cornet cases were at a disadvantage when it came to hoarding sandwiches & drinks at various galas and garden parties and with newcomers like Andrew Anstice & Graham Wilkinson snapping at my heels, I found a euphonium case far more accommodating of my growing appetite.

Do you have music qualifications? No... but I did pass my cycling proficiency & bronze swimming award... both at the first attempt. 
 
 How long have you played with Hall Royd Band? Around ten years. Initially from 1968 to 1974 when Junior practices were led by John Bentley and always concluded with a game of British Bulldogs, and the Senior practices were led with the military precision of our founder Ralph Nellist.
I was reminded in Kilkenny this year that my claim to fame in those formative years is to be the only person to receive a ‘clip round the ear’ from the usually patient and tolerant Norman Cree... probably well deserved, but he needed to go in much harder to knock any sense into me.
Fast forward forty years and a chance encounter with my old friend and maths teacher John Devereux saw the return of the prodigal... there was no fatted calf, but Mary and Michael Binns do provide a much welcome cuppa & biscuit at half time.
 
 Have you played in any other bands? I joined Hot Aire about a year ago, where I continue to have my musical ability (and my wallet) stretched... #Heather(give us yer money)Clark-Coates!
Quite a few of Hall Royd’s finest also play there... but not the instruments you might expect... sax, flute, clarinet & bass guitar.

Do you have a banding ambition? To read music as well as Mark Sherwood and to express myself (musically!) as well as Pete Lancaster... despite having slept with both these virtuosos (on more than one occasion) nothing seems to have rubbed off... or on for that matter!
To have a Baileys in my Friday night coffee (#Michael Binns).
To have Linda Ferries play “Grease” at my funeral.
To have Aisha finish my woolly socks (size 10)... preferably before the funeral.
To witness Craig Russell’s mute in action.
Any further confessions would probably bring me under the watchful eye of the ‘Safe Guarding’ police.
 
Is there anything else you would like to have included? I feel immensely privileged to share my Friday evenings with some very talented musicians in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere... all under the unflappable guidance of our Musical Director, Mark (Chicken Reel) Sherwood.

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Heather Clark-Coates. (Tutti cornet.)

Heather is one of our accomplished "tutti" cornets, supporting and playing alongside David, our Principal and stepping up, when he is on holiday.
Born in Hull, East Yorkshire, Heather started to play in The Girls Brigade Marching Band, at the age of 9. As she progressed with her playing, eventually reaching the "heady heights" of Grade 8, practical on the cornet and Grade 6, theory, Heather became a member of The City of Hull Senior Band and later, a founder member of E.Y.M.S. (East Yorkshire Motor Services Band), under the baton of Dr. Robert Childs.
At the age of 19, after a spell at The Northern Lights Marching Band, Heather stopped playing, but having moved to West Yorkshire, marrying and having her family, the cornet/trumpet called out to her and when she was 32, Heather joined Hot Aire Concert Band, where she has remained for the last 14 years.
Before joining Hall Royd Band, Heather resumed her traditional brass band playing, this time, undergoing a 45 mile round trip, to play for Gawthorpe Brass, near Ossett, from 2005-2008.
Heather loves being a member of Hall Royd and says, " Thank you to all Hall Royd members for making me so welcome. Hall Royd is a lovely band and I enjoy the varied music and the great personalities of the band members."

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              David Harney, (Principal Cornet.) 
                                                                                                                                                                                  
David began playing at primary school and soon joined The Hammond's Sauce Works Junior Band, under the direction of Gersham Collinson and, later, Andrew MacLochlan, David began to have brass lessons at school and was also taught, privately, by Ralph Nellist, where he achieved Grade 6 (practical) and Grade 5 (theory). David also undertook piano lessons. 
In his mid-teens, whilst attending The Nab Wood Music School, David was promoted to the senior band at Hammond's Sauce Works, with whom he represented The Yorkshire Area, Championship Section, at The Royal Albert Hall in London, in the prestigious, annual National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. He remembers that this was one of the most "nerve-wracking" experiences of his life. Bravo, David!
Having left Hammond's at the age of 19, to attend college, to undertake a course in Music, with Film and Television Studies, David's instruments were the cornet, trumpet and piano and he also had singing lessons, but interestingly, during his time there, he also learned to play the "Rackett" (also known as a "sausage Bassoon) which was a Renaissance-era double reed wind instrument.
After college, having married, David decided to put banding on a "back burner" so that he could devote more time to his young family, but about twenty years ago, the brass bug was back again and David joined Hall Royd Band. As a side line to his position of band principal, David keeps his eye on the clock and calls us back to order, after our mid-rehearsal refreshment break.
David is a talented, smiley member of the band and is well-respected by old and young members, alike. Long may he reign!                                                


 
                                                               
Lauren Stafford, 2nd. Trombone.

Lauren began playing the flute at the tender age of seven and, by the age of sixteen, had achieved grade eight. In 2014, Lauren was awarded The Young Achiever's Award the Skipton branch of Rotary International for her work, in music, in her school and community. After A levels, Lauren began playing the trombone at Hall Royd Band and embarked upon a degree cours at The University of Huddersfield, reading Music. She has recently been awarded a First Class Honours Degree. During her time at university, Lauren played with various ensembles, including the University Brass Band, who were awarded third place  in Unibrass 2018, a national contest for university bands. Another external engagement, was accompanying the Birmingham based Emmanuel Choir to France, when she played flute in the orchestra.
Lauren is now studying for her Master's Degree in Music Performance, on the Flute, at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
All band members wish Lauren all the very best in the exciting continuation of her musical career and look forward to welcoming her back to the Bandroom whenever she is in Yorkshire.

    

The Band Goes To France! 

At the end of May a group from Hall Royd Band visited Clapiers, near Montpellier in the south of France, where we were generously hosted by the village. We played three concerts and visited several places of interest. We had a packed (and wonderful) trip and look forward to welcoming visitors from Clapiers to Shipley in 2019. 

Read the full story!