Kit Heyam.

Kit, who has been with Hall Royd for eighteen months,started playing at the age of 10 years old, on his uncle's old trumpet. 

The local music service brought a set of instruments to primary school for the children to try out. (Kit actually wanted to play the flute, but couldn't get it to make a noise and admits it was probably a bad sign that he couldn't, and still can't, blow a note across the top of a milk bottle.) Thankfully he found a brass instrument was much easier. During this time, besides the school band, Kit joined The Bolton Intermediate Brass Band. 

When he went to secondary school, Kit was lent a cornet, so that he could play in the school brass band, and had free lessons from peripatetic teachers, employed by the Bolton Music Service. Kit will be forever grateful for that and thinks that it is a criminal shame that most young people, today, don't have the opportunity to have free musical tuition in school. 

At the age of 14, partly due to there already being a large number of cornet players in his school band, but mainly because his high notes on the cornet were becoming “squawky”, Kit changed to the Tenor Horn.

Hall Royd members might be interested to hear that the conductor of that school band was the renowned brass band conductor and arranger, of pieces like ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ and ‘Nobody does it better’, Chris Wormald. 
Kit admits that Chris was (an is still,) a brilliantly driven conductor, who made his comprehensive School Brass Band so much more than the sum of it’s parts and took the teenagers to compete in the third section of the annual World Music Contest in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, the French Open Contest and a tour of eight states of the U.S. Kit has never forgotten that the some of the host families asked the young people if their parents “worked in the factories”, were incredulous that they had never held a gun and informed them how much they admired Margaret Thatcher. (Kit adds, sadly, that these people must, obviously, not have seen the film, ‘Brassed Off’!)
Kit reflects that playing in the brass band was a fundamental part of his teenage years and, unhappily, the only good thing he remembers about his school. Kit appreciates that he learnt a lot about playing from Chris Wormald, but jokes that it has certainly “gone downhill since then!” Sitting next to Kit, in band, I feel I must dispute this.He is a confident and talented player, much admired by his fellow bandsmen, not only for his playing but for his friendly disposition and his contribution to the social side of the band.

Kit’s horn belonged to his school band, so when leaving school, to go to university, he realised that he would have to leave it behind. Luckily, upon reaching the age of seventeen, Kit’s grandparents had given him money to have driving lessons. He laughs that he still can’t drive,
but has had more more pleasure from the very nice tenor horn he bought!

Kit’s next band was the Cambridge University Brass Band, affectionately known as CUBB. It was a tight-knit group, with an incomprehensible collection of ‘in-jokes’ and a valuable opportunity for Cambridge students to embrace not being very good at something!
Kit still has many good friends from CUBB, not least among them, his husband, Alex.
Kit remembers, fondly, that he and Alex’ fellow band members noticed their budding relationship and attempted to ‘set them up’, by leaving them alone, to build a tower from beer cans, during a band trip to Todmordon. (Ah, the romance of it!) The plan didn’t work, partly because one of the bass players was too drunk to get the hint to leave them alone and became a third wheel…!
Fortunately Kit and Alex did, eventually get together and, five years ago, joined the long tradition of CUBB marriages. Kit remembers that “Spending that money on a new horn , instead of driving lessons was the best decision he ever made. Without it, he would never have met Alex and now Alex drives him around!”

After graduating, Kit and Alex moved toYork to study for their PhD’s and both joined The University of York Brass Band, Ebor Brass and Malton White Star Band. ( Not all at the same time!)

In the spring of 2017, Kit and Alex moved to Leeds and soon joined Hall Royd, where Kit plays joint solo tenor horn and Alex plays trombone.
Kit works, part-time, as a lecturer in Early Modern Literature at Newcastle University. Having to commute isn’t a problem as he manages to get lots of work done on the train. Whilst holding out for a full-time lecturing job Kit has written articles and books and also works at Go Higher West Yorkshire. (An organisation which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into higher education.) He also runs an equalities training business.

As yet, Kit and Alex don’t have any children, but this month, they will be adopting two baby rats who will be named ‘Noesy and Cosy’ (Yes, that is the correct spelling of Noesy. If you want an explanation, you will have to ask Alex!)

Meet the band.


      Bryan Lowes.

Bryan plays Bb bass, commonly known as a ‘tuba’ and the largest, heaviest and most expensive instrument in the brass band. In Bryan’s opinion, although most banding colleagues will disagree, he plays with “considerable enthusiasm, but somewhat less skill”!

Bryan began playing in his early 40’s, inspired by Adrian, his teenage son’s acceptance into the prestigious National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain on the euphonium seat. Bryan quickly progressed, to pass the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (A.B.R.S.M.) Grade 3 exam on his tuba, but having been embarrassed by the young age of children sitting the exam with him, he decided to settle down and just enjoy playing, instead of repeating the predicament.

Bryan has played with a number of non-contesting and 4th Section bands, notably Yorkshire Community Brass (formerly Hammond’s, then Yorkshire Concert Junior Band) and Skipton Brass Band, (conducted by his son, Adrian). He has also helped out with concerts and Area and National Contests with Wilsden and BD1 bands. He currently plays with Bradford Music Service Youth Band, together with three of his grandchildren and, of course, Hall Royd, where he has played for almost four years, accompanied by two of his grandchildren, brother and sister, Thomas and Emily James. Bryan’s ambition will be fulfilled when his two remaining grandchildren join the band. Bryan adds, jokingly, if he lives long enough. Both have begun learning, though, so fingers crossed, eh, Bryan?

In his former career, Bryan was Senior Lecturer at the School of Management at The University of Bradford, where he mainly taught mature M.B.A. students, whist co-authoring six books and two dictionaries.

Bryan’s immediate family consists of his very patient and supportive wife, Dorothy who has become a ‘groupie’,  attending most concerts and outdoor performances, with other husbands and wives of band members. Bryan and Dorothy have two grown-up children, Adrian, an accomplished euphonium player and conductor and Rachel, who is learning to play the Baritone, amongst numerous other hobbies. Who knows, one day, they might become the local equivalent to the Von Trapp family!

Bryan , who is an absolute gentleman and a joy to be associated with, enjoys the relaxed and friendly style of Hall Royd Band and appreciates the musical encouragement and commitment of the Musical Director, Mark Sherwood and says, “ attending rehearsals us a real pleasure”.
In the seven years since he retired, Bryan has found more time for his great hobbies of music and golf. True to form, this modest man repeats that there is little evidence of improvement in either skill. Bryan!!!!


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.


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.


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."


              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!