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Issue 6066

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Zoe Lovatt-Cooper to depart Dyke

Thursday 15 October, 2020

Black Dyke Band’s flugelhorn star Zoe Lovatt-Cooper is to step down from her position after a decade as she prepares for the arrival of her first child.

The announcement brings down the curtain on a hugely successful tenure with the Queensbury band which included victories at the European Championship, British Open, National Finals, Yorkshire Regional and English National contests.

Zoe arrived at Black Dyke from Tredegar Town Band and also played in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain after growing up in St Dennis and Cornwall Youth Brass bands.

Explaining her decision, Zoe said: “I am excited to share the news that I am expecting my first child in February 2021. Paul and I are absolutely delighted and are looking forward to the joy and excitement that a new family member will bring. It has, however, made me think about my future as a member of Black Dyke.

“The band is in great demand all over the world and requires full commitment, which as a new mum, can be extremely challenging. The year 2020 hasn’t been what any of us expected and certainly not how I wanted my final year to pan out but after great consideration, I have decided to relinquish my position as the flugelhorn player of Black Dyke.”

Zoe continued: “I have enjoyed 10 amazing years and although it is with great sadness that I leave our band, I will take with me some fantastic performance experiences and musical memories. It has been a great privilege to have been a player at Black Dyke and play alongside exceptional musicians, who I have been lucky enough to call my friends.”

Nicholas Childs, music director of Black Dyke, paid tribute to Zoe’s performances and dedication over the past ten years. He commented: “Zoe has been a glowing example of a great player, a person who has contributed so much to Black Dyke who is a model bandsperson. Everyone sends congratulations to Zoe and Paul on their exciting news and I’m sure they will continue to support the band as their new family flourishes.”

While Zoe plans to take some time out as she and Paul prepare to welcome their child into the world, she does not intend for the flugelhorn to be gathering dust for long. She added: “Giving up the instrument that I love is definitely not an option and I look forward to how my musical future will turn out. In the meantime, I would like to thank Nicholas Childs and the players of Black Dyke for their continued support, musical memories and more importantly, their friendship throughout. I wish them every success for the future and I know I will keep a special relationship with them for many years.”