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Issue 6119

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Hammonds welcomes new signings

Monday 22 November, 2021

Hammonds Band has welcomed a raft of new signings as it looks to the weeks and months ahead.

The band was boosted in its performance at the Brass in Concert Championship on November 20, when it was joined by Geneva artist Kirsty Abbotts on principal cornet. Kirsty's arrival came following the decision of Phil Varley to step down from the role.

Mike Kilroy has joined on solo euphonium, bringing a wealth of experience to the solo euphonium chair, having played with a number of the top-flight bands in England.

Jon Davies is a returnee from the YBS era and has come in on solo Eb bass, adding his considerable talents to the bass section, following the departure of Dave Smith who has commenced part-time education and parenthood.

Elsewhere, the band has welcomed Claire Skipsey to the front row team. Claire was Young Musician of the Year in 1994 and was a member of the Black Dyke Band for several years.

Meanwhile, the cornet section has been further strengthened with the signing of Paul Dale and Nick Lees. Both are former members of the band from the YBS era, and their return brings experience to the back row. They are joined in the section by Haydn Osborne and Alex Parker.

The incoming players are filling vacancies left when Toby and Kate Brazier moved to teach in Spain at the beginning of lockdown, and when Steve Taylor stepped down from the band after several years of service.

Reflecting on the signings, musical director Morgan Griffiths said: “It has been great to welcome such a fantastic group of players to Hammonds, and it is great to see the return of some former YBS stalwarts.

“Lockdown has certainly been a challenging period for banding, and, as we begin to see some return to normality, I am thrilled that we have been able to strengthen our team.”

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Issue 6117 digital November 18, 2021