Published on June 27th, 2018 by gavin

David Hirst Takes Shirley Baton Alongside New Signings

Shirley Band from Solihull in the West Midlands has appointed David Hirst to the role of Principal Conductor and signed a number of new players to its ranks.

David’s first concert with the first-section band was at Solihull School’s Bushell Hall, alongside guest soloist Mark Wilkinson, the celebrated principal cornet of Fodens Band, who also led a masterclass earlier in the day. The concert was held jointly with Solihull Youth Brass Band.

Joining the band are Mark Howarth on bass-trombone, Bob Baggott on front-row cornet, Alan Smith on soprano-cornet and Debbie Higham on back-row cornet, all former members of the band. Mark, Bob and Alan are all ex-members of what is now the JLR Band (Coventry), with Bob joining from City of Coventry Band. Meanwhile, Debbie Higham has joined from Staffordshire Band. Also following the departure of the band’s second Eb Bass player, 16-year-old Morgan Hart has been promoted to second Eb Bass.

Brian Johnson, Shirley Band’s secretary, told A4B: “Since David’s appointment the band is going from strength to strength, and we’re really looking forward to what the future holds under his guidance and direction. We’re so excited to have a great mix of experienced players like Mark, Bob and Alan joining the band. We are so fortunate to have the blend of players we currently have, with several music graduates in the band, a number of long-serving players, and talented up and coming players like Morgan, as well as 15-year-old Becky Strentz, one of our front-row cornet players, who secured first repiano cornet at the recent National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain course held at Easter.”

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