Helston Town Band are delighted to officially announce the appointment of Darren Hendy as their new Musical Director.
Darren takes over the band with a wealth of musical experience behind him and is certainly one of the most recognisable names in West of England banding. His first rehearsal with the band came the week following Flora Day and he made an immediate impact with his obvious musical ability, drive and conducting style.
Following a twelve year break from banding whilst he focused on building his Helston based business, Darren returned to playing eighteen months ago as principal cornet with Camborne Band. He originally started playing the cornet with Porthleven Band in 1979 under the tuition of Stanley Oliver and Henry Medlin and also began taking lessons with former Helston Town Band Musical Director Edward Ashton, before joining Camborne Town Band aged 14 under the tuition of Albert Chappell.
Darren moved away in 1988 to join the famous GUS Band before returning to Cornwall to take the principal chair at St Dennis Band. Aged 21 Darren returned to Camborne Band on principal cornet. During his playing career Darren has won a number of prestigious solo awards at many competitions throughout the Country, he has also played for world famous bands Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe and Fodens when they performed in Cornwall and has been fortunate enough to play under a number of great conductors such as Derek Greenwood, Bramwell Tovey, Frank Renton, Steve Sykes, Gary Cutt, Leonard Adams, Edward Ashton, Albert Chappell and John Berryman.
Band Chairman Alan Trewhella said ‘I am pleased to welcome Darren Hendy to the role of Musical Director of Helston Town Band and am sure that his vast experience and enthusiasm along with the dedication of our players is certainly a good recipe for success’
Speaking of his appointment, Darren commented – I am excited at the prospect of this new venture and it is an honour to be a part of this famous band.
Darren takes over the band at a busy point in its calendar. The band are looking forward to their first engagement of the summer season - a Proms style evening of music and entertainment at Godolphin House on July 11th. Helston will also be performing at the Constantine Band Sunday, the ever popular Lismore Proms as well as a host of other venues throughout the county – visit our engagements page for a full list of the bands summer bookings.
Helston Town Band took to the stage at the Penryn campus performance centre on Friday night to accompany Jack Curnow in his final performance of his music degree. Jack has been a valued member of HTB for many years and the band were delighted to be able to assist him for such an important performance.
Jack played the euphonium solo ‘Benedictus ‘ to kick off the concert, followed by the euphonium duo ‘Another Fine Mess’ with his band mentor Kevin Johns. This amount of euphonium features irked our Solo Trombonist Lester Ashton, who mid-way through the concert decided he had had enough and insisted he be allowed to play a trombone solo. This prompted a rendition of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ with Lester as the soloist. Not to be outdone, Jack ran off stage and showing his versatility as a musician, returned with his own trombone to take up the solo role, also decided to sing the last part of the piece. This really annoyed Lester, who walked off stage, prompting the majority of the band to do the same.
A quartette of players loyal to Jack remained on stage and performed what was widely considered the best piece of the evening (quality not quantity) before Jack managed to persuade the rest of the band to return to the stage.
Jack then sang ‘Do Nothing ‘til You Hear From Me’ with band before playing the classic euphonium solo ‘Blaydon Races’ and finishing up to big applause with Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ with Jack again playing euphonium, trombone and singing during the course of the piece.
As mentioned, the band were delighted to be able to play for Jack and we wish him the best of luck in gaining the good grades that judging by Fridays performance he certainly deserves.
Although the Helston Town Band have been leading the traditional Furry Dance through the streets of Helston in Cornwall for many, many years, this is the first-ever recording of the Helston Town Band with the vocal support of a locally born artist, the internationally renowned tenor, John Treleaven. We welcome your interest and support for this exciting project, with all profits being donated to the work of the RNLI, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Please click on the link for more information.
We are all aware of how talented our young musicians are in HTB, but it is an extra delight to learn that those talents are recognised elsewhere. Our 15 year old Principal Cornet Andy Wingham has been recognised outside the usual brass band circles.
Andy entered and won the ‘Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Competition’ and along with 3 other participants received a cash prize of £250 and the opportunity to perform alongside some renowned professional musicians at the festival’s main two-week event in October.
Along with Andy the winners this year were violinist Hannah Brook-Hughes (the youngest ever winner at the age of 10) cellist Willard Carter (aged 12) and cellist Rebecca McNaught (aged 18).
The Two Moors Festival Young Musicians Platform is a prestigious competition for young talented instrumentalists and singers. It is open to anyone aged 18 and under who lives, or who attends school in the Southwest of the UK. Four winners each receive £250 prize money plus an opportunity to perform in the main festival. Entries are taken for Brass, Wind, Percussion, Strings and Voice.
Congratulations Andy and all credit to you for entering this prestigious competition.
As the town woke to dark grey skies and a heavy misty rain, the weather forecasters seemed to have been right that it would be a bad day for all of us.
As we assembled outside the Guildhall before 7 o'clock, the general opinion seemed to be 'this isn't great, but it could be a lot worse', and that sentiment seemed to be the case throughout the day regarding the weather.
Ben Martin struck the first beat of the bass drum on the chime of 7am to dry(ish) weather, and so began Flora Day 2014. The dancers and band, led by Russell Harvey and Alan Trewella, managed to get around the route without getting drenched - that was until the last note of the dance when the heavens opened and we got a soaking on the way to the Blue Anchor for the customary Flora Day pint of Spingo.
The Senior band then enjoyed a cooked breakfast at the Godolpin Club where Band Master Kevin Johns was presented with a token of appreciation for all the hard work he has put in with the band over what has, at times, been a difficult twelve months. Kevin paid thanks to band member Ben Curnow for everything he does, to the band in general for the dedication they have shown and that the future for the band is looking very bright.
The Senior band then met up with members of our Concert and Beginners bands, as well as invited guests who would be playing for the Children's and Midday dances and led by Lester Ashton.
Again the weather for these dances remained damp, but certainly not the heavy rain that was forecast. Due to Health and Safety concerns, the Children's Dance did not stop for a break at Lismore Gardens which meant the dance finished earlier than normal, giving the band a nice long break before the start of the Midday dance.
The crowds around the town were slightly smaller than usual, the forecast obviously putting some people off from attending, but the atmosphere in town was still fantastic, with people applauding the band and dancers' efforts all along the route.
After enjoying a couple of hours break, the Senior Band met up for the final time to lead the Evening Dance. Our Concert Band M.D. Ian Edwards led the band for this dance and as we made our way around the town for the final time this year the crowd was in its usual good spirits.
The dancers, as is tradition, provided the band with a guard of honour through Tanyard Lane. This gesture, known within the band as 'the tunnel' is always greatly appreciated and much anticipated.
As we made our way up Coinagehall Street for the last time, the weather was as good as it had been all day.
The dancers made their way into the Guildhall, and the band finished to massive cheers from the supportive crowds. After the huge ovations, what else could we do but strike up one more time (with the sun even shining through at this moment) to close out another memorable Flora Day.
We would like to thank all our invited guests who helped us for the middle two dances, as well as congratulate our Concert and Beginners band for the effort and hard work they put in. Special mention must also be made to our supporters who collected for the band, many of them walking the same distance (16 miles!) as the Senior Band. Finally we would like to thank our town for the support shown to us, it means such a lot to have a town so proud of their band.
Quote of the day - 'B.C. normally stands for 'Before Christ' but in Helston Band it stands for Ben Curnow' - Kevin Johns whilst paying tribute to Ben.