As the town clock strikes 7am, veteran bandsman Russell Harvey will have the special honour of leading Helston Town Band away from the Guildhall and into Meneage Street, beginning Flora Day 2015.
As the band’s longest- serving member, 80 year old Russell will be taking part in his 69th Flora Day and last year received national recognition from Brass Band England, to mark his 70 years of continuous service with the band. Only National Service has stopped him from playing on Flora Day. However, Russell is delighted to inform us that he will not be the oldest player on the day! That honour falls to 81 year old Ernie Reynolds, from Saltash, who will return to Helston, as usual, for the big day.
Walking alongside Russell and leading all four dances, for the first time, will be Deputy Musical Director, Kevin Johns. Better known as the band’s Solo Euphonium player, Porthleven-born Kevin has been a mainstay of the group for 30 years and is delighted to have the honour of leading them. Taking his place, on Euphonium, will be Helston’s Professional Conductor, David Johnson, originally from Sennen and now a serving Marine, based at Portsmouth. It will be David’s first experience of Flora Day.
As the band split into 2, and approximately 120 musicians form up in Wendron Street, for the Childrens’ Dance and Midday Dance, the familiar figure of Martin Pascoe, playing for the 51st time, will be seen heading out to the front of the band, as he takes charge of the second group and shepherds them through the town.
At 5pm, Ian Edwards takes up the baton. The Musical Director of Helston Town Concert Brass since 2013, Ian is well- known locally for his wide- ranging involvement with local musical groups, from brass and accordion bands, to country pop groups and male voice choirs.
All 27 members of Marika Charleston’s Student Brass Group have been practicing hard for the big day; for some it will be their first time, as they have been playing for less than a year. Of Marika’s students, two are adults and three are just 6 years old!