All England Masters
Legendary cornet player Derek Garside is to
be honoured at the forthcoming All England Masters championships
with a Dedicated Service Award.
Thanks for the Memory No. 1:
Derek Malcolm Garside
by Chris Helme
CWS Manchester, London 1962
On the 22nd of October 1994 for the first time in more years than
I care to remember I went to a band concert. Not just any concert
but one of Brighouse & Rastrick's noted annual massed band concerts
at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Taking part in what was the fiftieth season of these annual get
together events in Huddersfield with B & R, in what was billed
as a celebratory concert was the Williams Fairey Band.
But that, however, wasn't the only and I suppose the real reason
for wanting to go to this particular concert. I wanted to hear the
legendary cornet soloist Derek M. Garside - one of the finest cornet
players of his generation and a man who began his illustrious playing
career in his and my hometown of Brighouse.
The first time I saw him perform live as a soloist was on the 14th
of October, 1967 at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by his wife
Janne Edwards-Garside, ARCM on the piano playing that well known
cornet solo 'Facilita'. It's a long way from the Clifton and Lightcliffe
Band to the bright lights of the Royal Albert Hall - so how and
when did it start?
Malcolm Garside was born in 1930 the, youngest son of Percy and
Florence Garside. His formative years were spent at the local Infant
School, where his school life began in May 1935. Then, along with
the rest of his classmates after two years he left and made his
way up to the nearby 'big school'. In 1941 he walked out of the
school gates at his junior school for the last time, joining his
older brother Landon at the grammar school.
Having gained his school certificate in 1946 he then left the
grammar school and took his father's advice by taking further education
classes to learn book keeping, typing, shorthand and general office
skills. This was until at least he could decide what and where his
future job prospects were.
Even now, at the age of 16, his heart was not really in his lessons
but in playing his cornet. However, within twelve months of starting
his course at the college, an opportunity presented itself, which
at the time must have seemed a dream come true. Unknown to him,
it was to be the key to the door that would open up opportunities
over the next 25 years that would ultimately make him a legend within
the brass band movement.
His ambition of being able to combine both his cornet playing with
a job came to fruition with the offer to join the C.W.S. (Manchester)
Band and being offered a job with the company at their Manchester
offices as well.
Music, and particularly singing, would have been familiar sounds
in the Garside household, with his father Percy being a noted baritone
singer and performer in many local amateur productions in his younger
days and later as a professional.
His mother Florence or 'Flo' was herself a respected local pianist
in fact the whole of the Garside family was a musical family, with
an uncle who played the cello, an aunt who played the violin, both
Percy and Florence were pianists, and along with Percy's singing
his brother Landon was also being taught the piano.
It was not long after Derek's ninth birthday that his father asked
him what he wanted to start and learn to play. This question was
asked as though it was expected that he would play some kind of
instrument, just as the rest of the family did. Even today, Derek
still cannot recall why he gave the answer he did, and was something
he probably said at the time on the spur of the moment without even
thinking, 'a trumpet'.
A couple of weeks later he arrived home from school to be greeted
by his father, 'There's a case in that corner for you, go and have
a look at it'. It wasn't the trumpet he'd asked for but a cornet,
something he'd never seen before - '
and by the way you start
having lessons next Friday night at Mr Roberts house
later years Derek found out that it was in fact his father's best
friend who had arranged with the Brighouse & Rastrick Band,
to loan him the instrument and had also arranged his first cornet
lessons as well.
This was Derek's baptism into the world of music making, shortly
after his ninth birthday. His first tentative steps in trying to
play a cornet were at the home of a Fred J. Roberts where he went
for a weekly cornet lesson. His teacher was no slouch when it came
to playing a cornet either because at that time he was the principal
cornet player of Brighouse and Rastrick.
In 1947 Fred Roberts was offered the position of Bandmaster and
advisor at the re-organised C.W.S. (Manchester) Band, working alongside
their newly appointed professional conductor Eric Ball.
Under the tutelage of Fred Roberts at the end of 1941 or possibly
early 1942 young Derek had progressed enough to join Clifton and
In 1942 Derek entered his first competition at Shipley near Bradford,
but didn't win anything on that day. A prize wasn't far off though
and on the 30th of October 1943, he collected a third prize at a
competition in Heckmondwike.
A sign of things to come was non-more apparent than at a slow melody
he entered at Bradford on the 27th of November 1943. Where, when
he not only won first prize in the under 14 year olds Junior Section
and again in the 14 to 19 years Intermediate Section, but he also
won the first prize in the Open Age Section as well.
Towards the end of 1943 he re-joined his tutor Fred Roberts, only
this time as a player in the cornet section of Brighouse & Rastrick.
One of his first major successes with Brighouse and Rastrick came
in 1946, a few months after leaving school, when he was the band's
Repiano player and Eric Ball was the band's professional conductor
and they won the premier title at the National Brass Band Championships
Finals in London. The test piece on that occasion was Henry Geehl's
'Oliver Cromwell' which had been first heard at the 1923 contest.
After Brighouse and Rastrick took the title Derek was promoted on
to the Solo Cornet bench playing third man down to Fred Roberts.
It wasn't long after this that his mentor Fred Roberts left to join
the re-organised C.W.S. (Manchester) Band.
In December 1947, at the age of seventeen, Derek was invited to
be the principal cornet for the C.W.S. (Manchester) Band, under
the direction of Bandmaster Fred Roberts and along with every other
member of the band he too was offered employment with C.W.S.
Gradually the band was built up around its newly appointed principal
Solo Cornet player. The final piece of the jigsaw was put in place
following in 1954 the appointment of Alex Mortimer as its musical
Brass bands have been making records almost since the introduction
of the first 78's at the turn of the century. It wasn't long after
the Second World War that the C.W.S. (Manchester) Band was joining
countless other bands in producing their first discs.
Most of their early recordings in the 1950's were on the Paxton
label which disappeared in the early 1970's when the company became
part of the Granada Company and by the late 1970's was part of Novello's.
Following the demise of the 78's and the introduction of the new
12" LP's they were signed up with what turned out to be their
principal record producer, Fontana (which became part of the Philips
Corporation - and later Castle Communications), where they produced
at least 150 titles on LP's for their label. It was whilst the band
was recording with Fontana, that their marketing department included
within the title of all their records the name 'The Famous C.W.S.
Derek Garside then showed his virtuosity, as a soloist on almost
all of these records and his ability as a principal cornet is second
In 1951 he was invited to perform the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in
the Casino Concert Hall, Bern, Switzerland. In 1991 he was again
in Bern performing solos to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his
first visit. In 1993/94 he was invited to be one of the panel of
adjudicators at the Swiss Open Brass Band Championship Contest.
From when Derek first joined the C.W.S. (Manchester) Band up to
1970, the band took part in the British Open Championships in the
Kings Hall, Belle Vue on 18 occasions and won it 4 times and were
placed on 12 occasions.
The C.W.S. (Manchester) Band were invited to take part in the London
Finals practically every year following their contest successes
as North West Area Champions in 1955 ('Severn Suite'); 1957 ('Themes
from the Ninth Symphony'); 1958 ('The Moor of Venice'); 1960 ('Themes
from Symphony No 5'); 1961 ('Les Preludes'); and again in 1962 ('Salute
to Youth'), which saw them crowned champions for the sixth time
in eight years, also registering the area's first senior class of
hat trick wins. With the exception of 1961 when they were led to
victory by their bandmaster Tom White, they were conducted by Alex
Mortimer. In addition they were runners-up at six area championship
contests and placed sixth in 1970 ('Benvenuto Cellini') in the World
Prior to competing in the 1962 National Finals they had already
collected 5 second prizes and 3 third prizes in twelve appearances
at the senior finals.
In the 8 Edinburgh International Festival contests the band entered,
they took 4 first prizes and 4 second prizes and, with the exception
of 1953 when they were conducted by Jack Atherton, they were conducted
by Eric Ball (1949/50/51/52) and Alex Mortimer (1954/55/56).
Along with the C.W.S. (Manchester) Band, Derek Garside took part
in the National Festival Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in the
Years 1955/57/58/60/61/68 and 1969 and was guest soloist in 1967
and l 968 and on each occasion as the soloist he was accompanied
on the piano by his wife Janne.
The band finally achieved their crowning glory on Saturday the
20th of October 1962 when at last they became the number one band
at the Daily Herald National Brass Band Championships at the Royal
Albert Hall with their musical director, Alex Mortimer, playing
Frank Wright's arrangement of Verdi's 'Force of Destiny'.
This performance is still rated as one of the finest performances
ever heard at the National Finals. I have a copy of the actual BBC
recording and to Frank Phillips making the announcement and then
listening to that performance still manages to lift the hair on
the back of my neck in what was a truly electric performance.
They went on to repeat the win the following year in 1963 playing
'Belmont Variations' by Sir Arthur Bliss.
This long awaited win was only three months after another important
event in his life, when he married Janne Edwards, an accomplished
pianist in her own right. After their marriage they were to be seen
and heard together over many years on concert platforms throughout
the British Isles and overseas.
His outstanding musicianship was recognised by the Worshipful Company
of Musicians, who he performed for in 1968.
As a freelance trumpet player he has performed with all the major
provincial professional orchestras. In addition to this his playing
of the Bach Trumpet was constantly in demand throughout the North
In 1969 Derek was the first recipient of the Insignia of Honour,
which was to be an annual award to a working instrumentalist, who
had given conspicuous service to brass bands.
He took part in over 300 radio broadcasts and a number of television
programmes. In 1969 he was teaching brass in Manchester Schools.
The C.W.S. (Manchester) Band continued to tour extensively throughout
the United Kingdom and went on numerous continental tours, including
a visit to Niagara Falls and Toronto in June/July 1972. The tour
involved three other bands, Fairey Aviation Band, Black Dyke Mills
Band and the G.U.S. (Footwear) Band.
Sadly, owing to ill health, and to everyone's disappointment, and
none more so than the organisers of this prestigious event, Alex
Mortimer was unable to make the trip that summer.
His place as conductor was taken by Derek Garside on what was then
his first outing as the band's newly appointed Musical Director
- a daunting task even for someone with all Derek's experience.
In 1973 Derek led the band to qualification at the North West Area
contest, ensuring they took part in the national finals once again.
This was a memorable occasion for Derek on what was his first appearance
at the Royal Albert Hall as the band's musical director, when he
led them to a second place behind Brighouse and Rastrick, playing
Hubert Bath's test piece 'Freedom'.
Under Derek's direction the band did well and was awarded first
place in both 1975 and again in 1976 at the North West Area Finals.
It was shortly after the band's performance at the 1976 London finals
that Derek resigned from the band, an intention he had announced
to the band's members some months earlier. He made a clean break
from being directly involved in any particular band and went to
live in Wales.
In late 1978 Janne and Derek returned north to live in Huddersfield
and in February 1979 he took a position with Bradford Council's
music department as a peripatetic brass teacher in the Bradford
Schools, where he was to stay until his retirement to Wales in 1985.
Towards the end of April 1979 saw Derek back in the spotlight when
he accepted an offer to become the musical director of Foden's Motor
Works Band, which later became the Britannia Building Society Band
and then became the Foden's (Courtois) Band but has since reverted
back to being Foden's however, he stayed on until Christmas of 1980.
His return to Manchester in September 1981 was prompted by the band's
professional conductor at that time.
In 1985 the C.W.S. Board of Directors decided that a brass band
was not the image the Co-op wished to promote in the future and
decided that the band would cease to exist. Today the band's many
trophies, prizes and historical records are safely locked away in
the vaults of the C.W.S. The Band had been a well respected and
admired household name amongst the country's banding fraternity
and supporters for over eighty years - this was a move that saw
the band becoming known later officially as `The City of Manchester
Derek 'retired' in 1986 to Wales, where he was still involved in
the brass band movement, adjudicating, conducting and 'taking up
the cornet' from time to time, to perform in Switzerland and America,
as he did in June 1993 and again in 1995.
In 1987 Derek led Ammanford Band, with Eric Ball's test piece 'Scottish
Festival Overture', to 183 points with a creditable fourth place
in the Welsh Area Contest at Swansea.
In 1988 he was at the London Finals again, this time conducting
Llansaint Silver in the fourth section championships with Ray Steadman
Allen's test piece `Wealden Rhapsody'. The band had won through
their qualifying round at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea but playing
off number seven they were not in the prizes that day.
His return to Huddersfield was to a full house as the guest soloist
for Brighouse and Rastrick's celebration concert and was a fitting
venue and tribute for this legend of the brass band movement where,
at the same venue on the very first occasion, half a century earlier,
he first performed as a boy soloist.
After that appearance at Huddersfield he accepted an invitation
to be a member of a select band of musicians who were rightly called
the 'Kings of Brass' which after seven years, numerous full house
concerts and three CD' s in July 2001 played their last concert
in the Isle of Man.
Derek has described this period as an extended autumn to his playing
career and one that he has thoroughly enjoyed.
The Kings of Brass were a unique band made up from many of Derek's
contemporaries, where the minimum time served in top flight banding
was said to be forty years, along with Derek they all epitomised
the sense of fellowship in banding.
he was the consummate gentleman at all times and
respected by all that have come into contact with him - a true legend
from the world of brass bands and non more deserving recipient of
this prestigious award.
Anyone wishing to know more about this legend of the brass band
world can contact the author on: