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Cornet legend donates his 928 prototype for auction

If you want to get you hands on a unique piece of cornet history — and help the Brass for Africa Charity in the process, then all you have to do is be as generous as Phillip McCann...

Phillip McCann
  Phillip made the presentation to the charity earlier this year at the RNCM Brass Band Festival

Derwent Brass is offering a fantastic opportunity for people to support the Brass for Africa Charity — thanks to the generosity of the legendary cornet player Phillip McCann.

To support the charity's work in Uganda, Phillip has donated a unique prototype Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign cornet, developed and built for him whilst he was principal cornet of Black Dyke Mills Band.

928 prototype

Phillip's input helped to produce the legendary 928 Sovereign 'round stamp' model, and the instrument, still in its 'raw' state, is the physical blueprint from which all others were subsequently produced.

Speaking to 4BR he said that he was delighted that the instrument can be used to support such a wonderful cause — and that he hoped it will still be played on.

"I was delighted to be able to donate the instrument to be auctioned, as the Charity does such wonderful work in Africa in helping youngsters through making music.

The hours of expertise at the famous Edgeware Road factory that ultimately led to the famous 928 was incredible, and you can still tell that when you play the instrument. It may not look it because of its prototype state, but it still sounds amazing."

Ultimate provenance

Phillip presented the cornet to Brass for Africa Brass Ambassador Chris Fower at the 2017 RNCM Brass Band Festival and it is now being auctioned by Derwent Brass for the charity. The cornet bears no serial number or logo but will come with a letter of provenance from Phillip.

In response Chris Fower added: "This is truly an exceptional piece of brass band history and the kind of item that is so rarely available to purchase, often moving directly into a private collection."

The proceeds of the auction sale will be donated by Derwent Brass to Brass for Africa's current fundraising campaign with the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK's biggest online match funding campaign.

Vital funds

Chris added: "We're hoping to raise vital funds for one of our most important projects, The Children of Kampiringisa. The money donated for the purchase of this instrument will be doubled.

Kampiringisa is Uganda's only juvenile rehabilitation facility, with the project undertaking vital work to engage them back into society. It is the government's responsibility to care for and protect these children and they have given their full support for Brass for Africa to assist in improving the quality of life within the Centre."

Brass for Africa provides brass instruments, lessons and brass band training alongside life-skill training and psychosocial support to more than 200 children in the centre each week.

I was delighted to be able to donate the instrument to be auctioned, as the Charity does such wonderful work in Africa in helping youngsters through making musicPhillip McCann

Charity target

This campaign needs to raise £10,265 in order for Brass for Africa to be able to continue this outstanding and successful work.

The response so far has been remarkable, but Phillip's cornet will surely enable the charity to reach its target.

Go to:

Campaign link: https:/­/­secure.thebiggive.org.uk/­projects/­view/­28484/

eBay link:



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