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Xmas cheer for Besses

It seems you can't turn on the tele without seeing Besses strut their stuff!



Besses o'th' Barn band round of their interesting years banding by appearing yet again on the television.

A smaller band of selected players are appearing on Manchester Channel M's last live breakfast show before Christmas.

This follows three other successful Christmas concerts recently given by the band.

She (Gretchen) hopes to be returning next year — I sincerely hope she does, there will always be a warm welcome at BessesResident conductor, John North


The first two, conducted by John North, were at Stand Golf Club and Radcliffe Civic Suite, and were entertaining fun and festive with a good balance of serious music, witty banter and festive cheer.

The third was a more formal occasion, conducted by the band's professional conductor, John Hinkley, with the Bolton Choral Union. Although the audience were in raptures it was a slightly sad evening for the band, due to it being the solo euphonium's last job with the band.

Gretchen Renshaw, the solo Euph player is returning to America after her exchange programme comes to an end. Whilst on UK shores she studied under Steven Mead at the RNCM.

Key figure

Commenting on the time Gretchen spent with the band, resident conductor, John North told 4BR: "Gretchen has been a key figure in the start of the Besses rejuvenation. The improvement in her playing whilst she has been with the band has been immense.

To say she was better every rehearsal is no exaggeration. This was confirmed with her stunning performances of 'Brilliante' at our Christmas Concerts. Her input was one of the ingredients to the the band's improvement from the summer. She hopes to be returning next year — I sincerely hope she does, there will always be a warm welcome at Besses."

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Stuart Black

BA (Hons) Music
Conductor, Teacher, Flugel soloist