The Aveley & Newham Band has announced that former International Staff Band principal cornet player and internationally renowned soloist David Daws has accepted the role of solo euphonium with the London based band.
Speaking to 4BR, David explained that although the decision to explore a new musical playing career had been forced upon him by his long term struggle with a medical problem, he is now thoroughly looking forward to the possibilities the change in instrument will bring.
"I finally had to give up playing the cornet after a seven year struggle with a ruptured upper lip muscle – the Orbicularis Oris.
I tried my very best to overcome it with surgery and specialist treatment, but the scar tissue on my top lip, just where the cornet mouthpiece sits, made it impossible to play the cornet successfully."
However, not wishing to give up his love of performing David took up the euphonium at the end of August last year.
Through dedicated practice and by seeking the expert advice and tuition from the likes of David Thornton and Trevor Groom, he has now joined Aveley & Newham and is looking forward to the demands of ‘Harmony Music’ at the Areas in March.
"It has been very hard work getting to even a competent level," he said modestly. "I’m so grateful for all the help given to me by David, Trevor and many others.
The hard work is now starting pay off, although I find the euphonium much harder to blow, the valves heavier and the phrasing so much more difficult to maintain at present."
He laughed though when asked what he found the most challenging aspect of playing his new instrument.
"As for the fourth valve – it’s still a bit of a mystery at times," he chuckled, "although I’m doing special exercises to be able to use it without too much thinking."
It’s been a great learning experience and I’m really enjoying my playing againDavid Daws
The decision to join Aveley has also given him a new musical perspective too.
"Everything is new to me – from the actual repertoire to the way in which you have to listen to the lower end of the band and even the way you follow the conductor.
It’s been a great learning experience and I’m really enjoying my playing again."
And as for the demands of ‘Harmony Music’ and its fearsome euphonium cadenza – David looks to take it all in his remarkable stride.
"I’m really looking forward to it," he said. "I’ve just started back playing with Hendon Salvation Army Corps too, so each new step is one in the right direction – although ‘Harmony Music’ is a bit of a bigger leap!"