Allan Withington has exclusively confirmed to 4BR that he will no longer be working together with the Co-operative Funeralcare Band for the forthcoming European Brass Band Championships in Freiburg.
"I was so looking forward to performing both the band's own-choice work and the set test piece, 'The God Particle' in Freiburg," he said. However, this pleasure must be put on hold."
The conductor's decision was confirmed by the Co-operative Funeralcare Band this morning.
Band spokesman Chris Davies told 4BR: "The band has had a difficult period in the run-up to the competition, having lost a number of players over the past few months for various reasons.
As a result, the band has had to secure the service of a number of guest players at short notice. Unfortunately, the band has not been able to organise a large number of full rehearsals with both regular players and guests, which is entirely our fault.
Allan's decision to withdraw was based on the lack of attendance both before and after his arrival in Scotland for intensive rehearsals from the 24th of April, which is understandable."
Allan Withington also confirmed the details behind his difficult decision: "On receiving the attendance list for the final week, it became clear that things would not improve, so my decision became final.
I would like to thank Andy Duncan for all his hard work,under difficult conditions, during the preparation period and in addition would like to wish the European Championships,and all bands included,every success.This is indeed a fantastic event."
Unfortunately, the band has not been able to organise a large number of full rehearsals with both regular players and guests, which is entirely our faultCo-operative Funeralcare Band
Ramsay takes on role
4BR understands that the band will continue to rehearse for the competition under the direction of the highly experienced musical director Allan Ramsey, who has stepped into the role of conductor at short notice.
Band Chairman Paul Kiernan told 4BR: "We understand Allan Withington's frustration and acknowledge that the band's attendance has been poor.
While we are all disappointed that he has withdrawn, we understand that his decision was made for genuine reasons and we wish him all the very best.
It is his desire to perform at the highest level that made us engage his services in the first place, and we understand that this is also the reason for his withdrawal."
He added; "The band now has to make the best of an unfortunate situation, and we are certain that Allan Ramsey will work tirelessly to help us through it."