Last waltz for Solihull stalwart

A recent Shirley Band concert featuring Viennese music marked the retirement of band stalwart Ian Birchall.

Shirley Band
  Ian was give a tuba guard of honour by Richard Hart, Sally Middleton and Lawrence Tew

The Shirley Band from Solihull recently enjoyed a sell-out Viennese themed concert at their local Dovehouse Theatre.

The established annual concert series featured a range of Viennese music, including Strauss's 'Blue Danube', 'Thunder and Lightning Polka', and 'Radetzky March', as well as music from a variety of other genres such as the Dirty Dozen's 'Blackbird Special'.


The event also marked the retirement of Ian Birchall, their long-serving Bb bass player. Ian, 80, has served the band with distinction for 35 years.

Local MP Julian Knight MP, the Chair of the Parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, presented Ian with a certificate to mark his long service.


Speaking about the occasion, Shirley Band secretary, Brian Johnson, told 4BR: "We're delighted to have become the first brass band to host a series of concerts at the Dovehouse and thrilled to have attracted a full-house.

We were however also sad to see the official retirement of Ian, a true bandsman who has served the organisation in a range of roles. He may have retired from playing, but we're sure we'll see him again very soon!"

Photo: Ian being given a tuba guard of honour by (from left to right), Richard Hart, Sally Middleton and Lawrence Tew, who all played alongside Ian for 35 years as part of the same section.

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