facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label

*
banner

Not so old MacDonald to celebrate 50 years being a top-man

One of the UKs most respected principal cornet players will celebrate half a century of banding with a concert in his honour this weekend

Andy
  Andy MacDonald has enjoyed 50 years in banding

One of the most respected 'top-men' in UK banding is set to celebrate 50 years in banding this Sunday (20th May) by being the guest soloist in a concert in his honour.

Andy MacDonald has been principal cornet of the Wingates Band since 1999, but first started his half century of playing at the age of six at the now defunct Prescot Band near St Helens.

Leading players

Since then he has established himself as one of the leading principal cornet players of his generation, with widespread experience of performing with many of the finest bands in the country.

The concert will take place on Sunday 20th May at the Pyramid Studio Theatre in Warrington (WA1 1BL) at 6.00pm, where Wingates Band will be joined by many of Andy's musical friends, such as Andrew Berryman, former principal trombone of the Halle Orchestra and euphonium virtuoso Gary Curtin.

Andy will be the guest of honour, and will play a number of his favourite solos with the band he has led with such distinction for nearly 20 years.

Sheer enjoyment

Looking back on his half century Andy told 4BR: "I can't quite believe it. It's been 50 years of sheer enjoyment that has past so quickly.

I was lucky to come from a brass band family with my dad playing for Black Dyke Junior Band and my mum still involved, so it was perhaps natural that I inherited their love of it."

Andy was one of the first intake on the pioneering Brass Band Musicianship Course at Salford University under Dr Roy Newsome and played under him when Besses o'th' Barn won the British Open in 1982.

He also went on to play with Leyland, Flixton and back to Besses before landing the role as principal cornet with the band from Westhoughton since 1999.

Fit it in

"I've enjoyed every moment of it," he added, "…from those early years at Prescot where I became principal cornet aged 14, to the Band Course at Salford.

Great memories include playing with Besses and winning the British Open, enjoying a spell under Dicky Evans as top-man at Leyland, the great challenge of getting Flixton Band back to contesting health and another spell at Besses. I can't quite believe I managed to fit it all in!"

At home

However, it is his association with Wingates that has given him greatest pleasure, as he revealed. "I've always felt at home here. It's a great band full of great people and I just want to help them in any way I can.

We've experienced ups and downs of course, but now we are back at the British Open and are regulars at the Nationals once more. The band is a huge part of my life and I'm lucky my wife Sue is involved too.

I hope I've also got a few years left in me to carry on helping Wingates back to the very top."

I can't quite believe it. It's been 50 years of sheer enjoyment that has past so quicklyAndy MacDonald

Giving back

One of the things he is most proud of is that he has been able to pass on his love of brass playing to future generations as a peripatetic teacher in the Salford and St Helens areas.

"It's a job a love," he said. "There's nothing better than being able to give something back to banding."

Andy also revealed that he plans to enjoy the evening in full — although he hopes he won't be called upon to reveal his other musical skills.

"Over the years I've learnt to play the piano, drums and the recorder — although I will always be happiest playing the cornet with Wingates!"

Concert details

For more details of the concert go to: http:/­/­www.wingatesbrassband.co.uk/­shopping/­tickets.html



Kyle Lawson

Lawson returns to principal seat at Brighouse

August 14 • National Champion acts swiftly as New Zealand cornet star Kyle Lawson returns to the principal cornet seat at Brighouse & Rastrick.


Freddie Mercury

4BR Shop: Radio Ga Ga

August 14 • Every band needs to go a bit Ga Ga once in a while on a concert stage...


hands

New associate lead at Foss Dyke

August 14 • Ian Scott becomes the new Associate Conductor at Foss Dyke Band


Band Supplies

Band Supplies: Outstanding used instruments need new homes

August 14 • There are some wonderful instruments in need of a new home before the contest season starts again...


Ibstock Brick Brass - Ibstock Country Fair

Sunday 19 August • Ibstock Showground. Pretoria Road. Ibstock. Leicestershire LE676LN


Black Dyke Band - St Wilfrid's Church, Harrogate

Saturday 1 September • Duchy Rd, Harrogate HG1 2EY


Contest: 166th British Open

Saturday 8 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Black Dyke Band - Brass on Sunday Gala Concert, Birmingham

Sunday 9 September • Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 15 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse. GL50 4SH


The Corsham Band

August 14 • With a solid result in our first year in the Second Section at the Regional Contest, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Lindley Band

August 13 • TUTTI CORNET required to join friendly team who enjoy a balance of contesting and good quality engagements. You will be most welcome to come for a trial rehearsal under our MD Rob Westacott. Our bandroom is only 1 mile from M62, Junction 24.


Lindley Band

August 13 • FIRST BARITONE required to join friendly team who enjoy a balance of contesting and good quality engagements. You will be most welcome to come for a trial rehearsal under our MD Rob Westacott. Our bandroom is only 1 mile from M62, Junction 24.


Stuart Black

BA (Hons) Music
Conductor, Teacher, Flugel soloist