4BR has been informed of the death of Colin Cranson aged 74.
Colin Cranson made his name as the solo euphonium player of Foden's Band who he joined in 1968 under the baton of Rex Mortimer. Over the next decade, during a difficult time for the band on the contest stage, he cemented a reputation as a high class performer, especially on returning after a serious car accident.
He re-formed the Foden's Quartet with Derek Lucas, Alan Brotherston and Tony Goddard which went on to emulate its famous forbearers by winning the 1976 National Quartet Championship of Great Britain playing 'Alla Burlesca' by Gilbert Vinter.
In 1978 he became bandmaster at Foden's, working closely with James Scott until they both resigned in July 1979.
Colin had already begun conducting the then Middlewich Town Band in 1972, when they were competing in the Fourth Section.
40 year association
It was to be an association that lasted 40 years — the band securing long term sponsorship from Roberts Bakery which helped them develop from the Fourth to Championship Section in less than a decade.
During his tenure they enjoyed considerable success, including Regional Championship victories in 1980 in the Second Section and First Section wins in 2008 and 2011. They also secured a number of regional event successes and just missed out on qualification to the British Open when they were runner-up at the 1982 Grand Shield (only one band was promoted in those years).
His outstanding service and commitment to Roberts Bakery Band as MD for 40 years was remarkable. As well as leading them on the contest, concert and recording stages he fostered links with Lions Youth Band that remain as strong as ever today.
His desire to help encourage and develop young playing talent is to be seen in many bands in the North West and beyond, whilst he also gained regard as an adjudicator on the Whit Friday and local contest circuits.
His musical legacy at Roberts Bakery Band is one which will endure. As a musician and fantastic personality, he will be greatly missedRoberts Bakery Band
At their latest rehearsal the hymn tune 'St Clements' was played in his memory, with current MD Paul Lovatt-Cooper telling 4BR: "Colin enjoyed an outstanding playing career and an even better conducting one.
His musical legacy at Roberts Bakery Band is one which will endure. As a musician and fantastic personality, he will be greatly missed."
The funeral will take place at St Mary's Church, Sandbach on Friday 26th April at 1.45pm.