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Ashton appoint Whiteoak

Carl Whiteoak has been appointed the new MD at Ashton Under Lyne.



Hot on the heels of their acclaimed role in the successful world premier of 'King Cotton' at both The Lowry and Liverpool Empire theatres, the Ashton Under Lyne Band is now embarking on a revitalised musical direction under the baton of Carl Whiteoak.

Salford Graduate

Carl is a Salford University graduate who studied conducting under Professor David King and Dr Roy Newsome. Until recently he was at the helm of Middleton Band who, under his direction, qualified for the National Championships in the 3rd Section which they went on to win.

Previously Carl has enjoyed success working with Besses Boys and the Milnrow Band who qualified for the 1st Section National Finals 2003, a key result leading to their promotion into to the Championship Section.

It was a risk to run the band for several weeks without a regular MD but I am delighted that we have got the people we wanted Chairman Nigel Lawless


Having already worked with the Ashton Band on two concert performances earlier this year, Carl has been in great demand in recent months and the band are delighted that he has accepted the position of musical director.

Speaking after his appointment, Carl told 4BR: "I'm delighted to accept the position of musical director of the Ashton Band. It has been a pleasure to work with the band and I feel fortunate to be working with not only great players, but also such a friendly and welcoming group of people."

Associate Conductor

The band is also pleased to welcome Ewan Easton to the position of Associate Conductor. Ewan is perhaps better known in his role as tuba player with the Halle Orchestra and for his work teaching young offenders to play brass instruments.


Ewan, who will be working alongside Carl, commented to 4BR: "I'm very excited to be working with the revitalised and enthusiastic Ashton Band. I am looking forward to the next few months as we work together to make music of the highest standard and build a future for the band that is both sustainable and exciting—not only for those making the music, but also those who continue to support the band."


Band Chairman Nigel Lawless said: "We are lucky to have a band with many experienced players who have very demanding standards when it comes to musical direction. Because of this, we have taken our time over making these appointments, ensuring that everyone concerned has been involved in the decisions."

New ideas

He went on to add: "It was a risk to run the band for several weeks without a regular MD but I am delighted that we have got the people we wanted. Now the band can look forward to a busy contesting schedule and also explore new ideas for concert performances. We would like to thank all our friends who have helped with conducting and playing over the last few weeks."

Alongside these new appointments, the band’s cornet section has been boosted by the addition of William Morley who joins from Hawk Green (Marple) and flugel soloist Laura Dawson.


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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author