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Festive traditions brings brothers reunited

The Wilkinson brothers Mark and David reunite in the same brass band

The Wilkinson brothers
  The Wilkinson brothers reunited

All the traditional Christmas favourites of mince pies, carolling, family reunions and community spirit came together with Besses Boys Band at their recent annual Christmas Concert in Prestwich.

Wilkinson re-union

The family reunion came when Foden's principal cornet player Mark Wilkinson joined his brother David, who has recently returned to Besses Boys having performed around the world with his ABBA tribute band, 'ABBA Again'.

Welcoming Mark back for the one-off performance, MD James Holt commented that it was the first time the brothers had performed side-by-side on stage since the late 1980s.

Great return

Asked how he felt about performing with his brother again, Mark told 4BR: "It was great and I'm pleased that he's made a return to banding. The last time we played together like this was nearly 30 years ago when we were both members of Besses.

It was great to return to the band which gave us so much enjoyment and musical training all those years ago."

Proud

Meanwhile, David added: "Performing in a brass band again is something that I never thought would happen, let alone alongside my brother. Getting to sit next to him was amazing. I'm very proud of his accomplishments and the concert brought back a flood of fond memories."

The Band was also joined by members of Bury-based Helen's Angels Performing Arts Academy, directed by David's wife, Helen Wilkinson.

Helen said: "Some of the children have only performed in front of family and friends until now, so to be performing to an audience of over 250 people, including the Mayor, was a fabulous opportunity."

Getting to sit next to him was amazing. I'm very proud of his accomplishments and the concert brought back a flood of fond memoriesDavid Wilkinson

Mince pies

Besses Boys Youth Band, conducted by Tom Ridgley, completed the line-up for an afternoon of festive favourites with a programme that showcased an interactive performance of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', traditional community carol singing, and Bavarian shunkelling — as well as the obligatory mince pies.

Chairman Neil Matthews told 4BR: "Of the many concerts we perform throughout the year, this is by far our favourite. It's fantastic to be playing to a packed hall and to enjoy some real festive cheer with the wider community."



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James Chamberlain

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Conductor, Teacher