New recruits bolster B&R’s ranks and lead the band into a new era

Brighouse and Rastrick Band
Brighouse and Rastrick Band

Brighouse and Rastrick Band has welcomed an influx of talented young players as part of a number of personnel changes.

Second euphonium player David Belshaw, who has served in the band since 2011 and won a Yorkshire and a national title during his tenure, has left B&R.

A band spokesperson acknowledged David’s contribution over the last four years.

The spokesperson said: “David’s extensive experience, teamwork and character will be missed by the band and we all wish him well in his new endeavours.”

His replacement is Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) student Daniel Thomas, who joins B&R from the Blackburn and Darwen Band, where he was the principal euphonium for more than five years.

“As a pupil of B&R principal euphonium player David Thornton, it will be exciting to hear him develop as a performer with B&R,” the spokesperson said.

Likewise, talented cornet player Elizabeth Tonge bolsters the solo cornet bench after impressing conductor Professor David King in concerts prior to the Yorkshire regional championships.

The 19-year-old former Smithills School and Wingates principal cornet player is also a first year undergraduate at the RNCM in Manchester.

Sam Gibson also joins the Band on second cornet following Joey Williams’ promotion to repiano cornet.

Sam is currently in his final year at the RNCM, having studied under cornet virtuosi Richard Marshall and Roger Webster.

“After short spells at Newstead and Ashton-under-Lyne band, we’re excited to have Sam as a welcome addition to the back row,” the spokesperson said.

The bass section has gained Belfast-born tuba star Conall Gormley. The former Ulster and Irish Youth Orchestra player is also a first year student at the RNCM.

The spokesperson said: “Under the tutelage of former B&R bass player and Hallé tuba Ewan Easton, he has many years ahead of him to fulfil expectations of being a leading exponent of the tuba.”