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A True Bandsman

We are delighted to announce that Ian Stewart, a stalwart of our trombone section, has recently been awarded a certificate by scaba (Southern Counties Amateur Bands’ Association) to recognise his 50 years of service to the brass band world.

Ian started his brass band career in 1966, at the age of 11. Initially, he had to share a trombone with five others, so was only able to practise one week in every six. As he showed a natural talent, his Grandad bought him a second-hand Conn, and shortly after, he joined West Wickham Brass. Joining the Army as a Bandsman at the age of 18 he was appointed to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets where he played at countless royal and other ceremonial occasions.

He was accepted onto the Bandmasters course at Kneller Hall, appointed as Bandmaster to the Queen’s Own Hussars and finished his Army career as School Bandmaster at the Royal Military School of Music itself. Whilst there, he was tracked down by Horsham Borough Band and persuaded to help them at the area contest.

Whilst still playing with Horsham, he was approached in 1999, to cover for the then Glynde and Beddingham Band’s MD on Eastbourne Bandstand – and he’s been there ever since. He has built the band up, raising the concert profile and returned the band to contesting. In 2013, he led the Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Band to the National Third Section title at Cheltenham.

Ian joined Friary Guildford Band in 2005. Since that time, Friary has been First Section National Champion in 2010, British Open Senior Trophy Champion in 2014, London & Southern Counties’ Regional Champion in 2015 and 2016, won every scaba Championship section title, played on BBC Radio 2’s Listen to the Band programme and competed in the Grand Shield and Brass in Concert contests. Ian recently made his fourth consecutive appearance with Friary Guildford in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall, where the Band was placed a highly creditable 12th. Warmest congratulations and thanks, Ian, you are a true bandsman.

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