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Friary Diary - Issue 42 - July 2018

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 42 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Guildford Brass Band.


Once again, Friary provided the musical background for the festival of Corpus Christi in Westerham last month. On a blazing hot day, the Band led the religious procession up the hill from St John the Baptist Church, playing Praise My Soul, Hyfrydol and Divine Mysteries before reaching the green of this delightful and typically English village across the Surrey border into Kent. Friary then entertained the audience with a more secular selection of music. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon! And the Band’s stylish sun hats had an outing, too!


There are few more quintessentially British sounds than a brass band playing, nor events than a flower show, so Friary’s return to the Pyrford and Wisley Flower Show on Saturday was a perfect combination on a perfect summer’s day. Players had another opportunity to practise their marching skills as the Band led the procession in stirring style with Blaze Away, Colonel Bogey and Death or Glory. After the opening ceremony, Friary then entertained showgoers for another half an hour with a selection of music. The Band’s stylish sun hats had another outing, too – they’re proving to be a great investment!


Friary is delighted to welcome Katherine (Kat) Hawkins to the Band. Kat was raised in a large family of brass-banders associated with many bands within the Thames Valley - Friary is Kat’s first ever band without a family member! Musically, she started on piano when she was four years old until her parents asked her ‘Which high pitched brass instrument would you like to learn?’ Choosing cornet, Kat was initially taught by her Dad and then joined the band progression scheme within Berkshire Maestros, joining the Berkshire Youth Brass Band on the back row in 2011. Two years later Kat joined the Pangbourne Band on the front row – her first real brass band. She played with Pangbourne on and off for five years, returning in 2016 for a year-long soprano cornet apprenticeship after going to the national finals with Saint Sebastian’s Wokingham Band on repiano cornet.

In 2014, Kat joined the Southern Counties Youth Band where she started on repiano cornet and progressed steadily to principal cornet within two years and stayed in the role for two years, being awarded ‘Player of the Week’ by Ian Porthouse in the 2018 annual Easter residential course. It gave her the opportunity to work with top level conductors such as Nicholas Childs, Paul Lovatt-Cooper and Ian Porthouse. While finishing her A Levels, Kat joined the Sandhurst Silver Band on solo cornet, where she enjoyed the new challenge of 1st Section. During her time with Sandhurst, Kat enjoyed highlights such as winning the regionals in 2018 and experiencing the Butlins Mineworkers contest for the first time.

Away from banding Kat is studying Biomedical Science at the University of Surrey and enjoys touring Europe with her parents in the summer holidays, having travelled through over 10 countries in a single holiday!


The June World Rankings saw Friary ease a couple of places to 28th place. In 27th 29th and 30th places respectively are Buizingen (Belgium), Très Étoiles (Switzerland) and Schoonhoven (Netherlands) all of whom have represented their countries in the European Championships within the last three years: we are in exalted company!

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