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Friary Diary - Issue 51 - April 2019

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 51 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


We open this month’s edition with the very sad news that David Ruel passed away unexpectedly but

peacefully in his sleep on the morning of 22nd April, at the age of 68. David had a lengthy association with Friary, as well as with many other local bands, most recently as conductor of the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band: he was a dedicated bandsman, both as a player and a conductor, and will be greatly missed. At the request of his son Matthew, Friary played the hymn tune Ellers in David’s memory at rehearsal that evening, and also played at the Service of Thanksgiving for David. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

(Photo: Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band)


On a much happier note, many congratulations to Lauren and Richard Straker on the arrival of Charlie Timothy on Sunday 7th April. Charlie weighed in at 8lbs 4oz and Ayla is enjoying being a big sister! All doing well. What instrument will he be playing in a few years’ time, we wonder?


Warmest congratulations are also due to our recently arrived cornet player, Rhian who married Simon Harvey on the 14th April in Upwaltham Barns, West Sussex. Simon was born and grew up in Godalming and is a biology teacher at Weydon School, Farnham. We wish them every happiness for the future.


Final congratulations this month go to percussionist Mike Jefferies, who completed the London Marathon – his first – on 28th April. A keen cyclist, Mike only started running in December which makes the achievement all the more remarkable. His recorded time was a whisker over five hours. ‘I just wanted to see if I could do it,’ said Mike. ‘My Uncle Alan ran the London marathon in 1985 in two hours 26 minutes, so I don’t think I’ll be breaking the family record any time soon!’ he acknowledged. Well done, Mike.


Friary is busy rehearsing for the Grand Shield contest in Blackpool later this month. As part of this, the Band is having an open rehearsal on Wednesday 15th May at All Saints Church Hall, Woodham to which everyone is welcome. Do please join us to gain an insight into how the Band prepares for a contest!


Earlier this year Friary was deeply honoured to receive a legacy from the late Simon Kerwin, an internationally respected brass performer, conductor composer and arranger, who passed away last November at the tragically early age of 57. Simon played tuba for, amongst other bands, Wingates, Britannia Building Society and Yorkshire Building Society as well as for the Hallé Orchestra, and conducted the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers. Simon’s wife Tabby explained: ‘Simon wanted to see the bands, friends and colleagues who reflected his own ethos thrive. I’ve been delighted to make discretionary legacy gifts in Simon’s name to bands that we both felt would benefit from the investment and also as a ‘thank you’ for the impact those bands and individuals had on him.’ The Band is immensely grateful to both Simon and Tabby for their kindness and generosity.


As part of our re-branding, the Band now has a new website address: However, the old website address will automatically re-direct you to the new one for the time being.


Friary remains 23rd in the World Rankings.

Please visit our calendar page here to view our forthcoming events

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