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All About The Bass!


In the run-up to the Regional Championships, Friary Brass Band announce two signings to the bass section, Patrick Donovan and Cat Whittingham-Smith.


Patrick joined the army as a musician and attended the pupils’ course at Kneller Hall.  Having played in many bands, he settled at Sandhurst Silver Band and enjoyed forging friendships with some great people, and working under the batons of some great conductors.  He rejoined as an army reservist and currently plays with the Army Medical Services Band, also helping other army regular bands at ceremonial events.


"Having now joined Friary, I'm looking forward to the musical challenges ahead, and work alongside some brilliant musicians," acknowledged Patrick.

While at school in Reading, Cat was a member of the Berkshire Youth Brass Band and later joined the Henley Symphony Orchestra.  She studied Music at Bangor University where her teacher, Gavin Saynor, encouraged her to join the local band, Menai Bridge. 

Following her university degree, Cat commenced her military training at ATC Pirbright before studying with Patrick Harrild at the Royal Military School of Music.  She was then assigned to the Band of the Irish Guards and, following the move to London, spent a joyful six years Fulham Brass Band. 


Having now moved to Portsmouth to work at the Royal Military School of Music, Cat is training the next generation of military musicians.  “I’m really excited to be joining a group of such talented musicians at Friary, and to be part of such a lovely bass section,” she enthused.

Friary Chairman Dave Wicks added: “We are delighted to welcome Pat and Cat who will both be great assets to the Band.”

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