At the end of October we received the very sad news that Tony Ford, a founder member of Friary Guildford Band, passed away suddenly at his home in West Sussex. Fellow founder member Roland Knight remembers him well: ‘Tony wasn't just one of the founder members of Friary, but was a real bandsman. He served on the management team in various roles, including Chairman and switched from trombone to bass during his time with the Band. Tony produced the band's newsletter 'The Friary Bugle' (forerunner of Friary Diary) alongside his other commitments as a local league football referee.’
Roland continues: ‘I well remember the many Trombone Section rehearsals we had at Tony's home in the early years and entering a trombone quartet in the Godalming Music Festival. I also remember Tony standing up and singing along to 'Beer Barrel Polka' at Friary Meux engagements!’ Fellow founder member Duncan Ford also has fond memories: ‘I remember many rehearsals when it was just Tony on Bb bass and me on Eb bass. We had many a good laugh about it!’ Our deepest sympathy goes to Tony’s family.
The Band led Guildford’s Remembrance parade from the High Street to Castle Grounds, with principal cornet Richard Straker playing The Last Post and Reveille in Holy Trinity Church and at the War Memorial. He also played on Armistice Day from the Guildhall balcony. The Band played hymns whilst the crowds assembled, and a wreath was laid on behalf of the Band. Without the ultimate sacrifice given by so many, the music we play would no doubt be very different. We will remember them.
Our Christmas concert season is now in full swing, having started with a welcome return to St James Church, New Malden followed by a charity concert at a new venue for the band, St Mary the Virgin Church, Worplesdon, raising a total of £855 shared between the Parish and the British Heart Foundation. We are also looking forward to another new venue this Saturday, at Teddington Baptist Church. Carolling at The Meadows on 17th December will be for four hours, when we will be collecting for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust and for the Band. The Band, organisers and guests at Worplesdon.
MAYOR OF GUILDFORD’S MUSICAL EXTRAVANGANZA:
We are delighted to announce that the Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Nigel Manning, has asked the Band to take a leading role in his Musical Extravaganza at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford on Sunday 25th February. The Royal Surrey Choir, along with other local groups and some very special guest performers will also be taking part. Compèred by Paul Branch, this unique event will raise funds for the Mayor’s chosen charities including the British Heart Foundation and the Fountain Centre and will celebrate the wealth of musical talent in Guildford. To make the evening even more special, before the show, there will be the opportunity to attend a VIP Sparkling Wine Reception, kindly sponsored by Greyfriars Vineyard. Tickets are available from the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, http://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/the-mayor-of-guildfords-musical-extravaganza or telephone the Box Office on 01483 440000.