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Baton handed over at Friary

MD Chris King is stepping down as Friary’s MD after 17 highly successful years. During that time he led the band to the First Section National title in 2010, and subsequently to five consecutive Regional titles at the top level which brought Friary to the fore from relative obscurity. Chris was also instrumental in the band’s two Audience Entertainment awards at Brass in Concert as well as three Most Entertaining Band trophies at Butlins. Chris will continue to work with Friary developing this year's programme for Brass in Concert. Both he and the band are looking forward to performing together at his final engagement for the upcoming Whit Friday contests. Chris commented: “My years at Friary are filled with many happy memories, not just of contest successes but also the numerous concerts and a staggering number of rehearsals! It’s been immense fun and a privilege to work with these talented and committed players, but it’s now time to hand over the baton to a fresh face to build on what we’ve achieved together.”

Friary is delighted to announce that Nigel Taken has accepted the invitation to become the band’s new MD. Nigel brings another wealth of experience to Friary, having conducted Aveley & Newham for many years, as well as Medway, Bournemouth Concert Brass, Thundersley and Becontree bands, amongst others. Nigel also worked with Friary for this year’s Grand Shield. Band Chairman David Wicks explained: “When Chris King took a break for the Grand Shield we were delighted that Nigel agreed to step in. With Chris’ subsequent decision to move on to new challenges and develop further his arranging, adjudicating and work as part of the European Brass Band Association executive, we invited Nigel to become our new permanent MD” Nigel Taken added: “I’m thrilled and honoured to take the baton from Chris King, who’s brought Friary so far during his tenure. I’m looking forward to seeing how much further we can build on this firm foundation with this excellent group of players.”

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