2008 Archived Leyland News

Aussie star comes to Leyland


Leyland sign baritone champion Kristy Rowe Leyland Band is delighted to announce that Australian baritone champion Kristy Rowe has joined the band’s baritone section. She joins a stellar euphonium and baritone section comprising of young soloists Brenden Wheeler, Matthew White and Katrina Marzella. Twenty three-year-old Kristy is widely regarded as one of the most successful performers in Australasia. She is the current New South Wales Champion of Champions and has been invited to represent her state at the Ern Keller International Solo Competition next year. Kristy has won an incredible 10 Australian titles and 27 State titles on baritone. In 2005, Kristy won the Ern Keller competition and represented Australia at the British Open Solo Championships. Musical Director Jason Katsikaris stated: “I have watched Kristy flourish into the finest baritone player in Australasian history. She has been with me from the start of my career. It is brilliant that she has also chosen to pursue her passion in the United Kingdom. I wouldn’t hesitate to add that we have, at Leyland, one of the strongest baritone/euphonium sections in the world. This is a major coup for the band.” Leyland Band is delighted to welcome back ex-principal cornet player Andy Lord who rejoins the band on repiano. The band has also signed Alan Hodgkinson on B flat bass and Paul Dale on cornet ahead of its return to the British Open in September. Jason Katsikaris commented: “It is tremendous that Andy is back for the Open. Furthermore, both Alan and Paul bring with them a vast amount of experience. They are consummate bandsmen. We wish them both a long and prosperous relationship with the band.”


London boost for Leyland


Eggleshaw joins ahead of London assault Leyland Band is delighted to announce Kate Eggleshaw as its new solo horn player. The band makes this exciting appointment as previous incumbent Aidan Smith has left the UK to live and work in Norway. Kate began playing the tenor horn at the age of seven under the guidance Ernest Carr. In 2003, she was invited to join the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band on solo horn, aged just 14. Kate has also played solo horn for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the YBS Band. She has had national success as a soloist, having won the Harry Mortimer Solo Prize during the NYBBGB’s 2006 summer course and was awarded the accolade of Best Horn at the 2007 European Brass and Percussion Solo Championships. Musical Director Jason Katsikaris stated: “I worked with Kate when I first arrived in Britain. She was an awesome talent back then and has matured into a wonderful musician. She has stepped into the role of principal horn with ease.” Jason added: “Everyone at Leyland wishes Aidan well in Norway. He has been a faithful servant for the band. Any band will be lucky to snap him up.” The band has also signed Alan Hobbins on repiano ahead of its title challenge at the National Finals this weekend. Jason Katsikaris commented: “I have admired Alan’s playing for some time now. He exudes class. We are so fortunate that he agreed to join us in London.”


Leyland youth to the fore


Leyland players excel at National Youth Bands Leyland Band is extremely proud of its younger personnel after their endeavours at this summer’s National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain course. Euphonium player Matthew White was appointed as principal euphonium for his forth course in a row. The prestigious seat has been held by some of the leading euphonium players in the past, including Robert Childs, David Childs, Matthew also won the acclaimed Harry Mortimer Solo Competition that was held during the week, performing three movements from Martin Ellerby’s Euphonium Concerto. Leyland Band commented: “Matt and Andy follow in the footsteps of fellow Leyland players, principal cornet Nick Walkley and solo baritone Katrina Marzella, who were both principals of their respective sections only a few years ago. The band is proud to have so many past and previous principals and members of NYBB.” “It is testament to the opportunities for development offered when Katrina returned to the institution only a few years later as a tutor for the National Children’s Band this summer. Leyland Band are in full support of the association and would like to congratulate both Andy and Matt on their endeavours there.”


Summer signings


Leyland appoint new solo trombone and percussionist We are delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel Brooks as our new solo trombone player as well as welcoming Sarah Burn to our percussion team. Daniel began playing the trombone under the instruction of Harry Bentham. He studied at the RNCM and Huddersfield University with Nick Hudson, Simon Johnson and Les Storey and is returning to university in September to complete a Masters in Music Performance. Daniel previously played solo trombone at the YBS Band. Sarah is originally from Stanley, Co. Durham and began playing percussion when she was six years old. She was taught by Barry Black and first started championship section banding with Easington Colliery before joining the Reg Vardy Band when she was 15. Sarah is currently studying music at Huddersfield University. Daniel and Sarah join the band as we prepare our assault on the British Open and National Finals later this year. Welcome to the team!


Leyland return to Open


Convincing Grand Shield victory ensures band’s return to premiere contest After a thrilling victory at the Grand Shield contest last Saturday the band has finally re-qualified for the British Open and are delighted to be performing once again in Birmingham’s resplendent Symphony Hall. Jason and all the players felt that winning the Grand Shield was a top priority for 2008. This was reflected by the dedication and preparation shown by the players and particularly the MD leading up to the contest. Now, with this successfully accomplished, we can continue to grow as a band with a great sense of satisfaction. Everyone involved with the band knows that participation in the Open is a real privilege and we would like to thank Martin and Karen Mortimer for their invitation. It truly is an honour. We would also like to congratulate Eb bass soloist Chris Doran who took the Best Instrumentalist prize in the event. His loyalty and contribution to the band is immense, both as a player and in an organisational role, and we are all delighted for him. Finally we would like to express our thanks to Willebroek’s star cornet player Raf van Loovern who travelled to England to play tutti cornet with the band at the contest.


Norwegian delight


The band has just returned from a hectic weekends banding in Norway after it was kindly invited to the Grenland Festival of Brass held annually in Skien just outside Oslo. Our busy schedule included performing within the three disciplines of the competition as well as providing the Saturday evenings entertainment in the form of the gala concert. After having given three prize winning performances across Friday and Saturday as well as the best soloist prize being collected by our principal euphonium, Brenden Wheeler, the band delighted the international audience with varied and exciting gala concert. Highlights of the concert included guest soloist Tormod Flaten thrilling his local audience with the band providing the accompaniment as well as a full performance of Philip Wilby’s Vienna Nights. There is no opportunity for the band to rest however, as the preparation for the Grand Shield has begun immediately as we look to reclaim our place at the British Open.


Leyland land Walkley


Leyland welcome new principal cornet Following Andy Lord’s departure we are pleased to announce former Fairey top man and YBS soprano Nick Walkley as our new principal cornet player. All the players and associates of the band are thrilled with Nick’s appointment as it is viewed as yet another important development for Leyland Band. When commenting on Nick’s appointment Jason said, “Nick has all the attributes I am looking for in a principal. He is an elegant player with a wonderful sound. Moreover, Nick is committed to achieve excellence, which sits perfectly with the band’s ethos.” Nick was delighted to accept the principal cornet position commenting, “The prospect of completing such a talented line up of young soloists is an honour and I believe that Leyland has the potential to achieve great things under Jason, and not just on the contest platform. It will be a privilege to be a part of that and I am looking forward to the challenge.”


Thanks to the House of Lord


Huge thanks as Leyland wish farewell to Andy and Leigh Lord After 20 years of unbroken service, the band’s principal cornet Andy Lord has decided to step down. Andy and his wife Leigh, who plays 2nd trombone, felt that the time was right for a well deserved break form the pressures of top class banding. Rather than leave after a major competition, Andy and Leigh both felt that the widely praised concert at the RNCM festival of brass was a fitting high point on which to step down. Everyone at Leyland would like to sincerely thank Andy and Leigh for their outstanding service and loyalty during their time with the band. Their attitudes, professionalism and personalities will be greatly missed. We all wish them well for the future.


Littlemore returns to Leyland


Allan Littlemore has accepted the position as Leyland band’s new chairman We are proud to announce the appointment of Allan Littlemore as our new chairman. Allan Littlemore’s reputation in the banding world needs little introduction. He was band manager at Foden’s for a period of time, prior to taking up the same post at Leyland during the BNFL era. Allan wrote the well received Rakeway Brass Band Year books of 1987 and 1988 and has also contributed numerous articles on banding to various publications over the years. Allan held the position for 10 years and is now returning to Leyland Band to succeed previous incumbent Gary Westwood. Gary has relinquished the role due to increasing demands at work but is continuing to play cornet in the band. Allan Littlemore commented: “I am delighted be involved with the band again – I am Leyland through and through and it is great to be back home.”


Well done Katrina


Katrina Marzella has successfully defended her title by winning the Ern Keller International soloist competition Our baritone superstar Katrina Marzella has made a bit of brass band history by retaining the Ern Keller International solo title. Everyone at Leyland would like to congratulate Katrina on her fantastic win. It is thought that only one other player, Christina Bowden, has managed to achieve two consecutive wins in the history of the event. Commenting on her success, Katrina said “I was delighted to retain the Ern Keller title, especially with the impressive standard of playing this year. It really was a tough field and I must congratulate the other competitors who put great performances throughout the day. The camaraderie at the event is super – anyone who was at the pre-contest dinner on Saturday night will vouch for that!”


Titanic day out at the RNCM


Leyland band delivered an impressive performance at this year’s RNCM Festival of Brass With the Christmas dinner seeming like a distant memory, we blew away the cobwebs with a confidence boosting performance at this year’s RNCM Festival of Brass. With a concert program that many felt was one of the hardest ever requested for the festival, the band had a start of year shake-down that was of epic proportions. The hard work in preparing for the concert was all worth while as the band gave a performance that drew critical acclaim as well as an extended standing ovation form the crowded concert hall. “impressively delivered by a band on classy form”….4barsrest.com “one of the most captivating displays of the festival”…. British Bandsman “I was delighted with the performance, which showed what a fine band this is”…Hermann Pallhuber Programme ‘The Wasps’ V. Willams arr. G.Westwood ‘Vintage’ D. Gillingham (Soloist – Katrina Marzella) ‘The Drop’ S. Dobson ‘Arthur’ D. Wright ‘Infernal Ride’ K. Hesketh ‘Mountain Song’ P. Sparke ‘Titan’s Progress’ H. Pallhuber


Jason Katsikaris


Jason Katsikaris is the new Musical Director at Leyland Following the departure of Russell Gray, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Jason Katsikaris as our new Musical Director. Commenting on the appointment, Band Chairman Gary Westwood said “Jason worked with the band towards the end of 2007 and we immediately recognised his talent and energy. These qualities are exactly what Leyland Band requires to progress in the coming year.” “Looking to the first half of 2008, Leyland has a full concert schedule, a tour to Norway and innovative recording projects, while important contest qualifiers will be a major priority for the band. Everyone at Leyland is extremely excited about our partnership with Jason.” On accepting his position Jason commented “I’m thrilled with the appointment. Leyland is a fine band with a distinguished history. I’m humbled to be leading a band I admired so much as a young musician growing up in Australia.” He added: “I was really impressed with the band when I worked with them before Christmas. There are some wonderful soloists within the ranks and the depth of talent is far-reaching.” Jason will make his debut as Musical Director at the Stroud Brass Band Festival in February. His first contest performance will be at the North West Regional Championships in March.