The Shirley Band - A West Midlands Brass Band. Latest news about the Shirley Band


Shirley Band appoints top ranking conductor
And signs-up new players

Shirley Band from Solihull in the West Midlands has appointed David Hirst to the role of Principal Conductor and signed a number of new players to its ranks.

David’s first concert with the first-section band was at Solihull School’s Bushell Hall, alongside guest soloist Mark Wilkinson, the celebrated principal cornet of Fodens Band, who also led a masterclass earlier in the day. The concert was held jointly with Solihull Youth Brass Band.

Joining the band are Mark Howarth on trombone, Bob Baggott on front-row cornet, Alan Smith on soprano-cornet, and Debbie Higham on back-row cornet, who are all former members of the band. Mark, Bob and Alan have in recent years all played with the championship-section Jaguar Land Rover Band, whilst Bob until recently played with City of Coventry Brass Band. Meanwhile, Debbie Higham has joined from Staffordshire Band. Also, following the departure of the band’s second Eb Bass player, 16-year-old Morgan Hart has been promoted to second Eb Bass. Morgan also plays with Solihull Youth Brass Band and is the son of Richard Hart, the Shirley’s first Bb Bass player.

Brian Johnson, Shirley Band’s secretary, said: “Since David came on board, the band has gone from strength to strength, and we’re really looking forward to what the future holds under his guidance and direction. We’re so excited to have a great mix of experienced players like Mark, Bob, Alan and Debbie joining the band; and we are so fortunate to have the blend of players we currently have, with several music graduates in the band, a number of long-serving players, and talented up and coming players like Morgan, as well as Becky Strentz, one of our front-row cornet players, who secured first repiano cornet at the Easter National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain course held and her brother, Tom, a member of the National Children's Brass Band.”