This last 18 months, has seen some big changes for Lostwithiel town Band. Denzil Stephens LRAM, ARCM, one of the most experienced and talented Bandsmen in the county gradually retired from the band after guiding it through some of its most challenging times. Loss of players and loss of band room did not dissuade the band and a hardy group of stalwarts kept the band alive through the dark times to the start of a new dawn. Denzil is still often to be found giving guidance to the players.
Click for link
Denzil Stephens, MD
Fortunantly the Band have been able to secure the services of Norman Pendray as Musical Director. Norman is a very well known figure in the Cornish Banding world and brings a lifetime of experience to the role.
"While researching my family name; mining, farming and brass banding seam to appear on a regular basis. So it is hardly surprising that at a young age I was introduced to the banding scene. Fortunately for me Joe Armstrong, Grimethrope Colliery’s famous Euphonium player had also chosen South East Cornwall for his retirement. Along with his tuition regular visits by their M.D. George Thompson who stayed on our farm made avoiding practising impossible. I was told on my busy working days if I could not carry the cornet with me I should take the mouthpiece instead, and learnt to triple tongue this way.
I feel Lostwithiel is well placed in the County to have a very successful band. With a history of successful youth bands I was pleased to see a vibrant youth group still here securing the future. I am confident with the help of the dedicated players and support of the committee and townsfolk we can continue to move forward.
Finally I want to thank Denzil Stevens for his help and encouragement in my new role. I have memories of playing in some of this country’s top venues in the Championship section where he was the adjudicator."
Norman has spent the last year building player numbers up whist concentrating on keeping rehearsals fun while still aiming to improve standards. The Band has continued to compete even though all realize that during this transition results are unlikely to be great.
However the Band is full of enthusiasm and is working hard to regain its former standard.
The Band continued to enjoy performing around the county and took part in the Man engine celebrations
At Bugle this year, both the senior and training bands took part.
The senior band on stage at Bugle, Ann Brown at the helm about to provide a Mexican Fiesta. The junior band collecting prizes after their fine performance.
This years Area's test piece was "the Journal of Philius fogg". The Band had a great day out resplendent in their new contesting outfits of black with Cornish tartan ties. The Band performed well, and deserved to be placed higher however we now are in a solid position to move ever upwards in the grading tables.