Josh Takes over the Baton

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Alford Silver Band has appointed its youngest-ever Musical Director. And he is someone who first found his love of music with the band.

Josh Wilkinson is only 23, but has already demonstrated that he has a brilliant musical career ahead of him.

Born in Alford, Josh attended Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar school in the town. He joined Alford Silver Band at a young age and quickly demonstrated an aptitude for the cornet, progressing to becomes the band’s youngest ever Principal Cornet before leaving the area to study music at York university.

Having obtained first a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master of Arts degree in music, Josh has now returned to Alford.

He takes over from a very popular and extremely talented musical director, former Royal Marine Band Colour Sergeant David Boorer, who is shortly to return to Devon to meet employment and family commitments.

“I am very sorry to leave the Alford band,” commented David. “I have only been its musical director for twelve months, but during that time the band has worked very hard with me and has built upon an already very high standard of performance. A small town such as Alford is very lucky to have such talented musicians.

“My family and I moved to this area from Devon around eighteen months ago and we have enjoyed our time here. However, circumstances dictate that we will now be returning to the south-west.

It is fortunate however that my leaving coincides with Josh’s return to his home town. He is a very talented musician who has a great future ahead of him. Taking over the band for which he was once the Principal Cornet will be a challenge, but one to which I know Josh will rise.”

The band’s chairman, Martin Briggs added, “David has been a great asset to the band during his time with us. He has worked us hard, but he has a brilliant manner and the band has responded well to him. David was voted the Player Personality of the Year by the band members in April. We shall miss him.

“But Josh was always a valued member of the band, and never more so that when he served as our youngest ever Principal cornet. He will now become our youngest ever musical director and I know that he will take up from where David has left off and will continue to drive us forward. He has the full support of all members of the band in doing so.”

At a recent band rehearsal, David ceremonially handed his conductor’s baton over to Josh.

Josh, who has already carved out a reputation for himself in this area as a talented concert pianist with a huge following of supporters said that he relishes his new role with the band.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me,” he said. “David will be a very hard act to follow, but I am looking forward to the challenge. The band has always had a place in my heart; I always enjoyed playing with them whenever I came home from university. To now become their musical director is a real honour. I am looking forward to working with Principal Cornet Andrew Taylor, a long-time close friend and fellow professional musician to make our level of performance better than ever.”

Anyone wanting to find out more about the band, including details of its forthcoming performances, or how to hire the band, or anyone who is interested in auditioning for the band, or learning about its training programme should contact band secretary Jane Taylor on 01507 466330, or via secretary@alfordsilverband.co.uk