Hebden Bridge band leader hangs up baton after a decade

Musical director Neil proudly leading the band

Musical director Neil proudly leading the band

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The musical director of Hebden Bridge Junior Band is hanging up his baton, after 10 years of nurturing hundreds of young brass players across the Calder Valley.

This is not the end for Neil Robinson as he will continue to make music, as both musical director of Friendly Band and with his company Accatura.

Lancashire born Neil has been involved with brass bands since he was a teenager, specialising in the trombone, and delighted in telling local audiences that he is from the other side of the Pennines.

During Neil’s time with the band, he has been a familiar and popular face at its many events, delighting audiences with his humour and wit.

He’s led the Remembrance Day parades in Mytholmroyd each year and the Christmas Eve Carols around the Tree, as well as several international tours, including to Ireland, France, Germany and Poland.

Earlier this year he organised the highly successful Massed Blast in Hebden Bridge town centre.

Players from a number of bands turned up to show their support and to raise funds for the junior band, which was made homeless in the Boxing Day floods.

The band, with around 25 members aged between eight and 19, is currently rehearsing at the Friendly band room but hopes to return to Hebden Bridge in the near future, and is looking for alternative premises until it can hopefully move back to its original home at the Holme Street Arts Centre. The search is now on for someone to take over from Neil and anyone interested in carrying on the band’s 45 year tradition is asked to email hebdenbrass@hotmail.com.

Information is also available on the junior band website www.hebdenbrass.com.