Philip Varley Announced as new Principal Cornet

Photograph of Philip Varley, principal cornet of the Hammonds Saltaire Band
Photograph of Philip Varley, principal cornet of the Hammonds Saltaire Band

The Hammonds Saltaire Band are delighted to announce that Philip Varley has been appointed as our new principal cornet player and he will lead the band in the forthcoming Yorkshire Area contest. Philip has been with the band since April 2013, joining as our repiano player, but his playing career began in 1999 when he joined Elland Silver Band at the age of 8. Philip stayed with the band for 11 years, becoming their assistant principal cornet as well as being the principal cornet of the Elland Youth Band from 2006. Whilst with Elland Philip won the Best Solist award at the National Youth Band Championships in 2009 and 2010. He also began to receive lessons from Jim Shepherd, a man who would feature greatly in Philip's banding life over the next few years.

In 2010 Philip joined Diggle Band on principle cornet, conducted by his cornet tutor, Jim Shepherd. During the 2011 European Championships Philip also had the opportunity to perform with the European Youth Band in a series of concerts they performed as part of the contest weekend.

In 2013 Philip joined the Hammonds Saltaire Band as our repiano cornet player, a seat he has held with distinction over the last three years before moving to the principal cornet chair. Over the last three years he has also been able to continue working with Jim Shepherd as the 3rd cornet/trumpet in the re-formed James Shepherd Versatile Brass. Philip was with the group up until their final concert last December.

The new year has also seen a number of new members join the band in the run-up to the area. James Beecham joins Philip on the front row, having joined us from Hade Edge. Also in the cornet section the experienced Garry Bates has joined the band on soprano.

Lower down the band our principal trombone player, Jo Reasbeck, has taken a short break from the band following the birth of her first child at the end of January/start of February. Charlotte Horsfield has moved up to cover the solo trombone seat and Daniel McLaughlin has joined the band on second trombone from Carlton Main. Graeme Law has also joined from Carlton Main on percussion after helping out at some of our concerts prior to Christmas.

With these recent changes in place the band are now beginning preparations for the forth coming area contest in March and the year beyond.

Darran West