Two of our long standing members have recently retired from playing with City of Chester
John Hallas and Malcolm Kerry have given many years to the brass band movement and we at the City of Chester are very grateful to have had their loyal service for many years. The training band will miss John's contributions over the years and many playing in the band now will have had his contribution to their playing. We also thank Renee and Jean for their forebearance with the commitments to band.
Here in their own words is a brief precis of their banding careers
I started playing in 1950 at the age of 11 and joined Clayton West Band (near Huddersfield) on Third Cornet. My father George was principal cornet and shortly became musical director. I moved up the ranks and achieved the front row in about 1958 playing second solo cornet and occasionally principal. In the late 50s until the middle 60s I played cornet in a local traditional jazz band (all 6 of us from the same church choir) and trumpet in a 14-piece dance band. In the middle 60s Clayton West and the nearby Emley bands combined and I continued playing second solo cornet (the band is now just named Emley).
In 1968, after audition, I played with Brighouse and Rastrick Band for 4-5 months variously on tutti and back row cornet. I was offered a place on tutti cornet but had to decline because of changed family and work circumstances. In 1969 we moved to Chester and I joined the City of Chester Band
I was born in Liverpool in 1937 and started playing at the age of 13, joining The Sailors Chapel Band. In 1953, aged 16, I joined Liverpool City Silver Band. After National Service, I returned to Liverpool joining the Edge Hill (BR) Band which competed at the highest level against Foden, Fairey and CWS (Manchester) at regional level, then against the likes of Black Dyke, Brighouse & Rastrick, Grimethorpe at the national championships in the Royal Albert Hall and the British Open. In 1975 changes within the Edge Hill Band led to my moving on, joining another Championship band, Skelmersdale, with whom I played until 2005 when I transferred to City of Chester.
I have played the BBb tuba throughout my playing career. When commitments allow I still play with The Sailors Chapel Band. In 2016 I received the North West Brass Band Association’s Diamond Diploma of Honour.