A Time for Change

It is with much regret that Pennine Brass announces that Ian Porthouse will shortly be leaving, after 8 years as Musical Director. Ian was appointed in 1999, not long after the band was formed, and has worked tremendously hard to take Pennine Brass from the Second Section through to the Championship Section in Yorkshire.

Ian's other commitments mean that it he will not be available to conduct Pennine for either the 2008 Area contest or the Grand Shield and it has been mutually agreed that a new Musical Director should be appointed from March 2008.

Ian said: "Pennine brass has been a remarkable experience for myself, sometimes successful and at other times not so, but I suppose that is the business that contesting is!

"When I started working with the band 8 years ago I had no idea that this was to become the main musical commitment in my life. I’ve seen the band develop from a 2nd section outfit with around 15 players into a very competent ensemble capable of competing at the highest level, and providing me with some very special musical memories and some great comedy moments too but we won’t go into that!

"Around 12 months ago I spoke with the management team to tell them of my plans professionally, that being my involvement with Tredegar as professional conductor. Since then I’ve tried to offer both bands as much time as possible but there comes a point where this becomes impossible, 200 miles between the bandrooms doesn’t help!

"I do not see this decision as a cut in all ties with the band, I will always be available to PB even if it is just in an advisory role.

"The time has come for a new MD to make PB their own and lead this great team of people onto more success."

The band is pleased to announce that Ray Farr has agreed to conduct us for the Yorkshire Area in March and that Ian will be working with Ray in the preparations leading up to this competition.

The band is looking for a permanent Musical Director to start after the Area contest.

Pete Denton, Band Chairman, says: "It's really sad to see Ian go - he has worked very hard and achieved a great deal with the band. In addition to his formal musical role, he has been a great friend and support to many of the band's members. We wish him well with his future career and hope that we will have opportunities to work with him again in the future.

"At the same time, we're really happy to have engaged the services of a musician of Ray Farr's calibre and experience for the Area. We're very much looking forward to working with him.

"Although it feels like the end of an era for those of us who have played in the band for a number of years under Ian, I'm also feeling really positive about the future. Ian will be a hard act to follow but I'm sure there's someone out there who's just right for the job."

Pennine Brass's key achievements under Ian Porthouse include: