Brass band musical director ends tenure on a high note

A sell out concert of the Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band raised over £2,000 for the Ryedale District Council chairman’s charities.

There were mixed emotions at the concert as it was the last one for the band’s resident musical director John Woodward who had served in the role since 1992.

Mr Woodward was awarded the Kirkbymoorside Community Award by Kirkbymoorside Mayor Angus Ashworth and life membership of the band in recognition of his work.

He will continue to be a band trustee and committee member, and the immediate future will see him leading the band’s ambitious plans to construct a 200 seat concert hall extension to the band’s headquarters in Manor Vale.

Mr Woodward’s wife Carol has worked tirelessly in supporting him and the band over the years and the couple have three sons, Philip, Andrew and John Michael, all of whom play in the senior band.

The band is already planning for the future though. Sarah Woodward, John’s daughter-in-law will move from the soprano chair to wield the baton for the Senior Band.

Other changes within the band to accommodate this will see Jeanette Kendal moving to principal cornet and John Sails moving to soprano cornet.

Sarah and Jeanette along with Ben Smailes currently lead the band’s teaching efforts and will be joined by Emma Smailes who will take over leadership of the adult community band.

Mr Woodward’s retirement will therefore see women taking many of the lead roles within the band.

Trombonist Lindsey Flintoft said: “We are delighted that Sarah is taking over. It is such an exciting time.

“We are sorry to see an end to John’s leadership as conductor, but knowing that he is with us all the way will make us even prouder to play for Sarah.”

The concert saw mayors and council officials from across North Yorkshire attend, as well as MP Kevin Hollinrake.

They were helping to support Bob Gardiner, the Ryedale District Council chairman in raising funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Ryedale Charities Together (Acorn Community Care,Helmsley Walled Garden,Next Steps, Ryedale Carers Support, Ryedale Community Transport (RYECAT), Ryedale Special Families,Sight Support Ryedale).