How we use Cookies

Quartet are in tune on anniversary

Four friends and brass players are celebrating playing together in the same Solihull band for 30 years.

Richard Hart, Ian Birchall, Lawrence Tew and Sally Middleton have played together for the past 30 years
Richard Hart, Ian Birchall, Lawrence Tew and Sally Middleton have played together for the past 30 years

Four friends and brass players are celebrating playing together in the same Solihull band for 30 years.

Sally Middleton, Richard Hart and Ian Birchall became members of Shirley Band in 1984, joining Lawrence Tew, who had already been a member for three years.

Sally, aged 44 and from Solihull, plays solo Eb tuba, alongside her partner, 2nd Eb tuba player, Lawrence.

Sally, a school teacher at Turves Green Primary school in Northfield, Birmingham, is a graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.

Sally said her memorable highlights with the band include coming second in the 2nd section National Brass Band Championships in 1987, 2nd section Midlands regional champions in 2003 and performing a series of concerts in Germany.

Father of two Richard, from Shirley, plays 1st Bb tuba – the largest and most expensive of all brass instruments. He began playing in the band when he was 16 after being spotted by the band’s current President, Donald Hodesdon, waiting at a bus stop with his tuba.

Richard said: “We’re very proud to be members of the Shirley Band and believe that the four of us are the longest-serving members of the same tuba section, which we think is some feat.”

Second Bb tuba player Ian, aged 75 and also from Solihull, began playing tuba at school. His highlights include second place in the 1987 2nd finals of the National Brass Band Championships and third in the 2002 2nd section Finals.

The fourth member of the tuba section, Lawrence Tew, joined the band in 1981.

Brian Johnson, the band’s secretary, added: “There are not many amateur brass bands, wind bands or orchestras in the country, who have four members who have played together for so long.”

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.