‘End of an era’ as Adrian Baxter retires from Huddersfield Wind Band

A CONDUCTOR, who has led one of the town’s best loved bands for more than 20 years, has retired.

A CONDUCTOR, who has led one of the town’s best loved bands for more than 20 years, has retired.

Adrian Baxter was due to lead his last concert with Huddersfield Wind Band, at Salendine Nook Baptist Church, last month.

But Mr Baxter, 70, was unable to perform because of ill health.

Instead, the concert – played in Mr Baxter’s honour – was conducted by former Lindley Brass Band conductor and former Brighouse and Rastrick Band player Neil Jowett.

Huddersfield Wind Band (HWB) is currently looking for a new conductor and musical director.

Mr Baxter, a grandfather from Scapegoat Hill, had been ill for much of 2012 and conducted his last show with HWB, at Wetherby Riverside Bandstand, in August.

Adrian, who had previously conducted the Huddersfield Youth Wind Band, formed HWB in 1988.

Many of the youth bands’ musicians continued into HWB, some of whom still play in the band.

One such player is clarinetist Jean Bashford.

Ms Bashford, 56, said: “It’s quite sad. We feel it’s the end of an era. We’ve grown up with him.

“It’s been our biggest opportunity to play as adults and Adrian has given us a lot of friendships and pleasure for a long, long time.”

And while it is the end of an era, it’s far from the end of HWB.

Ms Bashford added: “We are optimistic about the future. I think we’re ready for a new conductor. We want to play and improve.”

As its name suggests, HWB is made up of wind instruments including clarinet, flute, saxophone, oboe, trumpets, euphoniums and so on.

They play a variety of musical styles from classical through military band, film and show music to pieces by contemporary groups and singers.

HWB has played with all manner of esteemed national and international artists including Tromba Mundi, a trumpet quintet from New Jersey, USA.

 

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