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Published: Monday, 07 March 2016 Written by Ed

Gareth Hopkin - Deputy Conductor

Gareth Hopkin

Gareth started playing in Beaumaris Band on corner at the age of seven, but cquickly moved to the Baritone at the age of nine. His early banding career was under the batons of Ned Needham, Fred Evans and Gwyn Evans playing at the nationals at both senior and youth levels. With Beaumaris senior band, he went to win the fourth and third section national finals in consecutive years followed by two consecutive second places in the second section.

Gareth attended Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge studying metallurgy for six years; ironically, specialising in steels and not brass. During this time he played first Baritone with the Cambridge University Brass Band. Gareth conducated the band between 1998 and 1999, during which time the band recorded its first CD - CUBB Class. 

During the past two decades, Gareth as played with a large number of bands between the third and championship sections. These include  Rogerstone, City of Cambridge, Old Hall Brass and Flixton Bands. In 2015 Gareth and his family moved to Merseyside and he joined Marshside Brass Band, initally as Solo Baritone and latterly as Deputy Conductor.

Gareth is maried to Helen, a Euphonium player from Stourbridge in the West Midlands. Their eyes met across a music stand at university, where the first thing Helen every said to Gareth was "Your're playing that wrong". Helen and Gareth have played in many of the same bands together, but she is now the Principle Euphonium at the Maghull Wind Orchestra. Helen can play many musical instruments, notably the piano, steel drums, percussion and digeridoo. They have three children together and live in Formby in a noisy, busy house filled with music. 

Peter Lockett - Retiring MD

Peterlockett

Peter began his musical career at the age of eight when he joined the church choir, taking part in several RSCM choir courses and learning the recorder in primary school. At the age of 11 he began to study Piano and started to learn the Euphonium.

He joined the Flixton Silver Band in 1970. Soon afterwards he attended the North West Youth Band and later joined Lancashire Youth Band, eventually becoming a member of the Senior Band. One of the conductors he played under at this time was Geoffrey Brand. Peter also played with the Barton Hall Works Band, based at Patricroft, Eccles. This was a non-contesting band, directed by Hugh Parry (ex Wingates) and Oliver Howarth, father of Elgar Howarth, the famous trumpet player/international orchestral conductor.

At 17, Peter had the opportunity of joining the famous CWS Manchester Band where he played Euphonium for two years before moving on to the Tuba. Peter studied Tuba and Piano at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating in 1980 whilst at the same time being awarded the Professional Performance Diploma of the College. He was a member of the Northern Universities Brass Ensemble. Between 1977 and 1982 Peter played with the Halle Orchestra, the Halle Brass Ensemble, the English National Opera North, the Welsh National Opera, the English Sinfonia and other professional combinations. Following his time at the Royal Northern, Peter completed his PGCE at the City of Manchester College of Higher Education. In 1987, he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Management at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Business and Management.

Peter returned to the CWS Manchester Band playing Eb and BBb Bass as required in the late seventies , before moving to the Leyland Vehicles Band in 1982 as Solo Eb Bass. He maintained a link with the Leyland Band between 1982 and 1989 serving as assistant MD to Richard Evans between 1984-1986. Peter helped the Swinton Band before moving fulltime to play with the William Fairey Band between 1988-1990. He has guested with most of the leading brass bands in this country.

Peter has conducted several bands in the North of England: Newton Heath Band, Warburton's Bakery Band and the Flixton Band all qualified for the National Finals under his guidance. He has adjudicated several music competitions when time has allowed in his busy schedule.

 In January 1981 a long professional relationship began with Wigan LEA when Peter joined the Music Advisory and Support Service. He taught young people from primary school age through to Sixth Form College. He worked with many of Wigan's Senior Ensembles, and enjoyed competition successes with the Brass Bands, at Youth Music Festivals.

Peter masterminded several concert tours abroad, to USA, and Europe. The highlight being the month long trip to World Expo held in Australia in 1988. On this occasion he conducted 24 concerts within a 28 day period. Peter was the Founding Head of the Leigh Music Centre, before finally becoming Head of Brass for Wigan LEA and was a member of the Senior Management Team.

In 1994, changes to local authority funding and control saw the music Service at Wigan re-organise. Peter and several colleagues continued to work for Wigan in the primary sector. He taught at three primary schools in Wigan before moving to Kirkham Grammar Junior School in 1999 as Head of Music where he has remained ever since. Apart from his teaching and leadership commitments, Peter is a member of the Staff/Governor Committees for Health and Safety and Staff Liaison/Pay and Conditions.

Peter is married Pamela, and has a step son Graeme, and step daughter Joanne and through them Peter and Pam enjoy five grandchildren. Andrew, his son, was born in 1986, and attended Bolton School before studying music at Bangor University. He is now in the process of completing his teacher training at Edgehill University and like his father is a leading musician, performing regularly as a leading percussionist with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, featuring in the Olympic Games' Opening Ceremony.

Peter and Pam both enjoy travelling, sports (when time allows), and visiting good restaurants to enjoy a variety of food and wine

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