Soprano Cornet Malcolm Usher
Malcolm started playing at age 11 years, being inspired and taught to play a brass instrument by his father. He was originally given the Trombone to master but alas never did - the need for long arms meant he could not reach the last position. After joining Hartlepool Silver Band, he was introduced to the cornet - which he considered much lighter and more convenient.
When his family moved to Darlington he was enrolled into the School Band and then the Darlington Youth Band. He was taught to play at that time by Ray Pattison and Tony Price. His last teacher was Alfie Hindes. Mal eventually joined Newton Aycliffe Band as Principal Cornet and from there went to the Amoco Band where he switched to Soprano Cornet - not as a volunteer, more of a slowness to move one step back!
He subsequently joined Cockerton Silver Band on Soprano Cornet and moved to Fishburn Band in 1984. Influences over the years have included Barry Shaw (Hartlepool Silver's Principal Cornet), Jim Shepherd and Maurice Andre.
Malcolm is Fishburn Band's resident computer expert. Formerly holding the position of Band Manager, Mal now holds the position of Librarian. Mal tells us that when he retires from work, he plans to move to the South of France and listen to Arturo Sandoval recordings. He is married to our Cornet player, Helen Usher.
Solo Cornet John White
Along with his wife, Andrea, John joined Fishburn Band in February 2001 from Spennymoor Town Band where he had been a member since 1981 and Principal Cornet for a number of years. Whilst at University in Leeds, John was also a member of Lockwood and Gawthorpe Bands. John started playing at 6 years of age and tuition over the years has been provided by George Nicklin, Tim Holmes, Brian Tait and Jim Shepherd.
John states his highlight was playing Principal Cornet for Fishburn Band for two years following the area contest in March 2006 and still features as a soloist with the Band.
Solo Cornet John Gill
John has been with Fishburn Band since 1982 and enjoyed a successful period in the position of Principal Cornet from 1990 to 2006 culminating with a win at the Scottish Open Championships in 2005 and concluding with qualification for the National Finals at the Northern Area Championships in March 2006 whilst picking up the prize for best Principal Cornet - for the third time in four years, subsequently returning to Principal in 2008.
John commenced playing at school in Hartlepool, aged 14, under the tuition of Russ Nicholson and Bill Buckley. Contesting began with Hartlepool Youth Band, followed by Blackhall Colliery and Head Wrightson Works Band (Middlesbrough Brass). John lists his playing influences as Jim Shepherd and Alan Morrison and also enjoys playing and listening to Big Band music.
John, who is a Compliance Manager for the Vela Group, was 'instrumental' in the redesign and ultimate refurbishment of the Fishburn Bandroom (following grants from the Lottery and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts). John has been the organiser of the Fishburn Band Fantasy Football League since 1998, although the majority of his spare time is now taken up with maintaining the 'award winning' Fishburn Band website!
John is also a founder member of the Fishburn Band 'skinny dipping team', along with Paul Kerry and former member Clive Parker - consideration is currently being given to the inclusion of photographic evidence on the website! Married to Audrey, who also plays cornet for Fishburn, they have two children, Alison and Kieran.
Paul was first taught to play at the age of 6 by Shildon Salvation Army bandmaster, Fred Smith and was given great support and encouragement by numerous people at the corps, especially his father, George Kerry. Vince Smith (Fred's son) took over the baton when Paul was 10 and became a major influence, as well as being handy for a lift down to Sunbury Court, near London, where the National School of Music (for the Salvation Army) took place each year. On 5 occasions (the fifth time in 1972) Paul was made Principal Cornet of the 'A' band. Paul has happy memories of those days, playing under the baton of the late Leslie Condon and Trevor Davis, also an old chap called Eric Ball (for one day only)! A cornet influence at that time was Jim Shepherd whose old 33's were put to good use as Paul used to play along to solos such as Napoli and Pandora etc (is David Daws even better?).
Paul stopped playing altogether in 1978 when he left the Salvation Army but started again in the early 1990's when he began teaching his two sons, Matthew and Ben to play. In 1994 Paul came along to a Fishburn Band concert and met up again with bandmaster, Ian Robinson who invited him along to a practice - and the rest is history! Paul states he feels genuinely privileged to be playing in such a quality band and has just one ambition to realise since starting playing again - to get his lip back to the condition it was when he was a teenager, as well as his body, and his hair.......!!!
Another one of Fishburn Band's 'party animals', Paul is also a founder member of the Fishburn Band 'skinny dipping team' (together with Clive Parker and John Gill).
Paul now runs his own business repairing and servicing washing machines, driers, dishwashers and many other appliances having spent several years gaining experience with well known dealers. If you want a first class job doing, send Paul an e-mail. We've heard his rates are very cheap !!!.
Solo Cornet Oliver Sakora
Ollie joined the Band in ealry 2012 and has settled in well on the front row. Ollie is studying at Durham University and joins a steady flow of students in the ranks of Fishburn Band.
His profile will follow shortly.
Repiano Cornet Lyndon Taylor
Lyndon joined to the Band in April 2006, having formerly played Principal Cornet with Spennymoor Town Band and guesting for many local bands. Lyndon moved onto Repiano Cornet in early 2012 which has proven to be an excellent move.
Lyndon and his wife Claire have had a lovely son, Lewis, born in 2007.
Dave joined Fishburn Band in October 2010 after beginning studies at Durham University. Dave studies Music at the university and has a keen interest in composition with performances of his music by the United Co-Op Milnrow Band, The Band of the Kings Division of the British Army and students from Birmingham Conservatoire. Dave has been commissioned to write for the Black Dyke Mills Band and The Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
Dave began playing the trumpet at aged 9 through lessons at his local primary school through Rochdale Music Service. His teachers have included Eric Landon, Ian Nelson, Ian Porthouse and Stewart Lingard. Dave played regularly through school and Sixth Form and attended Rochdale music service until September 2010.
He has performed in many prestigious venues both here and abroad including The Royal Albert Hall, London Symphony Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Sage Gateshead.
Dave has also played with the United Co-Op Milnrow band, Wardle Anderson Band, Besses O’ the Barn Band and Dobcross Silver Band.
Helen started playing cornet at the age of 9, taught by Colin Adamson at Chopwell Junior School. In 1979 she became a member of NRBBT and in 1981 joined Consett Whitbread Band. From 1985 Helen played Soprano and it was on this instrument that she moved to Lingdale Silver in 1990.
In 1996 Helen joined Boldon Colliery band and had spells on both Soprano and Principal Cornet before joining Fishburn Band in 1998 on the front row.
Helen is also a member of the Committee
Helen is married to our Soprano Cornet player, Mal.
Jayne joined the Band in August 2007
She got off to a dream start with extensive sight reading at our concert in Hexham Abbey showing her excellent ability in fitting in with her new team.
Jayne is married to Trevor (Bass player with Easington band), and they have 2 children, Wizz (Trombone player - attending Royal Northern College of Music) and Elliot (Uni-cyclist extraordinaire)
Cornet Audrey Gill
Audrey's playing career started with Horden Colliery Band (where her Grandad, Bill Buckley was conductor and her Uncle, Fred Buckley was on Solo Euphonium). After spells with Blackhall Colliery and Head Wrightson Works Band (Middlesbrough Brass) she joined her husband, John, at Fishburn Band in 1988.
Highlights include winning the Championship Section of the Northern Area contest in her first year with Fishburn and having the opportunity to compete with the best at the Royal Albert Hall.
Audrey is a member of the Committee and enjoyed the experience of recording the Band's two CD's and working alongside Brian Hillson and his team from B & H Sound Services. Audrey also holds the negatives of that infamous first outing by the Fishburn Band 'skinny dipping team' - what power!
Cornet Andrea White
Andrea, along with husband John, joined Fishburn Band in February 2001 from Spennymoor Town Band.
Having started to play at 7 years of age, she initially played euphonium whilst at Ouston Primary School. Later, under the tuition of George Nicklin, Andrea played horn before moving to the cornet. Although formerly on flugel horn at Spennymoor, Andrea is now back on cornet.
Andrea and John, are the proud parents of a lovely little boy, Samuel.