Euphonium Richard Wallace
Richie is one of our most recent acquisitons, joining the Band in April 2011. Richie has many years of experience playing at the top level with several Bands across the North of England and Yorkshire areas.
Euphonium Stuart Shields
Stuart joined the Band in September 2010. Stuart recently played for Murton Band and previously played for several Bands across the North of England area.
As well as his fine ability on Euphonium, Stuart has demonstrated his ability in singing at our Concerts.
Euphonium Jeff Bell
After being propelled at birth into the brass band world by two very influential parents, Jeff started playing instruments before he cares to remember, but commenced his playing career with Spennymoor Youth and Junior Bands from around eight years old. Taking inspiration from conductor, Sue Norris and peripatetic teacher, Derek Scollard, Jeff progressed rapidly through his music grades, reaching grade 8 at fifteen years. Because of this, Jeff moved up through the ranks from Thornley Colliery Band to Peterlee where he was groomed as a soloist by conductor, Tommy Maddison, entering and winning solo contests against established Championship players.
Whilst receiving tuition from ex-euphonium player, Clive Parker, Jeff gained the gift of being able to count in many time signatures other than 4/4 and has been a member of Fishburn Band since 1998. Since then, Jeff has made his debut at the Royal Albert Hall, appeared as a guest soloist with the Versatile Brass and has received tuition from world renowned euphonium maestro, Stephen Mead.
Euphonium/Baritone Neil Simpson
Neil started playing at junior school, age 7 years, initially wanting to play cornet but the school only had a 'spare' baritone. After joining Meltham and Meltham Mills Band he was taken under the wing of Jack Manchester whose main aim was always to play musically. At age 13 Neil progressed to the Senior Band who were then in the 1st Section of the Yorkshire area but this was short lived as he moved North with his family due to work commitments. Wanting to keep 'banding' he contacted a Mr Hutchinson, not knowing that he was secretary of Ever Ready. He went to one of their rehearsals but wasn't given the opportunity to play with the band or offered an audition...big, big mistake. He decided therefore to join the 'local' band, Consett Whitbread, and it was there that he met up with Clive Parker and actually took over on the 'end chair' when Clive left the band.
'Big Neil' as he is affectionately known, joined Fishburn Band back on his beloved baritone in 1991. Modesty prevails when Neil states that he takes full credit for the upturn in Fishburn Band's achievements since arriving!
Neil is a staunch Newcastle supporter. He is married to Lynne, former horn player with Spennymoor Band with whom he has a beautiful son, Will. Neil ensures the smooth running of all things financial as he is the band's Treasurer.
Baritone Jane Baillie
Jane is one of our most recent signings, joining the Band in August 2008 after moving to Durham with work. Due to lack of vacancies on horn, she has moved to Baritone (with some apprehension!) and tells us she's looking forward to being able to pitch in Bb sometime soon!
Jane hails from Troon, in Scotland, where she started playing baritone aged 12. While at school she joined Dalmellington Brass Band on baritone, moved to cornet and then settled on tenor horn! After 14 years with Dalmellington, Jane joined the famous Scottish Co-op band in January 1996. During her time with the band, she played at all the major competitions including the British Open, National Finals and European Championships.
Despite coming from Troon, Jane had never played at the Land O Burns contest until doing so with Fishburn in 2011, where we gained a very creditable 3rd position.
Jane also likes snowboarding and tennis, when she is not number crunching at work or keeping the Euphonium section in check!
Baritone Stewart Wilson
Stewart joined Fishburn Band in 1969 having been taught to play whilst at Bowburn Secondary School (otherwise known as the Martin Borman Comprehensive for wayward boys and girls).
Playing influences over the years have included Trevor Groome, Peter Lord and his music teacher David Whittaker, who actually saw some good in the boy, taking him and others just like him under his wing. David Whittaker helped develop his and others' hidden musical skills, steering them onto the path of righteousness as they say, which allowed Fishburn to become the beneficiaries when he was one of seven young players to join the band in 1968-69. The injection of young and eager talent helped establish the band as a fighting force and became one of the up and coming bands in the 70's.
As a fourteen year old Stewart watched Maurice Murphy perform at the Royal Albert Hall playing a Cornet Concerto with massed bands, and from that moment on he was hooked and so began his love affair with banding. Throughout the years he was one of the members of the band to continually play as it rose through the sections from the fourth to the Championship Section playing exclusively on euphonium from the age of sixteen. This culminated in one of his ambitions being achieved, playing Solo Euph at the Royal Albert Hall in 1980 where the Band gained a creditable 11th position on Wilfred Heaton's 'Contest Music'.
With the passage of time most of his ambitions have now just about been realised, and though time has been kind in some respects, he still as three ambitions left:
(1) To walk out of Durham's Miners Gala sober (no hope there)!
(2) To pilot a battlecruiser off the shoulder of Orion (strange boy) and,
(3) To die after Ron Bannister because "I think we'll have to shoot that bugger!" (Keep it up Ron).
It is now Stewart's goal to help others achieve the dream, and to assist Fishburn in any way he can. A hard working bandsman, Committee member,Trustee and all round good guy(!), Stewart is renowned for being thorough in any task he carries out - and believe me, his rates are very cheap!!