A teenager – thought to be the youngest band conductor in the country – has taken charge of Chorley Silver Band.
Keen biker Connor Gingell, 19, will lead the band, one of the longest established in the area, into a new era.
Band chairman Andrea Hall said: “Not only is Connor almost certainly the youngest brass band conductor in Britain, but as his other interests include motorcycle racing, we think he is probably the fastest as well!”
She said Connor, who also plays with Wingates, one of the country’s foremost competition bands, had made great progress in his first weeks in charge and she was confident he could lead Chorley Silver Band to new heights.
Andrea added: “Connor was an outstanding candidate for the pivotal position of conductor and with his enthusiasm and skill has already had a big impact.”
Connor started playing with his local band Farnworth and Walkden. After a year with Tyldesley he joined Wingates Brass Band. He started teaching brass in late 2013.
Connor graduated from Pendleton Sixth Form College in June 2014 after two years of studying A-level and Btec music. He currently works as a lab technician.
Andrea said that now Connor had taken over as leader, the band was in the ideal position to launch a recruitment drive.
She said: “Chorley Silver Band has been in existence for many decades and our youth band was officially formed in 1996 with the aim to promote music education to the people of Chorley.
“Whilst as a youth band, with the majority of players being between 11 and 18, older players are always welcome to share their wealth of knowledge.
“The band provides instruments so as to make brass music accessible to all. We know that there are players out there at both the novice and more experienced levels and we want to encourage them back into banding.”
The band recently appeared at the Derian House Lights of Love event at Blackburn Cathedral, and over Christmas played a number of carol concerts at supermarkets and community centres in the area.
Andrea added: “As another locally-based charity, we have been consistent supporters of the great work which Derian House does and we were very pleased to participate.
“We have always had a reputation as being a pillar of the local community and are probably best known for our frequent and successful fundraising concerts for charities.
“We perform at various parades, fetes and walking days throughout the county and in the past we have travelled further afield, performing at the Menin Gate as part of a music tour of Belgium. We are a registered charity and we take great pleasure from playing to our local audience.”
For details of the band’s Summer Programme and its recruitment drive, visit www.chorleysilverband.org.uk.