St Dennis Band, ‘Music Academy’

We are proud to announce the launch of the new St Dennis Band ‘Music Academy’.

The new structure and initiative will see expert brass and percussion tuition taught alongside aspects of both music theory and aural to develop all round musicianship. It will be suitable for either complete beginners or for young people who’ve already started learning, providing them with outstanding instrumental tuition in addition to junior and youth ensemble opportunities. All tutors have the expert knowledge and experience needed to deliver the objectives of the organisation as well as the student requirements. Based at our very own band room in the village, the home of the famous ‘St Dennis Band’, the Music Academy will offer opportunities for every young person to learn in a stimulating and supportive environment whilst enabling them to reach their full musical potential. Importantly, it’s here they’ll be able to share these experiences with other young people, whose interests and goals are similar to their own. Our widely experienced instrumental tutors will deliver tuition arranged on either a one-to-one or shared basis where music is always carefully selected to suit the ability of each player whilst working at the right level for their development. There are also opportunities to put players in for ABRSM graded examinations.

The academy will meet on a Wednesday evening between 6:15-7:45pm and will be coordinated by the vastly experienced Linda Trethewey, who will work alongside our tutors from the Senior Band. Instruments (if required), music and tuition can be provided for just £2 a week.

Anyone wishing to come along for a taster session, start to learn or indeed join the academy can contact Linda on 01726 891036.

St Dennis Youth Ensemble

In addition, the organisation has recently launched a more advanced St Dennis Youth Ensemble. Led by two of the most experienced and successful brass conductors/educators in the county, St Dennis Band Director of Music, Mr Darren R. Hawken and Music Consultant, Mr Derek Greenwood; the ensemble will provide the perfect platform and opportunity for the more advanced young brass and percussion players to develop their playing potential. Derek Greenwood brings with him the expertise, knowledge and experience having previously led a Cornish Youth Band to the acclaimed title of ‘National Youth Brass Band Champions’. We welcome young players from all around the county to come and join us and be part of this new, exciting and forward thinking yet progressive ensemble. With public concerts planned for 2019, aspirations to compete on the competition platform as well as side-by-side outreach performance opportunities with the St Dennis Senior Band, the drive and vision is clear –  to be a central hub in the county for brass excellence. Weekly membership is merely £2 a week inclusive of instrument hire (if needed).

The longer-term ambition is to grow this ensemble to be one of the finest youth brass bands in the county and beyond. If anyone aged 19 or under wishes to express their interest in joining the ensemble, please contact Mr Darren R. Hawken on 07817504036 or The St Dennis Youth Ensemble rehearsals are held in the band room on a Thursday evening between 6:45 – 7:45pm.

Tagged with: ,

St Dennis Band Solo & Quartet Contest 2018

The 2018 St Dennis Band Solo and Quartet Contest takes place at Whitemoor Methodist Church on 24th November 2018.

Our adjudicator this year will be Gareth Churcher LTCL (Hons) MAAT

Download the entry form

Download the class list and details

Musical Director Darren Hawken named one of 16 new Cornish Bards

The band members and committee of St Dennis Band are extremely proud to offer sincere congratulations to Musical Director Darren Hawken who will in September be made a Bard of Gorsedh Kernow in recognition of his services to Cornish Music.

Darren will be 1 of 16 new Bards for 2018 and is already looking forward to the Initiation Ceremony which will take place on 1st September 2018 in Newquay.

Congratulations Darren!



New Horn Duo signing

The band are delighted to announce two immediate new signings. We warmly welcome Kevin Ackford on first horn whilst Julie Dobson accepts the position of second horn.

Kevin becomes a member of the band following several guest appearances in recent years, most notably being part of our golden year in 2016 winning the West of England First Section title, the Royal Trophy at the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival and the coveted title of National First Section Brass Band Champions. Kevin often recalls that 2016 was one of his lifetime highlights in the 50 years he has been playing. Regarded as one of the finest and most talented horn players to have ever come out of Cornwall, Kevin has held multiple solo positions in bands such as the Cornwall Youth Brass Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain playing under some fine conductors. His first solo horn appointment was with the Bodmin Band aged just 12 with further distinguished success with the St Austell Band. University then beckoned playing with Rochdale Wilsons Band with notable performances at the British Open before eventually returning to St Austell. His distinguished career has seen him give solo performances both on radio and television in addition to making two appearances at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain held at the Royal Albert Hall. As a composer of over 30 works, conductor, teacher and arranger, his knowledge, experience and talent is a vastly welcomed addition to the band.

Julie joins the band from the Bodmin Town Band having held the solo horn position and more recently, the flugelhorn seat there for several years. Vastly experienced, Julie held the solo horn position with Greggs Bakery Band (under the legendary Jimmy Shepherd) in the 1990’s, Ripieno Cornet with the Forest of Dean Band when they were promoted to the Championship Section in 1999 before returning to solo horn with the Launceston Town Band and latterly, Storm Brass before joining the Bodmin Town Band. In addition, Julie has made many National Finals appearances over the years. Julie also enjoys playing in ‘JDACC Brass’, a family brass quintet featuring her three talented daughters and husband, David. Julie is a teaching assistant in a rural primary school whilst still finding time to teach brass, recorder and music theory in other local schools. A fine bands person, Julie is a great addition to the band and we wish her every success and happiness in the years to come.

Naturally with new signings, we are very sad to say goodbye to two players. Dany Hancock, after 18 years of dedicated and loyal service to both the Youth and Senior Band, takes a break from the band. We will hopefully see Dany return from time to time; however, in the meantime we wish her every happiness and success in all that she does. Departing to Cardiff University is Rebecca Whitford. A product from the youth band, Rebecca goes on to pastures new in September and continues with the next chapter in her educational life. Like Dany, we wish Rebecca good luck in all that she does and we will look forward to seeing her when she visits Cornwall outside of term time.

Highgrove honour for St Dennis Band

On Friday 13th July, the Band were exclusively invited to the Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, the family residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cornwall to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The Band performed 3 hours of light background music for approximately 650 guests which culminated with a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” for his His Royal Highness.

It was a real delight and honour to attend this private and prestigious Royal event that will live long in the memory of St Dennis Band Members.

This was the second Royal Appointment for the Band in the last 2 years, as 2016 saw them perform for the unveiling of the iconic Queen Mother Statue in Poundbury with her Majesty the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall all in attendance.

St Dennis Band 2018

St Dennis Band announces new Music Consultant

It is with delight that the St Dennis Band announces that Mr Derek Greenwood has accepted the position of Music Consultant with immediate effect.

Derek is no stranger to the band having held the post of Musical Director in the early 90’s and more recently, providing invaluable input leading up to the British Open Spring Festival and the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival.

Professional Musical Director Mr Darren Hawken commented: ‘I am thrilled that Derek has accepted my invitation to take on this new and important consultancy role within the organisation. His knowledge, experience and huge success down the years will prove to be an invaluable asset to both myself and the band, ensuring that further progress is made in order to realise and achieve the very high ambitions of this ever progressive band. Whilst significant progress over the last few years has been notably achieved, my players are hungry for even greater success on both the contest and concert platforms.’

Mr Derek Greewood commented: I am delighted to be involved with St Dennis band once again.
Having worked with them before the Spring Festival and Bugle Contest, I was so impressed with the way MD Darren Hawken works with his band. His musicianship is a breath of fresh air to Cornish banding. He works so hard so it’s easy to see why the band improves so much. It will be a great pleasure to work with Darren and the band as I’m sure there will be further exiting times ahead.

Passing of Band President – Denis Hill

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the band announces the death of its President, Mr Denis Hill. A wonderful and inspiring man. His loss will have a huge impact on the band that he so richly loved. His immeasurable and unwavering support to the organisation over decades is without doubt one of the defining factors in the wonderful success the band sees today. The St Dennis Band first performed at Trewan Hall in 1973, the very place Denis and his late wife Phyllis restored in the early 60’s when they moved to Cornwall. Denis’ association with the band has stood for nearly half a century, a legacy that one cannot and will not ever forget.
Monday’s concert at Trewan Hall was difficult as Denis’ passing had just been announced, however, the family gave their full support to a musical evening celebrating Denis’ life and paying tribute to one of his greatest loves in life, brass bands but in particular, his beloved St Dennis Band.

May we send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Denis’ family at this terribly sad time.
Rest in Peace Denis.

New Cornet Signing at St Dennis

St Dennis Band are delighted to announce the signing of Ryun Retallack.

Ryun joins the band on back-row cornet and brings with him a wealth of top-flight banding experience. He has played for the Band at both the Regional Contest back in March and also the Spring Festival which was held last month.

Ryun was a member of the Bodmin Town Band for many years where he contributed greatly to their success over the years.

Professional Musical Director Darren Hawken declared “Ryun is a top class cornet player and an exemplary Bandsman. This signing is very good news for the Band and I’d like to wish Ryun a long and successful future with the Band.”

Ryun will make his debut with the Band this Saturday at the West of England Bandsmens Festival (Bugle Contest).

Tagged with: ,

Patrons Concert and Annual Awards 2018

On Friday 20th April the band held its annual “Patrons Concert”.  This is our free annual concert for the supporters of the band and the people of the St. Dennis area.  This year the concert programme consisted of many works performed by both the Youth and Senior Bands.  It is at this concert every year that the band gives its annual awards, and this year they were presented by the Conductors and Chairman, Rodney Richards, as follows:

Most improved Junior Band Player (awarded by Rachael Sargent) – Rachel Margetts, Cornet.

Player of the Year, Youth Band (awarded by Rachael Sargent) – Bethany Harvey, Horn.

Player of the Year, Senior Band (awarded by Darren Hawken) – Kim Bazeley, Euphonium.

Young Player of the Year, Senior Band (awarded by Darren Hawken) – Lia Teague, Cornet. 

Player’s Player of the Year (voted for by the band members) – Ellie Joy, Flugel.

The Jenny Richards Memorial Trophy and Bursary Award, for a young player showing all-round achievement and contribution to the whole organisation was this year awarded by Darren Hawken to Senior Band Percussion Player, Joseph Broughton.

The Chairman’s Special Award – this is an award donated by Rodney & Ann Richards for someone giving an outstanding contribution, in any way, to the organisation.  This year it was awarded to two people, husband and wife “team” Rob & Michaela Hammett.  They were delighted to be given the award and appreciated the fact that all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by them (and many other people) was recognised and valued.

Even more awards!! During their Gala Easter Concert every year the Cornwall Youth Brass Band presents its annual awards and we are very proud of Violet Margetts for being awarded “Youngest Player” and Rebecca Whitford for being awarded “Most Improved Player”.

There were also auditions held for the new autumn intake of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band and we are very pleased to report that two of our Youth Band players, Bethany Harvey and Jodie Bragg, passed their auditions and have been accepted.  Well done girls!!  We are hoping that a few more of the Youth Band will audition before the start of the autumn session!

In addition to all of that, Violet Margetts also passed her Cornet Grade 5 with a merit and her sister, Rachel, passed her Cornet Grade 2 with distinction – what a talented lot our Youth Band players are!!

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Solo & Quartet Contest 2017 – Results

On Saturday 25th November 2017 we held our Solo & Quartet Contest in the Whitemoor Methodist Chapel, Whitemoor. We had a most enjoyable musical day. Thanks to our Adjudicator, Paul Richards from Flowers Band. Our Accompanists Anne Fleet & Hannah Hawken who we rely on so much each year to accompany our youngsters so professionally. Thanks to our hard working committee and helpers who help previously and during the day. We are very lucky to have been able to use Whitemoor Methodist Chapel as our Venue. It was very much appreciated and was a great Venue to house the Contest.

Thank you for all the Competitors and we hope to see you all next year.


1st – Eva Margetts – St Dennis Youth Band – 85

1st – Rachel Margetts – 87
2nd – Lily Njoh – St Dennis Youth Band – 85

1st – Freya Yelland – St Dennis Youth Band – 86
2nd – Jasmine Njoh – St Dennis Band Youth – 85
3rd– Violet Margetts – St Dennis Youth Band – 84

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band – 88
2nd – Grace Thomas – St Austell Band -87
3rd – Amy Bristow – St Dennis Youth Band – 85

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band – 89
2nd – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook – 88
3rd – Rebecca Whitford – St Dennis Band – 87

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band – 86
2nd – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook – 85
3rd – Rebecca Whitford – St Dennis Band – 84

1st -Ellie Joy & Rebecca Whitford – St Dennis Band – 86
2nd – Violet Margetts & Jasmine Njoh – St Dennis Youth Band – 84

1st – Redruth School – 83

1st – Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band -90
2nd – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook – 89
3rd – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band – 88

1st – Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band – 88
2nd – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook – 86
3rd – Neil Pascoe – St Dennis Band – 85

1st – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook & Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band – 89
2nd – Rachel Sloggett & Neil Pascoe – St Dennis Band – 88
3rd Terry Sleeman – St Dennis & Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band – 87

1st – St Dennis Trombones – 86
2nd – St Dennis B Quartet – 85
3rd – St Dennis A Quartet- 84

Best Cornet/Soprano – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band
Best Euphonium/Baritone – Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band​
Best Horn/Flugel – Jack Lythaby – Lydbrook Band​
Best Base – George Stratford – Forest of Dean Brass​
Best Trombone – Andrew Hammett – St Dennis Band
Veteran Entry – Terry Sleeman – St Dennis Band
Most promising Player (classes 1 – 5) Eva Margetts – St Dennis Youth Band
Youngest Player – Learner Class – Eva Margetts – St Dennis Youth Band
Youngest Player (Class 1 – Rachel Margetts – St Dennis Youth Band
Most entertaining performance- St Dennis Trombones
Most outstanding Player of the day – Ben Stratford – Tredegar Town Band
Visiting Band – Most entries – Lydbrook Band