March 31, 2019

St. Dennis Band announce new President and Chairperson

By stdennisband

St. Dennis Band are delighted to confirm two new appointments to the organisation, that of President and Chairperson.

At the recent AGM it was confirmed that Judith Mitchell has accepted the position of President.

Judith said:

“I am the eldest daughter of Denis Hill who, until his death recently, has been the President of St Dennis Band for many years. My father and mother bought Trewan Hall in St Columb in 1961 and set up the campsite in 1965 in order to keep the estate going. I was 5 years old then and enjoyed a childhood there with my siblings until my marriage in 1979. In 1992, after bringing up 2 girls, I joined the family business. I have lived on site since then helping to manage the campsite and work on the estate. St Dennis Band have been a huge part of our successful entertainment for our visitors during the summer, including the Band fetes.

I am a ‘Nana’ now and can’t wait to introduce 2 more little girls to the Bands’ music. My husband and I are retiring after the next summer season and moving just a mile away in order to spend more time doing other things. I look forward to enthusiastically supporting the Band in any way I can.”

I look forward to enthusiastically supporting the Band in any way I can.”

We are thrilled that Judith has “picked up the reigns” from her dad and we look forward to a long and happy association.

Judith has kindly agreed to present the Band’s annual awards at the forthcoming “Patrons and Friends” concert on Friday 5th April, 7:30pm at the Bandroom and we look forward to greeting her and her family at her first “official” event.

Also at the AGM our longstanding Chairperson, Rodney Richards, announced his retirement from the post having filled it since 2012. Rodney has been associated with the Band for many, many, years first having contact with the Band over 70 years ago and having been a player at the time of the late, great, Eddie Williams. He started playing on a severely battered pre-war cornet and was sent to a 90 year old gentleman for lessons! He has had various roles within the committee over the years and his tenure as chairman has seen the Band progress into the top class Championship outfit that it is today.

At the AGM Rodney had this to say about his time in the role:

“Over the years I have been honoured and proud to be in this position and this year has shown how much the Band has improved in all ways. It is now a group of talented musicians who have so much respect for each other and they are a team, a band family.

I have been also honoured to lead the Band through Bugle and stand in the square with my head held high, to have heard them play for the Queen at Poundbury and to listen with pride to their contest performances. I will still attend all the contests and concerts and wish the Band continued progress and success under Daren Hawken’s leadership.”

We sincerely thank Rodney for his enthusiastic leadership and have lost no time in appointing him as Vice-President!

The new Chairperson is Philip Willcock who was enthusiastically and unanimously voted into the post at the AGM’s election of officers.

Philip is a former playing member of the Band, starting his playing career in the late sixties under the expert leadership of long term resident St Dennis conductor, Eddie Williams.

Philip remembers the halcyon period for him and fellow teenagers playing in both St. Dennis Bands culminating in National Final appearances with the Senior Band at The Royal Albert Hall and the two successive National title wins with the Youth Band in the 1970’s. Philip returned to the fold in recent years playing on the back row cornet bench.

Now retired from management positions in the distribution and retail industries, Philip is keen to assist in the continued development of the Band, so expertly led through many recent successes during the tenure of outgoing Chairman, Mr Rodney Richards, and the Professional MD, Mr Darren Hawken.

We are very much looking forward to working with Phil, and like Judith, his first official event will be the Patron’s and Friend’s Concert.