A special presentation was made to the founder of the Devon County Youth Brass Band at the band’s 20th anniversary concert at the Wharf in Tavistock.

The presentation to Peter Jones and his wife Sarah - also a key organiser with the band - was made at a well-attended concert at the Wharf in Tavistock on Sunday, May 5, with band patron Angela Rippon and members past and present.

Peter, who is also the musical director of Stannary Brass Band and Blowzone in Tavistock, managed to convince the county council of the benefits of bringing young talented musicians from all over the county together, establishing the Devon County Youth Brass Band from scratch.

He’s now decided the time is right to hand over the baton of Devon County Youth Brass Band to two founder members of the band, Chris Spreadbury and Matthew Hawkins.

This was his final formal concert with the DCYBB. There were 48 musicians on the stage including past and present members; several are now professional musicians helped and inspired on the way by Peter. They came from all over the country and amongst them were several Royal Marine band members.

Peter’s wife, Sarah, a driving force behind the organisation, was recognised for her contribution as secretary, child protection officer and organiser, as were several other committee members that have worked to make the band what it is today.

It was a great final concert for Peter and Sarah – although he has one further date which will be conducting the band at the Devon County Show (May 15-17). The band also said goodbye to Rachel Corden who has been one of the leaders for ten years. Mandy Shobrook, who will go forward with band, has also been involved with them for 20 years.

The evening saw tributes led by the band’s patron Angela Rippon CBE, and Lewis Gibbs head of Devon & Torbay Music Education Hub, with a moving speech by ex-member Christopher Gardiner describing Peter’s ability to inspire and mentor young players, his patience and his immense musical experience. Chris Spreadbury also said a few words.

The band played music from Rennaissance dances to Star Wars and finished with the uplifting War of the Celts and a standing ovation. The audience included members of funding organisations, local dignitaries, parents and friends.

Peter will still be conducting the Tavistock Stannary Brass Band, Blowzone and teaching locally so will still be involved in lots of music. The band wish to thank all those that attended and Angela Court and her team at The Wharf who made them very welcome and arranged the celebration band BBQ. They also thanked Tavistock Tesco and Morrisons for their contributions to the meal.

Band members outside the concert
Band members outside the concert (Submitted)
Band patron Angela Rippon speaks at the concert
Band patron Angela Rippon speaks at the concert (Submitted)
Tributes are paid to Peter Jones at the concert
Tributes are paid to Peter Jones at the concert (Submitted)