*
banner

Wycherley retires from top level banding

Alan Wycherley has told 4BR of his decision to retire from Championship Section banding.

Whycherley
 

One of the great soprano players in banding world has decided to hang up his championship mouthpiece.

Exclusive

In an exclusive interview, Alan Wycherley told 4BR that the day to day reality of top class soprano playing has finally taken its toll, and that the recent European in Montreux would be his last competitive performance with Fairey or any other UK band.

"Time has caught up with me," he said. "I want to be able to carry on playing, but am finding it increasingly more difficult to keep up the day to day intensity and home practice required to play at the very top level anymore."

Realistic

Alan has been realistic about his playing future as he added: "I can’t complain with the banding career I’ve had – I’ve been very fortunate, but at 54 I know it’s a young man’s game on soprano now, so it’s time to sit back and enjoy my playing at a reduced pace and I intend to do just that."

It means the end of a top-flight career that spans five decades – and one that started when he first stepped into the Fairey Engineering bandroom in Stockport in November 1972 to fill the soprano seat left vacant by the legendary Brian Evans.

To be able to come full circle after starting with Fairey seemed appropriate. I had a year at Desford, 12 years at Leyland, a decade at Foden’s, before returning ‘home’ to Stockport. It just feels rightAlan Wycherely

Major wins

Since that time he has graced every major championship event with his elegant, lyrical playing – perhaps the last of its kind — winning two National Championships, four British Opens and countless other major titles all over the world.

"I wanted to give the European one more go, because it would have given me the full set, but it wasn’t to be. I’ve been lucky to win more than most, so I’ve no complaints on that score."

Things missed

There are some things he will miss though: "You can’t replace the sheer thrill of playing in the very best top section bands, and the life long friends you make there, but I won’t miss the need to go to rehearsal after a full days work every night for two weeks before contest.

I want to enjoy my music making for some time to come, but maybe it will be with a small white stick in my hand rather than my sop."

Long and hard

Alan thought long and hard about the decision to leave whilst still performing at the very top of his game.

"Every since my health scare last year, I was determined to get back in top playing shape, and it was great to be able to make my decision knowing my playing is in fine fettle.

I didn’t want hang about too long – I’ve worked too hard to ruin a decent reputation as a player!"

Full circle

The soprano star was also happy that he was able to make his decision whilst still playing with the band that has always remained closest to his heart – Fairey.

"To be able to come full circle after starting with Fairey seemed appropriate. I had a year at Desford, 12 years at Leyland, a decade at Foden’s, before returning ‘home’ to Stockport. It just feels right."

Pick and choose

Thankfully he will still be heard on stages throughout Europe this year although he is happy that he will now be able to ‘pick and choose’ the gigs he wants to take on.

The immediate future though is already planned out. "I love Whit Friday, so I will be playing there hopefully with Fairey, and then I have offers to play at the Swiss Open and back in Norway, so I will still have to keep the lip in trim."

Not finished

It may be the end for one of the true soprano greats of our time in the fast lane of Championship banding, but he has no intention of finishing his amazing musical journey quite yet.

"I think I have a few years left in me still – even if they will be played at a slightly slower pace," he chuckled.

"I just want to put on record a very big thank you to all the various conductors I have played under and learnt so much from over the last 40 years."

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


youngsters

Brass Band heritage inspires new generation

July 15 • Youngsters in schools in Huddersfield have been supported to find out more about the global brass band heritage on their doorstep.


Chris Binns

Binns returns to Milnrow

July 13 • Christopher Binns returns to his musical starting point to take the conducting reins.


Amersham Band

Amersham prepares for festival celebration

July 13 • The Amersham Band organisation will working towards its inaugural Music Festival later this month.


Brighouse

Gates closed on exciting recording project

July 13 • The second part of an exciting recording project of the music of composer Dorothy Gates has just been completed with the help of Brighouse & Rastrick Band, Onyx Brass and Isobel Daws.


PEMBERTON OLD WIGAN DW BRASS BANDS - Pemberton Old Wigan B Band

Sunday 14 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Bands. Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan WN5 8DZ


PEMBERTON OLD WIGAN DW BRASS BANDS - QUIZ NIGHT

Friday 19 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Band . Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan. WN5 8DZ


Barnsley Brass - Stephen Sykes, Principal Trombone of The Cory Band

Saturday 20 July • St Mary's Church, Kippax, Leeds LS25 7HF


Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Skelmanthorpe Band

Sunday 21 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


Dobcross Silver Band

July 15 • 2 x Cornet Players required. Positions are negotiable, excluding Principal as players are willing to move around. Experience preferred but all ages considered if ability can be demonstrated. Enjoyable rehearsals/great socials!


Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

July 13 • Our welcoming non-contesting band, based near Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, seeks: . Solo Euphonium . 1st Horn . Percussion, kit and tuned: we have a lovely pair of timps! . Solo Cornet to complete the front-row line-up. 2nd Cornet


Newtown Silver Band

July 12 • Musical Director. Following the retirement of our current Musical Director after 40 years of loyal service the band is seeking a new Musical Director to take the band forward. We are a 3rd section band with a busy programme and enthusiastic members. .


John Durrant

MA LLCM TD CertEd (Dist)
Conductor, Band Trainer, Composer, Trumpet and Cornet Soloist, Arranger, Adjudicator


               

 © 2024 4barsrest.com Ltd