Yorkshire champion, Black Dyke has announced that flugel player Zoe Lovatt-Cooper has taken the decision to step down from her role with the Queensbury band.
It follows her own announcement that she and husband Paul will be expecting their first child together in February 2021.
During her 10 year spell at Black Dyke, Zoe the Cornish player has become an integral part of their competitive success and worldwide musical appeal.
She enjoyed National Championship and British Open success in 2014 (winning the Best Soloist Awards in both events), European glory in 2015, and five Yorkshire Area titles wins, including two 'Best Soloist' awards. Her solo playing became a regular feature in concerts and recordings.
Speaking about the decision she said: "I'm excited to share the news of our first child in February. Paul and I are absolutely delighted and are looking forward to the joy and excitement that a new family member will bring. It has however made me think about my future playing with Black Dyke.
She added: "The band is in great demand all over the world and requires full commitment, which as a new mum can be extremely challenging. 2020 hasn't been the year that any of us expected and certainly not how I wanted my final year to plan out, but after consideration I've decided that the time is now right.
I've enjoyed 10 amazing years and although it's with great sadness that I leave, I'll take with me so many fantastic performance experiences and musical memories.
It's been a great privilege to have been a player at Black Dyke and play alongside exceptional musicians and of which I've been lucky enough to call my friends."
Zoe revealed that she will not be hanging up her flugel and has already got a number of solo engagements to look forward to in 2021.
"Giving up the instrument that I love is definitely not an option and I look forward to how my new musical future will turn out,"she said.
"All I can do now though is to thank Prof Nicholas Childs and the players of Black Dyke Band for their continued support, musical memories and more importantly their friendship throughout. I know they will continue to be successful and I will keep a special relationship with them for many years to come."
Everyone sends their congratulations to Zoe and Paul on their wonderful news, and I'm sure they will continue to support the band as their new family flourishesProf Nicholas Childs
In response to the news, Black Dyke's Director of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs told 4BR: "Ever since Zoe came to us a decade ago we have all known just what an exceptional talent we have been lucky to have in the band.
She is a wonderful person and a great player who has contributed so much to Black Dyke.
Everyone sends their congratulations to Zoe and Paul on their wonderful news, and I'm sure they will continue to support the band as their new family flourishes."