4BR has been informed of the death of the talented and hugely respected bandsman, Mark Bingham. He passed away on Thursday March 9th.
His untimely death has been greeted with great sadness within the brass band community throughout the island of Ireland and the UK.
A soloist and band player of immense talent and dedication, he enjoyed successful playing tenures with a number of bands, latterly, Third Carrickfergus Band.
Mark was also hugely respected peripatetic tutor and had been a popular guest player with the likes of Foden's and others, as well as playing for the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment as principal cornet.
Known throughout the banding community as 'Bingy', along with his wife, Jacklin they nurtured and helped inspire countless youngsters to enjoy brass band music making.
They were an integral part in developing the 1st Old Boys Youth Band — the highlight being when both the senior and youth bands represented Northern Ireland at the European Championships in Perth in 2014.
He and Jacklin became integral parts of the Third Carrickfergus bringing their experience and dedication to bear.
A spokesperson for Third Carrickfergus Band told 4BR: "The banding world has suffered a huge loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the love of his life, Jacklin at this very difficult time."
Tributes have been paid by the banding world with the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment stating: "The band was deeply saddened and shocked at the untimely death last Thursday of our principal cornet player and dear friend Sergeant Mark Bingham.
Mark was an exceptional musician who had been a member of the band for 31 years. You may have seen him perform solos in many of our concerts.
Mark's knowledge and experience of music was respected by every member of our band and he was a fine mentor to our younger musicians. He was a kind, genuine character and a true bandsman. Our sincere condolences to his wife Jacklin and the entire family."
Ballyclare High School — one of many that he taught at stated: "It is with huge sadness that we heard of the sudden passing of our much-loved brass tutor, Mr Mark Bingham.
Bingy was an inspirational teacher, a fabulous player and was adored by our pupils. He was kind, patient, encouraging and always positive with our young people. Mark was really funny too and there was often a story to share!
Mark played in our school production in the autumn and was due to play in our Spring Concert later this month.
His contribution to our Music Department and to music-making in the wider community was massive and his passing leaves a huge void for all of us who work to promote music for young people."
Bingy was an inspirational teacher, a fabulous player and was adored by our pupils. He was kind, patient, encouraging and always positive with our young peopleBallyclare High School
Joe Cassells, Honorary President of 1st Old Boys Silver Band stated: "It was with deep and profound sadness that 1st Old Boys Silver Band learnt of the passing of our friend and former player Mark Bingham.
Bingy, as he was known, joined the band in the mid 1980's at the age of 16 as principal cornet, and proudly held that position for over 30 years.
He was a great encourager to younger band members and, along with his wife Jacklin, set up and ran the 1st Old Boys Youth Band for over ten years. Many of those young players graduated into the senior band under Mark and Jacklin's tutelage and owe him a huge debt."