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Beckley ends Newstead years with a bang

Firework Spectacular at Ripley Music Festival sees Duncan Beckley step down as Newstead Brass Musical Director after 27 years.

Beckley ends Newstead years with a bang

Duncan Beckley ended his 27 years as Musical Director of Newstead brass in fine style leading the band through the 1812 Overture to accompany the firework display at the end of the annual 'Brass Spectacular' for the 2016 Ripley Music Festival.

Augmented Band

Newstead brass were delighted to welcome back a number of former players to augment the band for the evening, with other former players and friends joining the audience of over 2,000 people.  Greetings and good wishes were also received from former players now living in distant parts of the country or engaged with their own bands that evening.


Prior to the firework finale, bandmaster and compere Lynden Cooper presented a number of gifts to Duncan.   These included a presentation banner (pictured above) in the style of the Midlands Championship Banner marking Duncan’s contest success with the band.  In more light-hearted style, and recognising that Duncan may have more time on his hands, the band also gave Duncan a set of DVDs of films he says he’s never seen and but which have become repertoire pieces over the last 18 months – ‘Despicable Me (Happy)’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Frozen’!

Continuing role

Although Duncan is stepping down as musical director of the band, he will continue his association with Newstead Brass as a ‘band ambassador’, working with the band on player development and recruitment and other specific projects.