Howard will hand over band’s baton

Howard Burchfield

Howard Burchfield

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MEMBERS of Bognor Regis Concert Band are saying goodbye to their conductor.

Howard Burchfield is leaving the band after 18 years. His last concert in charge of the baton for its some 30 members will between 2pm-4pm on July 21 in Jubilee Gardens at Arundel.

This will be followed by a farewell barbecue by the band on July 23. Details are available by email through the band’s website.

Kate Weed, the band’s secretary, said: “The band first found Howard after its conductor left in 1995.

“Then named Octave Up, the band began a search for a new conductor and one name kept surfacing.

“Howard wished to conduct a rehearsal before agreeing to stay and he must have seen potential. He took up the post as musical director, helped re-name the band and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Howard’s twin brother conducts the Adur Concert Band and this has ensured the Bognor band has been lucky enough to have a similar looking stand-in conductor over the years.

The two bands also take it in turns to organise a massed band concert at Worthing each year with a guest band.

Howard was also instrumental in helping to create the annual Proms in the Par..

Staged by the town council, this recently attracted an audience of some 1,500 to enjoy a free evening of classical music in Hotham Park.

Howard will be succeeded by Dave Poste, tuba player and currently the band’s drummer.

This has left the band needing a drummer who can read music to a good standard to start in September.