Kathleen’s cornet marks band debut

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Brighouse & Rastrick Band will be tuning up for their forthcoming appearance in the European Championships and introducing their first female principal cornet player on Tuesday evening.

Brass band fans are invited to an open rehearsal by the famous band at Central Methodist Church, Brighouse on Tuesday at 7.30pm for 8pm.

Local supporters won’t want to miss the occasion as it will mark the first public appearance by the band’s new principal cornet player, Swiss musician Kathleen Gaspoz, the first female to sit in the prestigious seat.

Born in the village of Vex in the Alps, three-time Swiss Cornet champion Kathleen moved to England in 2015 to study for her Master in Music at the Royal Northern College of Music and going on to undertake an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma.

After holding principal cornet positions with the National Youth Band of Switzerland and the European Youth Brass Band, Kathleen became a member of the Black Dyke Band.

She was approached by B & R’s professional conductor, Professor David King after he was impressed by her playing at a masterclass at the RNCM.

The appointment comes after an internal shift of players, with current principal cornet, Dominic Longhurst, chosing to take up the soprano cornet chair. This personal decision has been made to coincide with his busy trumpet schedule, where Dominic is currently focussing on furthering his orchestral career.

Band spokesman Ryan Watkins said: “The appointment of Kathleen Gaspoz as principal cornet of the Brighouse & Rastrick Band coincides with the band’s equally exciting internal appointment of Dominic Longhurst to the soprano chair, following the recent announcement of Alan Morrison’s retirement.

“Dominic and Kathleen are both international students studying at the RNCM and are among the finest young brass musicians in banding today. Members of the Brighouse & Rastrick Band are looking forward to hearing some exciting things from this new, dynamic duo.”

Brighouse & Rastrick Band will represent England at the European Championships in Ostende, Belgium, next week. The open rehearsal will give fans a chance to hear the band preparing for the competition, led by Prof King.

The 40th European Championships run from April 24 to 30 and are expected to sell-out, as they have in previous years.

Brighouse & Rastrick Band will also be in action at the traditional Whit Friday March Contest in Saddleworth on June 9, at Huddersfield Town Hall on June 10 and at the King’s Hall, Ilkley on June 18.