Joanne Darwin – Second Horn
When I was 10 I joined my local village band (junior band) and literally started learning to play.
I started on cornet and was very soon sitting in with the “big band” on 3rd cornet. My first ever contest was the Yorkshire Regional in Bradford where we came in the top three and qualified to represent Yorkshire in London at the National Finals. I was the youngest playing member on stage – aged 11. I changed chair and instrument many times including Soprano Cornet, Tenor Horn, Flugel Horn and Baritone but always favoured the Horn.
I remained with Stannington Band until I moved away from the area and stopped playing for a short while, I did then go to Rossington Colliery band but my heart was not in it at the time.
I had a big break from playing for over 15 years. This was until my daughter came home from school asking if she could learn a musical instrument, I said she could but she had to bring home brass (none of those string things!!!) she came home with a tenor horn and this fuelled my love of playing once again, she had lessons at school and home and soon joined the junior band where I had started playing. I was encouraged to sit in to help the young people. I left the first practice with an instrument and soon re-kindled my playing. I progressed back into the main band but it didn’t hold the same passion and once more thought about stopping playing. I moved to Strata in 2006 where I played Repiano cornet for a number of years. Due to a re-shuffle of players I was asked to go onto tenor horn which of course I was more than happy to do.
I joined the committee and have been actively involved in the decision making for the band.
Whilst I have so many happy memories and proud moments, I think my ultimate one would be winning the Yorkshire Area in 2018 with people I am proud to call my friends.