3rd Cornet -
Denis started his Brass Band career by learning Euphonium under Father Michael "Jock" McGovern at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton in 1975. Jock was an inspirational teacher who put great passion into running the school band, choir and orchestra, producing many of the musicians still playing in brass bands in the North West today and leaving Denis with many happy memories of his school banding days. Following a tip off from a friend that there may be a vacancy in a 'real' local brass band Denis went along to an Eagley Band rehearsal in 1980 to see what players did once they left the school band. Several happy years at Eagley Band followed and Mild was only 40p a pint!
As he moved around the Midlands area in his Civil Engineering Career he played with Stage Coach East Midlands band in Dronsfield, Derwent Brass in Derby and finally settled with Snibston and Desford in Coalville for a number of years of great banding in the championship section. Snibston and Desford were featured in the real life TV documentary Brass Tacks and Denis had a star role playing Bass Drum at Blackpool Mineworkers Contest. Coming fourth in the Area contest playing Philip Sparke's 'Partita' was a great moment and Denis also got to fulfil his ambition to play in the whit friday marches during this period. It was a privilege to play with some of the great players who passed through the band at that time. When Denis relocated back to the North West he had a spell out of banding but it couldn’t last and he joined Flixton in 2010 and is enjoying getting back into playing again.
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Flixton Band 2003-2007
June 2010 - present
"I will never forget the moment I wandered into the concert hall during a championship section performance at the first contest I attended in Bolton's Albert Hall shortly after joining Eagley Band. The band was playing Berlioz's Carnival Romain and I never imagined that a Brass Band could make such a wonderful sound or that you could make a euphonium sound so beautiful- it was a real eureka moment. It was so inspirational and I still have the Euphonium part that I copied shortly afterwards to use in my practice sessions for years afterwards in an attempt to emulate the players I heard that day. All people should play in a musical ensemble while they are growing up - The world would surely be a better place as a result."