HERE come the girls . . . First it was cornet player Laura Hirst who breached the all-male bastion of Brighouse and Rastrick Band, now, hard on her heels, comes flugelhorn player Lucy Murphy.
Lucy, aged 38, is the latest female recruit to National Champion band B & R. Her appointment comes just one month after 27-year-old Laura made history and hit the headlines as the first woman to join the band in 130 years.
The band had maintained an unofficial all-male line-up and some members were unsure about the change in policy but Lucy and Laura say they have both been warmly welcomed into the ranks.
Lucy, who lives in Glossop and works as a personnel manager in Stockport, has brass band music in her blood. Her father and two brothers are all bandsmen, her mother is secretary of a brass band and her partner is professional conductor Gary Cutts. She was called in to help out at a B & R concert at Buxton Opera House before Christmas and then invited to join.
“I was delighted. I had been taking a bit of a break after being involved with the Fairey Band for a long time but it was always my intention to return to brass bands at some point.”
Originally from Marple, Lucy is looking forward to taking up her first official engagement with B & R at the Butlins Mineworkers Open Championship gala concert on January 23.
Percussionist Darren Roe has hung up his drumsticks after more than 20 years with B & R. Darren has been appointed to a new job as engineering director with Stagecoach and is moving his family to London.
“I had a fantastic time with B & R and I enjoyed every minute of it. I travelled the world with the band and made some great friends. I left on a high note, with B & R winning the National Championships, the Yorkshire Championships and a percussion award last year.”