The world lost one of its great musicians on 15 February 2018 when Kenneth George Smith, known as Ken or young Ken, died in Melbourne aged 88.
Ken was skilled in many aspects of music, particularly brass music and brass bands. He was a superb cornet/trumpet player; a stylish and clever arranger; a skilled and sensitive adjudicator; a world championship winning conductor; and a willing and intelligent educationalist.
The death was been announced of Betty Anderson, one of the pioneering women of the 20th century brass band movement. She died following a period of illness on 8th January aged 88. In 2009 Betty allowed me to write a potted history of her brass band career for my new book' What Brass Bands Did For Me...'
Willie Barr will be remembered by many older readers as one of the finest and most frequently heard cornet soloists on the radio during the 1950’s and 60’s. My own recollection of this brass band legend from north of the border was when I first heard one of his solo performances of Gregor J. Grant’s composition The Flying Scot on a 1967 Scottish CWS recording – cornet playing of the very highest standard.
The death of Frank Bryce who will always be associated with Besses o'th Barn Band was reported widely in the brass band press today.