The Percussion Section

Mark Jordan (Kit)

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Having been born and bred in Southampton, my playing days started at the age of 9. I joined my first training band at the age of 10. From there I progressed onto the Southampton Youth Brass Band. At the time drummers were in short supply in area and because of this it led to me joining the Southampton Schools Wind Band and the Southampton Youth Orchestra. Because of the shortage of drummer’s concerts and concert tours were a plenty. I was lucky to travel a lot into Europe on these tours but the highlight was playing at the Festival Hall in London in the schools proms for the composer, Malcolm Arnolds 50th birthday. On reaching 15 I then also joined Woodfalls B Band and started contesting. I also started working for my old youth band conductor as the drummer in his “German Beer Band”. I spent the next six years playing drinking and smoking (Sorry Mum!!) round the country and as far as way as Dubai and Bahrain (why they wanted a beer band in a dry country I don’t know, but the beer & Money was good.)
I then left Woodfalls and moved to Southampton Central Band and eventually won at a contest. From here I carried on down the South Coast till I reached Fareham and the home of Lucketts Travel (Southsea) Band. I spent ten good years here competing in the championship section and 1st Sections until the band folded into 2000. My tour along the south coast then stops at Chichester City, where I have been since September 2000. My first real job with this band was at the Royal Albert Hall in the National Finals (thanks Rob!!) and an experience never to be forgot. Since then I have 2 great years including the birth of my first son Kieran and am looking forward to many more!!

Rob Hewson (Timps)

I started playing the drums in 1978 in my junior school orchestra. I had had no lessons at the time, but I was able to read music, as I had started playing the violin two years earlier. I stopped playing drums when I went to senior school, as drummers there were plentiful but violinists were at a premium. I started drumming again when I was 15, after my brother left the local brass band, Liss Band, to go to college ( as I had taken over from him in junior school it seemed the natural thing to do). I played with Liss Band for 7 years, gradually learning the art of drumming. In 1987 I was asked by Portsmouth City Band to go on tour with them to Belgium and Germany, and in 1988 I went on tour to Denmark, with Liss Band. In 1990 life took me to Crawley, where I joined various bands over the next few years including Mid Sussex Brass Band and Horsham Band, and it was whilst at Mid Sussex that I first met J.W. our illustrious leader. In 2000 I was asked by John to come down to Chichester to play with the band, at the area qualifiers, at Stevenage. As you probably know, that year the band qualified for the finals at the Albert Hall, although I myself didn’t go (by that time Mark the other drummer had arrived, for which I still haven’t forgiven him). January 2001 saw me move to Bognor Regis and join the band full time as the timpani player. Having had no training on playing timpani, I am very grateful to the band for taking me and giving me the opportunity, it really is the best band I have had the pleasure to be part of.
P.S. I haven’t touched the violin since I left school!!!

Wendy Beckwith (Tuned)

As a clarinettist, I played in three wind bands, a jazz ensemble and an orchestra whilst at school in London. In 1987 I moved to Chichester to train as a teacher. I performed in a variety of college productions and joined the Chichester Symphony Orchestra and the Littlehampton Town Band.
The story of how I came to join the Chichester City Band is strange but true…
One of my friends heard about the band and was keen to join. She asked me to go with her while she met the M.D. (Nigel MacDonald). I got talking to Nigel, and even though I had never played a brass instrument before, he persuaded me to take a baritone home to learn. I borrowed a book from the library, taught myself a couple of scales and a few easy tunes, then went back and joined the band.
I’ve never looked back!
I soon moved over to the cornet section, where I have spent most of my time with the band. I had a go at the flugel for a while and have now taken up the new challenge of learning to play percussion. Mark and Rob have welcomed me into their section and have given me help, encouragement and confidence.
As well as playing, I am a committee member and held the Treasurer’s position when the band received its lottery grant. I also conducted the Training Band in its early years.
My best memories of playing with the band so far are of performing Brassed Off in the Chichester Festival Theatre and of taking part in the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall.