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B Ed(Hons)
Gordon has been involved in Brass Bands and their music since the age of 10 years. He was taught as a Tuba player by the Black Dyke Legend – Geoff Whitham. Gordon speaks fondly of his mentor who did far more than teach him to be a player. At age 16, Gordon was invited to join the Band of Yorkshire Imperial Metals under Trevor Walmsley DFC. Trevor had a significant musical influence upon Gordon and it was in the numerous conversations with Trevor that his first interest in the “Dark Art of Adjudication” was sparked. Trevor was keen to innovate new ways of commenting on bands and their performances in contests. In the 1980’s alongside a career as a Police Officer, Gordon started conducting bands, firstly with The Queensbury Band, gaining a podium finish at The Yorkshire Area in the second section. Around the same time Gordon also formed the 4th band within the Hammonds Sauce Organisation. The Hammonds Junior Band ‘B’ whom he took to the 4th Section Area within two years (he is proud to say ‘we weren’t last’). Over the following years he went on to play with Hammonds Sauce Works Band conducted by Richard Evans and latterly by Geoff Whitham, Black Dyke conducted by James Watson, Yorkshire Building Society conducted by David King. Yorkshire Imperial under Jim Davies and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band under William Rushworth and Brian Grant. Numerous foreign tours, recordings and competitions have developed Gordon’s strong belief that Banding should be enjoyable and exciting. His most influential musician is still most definitely Geoffrey Whitham. A master musician as a player, conductor and adjudicator. Gordon feels very fortunate that Geoff took a good deal of time helping him in his early experiences of adjudicating with advice (and a few unrepeatable anecdotes!). Gordon took up full-time brass teaching on his retirement from the Police seventeen years ago and is much in demand both privately and within schools in the Leeds and Bradford area. Gordon has conducted numerous brass bands in and around Yorkshire on a freelance and permanent basis. In a period of four years, he took York RI Band, a struggling Third Section band, to the National Finals four years consecutive with two Area Titles and Finals podium finishes also gaining promotion to the first section. Gordon has no real desire to conduct Championship Bands despite having received opportunities to do so – “I enjoy the challenge of building bands by hard work and motivation, getting the best out of the players there and definitely valuing everyone’s contribution. You can’t make a band, you have to grow it”. Although still playing at the highest level in the Championship Section, ‘Grass Roots’ Banding is his passion, he has worked with bands who were nearing extinction and led them to a healthy sustainable condition – having fun and offering a satisfying musical experience. Upon joining the Association, Gordon commented: “The world we live in today is open to almost instant general comment through social media. This has opened the adjudication of band contests to ‘instant punditry’ via the media, leading to greater scrutiny and questioning of the decisions made by our adjudicators. Scrutiny and transparency is good, but now there is a greater need to have thoroughly competent, trained, supported, forward-thinking and credible adjudicators available to contest organisers. An adjudicator's decision and comments on a performance have a massive impact on a band and have to be fair and positive. I am excited to be have been accepted into the Association and I look forward to working with contest organisers in the future as their adjudicator”.
6 Menston Old Lane, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley. LS297QQ
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