We caught up with Principal Euphonium of the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, Toni Durrant, ahead of the band's performance at Morley Town Hall on Saturday 19 October as part of the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 series.
How long have you played with the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band?
I joined the band in October 2007. I had a brief spell out for maternity in 2010 and a career break in 2015/16, but Frickley feels like it's always been my band.
What's the best thing about playing in a brass band?
I think it's my therapy! The sound is quite physical at times, kind of like a hug. It's a great outlet for my emotions and allows me to express myself where words sometimes fail. To top it all off is the friendship/family feel of the group.
What’s your highlight so far with the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band?
Becoming French Open winners in 2018. The gala concert was so hot and sticky but the reception we got as a band and personally as a soloist was amazing!
How did you get involved with playing a brass instrument?
I played recorder at school. I think my dad soon got annoyed with that noise and me marching around the sofa to brass band LPs so he took me to my local brass band.
What was your earliest musical experience?
Playing recorder in school assembly. I distinctly remember my recorder being blue!
Who has been your biggest influence?
Phillip McCann. He was Head of Brass at Huddersfield University when I was there as well as conductor of Sellers band where I played. Later, he came to conduct Carlton Main too, so I've gained a lot of experience under his baton .
Do you enjoy practising or find it a chore?
Haha! It all depends on whether I have something to practise for, like a concert or contest, or if it's mundane 'keeping my lip in' practising. Generally, I always feel better for making the effort to practise.
Were your parents musical?
My dad played brass.
What piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
What’s the best and worst things about performing?
The elation you feel when you know the band is playing well and that you're building to something special. Never feeling 'good enough'.
What can the audience expect from a performance by the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band?
In concert we always try to give something for everyone: the traditionalist, the person who's come to hear world class soloists, the novice band audience member who doesn't know what to expect or the seasoned connoisseur of bands who wants to hear and see a band enjoying playing at their very best.
View the Leeds Best of Brass 2019/20 brochure online
Leeds Best of Brass Series 2019/20:
Saturday 19 October 2019 - Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
Saturday 16 November 2019 - Tredegar Town Band
Saturday 7 December 2019 - Leyland Band
Saturday 18 January 2020 - Black Dyke Band
Saturday 8 February 2020 - Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Saturday 7 March 2020 - Foden's Band
Saturday 4 April 2020 - Brighouse & Rastrick Band
Saturday 25 April 2020 - Rothwell Temperance Band