Founder of Dunmow Wind Band honoured for hitting right notes for town

PUBLISHED: 08:04 28 June 2018

Andy King ready for a Trooping the Colour Parade five years ago. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Andy King ready for a Trooping the Colour Parade five years ago. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

The founder of the Dunmow Wind Band and former British Army musician has been awarded the Great Dunmow Town Award for outstanding services to the town.

Andy King, 51, has met the Queen and performed at countless state ceremonies and parades over 22 years, often whilst steering his horse and playing the euphonium, a large brass instrument, simultaneously.

Formed by Andy five years ago, the Dunmow Wind Band has been involved in raising more than £40,000 for local charities, including Uttlesford Community Travel and St Clare Hospice.

Andy, who lives in Dunmow with his wife Della, received the award on Sunday.

He said: “I was in a military band at the time and I was coming close to retirement and I wanted to carry on with music. I knew Great Dunmow did not have a band and I wanted a challenge.”

From eight musicians at the first rehearsal, the band now has more than 40 members.

This year Andy has started a community singing group called the Great Dunmow Community Big Voices, which recently performed with Dunmow Wind Band, raising £1,400 for St Clare Hospice.

Joining the British Army at 25, Andy undertook military training before joining the Band of The Blues and Royals, a regiment of the Household Cavalry.

He would often play the euphonium whilst controlling his horse in front of noisy, excitable crowds.

Andy said: “It was absolutely fantastic. Music has always been my hobby so to do my hobby for work has been incredible. Quite often it would be televised. I recorded it every time and I would try and spot myself. The first time you sit on the horse with an instrument you don’t know if the horse is going to get spooked. It was quite scary at the beginning. A few years ago I dropped my instrument and the horse trampled all over it.

“I grew up in the Salvation Army and my friends were in military bands all over the country. I thought what a great job, doing something I have always loved.”

The Dunmow Wind Band will next be performing at Hatfield Forest on July 15. Tickets can be bought as www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/bishop-39-s-stortford/hatfield-forest/music-on-a-summers-afternoon.

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