Connor, 19, leads the band into the future

Connor Gingell, 19, who has taken charge of Chorley Silver Band, one of 'the longest established in the area.
Connor Gingell, 19, who has taken charge of Chorley Silver Band, one of 'the longest established in the area.

He’s thought to be the youngest - and possibly fastest - band conductors in the country, and he’s just taken charge of Chorley Silver Band.

Keen biker Connor Gingell, 19, will lead the band, one of the longest established and best loved in the area, into an exciting new era.

Band chair Andrea Hall said: “Not only is Connor almost certainly the youngest brass band conductor in Britain, but as his other interests include motorcycle racing, we think he is probably the fastest as well!”

She went on to explain that Connor, who also plays with Wingates, one of the country’s foremost competition bands, had made great progress in his first weeks in charge and she was confident he could lead Chorley Silver Band to new heights.

“Connor was an outstanding candidate for the pivotal position of conductor and with his enthusiasm and skill has already had a big impact,” said Andrea.

Connor started playing with his local band Farnworth and Walkden. After a year with Tyldesley he joined Wingates Brass Band. He started teaching brass in late 2013.

Connor graduated from Pendleton Sixth Form College in June, 2014 after two years of studying A-level and Btec music. He currently works as a lab technician.

”As soon as i saw the vacancy for conductor at Chorley Silver Band, I knew I wanted to apply,” said Connor.

“Ive always wanted to share my passion for music with young people and help them succeed in the music world.

“I have a vission of taking the band to contests such as national youth brass band championships etc.

“I hope to have a long lasting future with the band and have a wonderful journey with them.”

Andrea stressed that now he was in place, the band was in the ideal position to launch a recruitment drive and develop an already enviable reputation for bringing through young talent.

She said: “Chorley Silver Band has been in existence for many decades and our youth band was officially formed in 1996 with the aim to promote music education to the people of Chorley.

“Whilst as a youth band, with the majority of players being between 11 and 18, older players are always welcome to share their wealth of knowledge.

“The band provides instruments so as to make brass music accessible to all. We know that there are players out there at both the novice and more experienced levels and we want to encourage them back into banding.”

The band recently appeared at the Derian House Lights of Love event at Blackburn Cathedral, and over Christmas played a number of Carol concerts at supermarkets and community centres in the area.

Andrea added: “As another locally-based charity we have been consistent supporters of the great work which Derian House does and we were very pleased to participate.

“We have always had a reputation as being a pillar of the local community and are probably best known for our frequent and successful fundraising concerts for charities in the Chorley.

“We perform at various parades, fetes and walking days throughout the county and in the past we have travelled further afield, performing at the Menin Gate as part of a music tour of Belgium.

“We are a registered charity and we take great pleasure from playing to our local audience.”

You can find details of the band’s Summer Programme together with the recruitment drive at its website at www.chorleysilverband.org.uk. The band also has a Facebook page.