Phil Chapman – Chair
After failing with the triangle at Primary School many years prior I started to learn to play the clarinet along with my young daughter. She joined the Ilkley Music Centre and I quickly followed. Having a busy career I found the experience absorbing, therapeutic, challenging and satisfying. Apart from the music it was also a great social gathering. Some 30 years on I still find those same experiences playing in the two Two Rivers Bands and a separate Clarinet Group. To be part of good amateur groups is most enjoyable and rewarding.
Nick Smith – Vice Chair
I have always had a love of music having started with a guitar back in the 1960s which I thought went well with my long hair! Decades passed and so did my hair but my son, daughter and Zosia (my better half) were all playing different instruments and I always knew I was missing out, so , on a whim, I walked into Woods in Bradford about 10 years ago and bought a saxophone. I began having lessons at the school where I taught and then eventually joined the band now known as the Two Rivers band. My musical tastes are eclectic so I enjoy the jazz and swing music as much as the concert band. Making music with fellow enthusiasts is now one of my most enjoyable pastimes. Rehearsals on a Thursday and Saturday morning are places of great fun and, at the same time, determination to play the music as it should be played.
Mike O’Farrell – Leader/Conductor (Concert Band)
was born near Shipley, West Yorkshire. He graduated with a BMus (Hons) from the University of Huddersfield in 2012, studying trumpet with Tom Osborne (Halle) and Murray Greig (Opera North), and in 2014 completed an MMus in performance practice and research, studying further with Murray Greig, and Rod Franks (London Symphony Orchestra). Mike enjoys a varied performance life on baroque and modern trumpet with orchestras, chamber music groups, shows and bands across the North of England, and maintains a busy teaching schedule at The Minster School, York, and others. He has been principal trumpet of the Dales Sinfonia under Arthur Butterworth and various freelance orchestras, serves as trumpet tutor for ‘Yorchestra’ youth courses and is founding co-director of Pennine Sinfonia, as well as Musical Director of Two Rivers Concert Band, Ilkley. As well as recitals of orchestral and baroque repertoire, brass ensembles and music for trumpet and organ, recent performance highlights include October 2014’s invitation to perform with Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra as soloist in Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg concerto, work with the choristers of York Minster in May 2015, and Haydn’s trumpet concerto in Leeds. Away from music, he enjoys cycling up and down various hills in Yorkshire.
What I love most about the Two Rivers Bands are their friendly welcoming atmosphere, the positive encouraging approach of our musical directors, and everyone’s enthusiasm to improve their playing and to perform. In Concert Band I play bass clarinet. In Swing Band I play baritone sax (pretending to be a trombone) and very occasional clarinet (pretending, at least in my head, to be Benny Goodman). As Band Secretary my job is to make sure that communication is effective and efficient, both at Committee level and among Band members as a whole, so that everyone knows what is happening and feels they have a voice in how the bands work.
Kimberley Clark – Publicity
My role on the committee is Publicist, which means I am responsible for the artwork for posters, flyers, tickets etc for both the swing band and concert band. I am very excited about this position and enjoy using my artistic skills for such fantastic bands. Recently, I was very honoured to design our current logo and have a hand in designing our website.
I have been influenced by music all my life, playing piano as a child and teenager. I always wanted to play the sax right from being very young, but only started in recent years, at age 40! Because of it, my life has taken on a new dimension! Being part of a band such as The Two Rivers has no end of benefits. My playing is improving all the time and it’s great fun, especially being able to be part of raising funds for charity, or being part of someone’s wedding ceremony or birthday, or just playing in the local park. I absolutely love it!!
Trevor Vincent – Leader/Conductor (Swing Band)
I started playing trumpet and arranging at school, and decided I would like to become a professional musician. I enrolled on the Jazz & Light Music Course at the Leeds Music Centre (now Leeds College of Music). Having obtained my diploma, I moved to London where I managed to work for some famous bandleaders of the time including Ken Macintosh, Ray McVay, Joe Loss, Syd Lawrence, Tony Evans & Johnny Howard. I have also played in backing bands for Dame Shirley Bassey, Dame Vera Lynn, Cilla Black, Max Bygraves, Bruce Forsythe, The Three Degrees & The Drifters. I also played for 9 months on the QE2, including her first World Cruise. As performing work grew gradually less, I returned north to Yeadon, and started teaching Jazz Arranging & Composition at Leeds College of Music on the BA (Hons) Jazz Studies Course. I also continued my own education by obtaining my Master’s Degree from the University of Leeds. During this time I have played for many memorable productions at the Alhambra Theatre Bradford and the Grand Theatre Leeds, and many local venues including Yeadon, Guiseley, Keighley & Ilkley. I continue to play in local big bands & small jazz groups. Since 2015 I have been directing the Two Rivers Swing Band. If you are interested in becoming a member of a swing band (big band), I couldn’t recommend this one highly enough, not only for the social and educational side, but because collectively they make a great sound…..a pleasure to stand up in front of. And if you are looking for a band to play at a function, I’m sure you will not be disappointed.
David Crowther – Treasurer
I have been listening to Jazz since I was a teenager in the 1950s –Count Basie, Benny Goodman, MJQ, Ben Webster etc. Bought a Tenor Saxophone in 1980 and opened the case for the first time when I retired in 1999. Began lessons and joined the Bradford Music Centres at Beckfoot and Ilkley in 2002/3. Played with the Concert Band and Swing Band until we decided to go independent in the Spring of 2012. Suddenly found myself in the role of Treasurer – yet another steep learning curve. It’s a delight to welcome to the Two Rivers Bands players of a wide range of age and standards. Wonderful music and a great group of people.
Scruff – Band Mascot
I am Scruff and because everybody fell in love with me I have suddenly found myself the band mascot. I have been to one or two gigs and rehearsals also. I belong to one of our members, Owen, and thoroughly enjoy myself!