Cory Band is delighted to announce that one of the best cornet players in the business, South Wales-born Dai Hale, has joined and will play assistant principal cornet, working closely with principal cornet Tom Hutchinson.
The move is somewhat of a reuniting for the pair, who were previously together at Rothwell Temperance Band where Dai was principal cornet from 1997. An extremely young Tom joined the band a few years later and they were desk partners, then Tom replaced Dai as principal cornet when the latter’s studies at Huddersfield were completed and he returned to Wales to begin a family.
Dai Hale began his playing career with Tredegar Band as a youngster, progressing to principal cornet and trumpet in the Greater Gwent Youth organisations, and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales. He moved to Sellers Band in 1993, winning the Harry Mortimer scholarship, and joined Black Dyke in 1994, completing a memorable ‘Grand Slam’ of titles in 1995. From 2009 Dai played with Flowers Band in Gloucester.
Of his arrival at Cory, Dai said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Cory Band, a band with so much history, tradition and above all a performance level of the very highest quality. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying all the extra practice and commitment required to play at this level.
I had no hesitation in accepting Philip’s invitation to join the band, but I’d also like to thank my wife and daughter for supporting me and allowing me to pursue my banding goals. It’s also great to be performing with a band from my home nation, Wales, and I look forward hopefully to winning another Grand Slam!”
Musical Director Philip Harper said: “The last year has been a remarkably stable period for Cory regarding personnel, in fact Dai is the first new player we have had for twelve months, which is testament to the incredible commitment and sacrifice shown by everyone in the team. But what a player to bring in! Dai was a vital part of us winning the Europeans in Lille and I’ve been so impressed with everything which he brings to the table: brilliant playing, a first-class attitude and commitment; and a fabulously encouraging and nurturing approach to our younger players. We’ve all enjoyed welcoming him on board.
“We will have another couple of changes to personnel in the Autumn, and I’d also like to pay tribute to Adrian Williams who was, until recently, bumping Tom. Adrian is not leaving the band, although he is stepping back as a full-time player as he is no longer able to commit 100%, which is a demand of membership of Cory. Adrian is a great player who is just as much at home on soprano as he is on solo cornet, a real asset to Cory Band.”
Cory Band will play at the Welsh Proms on Friday 22nd July in St. David’s Hall, Cardiff before starting up again after a summer break with concerts on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 27th August, and in Guildford on Sunday 28th August.