As Cory Band looks forward to its summer break, the percussion section prepares to say a fond farewell to a key member of the last two and a half years Dave Griffiths who is taking up an invitation to join the year-long UK Tour of hit musical Legally Blonde starring Lucie Jones who represented the UK at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, and Rita Simons, best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders.
During his time at Cory, in which he has been instrumental in the band’s unprecedented success, Dave has continued to be in demand amongst the world of musicals, finding time to work on various touring musicals and in the West End, whilst prioritising Cory Band. However, the opportunity to be part of a much more extensive run was something Dave felt he couldn’t turn down. He commented: “When the invitation to go back out on the road again came in, I had much to consider. It would mean leaving my family at home for five or six days of the week, having to relinquish teaching my young talented students across schools in Gwent, and of course, leaving behind my extended family – Cory Band.”
Speaking more about his connections to Cory, Dave continued: “My involvement with the band started way back when, as a young 11-year-old, my theory of music teacher, Major Arthur Kenney, was conducting the band. I attended and played in weekly rehearsals as well as recordings with the band. My next visit to the band room was for a short spell towards the end of Bob Childs’ momentous reign as conductor and then, most recently, for the last two and a half years, during the band’s most historic, record-breaking and most memorable times under Phil’s guidance.”
For Dave (like Cory Band cornet player Dai Hale), Cory’s 2016 Grand Slam was, remarkably, his second, having been with Black Dyke in 1995 during its all-conquering year. He concluded: “Just being part of such a great close-knit family may possibly outweigh any of the amazing accomplishments I have achieved whilst a member of this extraordinary band. I may be going away for a while, but rest assured I will be following the band’s every move just as much as any loyal follower, and I look forward to the next time I perform with Cory!”
Philip Harper said: “Dave has been a fabulous player for Cory and we’ve all enjoyed his many contributions to our success. He adds a whole dimension to the sound of the band with the way he makes the timps sing, and his knowledge of the percussion repertoire has been an invaluable resource. We’ll miss him!”
Continuing, Philip revealed: “Dave’s departure from Cory leaves an opportunity for the right person to step in and we would like to offer someone the chance to join Cory Band for 12 months, with the option to extend if desired. In recent years we have been successful in throwing our recruitment net across the entire world of brass bands, with players from as far afield as Australia, Japan and Sweden relocating to South Wales to play with Cory. We would like to do the same in this instance. It goes without saying that we need a world-class player, but I think this could be a fantastic opportunity for someone to complete a kind of ‘gap’ year with Cory, playing at the British Open, National, Brass in Concert, Welsh Regional and European contests, and at about 25 concerts and numerous CD recordings with the Number One Ranked Brass Band in the World! We can help with relocation and employment, so if you think this could be you, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org”