Whitburn pay tribute to The Major

Everyone at Exchange Communications Whitburn Band is deeply saddened to learn of the death of the band’s Honorary President Major Peter Parkes at the age of 81.

‘The Major’ was the most successful conductor at Whitburn ever, leading the band to a record eight wins at the Scottish Championships in 1980-83, 86, 87, 92 and 93.

He also conducted the band to victory at the 1991 Grand Shield and the runner-up spot at the 1990 European over an incredible 20-year association.

Whitburn players past and present who were lucky enough to work with ‘The Major’ universally agree he led the band in its most successful period in its history and, more than anybody else, made Whitburn a force in Scottish and world brass banding.

In tribute, the band dedicated a performance of John Ireland’s ‘Elegy’ from ‘A Downland Suite’ at a concert in Bathgate on February 13 to him. Chris Bradley, the band’s principal cornet player, also addressed the audience and gave a moving account of Major Parkes’ time with Whitburn.

Our condolences go to Major Parkes’ family, friends, and to everyone he inspired over the years in Scotland and beyond.

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