Diggle band contest to get woman’s touch

THE sisters will finally be doing it for themselves as Diggle’s Whit Friday contest will have its first female adjudicator in 135 years.

Tabby Kerwin has taken on the role after the death of husband Simon in November.

Now as the big day looms large, the woman who is also a writer, speaker and businesswoman – owning publishing house and events company Mode For… – is ready to step up to the role.

She said: “I was informed I was the first female adjudicator in the 135 years of the event — so no pressure then!

“Over the years it’s always been a huge pleasure to get to know the hard-working team who organise the Diggle contest and Simon and I spent a great deal of time working on judging systems which have been put in place there.

“To take over from him is something I will cherish as it will be very close to my heart.

“The organising committee was clear that that recognised my own musical experience in asking me to take on the role.

“That was very humbling and I can’t wait to spend the night listening to a line-up of great bands.”

Tabby is no novice to the world of brass band music. After being born in Catterick, North Yorkshire, before moving to Kent, she performed in bands across the country.

A member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain where she was the winner of the Dennis Wright Scholarship, she studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Junior Department before moving in 1996 to study at the Royal Northern College of Music.

She has also experienced success as a conductor of both bands and choirs, including being musical director of the Military Wives Choir York and has judged in the UK and Asia.

Simon’s death from cancer at the age of 57 has left a legacy, with a fund set up in his memory helping six youth and training bands around the country.

Tabby invited applications from youth and training bands for five awards to receive 40 pieces of beginner and training band music – but had to up it because of the response.

She added: “I had an overwhelming response to the award.

“I initially announced there would be five awards made of the music but with such strong applications I have actually made six awards, plus another 10 bands that applied also received a gift from Mode for…Publishing of one of Simon’s pieces.”

The six bands receiving the awards were:
Warbleton Brass Band (Sussex)
Menai Bridge Training Band (Wales)
Riverside Youth Band, Invercylde (Scotland)
Middleton Band (Greater Manchester)
Cheltenham Silver Training Band (Gloucestershire)
Llandudno Town Band (Wales)

Diggle’s band contest takes place on Diggle Tunnel Tip, which is on the corner of Huddersfield Road and Sam Road, starting on Friday, June 14 at 4pm.

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