At the 49th BYBA AGM held on Sunday 16th January, BYBA were honoured and privileged to welcome Peter Friend and Steve Hall to the ranks of the BYBA Fellowship. Both have been active in the marching band movement for many years and have made significant contributions to the ongoing development of the activity.
Their Fellowship nominations illustrate these contributions, and can be read in full below:
Peter joined the 65th London boy’s brigade in 1950 and in 1952 his family moved to Romford where he joined the 1st Romford coy under the leadership of Phil Clark.
Still as a fledgling he moved to 1st Harold Hill coy in 1957 after “aging out” at Romford where he started the band that year, but was invited to join HM Forces for two years in 1959. On his return in 1961 he went on to win the BB
Romford battalion band contest in 1963.
After a move to Hadleigh in 1963 he joined the Basildon Drum & Trumpet Corps where contact was made with Bill Barber, Basildon Drum & Trumpet Corps founder, via Brian Keeler of Hornchurch DTC. Peter was appointed as Bandmaster that same year. He stayed with Basildon until 1968, when he retired due to the rigors of raising a young family, handing the reigns over to BYBA Fellow, Mr Glen Carter.
A further more, this time to Gillingham in 1971 and he found himself in a supporting role for Gravesham COD such was his passion to promote the marching band scene.
Had involvement with the scouts in organising the scout national band contest between 1972 – 1974.
During all this time Peter was in the background working with those involved in the formation of the British Youth Band Association and was part of the inaugural meeting, held in a hall attached to Southwark Cathedral.
Peter became Chairman of BYBA in 1975 and remained in post until after the globally recognized Queens Silver Jubilee parade, organized by David Loader (one of the British Youth Band Associations recognized founders alongside John Johnson and Glenn Carter), overseeing BYBAs involvement with the Jubilee Parade.
When Steve Hars became Bandmaster of Basildon Drum & Trumpet Corps Peter spent some time as Chairman of the organisation before moving once more to Dublin for work commitments with Rank Xerox, eventually finding himself in Wilmslow, Cheshire in the late 80’s and taking an active role with both the Green Lancers and the UK Drum Corps Federation until its merger with DCUK.
As a former Chairman of the Association, and during one our history’s most critical growth periods this nomination to induct Peter Friend into the British Youth Band Fellowship is formally submitted for consideration. Peter should
have been included in the honouring of our past Chairman previously, and so this submission is also to correct that.
Steve’s first involvement with Youth Bands was as a marching member of the 2nd Grays Boys’ Brigade in the early
1970’s. By June 1974 their traditional Eb trumpet band from Chadwell St Mary, had decided to enter the Hornchurch Band Contest. Despite coming last that experience laid the foundations from which the 2nd Grays Boys’ Brigade Drum & Trumpet Corps was founded by Steve’s brother Trevor Hall.
The band joined BYBA and we had a close association with Dave Loader and Thurrock D & T C at the time – with Dave being their Guest of Honour at many Presentation Evenings and events.
In May 1977, at the age of just 18, Steve became Bandmaster of the band - and one of his greatest memories is marching in the Queens Jubilee Parade as our Drum Major.
The band slowly progressed through the BYBA divisions – finally reaching the Premier Class in 1990. During the 13 years that Steve was Bandmaster, the band made numerous trips abroad, along with the busy schedule of BB activities. The band also progressed from Eb trumpets to Bb valves in 1983. At this stage girls were also invited to join and the new band “The Blue Ambassadors” - “The band of the 2nd & 3rd Grays Boys’ Brigade and Riverview Girls” were formed.
In July 1990 after the birth of twins, Steve decided to retire as Bandmaster but soon realised that craved to maintain some involvement. Mr Eddie Hendle then suggested that he should train as a BYBA judge which he successfully achieved in 1991. Steve then spent 7 years judging in the UK & Ireland including 2 years as the Chairman of BYBA Judging.
During the 1990s Steve also instigated the British Youth Marching Band Charity Exhibition. 4 national events were held at Aveley, attracting over 20 bands to each event and raising over £25K for charities and promoting the activity.
Steve was invited to join the board of Thurrock Marching Brass (aavid and dedicated supporters of the Association) in 2014 and has transformed the organisations ability to facilitate for youngsters across the country to perform, organising no less that 8 major events that have attracted literally thousands of spectators from all over the UK and for all backgrounds. Steve remains an integral part of Thurrock Marching Brass’ growth and his extensive knowledge and experience makes him the perfect show director, a position he continues to hold and to develop going forwards to this day.
It gives me the greatest pleasure and pride in nominating Mr Steve Hall as a strong candidate for entry into the BYBA Fellowship.
Both of these men have devoted so much time to the activity and we hope you will join us in thanking them for their service and welcoming them to the Fellowship!