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Musical People of the Clay Country

Across the years the clay country has produced many and been home to many fine writers and performers of music – across a range of different disciplines. From the family traditions of brass banding and male voice choirs, to singer-songwriters, composers, dancers – each contributing something unique to the musical life of the clay country and helping to nurture musical life of the area.

Again, there will be many more people to add to this section; if you can help us by writing up a profile of someone you think we ought to include, please write an article or get in touch.

I was born in 1985 in Reading, so I’m not officially Cornish at all! That said, I have no memory of my life prior to Cornwall – we moved to St Austell when I was four-years-old – so I do consider myself Cornish by nurture if not by birth! Neither
During the 1820s the activities of the parish church choir, under the direction of Bennett Swaffield, became a feature of the accounts of musical events noticed by  the  newspapers. No record of instrumental concerts taking place in the town has been found, but the performances of the choir, both   in 
St Dennis Silver Band with Darren Hawken, Musical Director Darren Hawken Darren Hawken is a conductor, teacher, trombonist, vocalist, pianist, organist and accompanist. Darren was born at St Austell, Cornwall, in 1983. Although neither of Darren’s parents are musical, his maternal Grandmother and her parents indeed were. Darren’s Great Grandfather,
Songs inspired by the Cornish Clay Country
Sometime around 1896 a young Ford Knight joined Indian Queens Band on cornet. Who, then, could have predicted the immense contribution he was to make. Indian Queens Band 1896 with Ford Knight next to the drum, cornet in hand (Photo: unknown) Indian Queens Band 1908 with Ford Knight on the
  Daniel was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1996 and moved to Foxhole, Cornwall, in 2001 and then to Bugle two years later. He said, “Every year on the weekend of my sister’s birthday, the West of England Bandsmen Festival took place and the winners played in the square in front
August 2020 John & Olwen Brush (Courtesy of Kevin and Jacky Brush) John Alfred Brush By Tony Mansell Born: 21st Jan 1934 Married: Grace Olwen in 1956 Died: 15 March 2016 in Cornwall John and I first came across each other when we were working on our Cornish Brass Band
  Edwin (Eddie) John Williams St Dennis Silver Band MD (Photo: courtesy CCHS (1) )   Eddie Williams was born on the 7th April 1923, in Bugle, the little village that was to be the scene of so many of his contest triumphs. From 1921 to 1924, Edwin Williams senior,
July 2020 Cecil Brewer (Photo: courtesy of St Austell Silver Band) By Tony Mansell Born: 1909 in Tavistock Married: Florence Evelyn in 1941 Died: 2004 in Cornwall Cecil Brewer was born in 1909, in Tavistock, to Cornish parents. When he was about three years old his family returned to Cornwall