Archived Extracts

Report by Helen Lambourne for the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad November 2003

Haydn keeps band in tune for 40 years

A MUSIC-LOVER who has devoted his life to Huthwaite Prize Band has received two prestigious awards for his tireless service.
  Conductor Haydn Cooper (73), of Crescent Road, Selston, has been keeping the band to the beat for 40 years and been a member for an amazing 65 years.
  And this week delighted Haydn said he was 'overwhelmed' when he was presented with the special long service awards by the North East Midlands Brass Band Association at a surprise party attended by former band members and pupils from around the country.

Haydn Cooper

  Said Haydn: "There has been lots of highlights really, but that Friday takes a lot of beating."
  His proud wife Liz (61) described the party - which took place on 4th November - as a 'wonderful tribute' to him.
  "It is rare for anybody to have 65 years and our band is one of the oldest in the country," she said. "There were people there who we haven't seen for years and years."
  Music runs in Haydn's family, with the Huthwaite Prize Band founded by his great-grandfather William Cooper in 1849 and has been passed down through the family ever since.
  Haydn is the fourth Cooper to lead the band and expects his son Lynden to take over when he retires.
  Said Liz: "It has gone down from father to son. I don't think there's another band in the country like that."
  The band, which has about 25 members, now meets at Selston parish meeting room after having to leave its base in Huthwaite because of problems with anti-social behaviour in the area.
  Haydn, whose main instrument is the euphonium, has also been a music teacher sincce he was 18 and has taught brass and woodwind lessons at many local schools.
  he still continues to teach Kirkby Woodhouse Primary School and Underwood CofE Primary School - despite having a triple heart bypass operation about two years ago.
  Haydn says he taught hundreds of pupils over the years with some of them becoming professionals - and has taught three generations of the same family in some cases.
  He has received previous musical awards, being honoured in 2001 by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his long service in teaching brass players.
  And Haydn is determined to keep conducting the band as long as he can, telling Chad: "I will keep going as long as my health enables me to. Music has been a thread that has run right through my life and still does."

Written Nov 2003 Revised 10 Nov 13 © by Gary Elliott