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The Horn Section

Meet the Horns

The Horn Section

There are many different kinds of horn in the world but the two that are traditionally seen in brass bands are the Tenor Horn and the Flugel Horn,

In a typical Brass Band there are three Tenor Horn players (Solo, 1st and 2nd) and once Flugel Horn player.

Gemma Whittle- Flugel Horn

Gemma joined the band in 2008 and has remained with Rockingham ever since, becoming one of the core 8 when our rebuild began. Now living with her partner, our Director of Music, she has no escape from band. But when she does, she works in physiotherapy.

Sophie Holling - Solo Horn

Sophie returned to the band late 2018 and at 27 years of age, She has been playing almost 20 years! Besides being an outstanding musician, Sophie enjoys baking and can provide personalised cakes for all occasions to order (they’re very good so keep her in mind for the future)

Ian McKay - 1st Horn

Ian started his musical career at the age of 8, joining the Stannington training band and later Stannington main band, between 16 and 18. After studying music under cornet star, Richard Marshall, Ian moved to Bangor University in Wales. Here he took the Solo Horn chair and Librarian position with the University band before moving home to start teacher training. On his return, Ian joined the Deepcar band on 2nd horn with quick progression to solo. Joining the Rockingham Band in 2017 on 1st horn, Ian has been part of the bands progress from the 4th to the 2nd section. Outside of the band, Ian is an English teacher and has a keen interest in Sci-fi, literature and poetry writing.

Sandra Fretwell-Smith - 2nd Horn

Sandra came to banding late, in her 40s, when her then 8yr old son started learning cornet.

After decades playing solitary piano she wanted to play music with others, so started

learning tenor horn. She also plays with Woodhouse Prize Band but thought she'd have a

go at contesting before she gets too old for it.

Outside band Sandra is a metallurgist, having worked in the steel industry for almost her

entire career, although now self-employed.

In her spare time Sandra can be found in her

local fields attempting to stem the UK biodiversity crisis, or possibly walking up a mountain

in the Highlands of Scotland.

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