Christmas concert

PUBLISHED: 16:50 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:09 10 June 2010

On Friday, December 12, the Exmouth Town Concert Band will be giving their Annual Christmas Concert at the Exeter University Great Hall.

On Friday, December 12, the Exmouth Town Concert Band will be giving their Annual Christmas Concert at the Exeter University Great Hall.

Their guests for this event will be Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Ceremonial Unit. Exmouth Town Concert Band took over this concert in 2005 after the Devon and Cornwall Police Band was disbanded.

The Exmouth Town Concert Band is a wind/military style band rather than a brass band and is some 50 members strong.

The concert follows the similar format of previous years with popular themes as well as festive music and carols.

The band's charity for this concert will be the FITKIDZ' Multi Sports Club (Exeter). Tickets are on sale direct from Derek Roberts on (01392) 490802 or can be purchased on the door. Tickets are balcony £6 and stalls £5.

The concert is all the more important to the band following the sad loss of one of its most well known members and director of music Keith Whittall, who sadly passed away on November 15.

Keith was born in Manchester and began his musical career in a local brass band at the age of 10 years. Later he was a member of the Manchester Youth Orchestra. He entered the Royal Marines Band Service in 1956, where he studied the cornet at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent, under Professor Walter Hargreaves. During his 25 years' service with the Royal Marines he served in various HM ships and travelled extensively.

He completed his service career as a Warrant Officer Bandmaster at the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon, in 1981.

From there he joined the Devon and Cornwall Police Band as Director of Music, where he stayed for three years.

An opportunity arose for him to go to the Sultanate of Oman to teach music to the Arab members of the Omani Navy Band and there he completed a successful two year tour.

Keith then rejoined the Devon and Cornwall Police Band in May 1986 until its closure in 2004.

He took up the baton as Director of Music of the Exmouth Town Concert Band in June 1998.

Keith was a gentleman and a pleasure to be associated and work with. He was very proud of his contribution to the world of music. His wit and humour will be sorely missed by

the Exmouth Town Concert Band, along with all the other bands in which he had an interest. Condolences go to his wife Pam and family.

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