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2007, The Virtuosi GUS Band outside St. Andrew's Church, Kettering.
Back row from left to right:
Simon Hardy, Nigel Bramley, Adele Sellers, Darren Ashman, John Hudson, Sally Bramley, Rebecca Crawshaw, Chris Millington, Graham Smith, Helena Spurrell, Stuart Pearson, Clair Tomalin.
Middle row from left to right:
Mark Hampson, Richard Walker, Chris Jeans, Tim Jones, Liam Halloran, Chris Brice, Bruce Harris, Jo Pearson, Simon Smith.
Front row from left to right:
Mike Smith, Dave Elliot-Smith, Richard Jarvis, Sarah Lenton, David Stowell, Shawn Pagington (Band Manager), Rob Woods, Graham Paterson, John Monahan.
This photo appeared in the Brass Band World magazine of May 2007, with the following article:
In January 1993, Mr. Fred Felton, owner of a Kettering shoe factory, called a newspaper reporter to tell him: "We are going to form a brass band and we are going to aim high". Two years later, the Munn and Felton Works Band were champions of Great Britain.
Under the names of Munn and Felton, G.U.S. (Footwear), Rigid Containers Group, The GUS Band and the Travelsphere Holidays Band, the sound that once originated from Kettering has rung throughout Britain, Europe and America in concert halls, on television, radio and in the recording studio. Approaching its 75th anniversary, it is perhaps under the name GUS that the band had its longest and most successful period. Conductors have included some of the most famous names in the brass band movement: William Halliwell, Stanley Boddington, Harry Mortimer, Geoffrey Brand, Keith Wilkinson, John Berryman and David Stowell (pictured just before his resignation last month).
Following the end of the sponsorship from Travelphere in 2006, the band's future looked uncertain, with no rehearsal facility and no guaranteed income. However, on 1 January 2007 a new sponsorship agreement was signed with musical instrument manufacturers Virtousi England Ltd, whose managing director, Shawn Pagington is the band manager.
Stowell's decision to leave the band after four successful years is due to his growing workload of compositions: "My time working with Virtuosi GUS has been great, but with three huge scores to write by July and the logistics of living in Norfolk and the band in Northampton I had little choice. I'm hoping that I can continue to work as a conductor on a freelance basis in the future. I would like to thank the management and players for the total team spirit and support they have shown over the last four years. The band is on an all-time high now with excellent players right round the band and a superb, dedicated sponsor. I think everyone is going to see great things from Virtuosi GUS this year and no-one wishes it for them more or will be cheering louder than me'.