Charlie Farren has been elected as the new Chairman of Whitburn Band

Scottish and Scottish Open champion Whitburn Band has named bass trombonist Charlie Farren as its new Chairman following the organisation’s AGM last Sunday (6th). Charlie takes over from Dave Kinross, who served in the role for the past nine years in what has been one of the most successful periods in Whitburn’s history.

During that time, Whitburn has won both the Scottish Championships and the Scottish Open five times as well as the 2017 Grand Shield, going on to finish runner-up at the same year’s British Open Championship.

The band has has also excelled on the concert stage, with appearances at Celtic Connections and the Edinburgh International Festival among the highlights of 2018.

Dave also played a pivotal role in the creation of an enviable youth structure at Whitburn, which sees young players playing their first notes in Whitburn Wee Band before progressing into the Youth Band and Whitburn Heartlands, before eventually graduating to Whitburn Band itself.

The success of that scheme can already be seen through two of its graduates – Ryan Bradley and Amy Gray. Ryan now plays percussion with Whitburn and was recently named Bandsperson of the Year for his outstanding contribution during 2018, while Amy left Whitburn last autumn to study in Manchester and become a member of Black Dyke Band.

Many other young players from the scheme are also flourishing in other Scottish bands, including Bathgate and Broxburn and Livingston.

Dave Kinross has overseen one of Whitburn’s most successful periods while he was Chairman

Dave commented: “I have enjoyed immensely the past nine years at the helm of Whitburn Band and witnessing the ongoing development of the entire organisation throughout that time. Other pressures have unfortunately now determined that my commitment to brass banding in general must be reduced in the immediate future so I have felt it necessary to retire from the role of Chairman.

“I wish Charlie every success in his new role and will continue to support Whitburn Band in any way I can in the years ahead.”

Charlie Farren is a well-known and popular figure throughout the banding world and along with his wife Caroline has also played a vital role in the development of Whitburn’s pathway system. A peripatetic brass teacher in East Lothian, he is recognised as one of the leading bass trombone players in brass bands and has served as Band Manager at Whitburn in recent years.

Charlie commented: “Dave’s immense contribution to Whitburn has been integral in transforming the organisation into the successful brand it is today and I wish to thank him on behalf of the band for the dedication he has shown since 2010.

“He is a very hard act to follow, but along with new Vice-Chairman Alan Douglas and the other dedicated committee members we will be doing everything in our power to ensure that his legacy remains in place for many years.”