A RURAL brass band's search for a new conductor has ended in success.

David Dye has picked up the baton with the Middleton and Teesdale Silver Band after being impressed by the group's musicians.

Mr Dye, 61, from Kelton, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, explained: “I saw they were looking for a conductor and thought they would be a bit stuck.

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“When I first went along, I did not know whether I wanted to do it, but said I would give it a go for a couple of months up to Christmas.

“They have worked really hard and want to do well and I have received some glowing comments on the improvements they have made.”

This convinced Mr Dye to take the position – and now the Silver Band is on the look-out for more musicians to play alongside the current 18 members.

Hartlepool-born Mr Dye began playing the tenor horn aged nine before learning the piano courtesy of his grandfather, Howard Robson, a well-known pianist and saxophone player from Middleton-in-Teesdale who performed professionally as Jimmy Howard.

Mr Dye went on to spend 20 years as head of music in comprehensive schools.

He was also principal tenor horn with the Ever Ready Band between 1972 and 1991, after which he worked with many brass bands around the north of England as musical director.

He has been musical director at Carlisle St Stephen's Band since the summer of 2002 – a role he continues to enjoy.

Any musicians interested in joining the Middleton and Teesdale Silver Band is welcome to go along to practice sessiosn, which are held at Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School.

Tutoring and practice for new and inexperienced players takes place from 7pm to 7.30pm, followed by the main band practice.

More details are available at www.middletonband.org.uk.