A Fairfield stalwart has been honoured for his dedication to making brass band music

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding
Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

After seven decades of being pitch perfect, one musical director has no plans to stop any time soon.

Charles Kitchen got into music when he was seven-years-old, and followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by joining Fairfield Brass Band.

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

He said: “The band is still such a large part of my life and something I still love being a part of.”

In 1945 he started playing the cornet and in his teens started playing the horn and the trumpet, but returned to the cornet.

After 40 years as a musician, the 77-year-old, of Barms Way, took up the position of musical director or conductor.

“There is no feeling quite like being part of something when you are in a band,” he said.

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

“There is a great sense of elation when a team of people are in time and producing music that entertains people.”

Over the years, Charles has played in various places around the country, from Chatsworth House to London, Harrogate and Cheltenham, and in various competitions.

“One of my highlights of being a conductor is that the band has competed at the national finals four times.

“The brass band from Fairfield was up against other teams from all around the country and we did so well to make it to the finals.”

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

Charles Kitchen, seventy years service to brass banding

The band have played for weddings and funerals and Charles has experienced all the emotions that go with it.

“When you perform you can feel uplifted or emotionally drained, but that is what music can do to you.”

Charles and his wife, Maureen, have two children and they both play in the band: “At the time you don’t think that they are carrying on a legacy and a dynasty, but when you stop and think, it is nice to see that they enjoy music too.”

Charles’ father was playing music just weeks before he died aged 82, and his son has no plans to stop.

“Music keeps me young and I like the social side of meeting people too,” Charles added.

The group meet at the band hall on Waterswallows Road in Fairfield.

Charles added: “Music brings me so much joy.”