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 Bandmaster Kenneth Cook - 1964-1971 
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In January, 1964, Courtney Bosanko was succeeded as bandmaster by Kenneth Cook, who had already held a similar position for seven years at Regent Hall. A musician of the highest calibre, Bandmaster Cook was formerly an examiner at Trinity College, London where his was the first fellowship to be awarded for brass bands.

He wrote a number of books on banding, and was a prolific composer of band music until these activities were somewhat curtailed by serious illness at the age of 34. At Beaufort School, where he was responsible for teaching music and religious education, he continued his close connection with the schools brass band movement, taking charge of the school band that Courtney Bosanko had founded.

Under his leadership, Boscombe Band commenced two christmas engagements that were to become annual events. On December 21st 1966 they made an historic visit to Christchurch Priory, as recorded in the Bournemouth Echo:

For the first time in history the Priory Church, Christchurch, resounded to the sound of Salvation Army brass bands, when the massed bands of Boscombe and Christchurch, together with their combined singing companies and songsters, presented a carol concert at the Church. The event drew one of the largest congregations ever known to the church - some people had to be turned away - and raised £85 for Christchurch Hospital League of Friends. The 40 musicians of the Boscombe Citadel Band, under Bandmaster Kenneth Cook, played a selection of Christmas music including Christmas in Europe and the tone poem The Kingdom Triumphant.

This was to be the first of 15 such carol concerts, with the Priory being packed to capacity on each occasion. In recent years this annual event has been re-instated into the band calendar and it continues to draw a large audience.

In December 1968 Moordown Baptist Church was the venue for another carol concert, and the band continued to perform this annual engagement for a number of years.

The band also participated in numerous St. Cecilia festivals, and on several occasions led important processions through the streets of Bournemouth.

On 8th February 1967, they led the funeral cortege of General Albert Orsborn from the Chapel of Rest to Boscombe Citadel, where the Chief of Staff, Commissioner Wickberg, led on impressive funeral service.

In May they marched delegates from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows conference to the Winter Gardens, where Ceneral Coutts was the guest preacher at their conference service.

In October 1970 they led the annual Hospital Birthday procession from the Royal National Hospital.

A first appearance was made by the band at Dean Court football ground on 7th October 1967 when their playing raised £71 14s. Od. for the Salvation Bond scheme. They returned in December to earn £48 for their carolling effort.

Major festivals in which the band took part included the Centenary Festival of Praise at the Winter Gardens in May 1965, which centred around Colonel Ivy Mawby's pageant Salvation Century and a Bands of the South programme at Portsmouth Guildhall on 9th July 1968. Here they played Post Bellum Rhapsody and the bandmaster's own cornet trio Trumpeters as well as rendering further massed items with Portsmouth and Worthing bands.

The Punshon Memorial Church invited the band to lead an after-church holidaymaker's service and Sunday 19th July, 1970 saw the commencement of another engagement that became an annual fixture in the band calender.

In March 1971 at the request of the local residents contacted during self denial collecting, the band journeyed into the New Forest and conducted a series of openair meetings in the Lymington area, where army activities had ceased some 20 years before.

Several weekend campaigns were undertaken with Bandmaster Cook including visits to Oxford, Bath, Margate, Stotfold, Folkestone, Regent Hall, Bristol Citadel, Torquay, Hove, Bradford, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Sittingbourne and Thornton Heath.

At Woodbridge the restrictions imposed by a small building led to the Band sitting in the body of the hall, whilst the congregation sat on the platform! The visit to Hove in October 1968 could have ended disastrously as the band coach suffered a brake failure on the homeward journey and ran into a ditch near Arundel. Rather than risk continuing the journey in the same coach, the bandsmen waited some considerable time before a replacement coach was provided. Leadership of these campaigns was often provided by retired officers from Boscombe, notably Commissioner Arch Wiggins and Colonel Ivy Mawby.

Soloists regularly featured by Bandmaster Cook included Maurice Brotheridge, Doug Lawrence and Glyn Bosanko (cornet), Robin Andrews (trombone), David Wilkinson (bass trombone), Chris Parker and former ISB member Josh Walford (Euphonium). Norman Cutler continued to add variety to the band programmes with his monologues, whilst Glyn Bosanko provided the occasional piano solo.

On Easter Sunday 11th April 1971 Bandmaster Cook received his retirement certificate from Commissioner Mingay having served as leader of Boscombe Band for seven years. The Commissioner commented on the wealth of fine music which had flowed from the pen of the bandmaster, and expressed the hope that when relieved of the responsibility of active banding he would continue to write music for which he was so well known and respected.

He had actually completed his term as bandmaster at the end of 1970, handing over to his deputy, Glyn Bosanko, who was to he responsible for the leadership of the band until May 1971. Although never commissioned bandmaster, Glyn Bosanko proved to be an extremely capable musical leader with his ability to inspire confidence and extract extraordinary performances from even the most ordinary player - much as his father had done.

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1964
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1970
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