Tributes paid to long-serving brass band conductor

The long-serving music conductor of Lerwick Brass Band, Drew Robertson, has died aged 90.

Drew first joined the band back in October 1952, aged 22, having also played for the BB Flute Band and drums for Lerwick Pipe Band.

Brass band secretary and historian Dougie Johnstone said that, in addition to trombone, Drew was able to play any other instrument in the band.

He said: “Drew quickly became such a valuable band member that, by 1960, he had been appointed assistant bandmaster.

“When the position of conductor became vacant in the autumn of 1964, Drew, with no formal training, took on the task.

“On parade, no conductor being needed, he continued playing his trombone, or any instrument which was required.”

Having worked in the Post Office, Drew decided to do some further education in his 40s and in 1974-75 became a fully accredited music teacher, and was appointed a teacher of brass in the Lerwick and Brae schools.

When bandmaster Bobby Burgoyne died in January 1981 Drew was unanimously appointed his successor.

He continued as bandmaster until 2000 when, now 70, he retired from the organisational duties of the position. Hamish Nicol was appointed to succeed him, but Drew remained as musical director.

Lerwick Brass Band, on its Facebook page, paid tribute to Drew as well as ex-bass trombonist Malcolm Browne, who has also died.

The band stated: “We would like to pay our respects to Drew’s and Malcolm’s families at this very sad times.”


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