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Band founder to have a concert in his name
IT WAS his love of brass band music and his daughter’s eagerness to learn that led George Tutte to set up his own band in 1959.
Now Yarnton Band will honour its founder and musical director – who died in July from heart failure – with a concert in his name.
The group’s annual concert has been renamed The George Tutte Memorial Concert for this year’s show, on Saturday, November 23.
It was in November 1959 that music fan Mr Tutte set up the band to teach his daughter Julie, then 10, and three of her friends.
The Oxford Pressed Steel panelbeater made the band a familiar sight over the next two decades.
After a host of concerts, Christmas carol rounds and hard practice, they were in the national second section (the third tier of competiton UK brass bands) by 1973.
His daughter, now known as Julie Cobley – who played the euphonium – said: “We first had a quartet and my friends wanted to join, so eventually we had a youth band and, as the years went on, older members joined and it became Yarnton Band.
“It meant absolutely everything to him. As soon as he got home he would be thinking about sorting things out.”
She said: “He was a gifted teacher. Children loved him. He had this knack of making them believe in themselves and thinking they can do it.”
Born in Whitechapel, London in 1926, Mr Tutte married Doreen, then 19, and moved to Garsington, Oxford from Devon in the early 1950s, and to Field Close, Yarnton in the late 1950s.
He worked at the Cowley car plant for more than 25 years before taking voluntary redundancy in the 1980s and taking up an administration role at Kidlington’s London Oxford Airport.
The couple moved to Meriden in the West Midlands in 1997 to be near their children, but he always returned to Yarnton to pick up the baton for the annual concert.
Mrs Cobley said her father would be “absolutely thrilled” by the honour. He had been moved when the 2001 concert was held in the name of his wife, who had died that year.
Her sister Glenda Tutte, 60, who later joined the band playing cornet, said: “He was charismatic. He touched so many people’s lives, not just with music.
“He had the most incredible sense of humour. He would talk to anyone and everyone. Even the last time he went to the hospital, one of the nurses said: ‘Isn’t your dad a character?’ He loved brass band, children and teaching. Put those three together and that really became his passion in life.”
Band chairman and tuba player Mark Sherratt said: “The band was officially founded in November 1959 with George and the four young players, and every year since then the band has held an anniversary concert to celebrate this. Therefore, it seemed fitting to have the annual concert as George’s memorial concert.”
The concert will be held in Yarnton Village Hall at 7pm and Mr Sherratt hopes to get in touch with friends or Mr Tutte’s former players.
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