Oliver Kemp

1926 - 2015

Euphonium, Baritone and Bandmaster

     Oliver began his banding career with the Fleckney Band in Leicestershire in 1937 moving on after military service to spend many years with Kibworth Band. He played baritone horn and euphonium at various times with the band, also serving as Bandmaster and watching the band rise to the Championship Section and compete at the Royal Albert Hall.

     Miv his wife was there at his side and he often talked with the Band Secretary (David Birch) about these times who heard how Bill Scholes, Stanley Boddington and especially Walter Hargreaves were all

     A final move to Shipston in 1999 to be near his family saw him join Shipston Town Band and becoming a member of our non-contesting band Stour Concert Brass. Sheldon Bosley handled the house purchase so Liz Smith was able to direct Oliver to the band, Oliver enjoyed being part of the euphonium section and often said that he never thought when he moved to Shipston he would start playing again. He and Miv became great friends with Ken and Kath Roe always enjoying the chance to reminisce on banding through the years. Oliver occasionally helped out the Town Band and especially enjoyed playing carols at Moreton Fire College.

     He remained on Euphonium until he decided to retire and concentrate on his other responsibility the band library. Oliver, Ken and David Birch had many a happy time sorting out music and filing it away. Often the amount of time recalling our past experiences took up more time than the actual filing but it was always a pleasurable experience none the less. Whilst filing away music always had a great laugh regarding a piece called ‘Hootenanny’ not because of its musical content but because whenever they sorted a pile of random music out a copy of this always seemed to appear. It goes without saying that whenever David sees a copy of this piece of music, his thoughts always turn to Oliver. He carried on with this until 2011 when he retired (‘give it best’ as Oliver would have said) and became a social member of the band.

     In 2012 Shipston Band celebrated its centenary and it was fitting that it was an opportunity to make a presentation to Oliver. He celebrated 75 years of banding that year and a presentation was made to celebrate the event.

     David Stanley the Musical Director of our good friends Arrow Valley Band and for many years a stalwart of the British Federation Of Brass Bands presented Oliver with a framed certificate recording his 75 years service to brass bands. Charlie Cox (Shipston’s Band chairman) and Alan Birch (Band Treasurer) and a colleague on Euphonium on many occasions presented Oliver with an engraved silver salver to celebrate his 75 years service.

     When interviewed for the local paper The Stratford Herald, Oliver revealed that when he first joined Fleckney band his father said that he thought it would be ‘a seven day wonder’. How wrong he was.

     The band made Oliver and Miv a regular call on Christmas Morning to wish them a Merry Christmas in style and this led to an amusing incident when we arrived only to find that they had gone to their son for Christmas Dinner. So not wishing to waste the visit, the group carried on and played a couple of carols to their next door neighbour, Eric Whitehead, himself a long standing friend of the band.

     For the last two years Oliver had been cared for at Bancroft Nursing Home in Stratford and Low Furlong Care Home in Shipston. The band visited him on Christmas Morning 2014 to play carols. He died peacefully this morning Thursday July 9th 2015. D. Birch - 10/07/2015

Oliver poses for a photocall with a very young

Stour Concert Brass

Oliver plays in support of David Birch

at Toddenham Garden Fete

Oliver on his Euphonium with Shipston Band

Oliver seated centre front whilst Bandmaster of Kibworth Brass Band sometime in 1962.

regular visitors to the house during the rise in status of Kibworth Band. Many lifelong friends were made during this period with both Betty Anderson and Jack Peberdy Miv’s brother being long time supporters. On his retirement he moved to Sheringham and joined the Cromer and Sheringham Band playing Euphonium and serving as Band Librarian. He really enjoyed his time there and I had the opportunity of watching Oliver and Miv appearing in the band’s Christmas Pantomine as ‘King Oliver and Queen Miv’. It was a marvellous spectacle although the accents of some of the cast were a little difficult to understand.