Percussion                                                                                                                                                Kevin Franey

Kevin joined Fishburn Band in 1987.  Kevin (aka Fred in his school days at Tudhoe St Charles RC School) started playing at age 12 with assistance over the years coming from local drummers such as Kenny White, Alex Greenwood and Ernie Jackson.  Playing influences include Buddy Rich, Kenny Clair and Kenny Clarke and Kevin has played drums for the Clive Collins Dance Band since its formation in 1967.  It's appropriate then that other than his main playing influences, Kevin's favourite artistes are Michael Camilo and of course, the former BBC Big Band.  

Kevin, who was born in Newcastle but now lives in Spennymoor, also has a very musical family.  Married to Frances, they have four children - Carmel, Katherin (Piano), James (Bass Trombone), and Michael (Tenor Horn with Fishburn Band).  Kevin is a retired TV Repair Engineer so he's quite tuned in - if your horizontal hold is faulty, give him a shout.  One of the un-sung heroes of Fishburn Band he's always willing to be being involved with transporting equipment from one venue to another.  Known for his dry wit and sense of humour, Kevin is definitely one of the band's characters (perhaps that could explain why he supports Sunderland Football Club).  He is also very "Cute" with his brush strokes as was revealed on our first CD 'Durham's Pride'!

In 1967, Kevin was playing drums in working mens clubs around Co Durham, normally just depping for other drummers.  One Sunday afternoon Kevin was playing in a club in Bishop Aukland - The normal format would be bingo plus either a singer or comedian which the organist and drummer would play for.  So they played a few times then the committee man told them to come into the dressing room and see what the artiste would like them to play.  Nothing unusual there, except that day the artiste was a stripper and when Kevin went into the dressing room - there she was, wearing nothing more than a pair of high heels and a smile. He was quite embarassed.  Well, he was young and niaive and of course she clicked on to that straight away and used it for her amusement (along with the first 6 rows of the audience) all the way through her set.  A lot of what she removed, Kevin ended up wearing through no action of his own.  Believe it or not, one of Kevin's main ambitions is to learn to fly - we bet he wished he could have flown that day!

Percussion                                                                                                                                                     Gavin Lee

Gavin joined the Band on Percussion in May 2011. He is also an excellent Clarinet player and Composer, and has settled into the role of Timpanist in the Percussion Section.

Gavin often flummoxes visiting Conductors with his broad geordie speech.  His very dry humour and demeanour add to the occasion.

Gavin is also a familiar face on the local jazz scene as leader of his own Dixieland band, as well as saxophonist/clarinetist with The New Century Ragtime Orchestra and several other Northeast jazz groups.

He began his brass band career playing trombone with Thornley Colliery Band. He soon gave it up - to the immense relief of his band mates - in favour of percussion. He says that he can still make his old trombone talk....unfortunately it usually says "Please put me back in my case"

A qualified music teacher with the ABRSM, Gavin devotes his spare time to composition. He composed the music for "The Pavilion", a children's opera written for the 2012 Durham Brass Festival, although he modestly considers himself to be a third-rate composer. His ambition is to become a second-rate composer.

Percussion                                                                                                                                        Jackie Littlewood

Jackie joined Fishburn in 2013.  Commencing on 2nd Euphonium and Baritone, she has proven her virtuosity to be a valuable member of the Percussion section.

Jackie commenced her musical career learning piano at the tender age of 6.  She was taught Euphonium by the legendary Alf Hind at the age of 12 and joined the Youth Band, eventually moving onto Solo Euphonium at 18.

She joined Shildon Band, also on Solo Euphonium for a number of years prior to stopping playing when having her children.

After approx 6 years, she returned to playing with Cockerton Band on Euphonium and Baritone, becoming Band Manager for 2 years before leaving.  She then joined the GT Group Peterlee Band on Euphonium and also played percussion, giving 10 years service.

Jackie is also a member of the committee and is the main coordinator for our regular trips away.

Percussion/Cornet                                                                                                                                     Helen Usher

Helen started playing cornet at the age of 9, taught by Colin Adamson at Chopwell Junior School. In 1979 she became a member of NRBBT and in 1981 joined Consett Whitbread Band. From 1985 Helen played Soprano and it was on this instrument that she moved to Lingdale Silver in 1990. 

In 1996 Helen joined Boldon Colliery band and had spells on both Soprano and Principal Cornet before joining Fishburn Band in 1998 on the front row.

Showing her skills and dexterity, Helen has become an important member of the percussion section.

Helen is also the Band's treasurer.

She is married to our Cornet player, Malcolm.

This page was last updated on: 21/2/2023

Kevin Franey
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Gavin Lee
Fishburn Band Percussion Section
Jackie Littlewood