Cornet player David Daws a hit at music school

by Russell Prince – 



David Daws


David Daws, cornet virtuoso and guest of Southern California Division’s 2003 Chris Mallet School of Music, was again a hit with students and staff.

“David Daws was a role model to campers and staff, as a musician, as a Salvationist, and as a man of God. His visit will pay dividends for years to come, in the lives of youth who came under his leadership,” said Bill Flinn, former Pasadena Tabernacle Songster leader.

Divisional music leaders Kevin and Jacqui Larsson led the well-organized school for the third year.

In addition to leading the Mt. Crags and Stephen Cobb bands, Daws led master classes with young soloists, and soloed brilliantly with the Crags Band, performing “Golden Slippers” by Norman Bearcroft, and “When I Remember” by David Catherwood, also directing the Mt. Crags Band in “Gaelforce,” a demanding work by Peter Graham.

“David’s playing of ‘Golden Slippers’ was absolutely outstanding. His beautiful tone and technical brilliance were enhanced further by his vast dynamic range, and ability to totally connect with the audience,” remarked divisional Social Services Director Steve Allen.

David first visited Southern Cal’s music school in 1986, and then with wife Sarah in 1996. This year they brought daughters Stephanie, 6, and Isobel, 3. Stephanie joined the James Curnow Band and the Andrew Blythe Girls Chorus.

Sarah played with the Stephen Cobb Band, sang with the Mt. Crags Chorus, led by Martin Hunt and with the Len Ballantine Chorus, led by Flinn, and joined Stephanie in the Andrew Blyth Chorus, led by Jacqui Larsson.

David’s musical talents were cultivated early; at three and a half he commenced formal studies with Maisie Wiggins (nee Ringham), noted Halle Orchestra trombonist and member of the Staines Corps Band. As a teenager, he studied with Hendon Bandmaster and International Staff Band (ISB) principal cornetist Roland Cobb. Then he fulfilled an ambition he’d held since childhood by accepting an appointment to the ISB in 1981. He served as principal cornetist from 1993 until he took a leave of absence in 2001 to spend more time with his growing family.

Music has been a powerful influence throughout David’s life. In addition to his parents’ strong encouragement, his music has been greatly impacted by Roland Cobb, Ray Bowes, Stephen Cobb, Robert Redhead, and James Williams, Enfield Bandmaster—a band David served with for thirteen years. A deep desire to achieve musical excellence, plus a dedication of his talents to God and the Army drives his daily practice routine.

David’s strong interest in young people was plainly evident through his patient hours of auditions with the students, and his genuine encouragement to youngsters across the campground. He could be seen conducting master classes with four or five young soloists under the shade of giant California oaks throughout the eight days of music making. He left an indelible impression on these budding stars. His advice to young players was to establish a daily practice routine, warm-up with long notes and melodies, work on developing a full tone, and use a metronome to measure progress of articulating scales and exercises.

In addition to managing his own insurance brokerage, David fulfills regular engagements with several British prize bands. In 2003, David soloed with Fodens Band, and is featured as soloist on a CD due out in Sept./Oct. with the Fairey Band. In September he will be guest soloist in a Manchester concert featuring both Fairey and Black Dyke bands.

In addition to this challenging schedule, David shares his talents and gifts by visiting music schools throughout Europe and North America, and still participates as a member of the Army’s busy Hendon Band.

The son of officer parents, Lt. Colonel Olive Daws and the late Lt. Colonel Ken Daws, David was born in Wealdstone, England, and resides with his family in North London, where they are members of the Hendon Corps.


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