We regret to announce the passing away of former Director of Music of the Fulham Brass Band, Cecil Exton. Cecil deputised for the band as a trombone player in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, when the band was very short of players and was reduced to a regular membership of about six. The Director of Music at that time, George Scarf, became ill and was unable to continue with the band. A meeting was held in 1971 to consider terminating the band, but a decision was made at the meeting to campaign for the band’s continuation by embarking on a leafleting campaign for new players and seeking the support of the local newspapers in this endeavour. As a result of this campaign, Cecil Exton was approached to become the band’s Director of Music and given the task of turning the band’s fortunes around. When asked whether he would accept the challenge Cecil said “Yes, with all my heart”. Cecil subsequently built up the band’s membership until it was up to full strength with a few years.
Cecil and his wife, Jean, who played Eb Bass with the band (they both deputised for the band before they were married), continued with the band until 1989 when they both retired and decided to emigrate to the island of Zakynthos, Greece. They both fully enjoyed their retirement and Cecil very quickly got involved in the local band scene as well as playing organ at his local church. He continued to write arrangements for the Fulham Band ‘Ramblers’ ensemble.
During Cecil’s time with the band he became very popular with both players and audiences alike, especially CAMRA beer festivals, which the band performed at throughout the south east of England, over several years. His warm and friendly nature were an integral part of the band’s performances. Cecil’s love of the English language were fully utilised at London and Home Counties own choice contests which he compered over several years. His often humorous introductions to the contest pieces, using his language skills, delighted contest audiences.
Rest in peace Cecil and thank you for all you did for the band. Without you, there would be no Fulham Band today.
Words by Guy Dawes
Fulham Brass Band are currently searching for a new MD to join the Fulham history books:
To apply, please send your Conducting CV and a short covering letter in confidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for applications: MONDAY 8TH JULY 2013 For more info on the band please email email@example.com