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VIDEO: Musicians in Sunday morning surprise for brass band stalwart Phil Read


Brass band players from across the county got together to give a moving performance outside the home of a musician who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

In a scene akin to that in hit '90s British film Brassed Off, more than 30 performers gathered to play a number of tunes underneath the bedroom window at Phil Read's home in Narborough.

The 40-year-old father-of-two was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer last month, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Despite being ill in bed, he was up on his feet to watch as soon as he heard the first notes played by the musicians as they marched down his street.

In a poignant moment, he then stepped in to conduct the final piece.

Phil and his wife, Jo, are members of the Oddfellows Brass Band, based in Markfield.

Jo said: "I thought it was absolutely amazing, just brilliant. I knew they were going to do it as they'd contacted me before to make sure Phil would be well enough to cope.

"When he heard them it actually got him out of bed, which he hadn't done since he started his treatment. He was completely overwhelmed by it all.

"It was a very emotional day, we were feeling so upset, but so happy at the same time. I'd like to say thank you, on behalf of me and Phil, to everyone who turned up to show their support. It really was amazing."

The performance was organised by Phil's friends Paul Hing and Andy Platts.

The pair gathered musicians from the Wigston, GUS, Enderby, Newstead, Ratby, Melton, Croft Silver, Foresters Brass and Burbage Silver bands, as well as Oddfellows Brass.

After meeting in the Narborough parish council car park and quickly working out their parts, the ensemble marched to Phil's house nearby.

They then set up on the drive with music stands and a full drum kit before playing a mini concert of Music, by John Miles – Phil's favourite piece – Troublemaker, by Mike Davis, and regular finale piece, New York, New York.

Paul, who lives in Wigston and plays cornet in the Wigston Band, said: "We wanted to get everyone together, march down the road and make a big noise for Phil.

"The turnout was absolutely unbelievable. We had more than 35 people playing and probably about 50 people in total with other friends coming along to support us.

"Me and Andy had prepared to do Something Stupid as a duet if no-one had turned up but, luckily, we didn't have to.

"Phil wasn't well but he came out for it and conducted the last piece, which was brilliant.

"It was a lovely day and the sun came out for us and all the neighbours came out and clapped.

"We wanted to do something nice for him. Hopefully it will give him a boost to get him through his chemo. He said he would be expecting it once a month from now on.

"It was really emotional. The last piece, I was struggling to play. I was just watching Phil conducting. I sent him a text after, saying, 'It's just like old times – you conducting and me playing bum notes.'

"It was nice to see him smiling."

VIDEO: Musicians in Sunday morning surprise for  brass band stalwart Phil Read

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