Haverhill father and son excel at prestigious national music competition

Tim and Archie Pannell after their triumph at the Foden's Brass Band Solo Competition
Tim and Archie Pannell after their triumph at the Foden's Brass Band Solo Competition

A Haverhill father and son wowed the judges and audience at a premier brass music competition, where they both came away with trophies - and set a new record.

Tim Pannell was victorious in the Slow Melody section of the Foden’s Brass Bands Solo Competition, held on Sunday in Sandbach, Cheshire, and came second in the Air Varie.

After claiming a top six place, but not top three, in both sections for the past two years, it was a major achievement for Tim, who has been principal cornet with the Haverhill Silver Band for the past 15 years.

However, even his success has been eclipsed by that of Archie, who at the age of just five, and having only played the cornet ‘seriously’ for six months took third place in the Under-12 section. It was his first ever competition.

Archie. a pupil at Place Farm Academy in Haverhill, earned a trophy for his third place and a shield for being the youngest competitor at the event, which attracted participants from the UK and Belgium, Japan, Netherlands and Norway.

But he also set a record for being the youngest ever competitor at the competition, which was held for the seventh year.

Proud dad Tim, said: “I can’t believe it. He really played amazingly well.”

A video of Archie playing has been viewed nearly 6,000 times on Facebook, and Tim said: “It’s just been an amazing couple of days, with everyone watching it and lots of people getting in touch and saying it’s amazing how well he has done at such a young age and yes, we are very proud as well.

“He really loved the day and he keeps asking when he can go and do it again.”

Mark Wilkinson, who manages the competition’s social media output, said: “You don’t get many players really start to play properly until they are six, seven or eight, so I think we were all quite surprised.

“When you heard him (Archie), you think there’s a five-year-old playing the instrument and there’s a five-year-old properly playing the instrument, if you know what I mean,. and we were all quite blown away with how he played.”

Tim was previously a principal player in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

You can hear him playing with the Haverhill Silver Band in their Cabaret Concert at Haverhill Arts Centre this Sunday (November 5), but will have to wait a bit longer to hear Archie who will be making his debut with the Haverhill Youth and Community

Band in the Family Christmas Concert on Sunday December 3.