Catching up with some of our members from far away locations who joined the band during their time in Belfast.
Jérémie Wawszczyk played with the band in 2012-13. He recalls his time with the band as follows:
"Back in 2012, my Erasmus exchange brought me to Belfast, where I had heard that brass bands like the one in the movie "Brassed Off" played. So I decided to take less stuff with me in my luggage so I could put my cornet in my suitcase!
Two days after my arrival in early September, I had found a room, which is a pretty easy thing to do in that city. I then started to look for a band. Downshire Brass was rehearsing on that night, so I called to know if I could join. That was a "yes". By the end of the evening I had my picture taken and a form sign to be recorded as a member of the North of Ireland Band Association. My first gig was on the next Sunday. It seemed like we spent most of the whole year working on tricky test pieces for the 5 contests that occurred that year. I remember especially two of these. One was an entertainment contest the venue for which was the Whitla Hall, and during which Michael had me playing the violin …! I remember also the piece Richard Evans had us working on, and of course, the Irish National Championship that we won playing those two wonderful pieces, "Between the Two Rivers" and "Tallis Overture" !
I had a memorable time in Downshire and enjoyed being taught about the so called “Irish Craic”, and some of the experiences I have shared with the band I will share with my grandchildren sometime! I now live in Paris where I work as an architect and where I have joined the world of the “Fanfare Beaux Arts” which is less accurate on musical theory and more focused on funny costumes. I follow what Downshire is doing from the distance but I am sure I will have some occasion to play with them again."