Roger Doherty (cornet)

Roger is the the oldest of the ‘Docs' in Downshire. He was taught the basics of cornet playing at an early age by his father who had played for the 46th Old Boys Silver Band. 

Aged 10, he joined the 34th Boys Brigade (Ulsterville Presbyterian) and joined their silver band which was conducted by Jack Crossan.  He joined Orangefield Secondary School band and orchestra under leaders John Mercer and John Ritchie and was appointed principal cornet aged 13 and later appointed Principal Cornet in the BB band at the age of 14.  Roger joined the Reid Memorial when he was 17 years old and was was appointed principal cornet aged 19.  He met his wife, Deborah, in the band. Four days after their engagement he played “My love is like a red red rose” in an Entertainment contest at Shorts. What a romantic person you are thinking!

Roger has been involved in teaching “learners” since 1987 with the Reid Memorial and after the amalgamation of the Reid and Hillsborough Bands to create Downshire Brass, he took over the Junior band.  More widely, Roger has been a member of two other bands during his time with Downshire. These include Festival Brass and Greggs Bakery band. Greggs is a championship band from “Newcastle upon Tyne”.

Roger’s cornet playing is not confined to parks and concerts, he has played the cornet at many sporting occasions including Ireland rugby internationals, Northern Ireland internationals, in Copenhagen, Riga and Gran Canaria, the latter coincided with my 25th wedding anniversary so he had to bring his wife along (see, proves he is a romantic). The 2008 Euro finals in Austria were also subjected to the Downshire sound, but this year is a first when in South Africa during the world cup finals he played the vuvuzela.

Roger is still involved in sport, regularly playing 5 a side and in what spare time he has, playing golf course in Dunmurry. Most of his time is really spent in the Royal Victoria Hospital where he works as a biochemist.