Lewis Kemp has began conducting Wadhurst Brass band in January 2023, but has been playing with the band since 2003, thanks to the encouragement of his grandfather, Trevor Westley. Trevor had joined the band in the 1970s (when it was known as 'Wadhurst Youth Band') playing with the band for around 20 years. After taking a break from the banding in the early 90s due to personal circumstances, Trevor found himself returning to Wadhurst Brass Band, when his grandson, Lewis, took an interest in the brass band world.
At 8 years old, Lewis began playing the cornet, taking lessons at his primary school. Before long, Trevor took Lewis to Wadhurst Brass Band's Training Band, to meet other youngsters learning to play brass instruments. This gave Lewis his first taste of the brass band world, as well as some lifelong friends.
After a few years passed, Lewis then joined the main band, alongside his grandad, where they played together for many years. After starting on Cornet, he moved onto tenor horn, then baritone, eventually settling on the euphonium. Lewis played the euphonium with the band for 10 years, 8 of which as principal euphonium. When the band reunited after the coronavirus pandemic, there was a lack of front row cornet players, so Lewis moved back to the cornet and has been playing it ever since.
Outside the band, Lewis also plays guitar, piano and sings, often performing locally as either a solo artist or as part of a band.
Sadly, Trevor passed away in 2018 at the age of 75, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. This came as a huge shock to the band. However, we are sure that he would be proud knowing that his eldest grandson has taken over the role of Musical Director at Wadhurst Brass Band, carrying on his legacy that he started all those years ago.
DEPUTY MUSICAL DIRECTOR
ROBIN HARE GGSM (Lond)
Robin is an award-winning Musical Director with nearly five decades of experience in directing choirs, conducting bands and orchestras and as an MD in musical theatre both in the UK and abroad.
Robin studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, his principal instrument being the classical guitar. He also studied voice, conducting and double-bass. During 1973/74, while still at the GSM&D, he joined the music staff at Tonbridge School, where he had been a pupil, as a part-time guitar teacher.
Born in Venezuela, Robin returned there after college and established himself in the musical community in the capital, Caracas. He was the choir director of St Mary’s pro-cathedral for a number of years and performed as guest conductor with the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas and the Filarmónica de Venezuela.
Robin was actively involved with the Caracas Choral Society and the Playhouse Theatre Group, directing numerous musical productions including Carousel, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver! and Hair. He also taught guitar in a number of schools.
In 1988, Robin returned to England with his young family and worked as a leadership/management coach in the financial sector until his early retirement, in 2011. Since then, he has been fully engaged in music, turning his hand once again to musical theatre, working with a number of dramatic societies as well as conducting various choirs, bands and orchestras.
He was MD for the 2017 Tunbridge Wells Operatic and Dramatic Society’s production of My Fair Lady, which won a NODA award and of their 2018 production of Hello Dolly!. He worked with the Stonegate Amateur Dramatic Society as MD for Oliver! and Fiddler on the Roof, which also won a NODA award. He was MD of Jesus Christ Superstar once again with the then (2010) All Kinds of Fish Productions, Dartford.
Robin currently plays double bass in the jazz ensemble Café Society, performing regularly in London, Kent and East Sussex. He coaches the Saddlers Saxophone Quartet and has been guest MD for the Bells Yew Green Big Swing Band, the West Kent Concert Band, the Bodiam Concert Band, the Uckfiled Community Orchestra and most recently he was engaged as conductor of the West Kent Big Band. Robin also formed the village choir in Ticehurst which he ran for five years. Lately, he was choir director of the Etchingham Singers.