I learned today that one of the stalwarts of brass banding has died, and it has made me really sad to hear the news. Bryan Warrington, euphonium player, youth band trainer, musical director and conductor died suddenly today, leaving a legacy of music and friendship behind him.
Bryan absolutely lived for banding, and had found the lockdown particularly difficult because it meant that he couldn’t pursue this life giving activity. We are starting to open up again now, with many bands restarting rehearsals and even booking gigs for the summer, so it is particularly heartbreaking that he is now not going to return to his beloved bandroom again.
I could turn this into a reflection about how God is with us even though we suffer loss and grief, or how Bryan was not alone through the lockdown because God had hold of him throughout, but I won’t. Because the loss of Bryan has caused a huge outpouring of emotion from the hundreds, nay, thousands of people who he befriended, influenced, taught, humoured, supported and created music with, and the North West corner of the brass band world is grieving together tonight.
I pray that all who grieve tonight find comfort in knowing that we grieve together, and though we do walk through the valley of the shadow of death, there is always hope, because there is always love.
Rest in peace, Bryan, and rise in glory.
Grace and peace,