Tuesday 3 March 2015

Farewell Wishes for Stephen

If you would like to send a message of goodwill and best wishes to Stephen, please fill in the comments section below this news post.

These comments will be passed to Stephen and a selection will be read out at his last concert on the 21st March.


  1. I cant believe Stephen is leaving The past 10 years have flown past and every concert we have been to under Stephen's direction has been amazing. We will miss you Stephen x
    Sharon Reidie (Comment copied from Facebook)

  2. Sorry I can't be with you on the occasion of your final outing with the NCB - I'm big banding for something to do with the Mayor of Ampthill (I bet you didn't know that Ampthill merited a mayor). I well remember joining the Northampton Concert Band and quickly learning that as a trumpeter I was a natural target for your invective. Was that because the trumpets didn't give a hoot about your vitriol or was it because we were the only players (I use the word advisedly) who bothered to watch you or were even aware of your function? Anyway, I was returning to playing after many years of inactivity and your faith in me gave me confidence - and inspired by you I can say I have played in cold and half empty churches throughout the county. Highlights have included platinum awards at the BASBWE festivals and joint performances with the Northampton Male Voice Choir. I shall continue to follow you - if only out of a sense of curiosity. Best wishes for your future musical endeavours. Malcolm Highfield

  3. My colleagues and I were very disappointed to learn that Mr Bell was giving up the concerts. He will be missed.
    Mary Hill

  4. Dear Stephen,

    ​Shock & Horror! To learn that you are leaving Northampton Concert Band as conductor will leave an enormous gap for someone else to fill.

    ​However, on behalf of the trustees I wish to convey our most grateful thanks for your total co-operation in musical matters for the Proms and other concerts, your constant courtesy in all your dealings with us and for such splendid performances from the band under your baton. The outcome has been the remarkable fund raising that you have achieved for us in parallel with The Cantare Singers raising not hundreds of pounds but thousands towards the total restoration of Northampton’s world famous heritage that is St Seps.

    ​On a personal note, both Pat and myself wish you every success in whatever musical avenue you persue and hope to meet up again at your celebratory concert.

    ​Kindest regards

    ​John & Pat Kightley ( Holy Sepulchre Restoration Trust Ltd)

  5. Dear Stephen

    On behalf of my grandson, Jack (aged 8), and myself, I would like to thank you for giving us both many hours of pleasure and entertainment, listening to the NCB under your direction. We wish you the best of luck in the future. JACK SAID HE DID NOT LIKE THE FILM 'FROZEN' AS IT WAS A BIT GIRLY, BUT HE DID ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR LOVELY MUSIC AND WISHES HE COULD HAVE BEEN HERE TONIGHT.

    With all best wishes and kindest regards

    CHRISTINE TIPPING - Grandmother of Jack Markham and Mother of Rachel Billington - saxophonist in the NCB.