Obituary - Merv Andrew
Published in Band News on 2013-09-01 by Empty Chairs
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Mervyn Andrew. (Merv.) 1933 – 2013.
The Medway Band are sad to announce the passing of Solo Baritone Merv Andrews following a short illness.
Merv was the epitome of a first class bandsman and an inspiration and example to many. He will be sorely missed by all but not least by his family to whom we send our condolences.
Born in the Forest of Dean, Merv moved to Chatham to join the Royal Engineers Band, where he served for many years with distinction. Merv was one of the longest serving members of the Medway Band, as player and sometime conductor. Many aspiring players benefited from his expert tuition and went on to become accomplished musicians themselves.
Merv also played with Hoo Silver Band under the late, great Eric Ball.
To be called a “Legend” perhaps does not do justice to his standing. A superb player, musician and bandsman, whose example of dedication was shown in everything that he undertook. A great enthusiast and encourager, “it’s all under the fingers” was often heard.
The Medway Band are proud and privileged to have had him in our ranks.
We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Dot, and sons Mark & Tim at this sad time. We shall not see his like again.
Funeral arrangements for Merv Andrew.
The Funeral will take place on Wednesday 11th September, 12o'clock at The Garrison Church, Brompton, Gillingham. Interment to follow at the Army Cemetary on Star Hill, (1pm approx.). A wake will be held at The Masonic Centre, Franklin Road, Gillingham, at 2pm approx.
Please contact Dave Blowers (email@example.com) if you intend to be at the wake for adequate arrangements to be made.
A collection of Merv Tributes and stories
Merv was one in a trillion...such a lovely guy...so dedicated to his family and to practising- ask his wife!!! I did Hello Dolly show with him few years ago and ever since then he would say Hello Dolly to me ..i will miss that! We will all miss him greatly
I suspect Merv pitied my playing ability; whilst he consistently demonstrated that any part on any instrument could be mastered through dedicated practice (and of course an exceptional natural ability), I have been happy to slide down the back row of obscurity until I found a part I could play without too much extra work. I am certain he will be looking down, shaking his head, saying "just practice the ****** thing".
At the October 1988 Scaba contest at Folkestone I was chatting to Merv in the foyer and major Peter Parkes who was being guided to the adjudicator's den stopped and introduced Merv to his new wife with the words "Mervyn Andrew, finest trombone player ever in the British army." He disappeared and subsequently gave us first in both Championship and First section saying the best band of the day was in the first section.
The remarks for Epic Symphony mentioned Excellent first trombone in the recitative. I reckon Parkes knew that sound from his years at Brompton.
Apart from specific Merv stories that I will always remember, there is something that marks him out. As a soloist, you often feel self-conscious when receiving a compliment from someone who could have played it better. Not with Merv. I always felt that he genuinely meant every word.
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