Woodfalls Band mourns the passing of Ron Bligh

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ron Bligh who dedicated nearly 50 years of his life to the various Woodfalls bands, from 1955 to 2003. Ron’s contribution, work, and dedication to brass banding and music was immense and he leaves behind a wonderful legacy of musicians and memories.

Ron joined the Woodfalls Junior Band in 1955 and played the flugelhorn for three decades contributing significantly to the band’s evolution into the Woodfalls Silver Band. A renowned soloist, Ron received accolades at contests and concerts nationwide, performing alongside his talented brother David Bligh, a former principal cornet player.

From 1968 to 1976, Ron served as the band’s Secretary, contributing to notable achievements such as winning the Grand Shield at Bellevue Manchester and making appearances at the British Open and the Royal Albert Hall. He memorably organised successful tours to Jersey and Switzerland, as well as coordinating English tours for the Laufen Band from Switzerland.

In 1976, Ron embarked on a new role as a music teacher, leaving a lasting impact on the local community for nearly 25 years. He established, tutored, and conducted a new Woodfalls Junior Band, later renamed Woodfalls Concert Brass. Simultaneously, he began peripatetic teaching at Downton Secondary School, ultimately forming a school band.

Ron achieved considerable success with Woodfalls Concert Brass, guiding them from the Youth to the Championship Section in the Wessex Association and leading them from the Youth section to Section 1 nationally, with national final appearances in 1989 and 1991. He transformed the band into an excellent concert unit, delivering outstanding performances at home and during tours in Luxembourg and Switzerland. Many of the players who were under Ron’s guidance are still actively engaged in music, pursuing careers as either professional or amateur musicians, a clear testament to his lasting inspiration.

In addition to his roles with Woodfalls, Ron served as the resident conductor of the Solent Brass Band in Southampton for two years.
In October 2003, after an impressive 52 years in banding, Ron gracefully retired from conducting. His legacy will forever resonate in the hearts of the Woodfalls Band and the wider community. Ron’s passion, dedication, and musical leadership will be dearly missed but fondly remembered. He was a true gentleman, a real stalwart of Woodfalls, and a great bandsman.
We extend our deepest condolences to Ron’s children, Colin, Trish and Julia, his brother David, and the wider family, during this difficult time.