Dennis John Carney

22nd May 1936 - 29th April 2020

Dennis devoted his life to Music and Education. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music Dennis went into the world of teaching and after two short periods in schools in Walthamstow and Harold Hill he was appointed as Music Teacher to Fairlop Junior School. At that time a very farsighted appointment, as a full-time music teacher in Junior Schools, were rare.

Whilst Dennis was an accomplished pianist, he also had a love of Brass Bands. This was created by his father, who was Principal Cornet with the Waltham Forest Co-op Band, but Dennis's desire was to conduct, not play.

On 10th June 1968 he, along with eleven boys from the School, founded the Fairlop Junior School Brass Band amid a tremendous thunderstorm, to complement existing Choir and Recorder ensembles. Within a short time the older boys were due to progress to senior education, and at this time Dennis saw enough potential for the Band to break away from the School and become an independent Band. At that time, he put in place the foundations for the current Fairlop Brass Band and also established many of the principles that the Band still adheres to today.

Dennis left Fairlop Junior School when he was appointed as Head of Music at Gaynes Secondary School (Upminster) and soon another Brass Band was born. This Band ran for many years after Dennis retired, but sadly is no longer in existence. Dennis maintained his link with teaching by taking a role on a Board of Governors for a local school, which he retained well into his retirement

For many years Dennis was the resident organist at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Barkingside, and it was this union that led Fairlop Brass Band to rehearse at the Church Hall and still does to this day. He also gave regular piano recitals and composed music for various members of the Band.

Dennis stepped down from the role of Musical Director of Fairlop Brass Band in 1984 as he felt he had taken them as far as he could and he was soon appointed Life President, and until his passing maintained a very keen interest in the Band and attended all major concerts. He was particularly proud to attend the Band's 50th Anniversary Concert at Trinity College Cambridge and to be the main speaker at the 50th Anniversary Dinner in 2018.

Dennis leaves a great legacy, but his greatest achievement was to turn from Teacher into Friend. He has played a big part in many people's lives by composing music for them, playing the organ at weddings and maintaining contact with such a wide circle of friends. In his later years he was an avid lunch partner for many – he will be missed.