Tributes to much-loved musician Laurie

Laurie Giles
Laurie Giles

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved Hartlepool musician who dedicated his life to music.

Laurie Giles, an accomplished pianist, inspired countless local musicians through his involvement with a host of music societies and organisations across the North-East.

He died aged 82 last month after a battle with cancer.

Laurie, of Seaton Carew, founded and ran Hartlepool Youth Brass Band and was the conductor of Teesside University Orchestra for many years.

He was also a member of Hartlepool Music Society for over a decade.

His widow Nora said: “Music played a very big part in his life, classical music.

“It was his first love I think. He got a lot of pleasure from music, especially playing the piano.”

Brian Moore, chairman of Hartlepool Music Society, served alongside Laurie on its Committee for Making Music which worked to secure grants from the Arts Council.

Mr Moore said: “He was highly knowledgeable about music.

“He did reviews of our concerts and used to give talks to members on different musical topics.

“He also composed music as well which he would pass on to others for them to play.”

Laurie started his working life at ICI on Teesside. But after his national service, he trained as a religious education teacher.

He worked for many years at High Tunstall and Brierton schools, in Hartlepool until he retired.

Several of Laurie’s young brass players went on to play with the best bands in the country.

One year, Hartlepool Youth Brass Band came second in a competition at the Royal Albert Hall.

Laurie, who contributed to the Hartlepool Mail, also took his knowledge of music to the airwaves hosting a programme on Metro Radio, in Newcastle, in the early 1980s.

He was also chairman of the Sunderland Pianoforte Society.

His funeral, when one of his own works was played, was held at Hartlepool Crematorium on January 23.

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