Tragic death of a well-loved and respected brass musician, teacher and conductor

Saturday 24 July 2021

The Scottish brass banding community is reeling at the news of the tragic death of Gary Patterson in a car accident on Thursday (22 July).

Aged 65 and from Kilmarnock, Gary was a well-liked and respected brass musician, teacher and conductor, particularly throughout Ayrshire. He died after the BMW 4 Series car in which he was a passenger was involved in a collision with a black Volkswagen Scirocco and a silver Vauxhall Mokka on the A713, near Patna, East Ayrshire, on Thursday afternoon. A 35 year old man was also killed in the accident.

The thoughts of everyone whose lives were touched by Gary over the years are with his family. Gary’s wife Miriam and daughter Catherine were injured in the accident.

Many of Gary’s music pupils have fond memories of their time learning from him, describing him as “patient, kind and encouraging” at all times. It’s a testament to his talent that so many young people are still playing today as adults.

Police Scotland are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the crash, or observed the vehicles beforehand, to contact them as soon as possible. Motorists with dashcams who were travelling on the A713 around 4.40pm on Thursday are being urged to come forward as their footage could be of significance to the police investigation.

Northern Ireland-born Gary had a particularly close association with several bands in Ayrshire. He played front row cornet with Dalmellington Band at the same time as his brother Noel was on solo horn. Their father was president of the band in the late 1970s. 

Miriam was a flugel horn player with Dunaskin Doon Band when she met Gary and he later had the distinction of conducting the band to a winning contest performance in the 2nd section at the Carnegie Contest in Fife in April 1990.

The band’s honorary president, Angus Cochrane, expressed his sadness and described Gary as being a “gentleman at all times”.

He was also musical director of Irvine & Dreghorn for a while and he conducted Kilmarnock Concert Brass immediately prior to the appointment of current MD Scott Walker.

Scott commented: “This is just terrible. He was such a great guy. I hope Miriam and Catherine are able to make a full recovery.”

A peripatetic brass teacher with East Ayrshire for over 40 years until he retired in 2019, Gary taught in Cumnock Academy and Grange Academy in Kilmarnock.

SBBA and everyone in the Scottish banding community send their condolences to the whole family at this sad time.



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