A stalwart of Linlithgow Reed Band, Frederick William Frayling-Kelly, died aged 79 on Tuesday, December 22, just one week short of his 80th birthday.
Fred had been the bandmaster during the 1970s and 80s before leaving to form a new band in Leith where he lived. He was a great musician and a larger-than-life character who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
When the band celebrated its silver jubilee in 1981 by visiting West Lothian’s twinned county in Germany, he wrote a march, Hochsauerland Marsch, in their honour. Although complete in his head, he had not committed the parts to paper until the night before the first performance.
So closely, however, had Fred arranged the piece to the abilities of the players, that it was rehearsed at 11am and performed to great applause that evening.
When the Reed Band played at Pilrig Parish Church in Edinburgh, the minister asked if anyone would care to see the newly-restored church organ. Fred played a classical piece on that two manual and pedal organ lasting fully eight minutes without any music.
There were few bands in Central Scotland with which Fred was not involved in one way or another and he was in demand as an examiner and adjudicator well beyond these shores.
He is survived by his wife and one son as well as a daughter and son from his first marriage.