AN ANDOVER tuba player has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Steve Large, who is the musical director of Andover Town Band, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to music.

The 52-year-old, who works for Parker Steel in Andover, was one of the founding members of the band, which formed in the town three years ago.

He helps teach up to 30 young people in the youth band.

Father-of-two Mr Large, whose wife and children are also part of Andover Town Band, said he was celebrating New Year’s Eve with his family when he heard he had been awarded a BEM.

He said: “It’s really nice and it’s good for Andover to have someone in the town to be recognised.

“It was a little embarrassing, I like to just get on with things but I am very honoured.

“Everybody puts a lot of hard work into the band, but it is part of my hobby.

“I think the people around me and all of those involved in the band are more excited than I am.

“It has been a great honour and I appreciate whoever nominated me.”

Inspired by his cornetplaying father, who was a Salvation Army bandmaster, Mr Large, of Sainsbury Close, has played a brass instrument since the age of five.

He was a member of Test Valley Brass until three years ago when he left to form Andover Town Band.

Mr Large said: “Brass banding is my hobby. I have spent a lot of time on it and have had reasonable success in brass bands winning at national finals.

“A lot of my work has been with younger players and I have seen them go on and do really well.

“Music is important and it’s great to entertain but a lot of brass banding is not just about music.

“It’s the discipline that will do you well for the rest of your life, being part of a team, working together and enjoying each other’s company.

“It’s about fostering good relationships that stands you in good stead for life.”

The band regularly performs for charity, including a concert on Saturday, 11 January at Andover Baptist Church in aid of the Stroke Appeal.

For more information, visit andovertownband.