Affectionately known as Da Buttera, the Cork Butter Exchange Brass & Reed Band was established in 1878 when the local band was sponsored by the Butter Market. Hundreds of musicians have passed through their ranks over the years, earning it the status of one of the city’s most famous and popular bands.
Da Buttera famously played for President John F. Kennedy when he visited Cork in 1963, when the band performed marches on Albert Quay.
Incredibly, Herbie Hendrick has been a member of the band for almost 70 years, and conductor for the last 20 years, since joining “for a week” when he was sixteen.
Now in his 80s, Herbie’s interest in music came from his father who played the French horn with the army band. Herbie first learned the cornet in the Cork School of Music and, as a talented musician, spent many years in the show band scene. He then rejoined Da Buttera in the 1970s and has been there ever since.
As well as being recognised for his dedication to Da Buttera, Herbie was nominated by St Brendan’s National School, the Glen as he gives free music lessons to the pupils in the school. Along with this, Da Buttera also has a junior band, and free tuition and instruments are also provided to aspiring musicians across the Northside of the city.
Awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “Herbie Hendrick is synonymous with Da Buttera, and to be conductor of the band for 20 years is an incredible achievement.
“Herbie is an extremely popular figure in the music scene in Cork. The work he does giving free music lessons to students in the local area is done without fuss and he is a worthy winner of the Cork Person of the Month award.”
“We always welcome new members to the band and will give free tuition and also provide instruments. Just drop into our band rehearsal rooms at 48 Dominic Street any Wednesday night,” said Herbie at his award presentation this week.
Herbie’s name will go forward, with the other monthly winners, for possible selection as ‘Cork Person of the Year 2018’.