Famous band leader’s clarinet to go on show

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A CLARINET that belonged to one of the great musicians of the ‘big band’ era is to go on show in Gosport.

The instrument was owned by Nat Gonella, who died in 1998 after a long career as a band leader.

He lived in Gosport for more than 20 years.

The clarinet will be displayed at Gosport Discovery Centre all this week after it is unveiled at 5pm today.

Hampshire Cultural Trust chief executive officer Janet Owen said she was delighted the piece of music history was to go on display.

Ms Owen said: ‘It’s fantastic to showcase a clarinet from such a popular, world-renowned artist in Gosport Discovery Centre.

‘We’re very proud to present this special instrument in the town Gonella called home.’

The clarinet will be part of a ‘Pride of Place’ showcase at the centre.

It will be displayed with its original case and a recording of George Huxley playing Gonella’s signature tune Georgia on My Mind.

Mr Gonella was more famous for playing a trumpet than the clarinet, and he is still most remembered for the band he founded, The Georgians.

In remembrance of 
Mr Gonella, a trumpet-shaped memorial stands outside the apartment he once lived in.

The central square in 
High Street, Gosport, was renamed Nat Gonella Square in 1994,

For more information visit hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk.