West of England Finalists 2013 & 2015...
West of England Finalists 2013 & 2015...

Click here to see all the music videos we put together over the lockdown period

December News

Carols

... and the rest of December was taken up with our hectic Carolling Schedule when we play in small groups in our quest to raise funds to cover the band's costs for the year ahead.

In total we played at 27 carolling sessions, from local high streets to supermarkets and even Gloucester Services, and as in previous years, this fantastic effort was well worthwhile, and our thanks go out to all the band members for sharing the load, and to all those who have generously donated to us over the festive period.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the band over the past 12 months and Happy 2004 to you all from everyone at Wotton Silver Band!

Annual Christmas Concert - Kingswood

Our last formal concert of the year was our annual Christmas Concert at Kingswood Village Hall.  We played a selection of Christmas music, including a great performance of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' from our Principal Cornet player, Jules Farron.  However, as always, the real stars of the night were our amazing Training Band who put on a great performance and then joined the main band to play 'Jesus Christ The Apple Tree'.  Congratulations to all our young members - they are absolute superstars!

Chipping Sodbury Lions Christmas Concert

On Wednesday 7th we joined Yate Community Choir in the Chipping Sodbury Lions annual Christmas Concert.  This lovely event was very well-attended and, as always, was a really Christmassy event with a wide variety of Christmas music from classics to popular songs and with plenty of carols to sing along to aswell.

Our thanks go to the Lions Club for organising this lovely concert and also to Liz Martin and the Yate Community Choir for a great, entertaining performance.

November News

Remembrance Parades

Sunday 12th was a busy day for us, leading the local parades at Wotton in the morning and at Dursley in the afternoon.  Well done to everyone for such a great performance on such a mserable day, and particular thanks to Last Post performers - Jules Farron at Wotton and Bruce Davies at Dursley.

SWBBA Contest - Torquay

On Saturday 4th the band travelled down to Torquay to take part in the SWBBA annual contest.  The band competed in the open section of the contest and were up against bands from both Championship and First Sections.  We chose to play George Lloyd's 'Royal Parks' and were pleased with our performance, which received some very positive feedback from adjudicator, Sam Fisher and gained us a respectable 9th place.

October News

Dursley Poppy Proms

On Saturday 28th, we returned to Dursley to take part in the Royal British Legion Poppy Proms.  It was great to see this popular event back after a break of a few years due to Covid.

The concert featured an entertaining programme from both the band and the fantastic Dursley Male Voice Choir, and we were also treated to a tremendous performance by the very talented pianists from the choir - Barrie Cooper and Matthew Sharpe.

It was lovely to see this special event back to full force and we hope it will once again become a fixture in our annual calendar.  Thank you for inviting us Dursley & Cam RBL!

A Grand Afternoon Out Concert

We were absolutely delighted to see such an amazing audience and so many young faces at our family-friendly concert  on Saturday 14th.  This concert of TV and film music included popular tunes from the Wallace and Gromit films, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars, Matilda and many other family favourites.  A highlight was a fun performance of Bare Necessities from our Solo Eb Bass player, Andy Symes, who at one point appeared on the shoulders of a bear!

We were also very fortunate to have been joined by Paul McLauchlin from Brass Bands England, who ran an excellent, fun-filled session for all those who wanted to have a go at playing a brass instrument.  Thank you so much Paul.

Our thanks also go to Renishaw for allowing us to use their amazing Innovation Centre to hold our concert, and for the brilliant Renishaw staff who were there to help us on the day.

If you are interested in our Training Band, please take a look at our Training Band page, or send us an email at learntoplay@wottonsilverband.co.uk

September News

Proms at the Plough

On Sunday 24th we were finally able to play our Proms Concert at the Plough Micropub in Charfield (postponed from July).  This afternoon concert was really well-supported by an enthusiastic, flag waving crowd.

This lively concert included a variety of music, from Broadway show tunes, to popular music from the 70's to the 2000's and also featured our soprano player, Marcus Dunstan, playing the theme tune from Bond film 'Live & Let Die'.  As always, the concert included the Last Night of the Proms favourites.

Thanks as always to the Plough for a warm welcome and another well-organised event.

August News

Cold Aston Village Fayre

Wow!  Our friends at Cold Aston Village Fayre are a hardy bunch!  Despite the complete wash-out summer we have had, they ploughed ahead with their annual fayre on Saturday 5th and provided us with the biggest gazebo ever to ensure we stayed dry on what must have been one of the wettest afternoons of an already wet summer.

As always, the village really looked after us and we thank everyone who came along to watch our performance in the pub courtyard

We hope the fayre was a success for Cold Aston, despite the weather and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

July News

July turned out to be a bit of a wash out for our engagments.  We are hoping to reschedule our cancelled trip to the Plough in Charfield, so keep an eye on our 'What's On' page for a new date!

John Coles Park, Chippenham

The one July event that did go ahead was our concert in the bandstand at John Coles Park in Chippenham where, despite the very stormy weather, we did manage to perform a full programme!

We are really grateful to the wonderful group of hardy souls who stuck with us for the whole performance - we really appreciate your support!

Keynsham Memorial Gardens

Our first July performance took place on Sunday 9th on the bandstand in Keynsham Memorial Gardens.  Once again we were very fortunate with the weather (look at the colour of the sky in the photos), so the park was busy, helping us to attract a large and appreciative audience.

Congratulations to our brilliant soloists - Ken Stout on Flugel Horn playing 'Only in Sleep' and Mandy Norman on Euphonium playing 'In Christ Alone', and also to our Trombone section for their rendition of the entertaining 'Frolic for Trombones'.

Thanks to Keynsham Town Council for the invite and for all the organisation behind the scenes - it was an absolute pleasure to play for you.

June News

National Trust - Newark Park

In the heat of the afternoon on Saturday 24th we performed on the lawn at the National Trust's Newark Park near Wotton-under-Edge.

We are really thankful to the National Trust team for making us so welcome and comfortable in the heat, providing us with water and hats & generally looking after us.  It was a great pleasure for the band to perform in such beautiful surroundings so close to home, and we do hope to be invited back (the last time the band played at Newark Park our drummer, George, was a baby, so we do hope to return a little sooner next time!)

Thank to everyone who came along to watch the performance - our first concert with our new Musical Director, Jim Bennett.

May News

A Warm Welcome to our New MD - Jim Bennett

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Musical Director, Jim Bennett who joins us this month.

 

Jim was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and after schooling in Bedford went on to study trumpet at the RCM under Paul Archibald and Andy Crowley, where he also took a unit in conducting under Neil Thomson.  After leaving the RCM, Jim worked as a freelance player in and around London, including work as an orchestral player with The Senesino Players, The Chiesa Consort and the London Orchestra of Academia; studio work for Nickelodeon, AdelphoiMusic Ltd and the Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra; and jazz residences at The Belfry, Knightsbridge and The Sun and Doves, Camberwell.  He was also Musical Director for Punchdrunk Theatre's production of Faust.

 

In 2009, Jim and his wife Rebecca moved from London to Somerset, where he continued in his playing career and also started conducting more regularly, including 9 years with Gillingham Imperial Silver Band.  He also conducts the Yeovil Concert Band and the Sherborne Youth Band, as well as standing in on various occasions for Glastonbury Brass and Sherborne Town Band.

 

Jim has taught at Bedford School, Clayesmore School and for various music services, but is currently taking a break from teaching to look after his young family, with whom he now lives in Street.

 

Jim is thrilled to have been passed the baton at Wotton Silver Band and is very much looking forward to working with the band both in the contest arena and on the concert stage, and above all, continuing to share our passion for music with you into the future.

Coronation Celebrations

It wouldn't be the first Sunday in May without our traditional hike to the top of Wotton Hill, where we welcome in the Summer with a selection of hymns and marches.  We were delighted to see a wonderful crowd of people who had turned out to watch us at what must be our most iconic (and totally bonkers) engagement of the year.

Special thanks go to our solo cornet player, Andy Elliott who kindly, and expertly, took on the job of Musical Director for the day (we are also informed that he plays percussion... Is there anything this man can't do?)

Thanks to everyone who came along to watch us - it's fantastic to see so many of you!

.....

... and later that day (7th May) we came down into the town to take part in the Coronation Party in Market Street, as coffee and cake was served by Wotton Heritage Centre and The Keepers - Wotton Area Community Hub.

After a lively performance we listened as the town's Crier, George Carpenter, delivered the Coronation Proclamation before everyone joined together to sing God Save the King.

Many thanks to Wotton-under-Edge Town Council for organising the party in celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III, and thank you for inviting us to play a part in such a special day for our very special town.

March News

Regional Championships - Torquay

On Saturday 11th we competed in the 1st Section of the West of England Brass Band Championships in Torquay.  We were pleased with our performance of Phil Lawrence's 'A Day in the Life of a Knight', and although we were a little disappointed not to finish a little closer to the prizes, we congratulate the bands who did do well - in particular, our neighbours, Chalford who were clear winners on the day after a first class performance.

The trip to torquay also gave us the opportunity to spend some great social time together, and our thanks go out to Julie who arranged the accomodation and meals for us all - a first class job as always!

We look forward to returning to Torquay next year where once again we will be competing in the first section.

February News

Preparations for Torquay

As usual, February sees us busily preparing for the Regional Brass Band Championships in Torquay.  The competition will be taking place on Saturday 11th March at the Riviera Centre, and this year's First Section test piece is 'A Day in the Life of a Knight', by Phil Lawrence.  The piece was originally composed in 1988, and is highly thematic, telling a story in the form of an imagined film score.

We will be performing the piece for the first time at the Oxford & District Brass Band Competition later in the month ahead of our trip to Devon!

January News

Father Brown

We are delighted to finally tell you all about what we were up to last August! Here we are during the recording of an episode of the BBC drama series 'Father Brown' which can now be viewed on iPlayer. You will be able to see and hear our performance on live TV soon or if, like us, you can't wait, you can find it on BBC iPlayer - Series 10, Episode 6 'The Royal Visit'

father-brown-series- https://www.bbc.co.uk/.../father-brown-series-10-6-the-royal-visit

December News

Carolling

... and it wouldn't be Christmas without the crazy carolling schedule that we put ourselves through!  Thanks to everyone for all their hard work over the Christmas period, this is such a critical time for our fundraising and helps to ensure that we can sustain the band financially for the year ahead.

Many thanks go to the local supermarkets and town centres for allowing us to play and collect and a huge thanks to the people of Wotton, Dursley, Chipping Sodbury and the surrounding areas for your fantastic generosity.  We wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2023!

Christmas Concert

Our annual Christmas Concert took place on Saturday10th at Kingswood Village Hall.

We were joined by our fantastic Training Band, led by their Musical Director, Alan Swain and our evening included great solo items from Jules Farron on Cornet, Ken Stout on Flugel, Mandy Norman on Euphonium and Andy Symes on Eb Bass.

The evening was also a surprise celebration for 3 of our players.  Jenny Lovell and Julie Ashby were presented with their 50 years service awards from the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association, and Marcus Dunstan (who thought he had escaped it by moving north!) was presented with his 60 years service award from the Cornish Brass Band Association.  Thanks so much to Ian ford from the GBBA who organised this and came along to the concert to present the awards (and to help us out when one of our cornet players was struck down with Covid!)

Christmas Concert

Chipping Sodbury Lions Christmas Concert

On Wednesday 7th we were joined by Yate Community Choir in a charity concert in aid of  Chipping Sodbury Lions.  

The concert was really well-attended and packed with a lovely selection of Christmassy music from both groups.

 

November News

Remembrance Parades

The band played it's part on Sunday 13th, leading the parades in our home town Wotton in the morning and in neighbouring Dursley in the afternoon.  Thanks to our Principal Cornet player Jules Farron for an excellent rendition of the Last Post at Wotton!  As the photo shows, it was an absolutely glorious day in Wotton and both parades were really well-attended in a wonderful show of respect, and once again this year, the band takes this opportunity to remember its two players lost during the First World War ...

 

Private Charles Smith of the Gloucestershire Regiment - died 19th October 1915 aged 21.  Son of Mr and Mrs James Smith.

Lance Corporal James Davis of the Royal Army Medical Corps - died 26th August 1916 aged 34.  Son Mr and Mrs J Davis and husband of Ethel B Davis.

 

October News

Oktoberfest

..and whilst one of our ex-players was living it up at the Albert Hall, our Oompah group 'Die Votton Schtompers', were playing a little closer to home at the Plough Inn, Charfield where Oktoberfest celebrations were in full swing.  Thanks to the Plough for making us so welcome (and for letting us sit near the fire!)

Ex-Wotton Player is National Champion Again

Congratulations once again from the Wotton crowd to Sam Iles who, on Saturday 15th, competed as a member of Foden's Band who defended their title National Champions of Great Britain!

Sam joined Wotton Band as percussionist in 2014 and his amazing performance of 'Helter-Skelter' from our 2016 CD, Legacy, gives a clear indication that he was already destined for great things.

We are all so proud of you Sam - Congratulations!

(Congratulations to the rest of the band too).

Click here to find out more about our Legacy CD.

Welcome to Magnus

We are delighted to welcome Magnus Peter - the latest member of our band family, arriving safely on Sunday 2nd. Congratulations to the Davies family on your beautiful new arrival, we can't wait to meet you soon Magnus!

September News

Chipping Sodbury Town Hall

On Sunday 25th we played an afternoon concert at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall.  The varied programme featured several of the band's soloists, including a first solo performance with the band from our Solo Cornet player, Adam Iles, who treated the audience to a superb rendition of Joy Webb's 'Share My Yoke'.

The concert also gave us an opportunity to present our Principal Cornet player, Bruce Davies, with a thank you and goodbye (for now) gift, as he takes a break from band ahead of the birth of his second child.  Good luck to the Davies family from us all!

Alan Bruton - Memorial Concert

On the evening of Saturday 24th we performed in a fantastic concert in aid of Longfield Hospice, sharing the stage with our friends from Nailsworth Silver Band to celebrate the life of our dearly missed friend, Alan Bruton.

As part of our memorial concert, Alan's wife Jane was presented with Alan’s posthumous certificate from the GBBA to commemorate 50 years of service to local bands.

The certificate was presented by our Euphonium player and Alan's dear friend, Pete Stanulewicz (pictured). An incredibly well deserved award for a lifetime dedicated to music making

Royal Proclamation

The band is very proud to have played its part in the Proclamation Ceremony in our home town of Wotton-under-Edge on Sunday 11th, marking the formal Proclamation to the people of the town of the beginning of our new King's reign...

Keynsham Memorial Park

On Sunday 4th the band completed it's outdoor concert season with a performance in the bandstand at Keynsham Memorial Park.  

Our thanks go out to all the friends who helped us out at this concert.

August News

Thank you Nige

The band would like to say a big thank you to Nige Galliott who has helped us out as temporary MD for the last couple of months.  Nige has helped us put together a programme for our summer events, made up of popular and entertaining music that has gone down really well with our audiences.

Our thanks also go to Debs Galliott who has helped out enormously over the summer, covering for player holidays on horn, baritone and euphonium.

Thanks both for all your help and hard work - it's very much appreciated!

Wotton Silver Band - Time Warp
You have been a star Nige. Thanks for all your help and for introducing us to some fun, but still challenging music. Here's our performance of Time Warp at Cold Aston ...
Time Warp.mp4
MP4 video/audio file [25.1 MB]

Cold Aston Village Fayre

On Saturday 6th we returned to one of our favourite places - the annual village fayre in the beatiful Cotswold village of Cold Aston.  As always, we were made to feel extremely welcome and unlike many other years, the organisers managed to arrange some really fantastic weather for us.

The band played an entertaining programme of popular, well-known music to an appreciative crowd.  As always, our thanks go to the fayre organisers - we are sure you will have had a really succesful day and we really appreciate you inviting us along to be a part of it.

We made the most of the sunny weather and used the opportunity to get a few nice photos of the band in this lovely setting ...

 

July News

Evening Concert - The Plough, Charfield

What a great evening we had on Friday 15th when we were invited down to the Plough Micro Pub in Charfield to play a lively programme, concluding with the Last Night of the Proms favourites.  Led by our guest Musical Director, Nige Galliott, the band performed an entertaining programme featuring solos from Ian Brown on Horn and George Woodman on Percussion, and a performance of our Eb Bass player, Morris Harper's fantastic march, 'The Mariner', conducted by Morris.

Both the welcome from everyone at the Plough and the weather they arranged for us could not have been better!  We hope they invite us back - it was a lovely event.

The video below really sums up the atmosphere of the night ...

Wotton Silver Band - Hornpipe
A short snippet of the band playing Henry Wood's famous Fantasia on British Sea Songs, mixed with traffic noise and a buzzing crowd at the lovely Plough Micro Pub in Charfield.
Hornpipe.mp4
MP4 video/audio file [7.8 MB]
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