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

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

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]

June News

Concert - Chipping Sodbury Town Hall

On Tuesday 7th we performed a concert for Chipping Sodbury Music Society in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall.  The concert featured a wide variety of music from Malcolm Arnold's 'Cornish Dances' to Queen's 'Fat Bottomed Girls'!  The concert concluded with a Jubilee Finalee, including Crown Imperial, Nimrod and Pomp and Circumstance No. 1.

Thank you to Chipping Sodbury Music Society for inviting us along, and also our thanks to the players from other local bands who stepped in at extremely short notice to help us out due to a number of players falling ill!

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations - Synwell

On Friday 3rd the band played at the Wotton Jubilee celebrations in Synwell Playing Field.  The Training Band started the afternoon off with a lovely programme of music under the direction of their MD, Alan Swain.

The main band followed on with a selection including some patriotic numbers including Crown Imperial and Pomp and Circumstance, and solos from Bruce Davies on Cornet and George Woodman on percussion.

Chalford Beer Festival

On Thursday 2nd a small group of us performed as 'Wotton Oompah Band' at the Chalford Beer Festival.  We entertained the early evening crowd with a selection of Oompah music and a few 'old favourites' such as Delilah and Sweet Caroline.

The Oompah Band is made up of anything from 5 to 8 players, and can be contacted here.

May News

Farewell Robert

We were part of another sad occasion on Wednesday 11th when we played at the funeral of our Honorary Life Member and dear friend, Robert Moss.

Robert played a really active part in the band during the 1990s, always attending our rehearsals, listening to the music and chatting with all his band friends - young and old!  He would join us at all our engagements from village fetes to brass band competitions and also came to all our social functions - band dinners, skittles evenings and even some of our weddings!  But he really came into his own at Christmas time with his collection bucket in Wotton Street and various supermarkets and shopping centres across the area - we know that his amazing efforts at this time of year made all the difference in the world to our collections.

Robert didn't stop there, he even did a sponsored swim to raise money for the band to buy a set of band banners.  This must have been absolutely exhausting for him, but we never heard him complain!

Robert will always remain a big part of the band's history - a truly amazing man!

Goodbye to Alan

On Friday 6th we joined members of Nailsworth Band to play at the funeral of our dear friend Alan.  It was a huge privilege to have been able to play a part in this beautiful service in St George's Parish Church in Nailsworth.

We are really looking forward to returning to the church and joining our friends from Nailsworth band on Saturday 24th September in a special tribute concert in Alan's memory.

Wotton Hill

It was great to be able to get back to Wotton Hill on May 1st after a two-year break.  The 'Band Sunday' tradition takes us to the top of the hill on the first Sunday in May each year to perform hymns and marches to welcome in the Spring.  The weather wasn't all that 'springlike' this year, but at least we kept dry as we played to a lovely audience who turned out despite the weather.  Thank you to all of you for your support - it is very much appreciated!

April News

Sad News

We are very sad to hear of the death of our ex-principal euphonium player, Alan Bruton.

An exceptional player, Alan played a huge part in the band's success over the last 15 years, performing solos at many of our concerts and also contributing in a big way to contest successes as we progressed from the third to the first section.  Alan will always be remembered as a kind-hearted and dedicated bandsman who always supported the band and encouraged our young players.  This heartbreaking news has saddened us all, and our thoughs are with Alan's family at this really sad time.

As musicians, we are so grateful that Alan shared his talent with us, and his beatiful playing can be heard on our CD, 'Legacy', particularly in his solo performance of 'Catari, Catari'.

Alan Bruton plays 'Catari, Catari' (Salvatore Cardillo arr. George Thompson)
CATARI CATARI.mp3
MP3 audio file [5.9 MB]

West of England Brass Band Championships

Unfortunately we didn't get a reapeat of our Oxford success at Cheltenham this year.  Nonetheless, team Wotton Band found plenty to smile about as we headed off to the racecourse by pirate ship!

Our congratulations go to all the bands who were able to compete in the regional finals this year after 2 years of lockdown, and special congratulations to our close neighbours, Nailsworth Band - third place in the 3rd Section.

March News

Open Rehearsal

On Tuesday 29th the band held an open rehearsal as we completed our preparations for the upcoming West of England Brass Band Championships in Cheltenham.

It was lovely to see such a great audience ath the Baptist Church in Wotton.  Thank you for your support and we hope we can once again do the town proud at the regional finals.

February News

Contest Success

On Saturday 26th the band travelled to Oxford to take part in the ODBBA annual competition.  The band chose to play this year's area test piece - Gilbert Vinter's 'Spectrum' which it is rehearsing ahead of the rearranged West of England Championships at Cheltenham on 2nd April.

We were pleased with our performance and even more pleased to be awarded first place in the First Section.  The band was also awarded additional prizes for best bass section of the day and best percussion section of the day.

Congratulations to everyone, and special congratulations to our bass section - Morris, Mark, Simon and Andy; and our percussion section - George and Sam.

All in all, a very succesful trip!

Contest Preparations - Plan B

All change!  The band is still busy rehearsing Gilbert Vintner's 'Spectrum' ahead of the West of England Brass Band Championships, but the competition will now be taking place at the Centaur Centre, Cheltenham on Saturday 2nd April (instead of our usual March trip to the Riviera Centre in Torquay).

The band will also be performing later this month when we travel to Oxford to take part in the Oxford District Brass Band Association competition.

January News

100th Birthday Celebrations

On Monday 31st a small group from the band were able to attend a very special birthday celebration to play happy birthday to 100 year-old Wotton resident, Edwina Heatherington. The celebration was held in front of Mrs Heatherington's home, on the lawn of the Tabernacle in Wotton-under-Edge.

Happy Birthday Edwina!

Contest Preparations

Rehearsals are now well underway for the West of England Brass Band Championships in Torquay where we will be competing in the First Section following our promotion in 2020.

This year's test piece is Gilbert Vinter's 'Spectrum' - his musical depiction of the seven colours in the spectrum, each vividly portrayed in brilliant sound/colours: Intro and Red; Orange; Yellow; Green; Blue; Indigo; Purple.

A Fond Farewell to a Dear Friend

On Tuesday 11th a small group from the band played at for the funeral of our dear friend Brian Chappell who passed away on Tuesday 14th January, aged 91.

Brian has always played an important part in our band, joining as a beginner when the band was struggling in the late 1960's, and going on to teach generations of new players right up until recent years when he still popped along to the Training Band to help out with learners and play the bass part in rehearsals.  Brian was a true bandsman, always willing to step up to the challenge - playing Eb Bass, trombone, baritone, or pretty much whatever the band needed him to do at the time.  He also served on the Band Committee for many years in both the Chair and Secretary roles, and was proud to become an honorary life member when he retired from playing with the main band.

Our thoughts are with Brian's lovely family at this sad time as we remember a very special man who gave so much to Wotton Silver Band and whose spirit will always remain at its core.

We are so pleased that on 9th September 2019, we were able to gather together (under lockdown regulations) to play for Brian's 90th birthday celebrations, and we were also able to send him a very special video message which can be viewed here ...

December News

Carols

The busy Christmas carolling schedule is now well under way as we aim to spread Christmas cheer (as well as raising much needed funds for the year ahead!)

 

Take a look at our carolling schedule on our What's On page to see what we are up to, or if you would like to make a donation, you can access our Virtual Bucket.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Wotton Silver Band!

Christmas Concert

We were delighted to be able to go ahead with our annual Christmas Concert this year at Kingswood Village Hall on Saturday 11th.  We were joined by the Training Band for an evening of Christmas music.  The varied programme featured solos 'In the Bleak Midwinter' from Marcus Dunstan on Soprano Cornet and ''Frosty the Snowman' from Jason Andrews on Bass Trombone.  Thanks to everyone who felt able to join us despite the circumstances this year, and helped to make the evening a real festive celebration.

November News

Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Day - Sunday 14th, the band led the parades at Wotton in the morning and Dursley in the afternoon.  Both parades were very well attended and supported, despite a slightly different format this year due to Covid restrictions.

On both occasions The Last Post and Reveille were expertly sounded by the band's Principal Cornet player, Bruce Davies.

Welcome to our New Musical Director - David Boorer

The band is really pleased to welcome our new Musical Director, David Boorer.

David led his first rehearsal on Tuesday 2nd as we began our preparations for our busy Christmas Schedule including our annual Christmas Concert which will take place on Saturday 11th December at Kingswood Village Hall.

David took up music at the relatively late age of fourteenwhen his music teacher suggested he learntthe bassoon. At sixteenDavid joined the Royal Marines Band Service andwas taught by John Williams of the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and by Ian Cuthill while he was a student at the Guildhall School of Music. 

David has had a forty-year playing career that has seen him perform as an instrumentalist in major venues nationally and internationally as well as a soloist onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. 

David took up conducting in 2009 when he was stationed near Rickmansworth and discovered a new passionfor music outside playing.

After moving to the West Country in 2011 a chance meeting with Tiverton TownBand'sprincipal cornet player led David to theposition as MD of Tiverton Town Bandand he took over the baton at Phoenix Brass in January 2012.

After leaving the Royal Marines in 2013 David gained a BA(Hons) in English Literature, and following a family move to Lincolnshire took over as MD of Alford Silver Band.

Moving back to Devon in 2018 David took over as MD once again with Phoenix Brass in Crewkerne, as well as with Chard Concert Brass.

Welcome to Wotton David!

October News

Return to Wotton Hill

On Sunday 17th the band gathered to continue the tradition of Band Sunday.  Band Sunday is normally held on the first Sunday in May, when, in a tradition that first took place in 1910, the band climbs the hill to welcome in the Spring with a concert of hymns and marches.  As our plans for May 2020 and 2021 were both thwarted by Covid, we decided to make up for it by playing in October - surrounded by autumnal colours rather than the sights and sounds of spring.

David Lawrence brought down the baton to strike up the band, the music drifting on the breeze over the town, signaling a return to normality.

After an hour's performance, the players carried their instruments and music stands back through the trees and fields with a sense of happiness and contentment that they had carried on a wonderful tradition which has after all survived two world wars and now also a global pandemic.  Through it all Wotton Silver Band has played on!

Congratulations Sam (and Foden's)

Huge congratulations from all of us at Wotton to Sam Iles who, on Saturday 2nd, competed as a member of Foden's Band who became the 2021 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 so proud of you Sam - Congratulations!

(Congratulations to the rest of the band too).

Click here to find out more about our Legacy CD.

September News

Under the Edge Arts Concert

On Saturday 25th we were finally back for our first indoor performance since the Area Championships at the Riviera Centre, Torquay in March 2020.  All tickets for the concert were sold out two weeks earlier, so we played to a full (safely distanced) and very appreciative audience.

The band played a varied programme of music, and included three splendid solos - 'On with the Motley' from Marcus Dunstan on Soprano Cornet, 'Lullaby of Birdland' from Ken Stout on Flugel Horn, and 'In Christ Alone' from Mandy Norman on Euphonium.

Under the Edge Arts have posted recordings of two items from the night - 'Lullaby of Birdland' and 'Queen's Greatest Hits' on Facebook, so if you would like a listen please click here.

 

A Big Thank You to David Lawrence

After the concert, the band was also able to say a proper public thank you to David Lawrence who has directed the band throughout a very difficult 18 months.  Following the retirement of our Musical Director in March 2020, David offered to step in as musical director early in the lockdown period and along with music tech expert, Gareth Hamer, spent a huge amount of time and effort piecing together all our lockdown recordings.  David has continued to direct the band since coming out of lockdown, making it possible for us to 'hit the ground running' after restrictions were lifted.  

Thank you David - we are so very greatful - you have done us proud!

Welcome to Gerald and Mark

We are pleased to announce that Morris Harper is moving from percussion to take the position of principal Eb Bass, and are also delighted to welcome 2 new players to the band - Gerald Hartley joins us on cornet and Mark Chapman joins us on Eb Bass (hopefully we will have some photos coming soon!)

This now leaves us with a vacancy on Tuned Percussion, so please contact us if this is of interest (see Vacancies)

August News

Cold Aston Village Fayre

On Saturday 8th, it felt wonderful to be back making music again after such a long break.  Our first post-lockdown engagement took place in the picturesque village of Cold Aston where we joined them once again for their annual village fayre.  Even the miserable weather couldn't dampen our spirits - It's a joy to be back!

Rehearsals at a Distance

Throughout the summer, we have fortunately been able to hire a large room at Hamfields Leisure in Berkeley where we have been able to rehearse whilst remaining 2 metres away from each other.  Whilst not an ideal way to play, this has at least allowed us to continue to meet up and begin to get match fit for the engagements ahead of us.  We are hoping to be able to return to our band room in Wotton before too much longer, but in the meantime, it's a big thank you to Hamfields for having us!

June News

Congratulations Alan and Jane

We are delighted to see the beautiful pictures of Alan and Jane's wedding which took place on Thursday 17th (Alan is our Euphonium player).  Congratulations!!

May News

Our latest video aired on Saturday 29th and is our entry into the virtual Whit Friday March Championships, organised by Foden's Band.  The band was placed a very respectable 47th out of the 119 bands who entered, which included a large number of Championship Section Bands and bans from overseas.  The band chose to play the march 'The New Colonial' by RB Hall, and our video features many young helpers from our band family.

The very best news!  On Tuesday 25th we were finally able to meet up as a band again for our first rehearsal in a very long time.  Whilst it's still not the same with 2 metres between us all, we were all delighted to be together again and really hope to be able to perform in public before too much longer.

March News

The results of the Cory Online Brass Band Championships 2021 were aired on Sunday 28th March.  We were placed a very respectable 8th which was a great result, given the high standard of the international competition..  Of course a very special mention goes out to Dave, Phil and Jason, our amazing trombone section who were awarded Best Trombone Section - Congratulations all (but especially the trombones!)

On Saturday 20th our contest entry was aired for the first time as part of the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships 2021.  Our 10 minute programme is a celebration of our home county.  Our section featured 12 bands from around the world..

 

1st SECTION – Saturday 20th March – 18:00 GMT
1.         Coalburn Silver Band
2.         Strabane Brass
3.         Johnstone Band
4.         Pontardulais Town Band
5.         Dallas Brass Band
6.         Langley Band
7.         Seindorf Arian Deiniolen
8.         Freckleton Brass Band
9.         North Skelton Band
10.      Drogheda Brass Band
11.      Wotton Silver
12.      Strata Brass
 

... we were delighted with the performance and once again say a massive thank you to Gareth Hamer and our Musical Director, David Lawrence for knitting all our individual performances together so beautifully.

We will all be tuning in on Sunday 28th to hear the contest results!

We start our programme with a tribute to Gustav Holst, one of Gloucestershire’s most famous musical sons. Holst was born and raised in Cheltenham, and throughout his life never lost his love for the county of his birth. We will play the stirring March from his 1st Suite in Eb, originally composed for Military Band, but played here in the arrangement for Brass Band by Sydney Herbert.

 

For our second piece we will play ‘As the Deer’ arranged by Philip Wilby. It is a modern Christian worship song drawing on texts from the Bible. We offer it here as a tribute to William Tyndale, a local Gloucestershire man, who was the first person to translate the New Testament into the English language. The band are joined in this performance by Gloucestershire-born soprano Mary-Jess - the voice of Downton Abbey and the winner of the Chinese X Factor.

 

Our programme ends with Alan Fernie’s arrangement of "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free". Our principal cornet Bruce Davies features in this jazz song written by Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas, and known by many from a widely played version recorded by Nina Simone. After a year or more of lockdown, we are all looking forward to being free, and for the video we asked the band to show some of the things they are looking forward to being free to do – including of course, the Gloucestershire sport of Cheese Rolling!

Click here to listen to our other lockdown projects

January & February News

Online Contest

Despite the current lockdown, the band has been very busy working on our latest online project.  We are entering the 1st Section of the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championsips and have submitted our short programme which will be broadcast online on Saturday 20th March between 6pm and 10pm.  The short concert celebrates the band's Gloucestershire roots and will be made available for viewing on our website after the Saturday night preview.

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