Remembering the Band's WW1 Heroes
To mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1, the band takes this opportunity to remember its two players lost during the conflict ...
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.
Celebration of Music
On Tuesday 6th the band took part in a fantastic evening of music, joined by musicians of all ages from different brass groups in the local area. The bands included Wotton Training Band, Cam Learners' Band and The British School (Wotton) Band.
All groups performed on their own and then joined the Wotton Silver Band in a mass band performance of two pieces from Modest Mussorgsky's from Pictures at an Exhibition - 'The Hut on Hen's Legs (Baba Yaga)' and 'The Great Gate of Kiev'.
This was a great opportunity for the band to get to know the fantastic music groups in the area and for everyone to experience making music as part of a large team!
Dursley RBL Poppy Proms
On Saturday 20th the Band played along with the Panache Steel Band at the annual Poppy Proms in Dursley to mark the start of this year's Poppy Appeal.
As well as the usual 'last night of the proms' music, the band performed a varied programme which included Peter Graham's arrangement of Ronan Hardiman's 'Cry of the Celts'. This piece featured our fantastic percussion team - Sam, George & Nick, Alan & Pete on Euphonium, Ian on Eb Horn, Ken on Flugel Horn, Marcus on Soprano & Jules on Principal Cornet (in fact, most of the band really!) Well done all!
Horsfall House Garden Fete
Under the Edge Arts Concert
September began with a concert for Under the Edge Arts in the Chipping Hall, Wotton on Saturday 1st. It was great for the band to perform in a different local hall to a new and appreciative audience.
Our concert included solos from Dave McWhirter on Trombone, Bruce Davies on Cornet and Ian Brown on Tenor Horm and also featured the cornet team playing the quartet 'Mr Sandman'.
John Coles Park - Chippenham
On Sunday 19th the band made a welcome return to the lovely John Coles Park in Chippenham. It is several years since the band played at the park but despite this, we were made very welcome by a great audience.
Royal Oak Fun Day - Wotton
We were delighted to be invited to take part in The Royal Oak's Fun Day on Saturday 11th.
A quintet from the band performed at the event which was part of the Community Public Access Defibrillators Appeal organised by Wotton Lions.
We have since heard that the event raised enough funds to purchase a new defibrillator for the town, so congratulations to all at the Royal Oak!
Cold Aston Village Fayre
Durham Miners Gala
On the weekend of 14th/15th some members of Wotton Silver Band had the privilege of playing alongside Durham Miners Association Brass Band at the annual Durham Miners Gala. The whole event was spectacular, culminating at Durham Cathedral where we finished a hot day of marching with a service to bless the banners. Massive thanks to DMA for looking after us so well and for having us alongside and sharing their event with us .
Bath Parade Gardens
Party in the Parc
On Saturday 16th we played for the locally-run festival 'Party in the Parc' in Wotton.
Sadly for the organisers, the weather was not kind while we were playing during the early afternoon, but hopefully the sunshine later in the afternoon pulled in a larger crowd for the evening performances.
Despite the weather, the band played on with a popular programme of music, featuring the cornet quartet - 'Mr Sandman' and the ever-popular 'Post Horn Gallop' from Bruce Davies.
On the evening of Sunday 10th the band performed in the Stinchcombe Rugby Club marquee at the Proms event organised by Dursley Rotary Club. This is a popular, annual event that raises funds for a range of local good causes.
The band were joined this year by singers Anne Martin and Elizabeth Flemming, and as always, the event was expertly compered by Mr Terry Pascoe.
Concert at St Barts
On Saturday 19th the band performed in concert at St Bartholomew's Church in Cam.
This was a lovely venue for the band and one which we hope to return to (although we will try to find a less popular date next time).
Thank you to all the audience members who turned out to watch us despite the lure of royal weddings and football matches!
Sunday 6th saw the band keeping up its tradition of playing on Wotton Hill to welcome in the Spring! We were joined this year by a really great crowd, and enjoyed the warmest weather for this event in living memory! (although we are not quite able to confirm it as the warmest ever, given that the band first performed on the hill in May 1910).
Thank you to everyone who came to support us - it makes this a really special (if not slightly crazy) event in our banding calendar!
Wotton Arts Festival Concert
On Saturday 28th the band performed its annual concert as part of the Wotton Arts Festival at St Mary's Church in Wotton-under-Edge.
This year we privileged to be joined by guest soloist, the fantastic Tom Hutchinson, principal cornet player of world number one brass band, Cory.
Tom displayed his awe-inspiring playing, treating the audience to a real variety of music including 'The Paragon', 'Tico-Tico' and 'Carnival of Venice'.
Tom is without doubt one of the finest cornet players of his generation, and it was a wonderful experience for all of us at Wotton to work with him. Not only an amazing cornet player, but a friendly and engaging visitor for us too.
Wotton Silver Band - 'Legacy'
Legacy - price £10.00 is now available to buy from ...
The Heritage Centre in Wotton
Coventry / Bennett Jones in Wotton High Street
or you can contact us here to order one.
'Legacy' reflects the band's journey through its 122-year history and is dedicated to all members past and present who, together with our many supporters, have worked hard to maintain a brass band to serve Wotton and its surrounding area.
Click here for more details about Legacy.
Regional Brass Band Championships, Torquay
Preparations for Torquay
As is usual for the start of the year, the band is busy preparing for its performance at the West of England Brass Band Championships in Torquay where we will be competing in the First Section on Saturday 10th March.
This year we will be playing Brass Metomorphosis which is a set of five variations based on original theme. Each of these variations is in a different style with the first being a lively rondo, the second slow and intense, the third an agile scherzando, the fourth slow and expressive and the fifth full of majesty as it brings the piece to a triumphal close.
We will be holding an Open Rehearsal at the Chipping Hall in Wotton-under-Edge where everyone is welcome to come along and listen to our progress.
Downend 41 Club Ladies' Night
In a break from our contest preparations, the band played a programme of varied music for the Downend 41 Club's evening function on Saturday 10th. A huge thank you to our hosts who, as always, made us feel extremely welcome and appreciated.
Carols, Carols & More Carols
Christmas Concert - Kingswood
Our own Christmas concert took place on Saturday 9th and was packed full of seasonal music from traditional carols to 'All I Want for Christmas is You'. The band were joined by the training band who, expertly directed by Sarah Colyer, played a short programme of their own before joining the main band to play carols.
Chipping Sodbury Lions Concert
On Wednesday 6th the band played at a charity concert for Chipping Sodbury Lions in a joint performance with the Yate Choral Society. The concert is an annual event that takes place in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall and is always a great way to get everyone into the Christmas spirit!
GBBA Contest - Cheltenham
On Sunday 19th the band took part in the GBBA Contest held at All Saints Academy in Cheltenham. The band chose to play the George Allan march 'Knight Templar', followed by the classic test piece 'Journey into Freedom' by Eric Ball.
We are delighted to announce that we were awarded first prize for the march and our congratulations go to Forest of Dean Brass who beat us into second place for the test piece.
Sunday 12th was a busy day for the band, playing for the remembrance parades in Wotton in the morning and in Dursley in the afternoon. The last post in Wotton was expertly sounded by our solo cornet player, Stephen McDonald in what is unfortunately one of his last performances with the band before he moves to Warwickshire. We wish Stephen & Rebecca all the very best in their new home.
Poppy Concert - Wotton
On Friday 3rd the band played at the Wotton and Synwell Royal British Legion Poppy Concert in Wotton Town Hall alongside the fabulous Blue Coat School choir.
Highlights of the evening included cornet solo 'Be thou my Vision' from Bruce Davies and the haunting hymn 'Sunset' featuring Will Jones along with Bruce.
Poppy Proms - Dursley
Synwell Playing Fields - Family Fun Day
Kingswood Village Fete
On Saturday 2nd the band performed in the September sunshine at the Kingswood Village Fete. The programme included solo items from Ken Stout on Flugel, Ian Brown on Horn and Alan Bruton on Euphonium.
Our special thanks go to our helpers, Tom & Ian who stepped in to cover for a couple of our cornet players who were otherwise engaged in Durham!
Congratulations to Stephen & Rebecca
Our congratulations go to Solo Cornet player Stephen McDonald who married Rebecca in Durham on Saturday 2nd with their reception at Durham Castle. Stephen and Rebecca got to know each other through Durham Miners Association Brass Band who entertained the guests at the reception.
Sadly for Wotton Band, they are moving to Coventry imminently, where they plan to continue banding.
Cold Aston Village Fayre
Cotswold Hills Golf Club
Cotswold Brass Festival Concert
On Sunday 9th members of the band supported the Cotswold Brass Festival Team, helping to run workshops for brass players of all ages and abilities. The day ended with a short concert where all the participants performed what they learnt during the day, alongside the band and guest soloists.
Kingswood Primary School & St Mary's Church Fete
Saturday 8th was an extremely busy day for the band, beginning with a parade that set out from Kingswood Abbey (the original headquarters of the band when it was established in 1894). A small group from the band led the parade to the Kingswood playing field to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kingswood Primary School. (Huge thanks go to our baritone player Sarah, who stepped in to play bass drum for us on the parade!)
The band then played along with Wotton Training Band at the St Mary's Church Fete in Wotton, before members joined the Cotswold Brass Festival activities taking place at the British School.
Dursley Arts Festival
On Thursday 22nd the band played a concert at St James' Church as part of the Dursley Arts Festival programme.
The light entertaining programme included solos 'Be Thou My Vision' from Bruce Davies on Cornet, 'Concerto de Aranjuez' from Ken Stout on Flugel, 'If' from Ian Brown on Tenor Horn and 'Watching the Wheat' from Alan Bruton on Euphonium.
In Ian Dickinson's absence, our musical director for the night was our good friend and wonderful musician, Mr WD Thomas. Thanks to Dave from all of us for all his help and a great performance!
On Sunday 11th the band played once again at the Stinchcombe Proms fundraising event that takes place in the Beer Festival marquee at Stinchcombe Rugby Club.
As usual, the evening was compared by Terry Pascoe and the band were joined by singer Ann Martin in performances of 'Annie's Song' and a rousing version of 'Big Spender'. The performance closed with all the traditional 'Last Night of the Proms' favourites.
On the first Sunday in May the band climbed to the top of Wotton Hill to carry on its age old tradition of playing on the hill to welcome in the summer. It was a lovely morning and it was really lovely to see such a large number of people who had walked up to listen to the band.
Our thanks as always go to the band's friend, and Wotton Arts Festival organiser, Gordon Phillips who, as usual, was our Musical Director for the morning.
Thanks also to David Hinder for the lovely photos (1 shown here and others available to see on our photos page).
Tytherington Village Fete
Wotton Arts Festival Concert
Our first public concert of 2017 took place at St Mary's Church on Saturday 22nd as part of the Wotton Arts Festival.
This year's concert featured the band along with players from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Welsh College of Music in period music ensemble 'Sackbut Frenzy', directed by Emily White.
The concert was a rousing celebration of music through the ages.
6th Place - West of England First Section Championships 2017
On Saturday 11th the band took part in the West of England Brass Band Championships in Torquay, competing in the First Section following our promotion from the Second Section two years ago.
We were pleased with our performance of 'The Land of the Long White Cloud', and delighted to be awarded 6th place!
Well done to everyone involved for all the hard work over the last couple of months!
Preparations for Torquay
January is a quieter month for us at the band, which allows us to begin our preparations for our performance in the West of England Brass Band Championships 1st Section in Torquay in March. We also have a few early concerts to prepare for, so we certainly won't be resting!
We will also be supporting the Cotswold Edge Brass Mini-Fest on 5th February at Rednock School in Dursley aimed at encouraging young musicians in Gloucesteshire to join local groups.
For more information, please visit http://www.cotswoldbrassfest.org.uk.
As always, December was a very busy month for the band. The real highlight was the Christmas Concert on Saturday 10th featuring both the main band and the wonderful training band.
We also played at Chipping Sodbury in a joint concert with Yate Choral Society in aid of Chipping Sodbury Lions Club.
The rest of the month was spent playing carols around the area in town centres and local supermarkets and our thanks go out to the many people who supported us in our festive fundraising.
Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Davies
All of us at the band send our congratulations to Principal Cornet player, Bruce & his wife Emma who celebrated their wedding on Saturday 12th!
Wotton Poppy Concert
On Friday 4th the band played at the annual Poppy Concert for Wotton-under-Edge and Synwell Royal British Legion. We were joined (and upstaged!) by the fabulous Bluecoat School Choir
Dursley Poppy Proms
On Saturday 22nd the band played at the popular Poppy Proms Concert for the Dursley Royal British Legion. The Concert took place at the Chantry Centre in Dursley and featured the band along with Dursley Male Voice Choir and the Cotswold Community Choir.
The weekend of 8th/9th saw the band hard at work in the recording studio producing our first ever CD. 'Legacy' will be available in time for Christmas.
Tyndale Monument 150th Anniversary
On Saturday 1st the band played at the 150th anniversary of the Tyndale Monument celebrations at North Nibley. The band played a selection of music, the highlight being a performance from our quintet from the top of the monument.
Horsfall House Fete
On Sunday 11th, the band played at the Horsfall House fete in Minchinhampton. This was our last fete of this year's summer season and featured many of our soloists who have performed for us throughout the summer, including Ken Stout on Flugel Horn, Ian Brown on Tenor Horn and Alan Bruton on Euphonium.
Cold Aston Village Fayre
St Mary's Church Fete
The band provided music for the annual fete at Wotton Church on Saturday 9th July.
We were joined by the Training Band who played a short selection of popular music from Robbie Williams' Let Me Entertain You, to the traditional Pastimes with Good Company.
Cotswold Edge Festival of Brass
More than 200 people came from across the Cotswolds to join in the first ever “Cotswold Edge Festival of Brass” taking place in Dursley on Sunday 26th Juneat Rednock School and The Chantry Centre.
Participants ranged from 8
to 80 years old and were of varying abilities; some were experienced players whilst others were complete beginners.
The participants were split into three groups for the workshops during the day where they were given expert tuition from three professional musicians. Alan Swain, who teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, tutored the advanced group whilst Philip J. Anderson, a visiting music teacher across many of the local schools throughout Gloucestershire & Wiltshire took the intermediates. Chris White-Horne, a tutor with Thornbury Area Youth Music got the beginners group off to a flying start. Each group was given advice and guidance on their playing whilst rehearsing a piece of music for the evening entertainment.
The Festival was also joined throughout the day by players from Wotton Silver Band as well as world class professional brass musicians from the Welsh National Opera who gave some experienced guidance to the groups.
The Festival culminated in a fantastic concert at The Chantry Centre with pieces being performed by each of the three Festival groups as well as the audience being treated to concert items from both the Wotton Silver Band and soloists from the Welsh National Opera.
Philip Anderson and fellow tutors helped the groups learn and practice their performance pieces. He added:
“The Cotswold Edge Festival of Brass was designed to enthuse people of
all ages to try a brass instrument, or to develop their skills. The concert was a fantastic mix of the three groups from the day, the local Silver Band and professional musicians, who all gave their
time for free. We are delighted to have created something so special in our community and look forward to doing it again next year!”
Congratulations to Bruce, Philip, Chris and Alan for organising such a successful event, and thanks to all the Wotton Band players who helped out throughout the day.
British School Fete
Once again the band provided the music for the Stinchcombe Proms on Sunday 12th.
This year's event was a celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday, with the band teaming up with singer Annie Martin and the evening's host, Terry Pascoe.
The band played a wide selection of music, from David Bowie's Life on Mars to Borodin's Danses Polovtsiennes and also featured soloists Bruce Davies (Cornet), Ian Brown (Horn) and Sam Iles (Xylophone).
As usual, the event was very well supported and raised a great deal of money for LINC, Great Western Ambulance, and other charities supported by organisers, Rotary Club of Dursley.