On Wednesday 18th the band performed a charity concert for Chipping Sodbury Lions along with Yate Choral Society. Despite dreadful wet weather, the concert was well attended and we hope the evening was a great fund-raising success for the Lions.
The band's annual Christmas Concert took place on Sunday 8th December at Kingswood Village Hall with both band & training band performing a variety of popular music with a festive theme to the second half. The main band concert included solos 'Where is Love' from Ken Stout on Flugel and 'Away in a Manger' from Bruce Davies on Cornet. Training band certificates were awarded to Jon Turner - Most Improved Player, Kieren Latimer and Jonathan Glover - Best Bandsman, and George Woodman - Best Banding Attitude. The concert concluded with carols from the joint bands.
Our thanks, as always go to all those who helped with the evening from decorating the hall to making the teas and selling raffle tickets. Special thanks to Julie, Lucy, Jenny, Robert, Suzanne, Nora, Lyn, Alice, Julie & Mark.
On November 10th the band played at the Remembrance Day parade in Wotton-under-Edge in the morning and at Dursley in the afternoon. The morning performance included a splendid sounding of the Last Post from Principal Cornet - Bruce Davies.
Both parades were extremely well attended with many local organisations represented.
On Saturday 26th the band played at Dursley & Cam British Legion's fourth Poppy Proms concert along with the fantastic Dursley Male Voice Choir.
The choir opened the concert with a lively performance including the ever popular 'Rhythm of Life' and a lovely arrangement of 'You Raise Me Up'. The band's programme included the Euphonium Duet - 'The Pearl Fishers' from Alan Bruton and Pete Stanulewicz, and Flugel solo 'Where is Love' from Ken Stout.
After the interval, the concert took on its 'Last Night of the Proms' feel with all the traditional favourites from the band, accompanied by the choir.
As always, the concert was excelently hosted by Mr Terry Pascoe, helping to make for an enjoyable and fun night.
On Friday 18th the band took part in a joint concert with Katharine Lady Berkeley's School Choir at Wotton Town Hall, raising funds for the Wotton & Synwell Branch of the Royal British Legion.
The band's varied programme included Solos from Bruce Davies on Cornet and Alan Bruton on Euphonium, whilst the choir performed a selection of well-known songs, including a collection from Les Miserables. The concert ended with the audience joining the band and choir in a medley of war songs, and Land of Hope & Glory from Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance No. 1.
Wotton Band were the first band of the day on Saturday 22nd at the National Brass Band Championships, and after a pleasing performance of Penlee we were awarded a very respectable 10th place. Our congratulations go to this year's winners LGB Brass.
The band is now putting the final touches on its performance of test piece 'Penlee' by Simon Dobson, in preparation for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, taking place at 'The Centaur' in Cheltenham on Sunday 22nd September
'Penlee' depicts the tragic story of the Penlee lifeboat, 'The Solomon Browne' whose crew all lost their lives on the night of 19th December 1981, whilst attempting to rescue those aboard the cargo vessell 'The Union Star' in Cornwall's treacherous waters.
The band has enjoyed working on this challenging, descriptive piece and hope that our performance captures the mood as a fitting tribute to the crews of 'The Solomon Browne' and 'The Union Star'.
On Saturday 14th the band played at a private engagement just outside Wotton. The event was a surprise Golden Wedding party for Margaret & Terry Bloodworth, organised by their daughter Sarah. The rain kept away as the band entertained the guests with two programmes of music, of course including 'Congratulations'.
The band would like to send our best wishes to Margaret & Terry, and thank the family for looking after us so well!
This has now become a regular engagement for the band as we also played for Margaret & Terry's Ruby Wedding - so we look forward to seeing them again in 10 years time!
On Sunday 18th the band played a concert in the bandstand at Bath Parade Gardens. The concert included solos - 'Georgia on My Mind' from Mel Millichap on Cornet, and 'Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair' from Alan Bruton on Euphonium - along with Horn / Baritone feature 'We've Only Just Begun' from (left to right on Photo) Julie Ashby, Jenny Lovell, Mark Hale and Ian Brown.
On Saturday 13th, the band played in the sunshine at St Mary's Church fete in Wotton. The Training Band also performed a short concert of film music, and songs from The Beatles. This was a special occasion for the Training Band, as it was their first performance in their new look uniforms - white shirts, and their band ties that were very kindly given to the band by Mrs Ingrid Baker in memory of her late husband George.
The sun shone on Wotton for a day celebrating the centenary of the town’s cinema, the Electric Picture House. With the street closed to traffic, the way was clear for local people of all ages to enjoy a day of entertainment on Sunday 7 July. The band played an hour long programme of music, including several film-related pieces, beneath the Tolsey clock.
On Saturday 6th the band performed at Thornbury Carnival, playing two programmes of music - the first in the shade on the main stage, and the second in the late afternoon sunshine. The event was very well attended and we hope it was as much of a success for the organisers as it appeared to be. A big thank you to our Deputy Bandmaster, David Lawrence, for conducting the band on the day.
A big thank you to Waitrose Stroud and their customers for supporting the Training Band as part of their 'Community Matters' programme. The Training Band was one of the 3 local charities that Waitrose supported during May, and we were delighted to receive a cheque for £240 (our share of the £1,000 that the store gives to local charities each month).
Charlie competed in the 66th Oxford Brass festival on the 23rd April and is pictured with his silverware from coming 1st in the slow melody class with ’The Lost Chord’ and second in the open championship with ‘Concorde’. He was also awarded the title of Best boy under 15. Full results can be viewed with this link:
On the 13th July he competed in the Forest of Dean in a competition not just for brass. He came second in the solo and third in the under 17 recital with only one mark between the top spots. For this he had to perform a selection of pieces for 12 minutes.
He is now busily preparing for his seating audition for the National Children’s Brass Band and his audition for the National Youth Brass Band in Repton at the end of the month. Read more about their 10th birthday here:
The band was delighted to again be invited by the friends of St Cyrs Church to play at Stinchcombe Proms in what has become an annual event for us in recent years. Over 250 local promenaders packed into the marquee at Dursley rugby club to enjoy an evening of fun and music.
Terry Pascoe again enthusiastically compered the evening and kept the audience entertained with his stories and interesting facts and the event would not be the same without him.
The band played many favourites including the famous “Last Night” tunes. Alan Bruton (Euphonium) treated the audience to a solo rendition of the traditional love song “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" by Stephen Foster.
Charlie Poole (Cornet) entertained the audience with the slow melody “The Lost Chord” by Arthur Sullivan. This is the piece he played at the recent Oxford Brass Festival where he was awarded under 15 champion brass player, having impressed the famous cornet player and adjudicator John Hudson.
Sasha Northover (Soprano) was again in fine form and the band wish her lots of happiness following the announcement that she is getting married next year on February 14th to Valentine!
As always, the band had a great time and would like to thank everyone for the reception and kind comments received during and following the evening.
Happy Birthday to our amazing Training Band. The band has now been running for 3 years and this week (commencing 3rd June) celbrates it's anniversary. The band members were each presented with a new band tie, bought for the band following a kind donation from Mrs Ingrid Baker whose late husband, George, spent many years as a player in the band. Both Ingrid and George continued to support the band for many years and the band is extremely grateful for this generous gift.
On Friday 24th, the band headed north for its first ever trip to the Oldham & Saddleworth Whit Friday Brass Band Contests.
The open-air contests are held in around 20 venues dotted around villages and towns on the western edge of the Pennines, and they are open to all-comers, so we were able to compete against many of the top bands in the country - including Brighouse & Rastrick, who we think were following us!
The contests run from around 4pm right through the evening, and the bands dash from contest to contest to try to participate in as many as possible.
We fitted in 6 contests, playing 'Army of the Nile' on the march, and 'Bramwyn' as our show-piece, winning a prize for the second highest placing 3rd section band at Lees.
The contests were a fabulous experience, and our thanks go to Bruce and Emma for organising the trip & also to our great drivers - Stan & Adrian who navigated us through the inevitable congestion caused by 100 bus-loads of bandsmen!
On Bank Holiday Monday, the band played at the Tytherington May Day Fete. This has become a regular engagement for the band, and it was lovely to see that the sun brought a large crowd to the event which has suffered from some rather disappointing weather over the last couple of years.
In keeping with tradition, the band played on Wotton Hill on the first Sunday in May to welcome the summer. It was great to see a large crowd supporting us as we played a selection of hymns and marches. As always, it's a big thank you to our good friend Gordon Philips for taking on the role of Musical Director for the morning. Thanks also go to Gill, Kate, Alice, Alice & Holly for making the collection for us.
On Saturday 20th April, the band, along with organist Nigel Davies, played to a packed audience at St Mary's Church, Wotton-under-Edge.
The concert included individual performances from the band, with features 'Once Upon a Time in the West' from Soprano Cornet player, Jim Mason, and 'Ashokan Farewell' from Ken Stout on Flugel Horn.
Nigel treated the audience to three solo performances, including the famous Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
The concert also featured Wotton Brass Quintet, who played an enjoyable programme including music from Bizet's Carmen and Handel's Royal Fireworks.
Organ & Band joined together in a number of performances, including Mussorgsky's 'The Great Gate of Kiev', and the concert concluded with a joint performance of Elsa's Procession to the Minster by Richard Wagner.
On Saturday 6th April we held the second band quiz at the Swan Inn, Wotton. A great time was had by all at this well attended event and our thanks go to Mark and Julie Hale for organising such an excellent, fun event. We are all hoping that this is going to become an annual event (please Julie & Mark!).
We are delighted to announce that after a great performance of 'Hollywood' by Goff Richards, the band were awarded first place in the third section at the West of England Regional Championships held at the Riviera Centre, Torquay on Sunday 10th March.
Congratulations to second placed Bodmin Band who will be joining us to represent the West of England in the National Finals in Cheltenham in September. We look forward to seeing them all there.
Thanks to everyone for a great performance and for all the hard work that went into achieving this tremendous result!
On Sunday 4th the band held an open rehearsal / free concert at Dursley Church. The first half of the performance was spent working on the test piece 'Hollywood', by Goff Richards, while Musical Director, Ian Dickinson talked to the audience about the different musical themes that make up the piece. After a performance of the piece in full, the band played a short concert, closing with Mussorgsky's 'Great Gate of Kiev'.
The audience was extremely positive, and the band hopes to do well at next week's Area Brass Band Championships in Torquay. Good luck all!
The band is busy working on the the test piece for the Area Brass Band Championships in Torquay next month. The piece is the entertaining 'Hollywood!' by Goff Richards, and the band will be holding an open rehearsal at Dursley Church at 4pm on Sunday 3rd March, where you are welcome to come along and see how we are progressing.
February also saw the first public performance by the Wotton Brass Quintet, playing for the Captain's Dinner at Cotswold Edge Golf Club.
While the members of the golf club enjoyed their after dinner coffee and brandy, Bruce, Ian, Derek, Alan and Mel played a 45 minute set of music that included 'La Rejoissance' from Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks, Clarke's 'Trumpet Voluntary', Bizet's 'Toreador Song' and 'The Bare Necessities' by Terry Gilkyson.
The audience gave some very good feedback and the players enjoyed it too.
The quintet is made up of players from the main band (2 cornets, 1 tenor horn, 1 euphonium or trombone, and 1 bass).
The quintet plan to take on a few engagements throughout the year which will hopefully allow the band to take on smaller events and allow players to develop their skill of playing in smaller groups.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the band’s friends and supporters for their brilliant support during 2012. Also, huge thanks to the band members for their efforts over the year, and particularly during the marathon 2013 carolling programme. A big thanks too to our army of collectors who did such a marvelous job for us!