As always, the year closed with our annual carolling campaign, playing at local supermarkets and in local high streets to raise money to fund the band for the next 12 months. Thanks to all the band members who worked so hard over the last few weeks to make this a great success and thank you also to the generosity of the people of Wotton and the surrounding area!
Annual Christmas Concert
Our annual Christmas Concert took place on Saturday 6th in a packed Kingswood Village Hall.
The programme included solos 'Oh Holy Night' from Alan Bruton on Euphonium and an entertaining rendition of Post Horn Gallop from Bruce Davies. The Training band also played 2 excellent short programmes of music before joining the main band for carol playing. Training Band Certificates were awarded to 'Best Bandsman' - Jon Turner and 'Most Improved Player' - George Woodman.
Carols in Dursley
On the evening of Friday 28th a small group of us played for the Dursley Christmas Lights Switch-on Event. This is the first of the 24 carol playing events we will be taking part in this year, playing at supermarkets and high streets in the local area - a whole lot of carols!
The rest of our carolling programme kicks off on Sunday 7th at Tesco in Cirencester & Wotton High Street.
Concert with Matthew White
On Saturday 22nd the band presented a very special concert with guest soloist Matthew White.
The band played an ambitious programme including Saint-Saens' 'French Military March', Schostakovich's 'Festive Overture', and Gounod's 'Finale from Faust'.
Matthew treated the band and audience to a truly amazing performance, playing Peter Graham's 'Bravura', 'Michelangelo' by Sigvart Dagsland, ''Neath the Dublin Skies' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, and Paul Nero's 'The Hot Canary'.
Matthew is a rising star in the euphonium world, already having made a name for himself with high profile concert appearances and national competition success.
He was the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year in 2010, as well as the Black Dyke Young Artist of the Year, and the winner of the Solo Award at the Brass In Concert Championships, held at the Sage, Gateshead.
He completed his degree at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with David Thornton and Steven Mead. He attended Chethams School of Music from the age of 10 and also was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, serving as Principal Euphonium for three years, winning the Harry Mortimer and Katie Ogden Solo Awards.
He has performed as a soloist at several of the country’s leading concert venues, including the Bridgwater Hall, Manchester and has appeared as guest soloist with the Black Dyke Band at Symphony Hall, Birmingham at the Gala Concert of the British Open Brass Band Championships.
He has performed live at one of the BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night broadcasts, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In 2012 he was appointed Principal Euphonium of the world ranked number one Brass Band: The Cory Band, and earlier this year he joined the 2013 British Open Champions, Tredegar Town Band as Principal Euphonium.
Remembering the Band's WWI Heroes
To mark the 100 year anniversary of the start 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.
On Sunday 9th the band spent a busy day playing for the local Royal British Legion Remembrance Parades, at Wotton in the morning and Dursley in the afternoon. Both parades were extremely well supported by the local communities, and it was a great opporunity for the band to play to such large audiences. Our big thanks go to Ken Stout (usually our Flugel player) who played an excellent Last Post at the Wotton parade.
Dursley Poppy Proms
On Saturday 25th, the Band played at the Dursley Royal British Legion's Poppy Proms concert held in a packed Lister Hall. This was a joint concert with Dursley Male Voice Choir and Innsworth Military Wives Choir.
The concert began with three short programmes from the choirs and band, with our performance featuring the superb Post Horn Gallop from Bruce Davies. The band and choirs then joined together for all the traditional 'Last Night of the Proms' favourites.
Wotton-under-Edge British Legion Poppy Concert
On Friday 17th the band played at a joint concert with the Katherine Lady Berkeley School Choir in aid of the British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Highlights from the band included Euphonium solo - 'Dublin's Fair City' from Alan Bruton, along with 'The Flower Duet' from Cornet players Bruce Davies and Charlie Poole. The concert closed with a medley of music hall songs, led by the choir, followed by a traditional 'Last Night of the Proms' finale from the band.
A Night at the Dogs
Goodbye to Ian
The band took the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to Ian Ford at the Swindon Dog Race night. We are very sorry to see Ian go and thank him for all his years of hard work, both as a key player and as an effective & extremely hard-working Band Secretary. We will miss you Ian - please keep in touch & good luck for the future from all of us!
Horsfall House, Minchinhampton
On Sunday 31st the band played at the Horsfall House Fete in Minchinhampton. This was a first for the band and we were delighted to play at such a well-organised and well-supported event. The audience was extremely supportive and we thank everyone at Horsfall House for making the band so welcome.
This event completes our summer programme, but as always the band remains busy - preparing for the British Legion Concerts in October, the Wychavon Competition in November, and an exciting concert taking place on 22nd November with guest soloist, Matthew White (more details coming very soon!)
Royal Victoria Park
On Sunday 17th the band performed in the stunning bandstand at Bath Royal Victoria Park. This was the first time that the band has played at this great venue for many years and it was great to see such a large audience supporting us. A big thank you to Joe (Cornet), Emma (Horn), Roger (Euphonium), Barry (Bass Trombone), Tom (Bass) and Kevin (Percussion) for helping us out, and well done to our soloist's - Bruce, Mark and Ken for good performances.
Cold Aston Village Fayre
We were delighted to be invited back to the beautiful Cotswold village of Cold Aston to play at their annual Village Fayre on Saturday 2nd.
Unfortunately, much of our afternoon's performance was disturbed by heavy rain, but we did manage to dodge the showers to play a few short programmes of light music, including 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', 'The Lion King' and Vaughan Williams' 'English Folk Songs'.
As always the Band was made to feel very welcome at this lovely event, which appeared to be a great success despite the bad weather!
Stratford Park, Stroud
On Sunday 27th, the band performed in the bandstand at Stratford Park in Stroud. The band played two 50 minute programmes that included a great variety of music, from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and 'Disney Fantasy' to Gounod's 'Finale from Faust'. We were treated to three first class solos - 'Where is Love?' from Ken Stout on Flugel, 'Over the Rainbow' from Ian Brown on Horn, and 'Dublin's Fair City' from Alan Bruton on Euphonium. We also need to say a big thank you to Cornet player Ron Carr who stepped in to conduct the first three numbers when some of the band, including the Conductor, were held up in traffic!
St Mary's Church Fete
On Saturday 12th both the main band and the training band played in the sunshine at St Mary's Church fete, Wotton-under-Edge.
The training band opened the second half of the concert, playing music from Saint-Saens' 'Carnival of the Animals', and selections 'At the Cinema' and 'World Tour'. The main band then joined the training band to play 'The Lion King' and 'Matchstalk Men', before continuing with their own concert.
Congratulations to Diane and the training band for a tremendous performance!
Congratulations also go to the team of organisers at the Church. It is a pleasure for us to be invited to play at such a sucessful and very well-attended local event.
On Sunday 21st we were pleased to be invited to play at the St Giles Church summer fete, Hilleseley - one of the band's oldest engagements. The grounds of the Old Vicarage provided a wonderful venue for this traditional English event on a very hot summer day. (This was in contrast to last year's event that had to be cancelled due to awful weather!)
We were fortunate to be able to play in the shade of a tree to an appreciative audience. The band played a variety of music, including the popular Judy Garlond song - 'Over the Rainbow' which was played sensitively by soloist Ian Brown on Tenor Horn.
The band was delighted to see Zoe in the audience and we are looking forward to seeing her back at band once she has fully recovered from her illness.
We would like to thank Martin and his team of organisers for inviting the band once again and for making us so welcome.
On Sunday 15th the band performed a 'Last Night of the Proms' concert for the Rotary Club of Dursley, raising money for local charities Cammpaign4rob, Allsorts and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The lively concert included all the old favourites from the proms (Jerusalem, British Sea Songs and Pomp & Circumstance), along with an entertaining rendition of the Post Horn Gallop from our Principal Cornet player Bruce Davies.
The Training Band is 4!
Congratulations to our amazing Training Band who celebrated their 4th birthday at the beginning of the month. The band, led by music teacher Diane Ansell, meets every Tuesday - playing a wide variety of music together and learning in a happy, fun envronment.
The band will be performing with the main band at the Church Fete in Wotton on Saturday 12th July from 12 noon, and are also planning their own concert later in the year.
Learners of all ages are welcome to join the training band who meet every Tuesday night at 7.00 o'clock in the bandroom in Wotton-under-Edge.
To find out more about the training band, please contact email@example.com or contact us via the website Contact Form.
Bath Parade Gardens
On Sunday 25th the band played a concert in the bandstand at Bath Parade Gardens. The band played an entertaining programme of music which was well received by the audience. We received some great feedback from a number of spectators, who were particularly impressed by our soloists - Ken Stout (Flugel Horn), Alan Bruton (Euphonium), and Bruce Davies & Charlie Poole (Cornet).
Wotton Ladies Group, Methodist and United Reform Church
We are very honoured to have been selected as last year's adopted charity for the Ladies Group that meets at the United Church in Bradley Street (Wotton-under-Edge). The group undertakes fundraising projects throughout the year with the aim of supporting a local organisation.
Band committee members Ian Ford and Julie Ashby were privileged to be presented with a cheque for a huge £450 at the group's recent AGM. This was a remarkable achievement for the small group who undertake lots of events throughout the year on behalf of others. It was interesting to hear many of the ladies recalling their past associations with the band.
The band would like to thank the ladies group for the donation and for particularly recognising the contribution the band makes to the town and surrounding community.
The band's season of village fetes began on Monday 5th with our annual trip to Tytherington. As usual, the fete was a busy, well-supported event (although we were sorry that there were no dancing dogs this year!) The band played 4 short programmes of light music during the afternoon, accompanied at one stage by police sirens from the police dog team (who were displaying at the fete - not coming to arrest us!) We hope the event was as successful as it appeared to be for the hard-working organisers.
The band gathered again on top of Wotton Hill for the traditional Band Sunday Spring concert. This event, established in 1910, has become very popular in recent years. A sunny Sunday morning ensured that there was a large energetic audience for this local Wotton event. It was good to see so many friends and past players in the audience supporting the band and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the collection.
The band played a variety of music and traditional hymns under the direction of Gordon Phillips. We would like to thank Gordon for the magnificent support he gives to the band and congratulate him and his team for organising another successful Wotton Arts Festival.
Waitrose - Community Matters
Arts Festival Concert
On Saturday 26th the band performed the opening concert of the Wotton Arts Festival at the Blue Coat School, Wotton. The concert had an English theme (as it was almost St George's Day), opening with Alford's 'The Standard of St George' and including Frank Wright's 'English Folk Songs Suite' - featuring the music of Vaughan Williams.
There were solos from Ken Stout on Flugel, playing Lionel Bart's 'Where is Love' from 'Oliver', and Alan Bruton (Euphonium) played Roy Newsome's arrangement of 'Dublin's Fair City' (ok - not everything quite fitted the English theme). The concert also featured a duet 'Playmates' from solo cornet players Bruce Davies & Charlie Poole.
The Training Band made a great contribution to the concert with a selection of music from The Beatles in the first half, and then a collection of music from around the world in the second half. They then joined the main band to play music from the 'Lion King', and 'The Young Amadeus'.
Thanks to all those who helped to make this such a successful evening, particularly to Kate & Julie who helped so much with the organisation of the event.
We wish Gordon and the committee a very successful Wotton Arts Festival 2014!
West of England Championships 2014
After our success in the 3rd Section of the West of England Championships last year and our subsequent promotion to the 2nd Section, we are delighted to announce that we were awarded 5th place after a solid and very musical performance of Michael Ball's 'Chaucer's Tunes'.
Thanks go out to the friends that helped us on the day and to Julie for organising our hotel stay, making for a very enjoyable weekend as well as a successful one!
On Saturday 1st the band held an open rehearsal / free concert at Dursley Church. The first half of the performance was spent working on the test piece 'Chaucer's Tunes', by Michael Ball, 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, including flugel solo 'Where is Love' from Ken Stout.
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!
Happy New Year to all our friends & supporters!
The band is now busy preparing for the West of England Regional Championships at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay. The band will be competing in the 2nd Section on Sunday 9th March, playing Michael Ball's 'Chaucer's Tunes'.
On Friday 31st, the band held it's first social event of the year with a fun night out at The India Palace in Wotton-under-Edge.