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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.