Our annual Christmas Concert took place on Saturday 7th at Kingswood Village Hall. Our festive programme included Philip Harpers 'Yule Dance' and Paul Lovatt Cooper's 'Christmas Finale', along with a selection of lighter pieces and solo item, Away in a Manger beautifully played on Flugel Horn by Ken Stout.
The concert also included a performance from our fantastic Training Band, led by Mark Jones.
On Sunday 17th, the band took part in the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association competition at All Saints Academy in Cheltenham. We were delighted to be awarded first place, after a pleasing performance of Images for Brass by Stephen Bulla.
This has been a remarkably successful contesting year for the band, having been placed fourth at the Regional Brass Band Championships in Torquay in March, first in the West of England Bandsmen's Festival in Cornwall and first in the ODBBA Championships in Oxford. We are looking forward to more of the same for 2020!
On Sunday 10th, the band once again led the parades at Wotton-under-Edge and Dursley. At this time, we always like to take the opportunity to remember our two players lost during the First World War ...
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 Saturday 19th the band once again played a part in this popular annual concert of celebration and commemoration, with its 'Last Night of the Proms' finale. This was Dursley & Cam British Legion's 10th and final Anniversary for the Poppy Proms, and it certainly didn't disappoint. Along with the Band, the audience were treated to performances from the Dursley Male Voice Choir and the fabulous Mary-Jess Leverland. Mary-Jess has recently been on tour, she is the winner of the Chinese version of ‘The X Factor’ and The Voice of Downton Abbey.
Our picture shows flugel horn soloist, Ken Stout, during his lovely performance of Philip Harper's haunting melody, 'A Little Star went Out'.
On Saturday 5th we had the great privilege of playing for the Family Centre to help them raise money for the amazing work they do, supporting families with deaf children.
The concert was held in St Andrew's Methodist Church in Filton, which proved to be s superb venue. The concert included a light programme of popular music from the band, including favourites 'A Disney Fantasy' and 'The Greatest Showman', and also featured performances from the children.
Everyone joined in with a lively performance of 'La Bamba' and we are told that the concert helped provide much needed funds for this fantastic charity.
Our thanks to the organisers for inviting us to this super event!
On Saturday 14th we were delighted to welcome Paul Richards to The Baptist Church in Wotton to join us in concert.
Paul is the Soprano player for West of England Champions - The Flowers Band, a seat he has occupied since 2014. Paul is well known throughout the banding world having previously been the principal cornet for The Sun Life Band. Since moving on to Soprano Cornet Paul has won many accolades; including Best Soloist at the 2015 NationalFinals, twice Best Soloist awards at both the French Open and Butlin’s Mineworkers and was last Year awarded the Best Soloist Award at Brass in Concert.
The audience and the band were treated to some fabulous solo playing from Paul, performing solos - 'Feed the Birds' arranged by Jonny Bates, 'Greensleeves' arranged by Collis Smith, 'Let Freedom Ring' by Jonny Bates, 'Live and Let Die' arranged by Ray Farr and "Demelza' by Goff Richards. Paul also joined the band in a permance of 'Penny Lane' at the end of the concert.
Our thanks go to Paul for a wonderful evening of music.
On Sunday 18th we managed to dodge the showers for our performance in the bandstand in the beautiful John Coles Park, Chippenham.
Our concert included 3 great solo items from Marcus Dunstan on Soprano, Bruce Davies on Cornet and guest Tenor Horn player, Simon Jones.
As always at Chippenham, it was lovely to see so many people stopping to watch our concert whilst enjoying the park.
On Saturday 3rd we played at the village fayre in the beatiful Cotswold village, Cold Aston.
This lovely event has become one of our regular annual engagements, and as always the band were welcomed enthusiastically.
The picture shows one of our soloists from the day, Marcus Dunstan our Soprano Cornet player, performing 'Bilitis' by Frances Lai.
On Saturday 6th, the band played a concert at Tetbury Goods Shed - a new venue for us.
Tetbury Goods Shed is a part volunteer-run arts centre, converted from a former Great Western Railway building in 2017. Its first season of events kicked off last year, and their ultimate vision is for the Shed to become a regional centre of excellence for the arts in The Cotswolds, while at the same time fulfilling the local need for arts and entertainment.
We were delighted to be invited along to this lovely venue where we played to a new and very appreciative audience. Hopefully this will be the first of many performances here!
On 14th June, the band headed off to Cornwall for the weekend to compete in the West of England Bandsmen's Festival in Bugle.
The contest took place on Saturday 15th and involved a march to the contest ground where the deportment prize was awarded to the band judged as presenting the highest standard of marching and the best overall appearance.
During the second part of the contest, the band performed two set test pieces - Corineus by Christopher Bond and March, Victors Acclaimed by Bramwell Coles.
We are delighted to report that the band were awarded first prize for our performances of both the test piece - Corineus and the March - Victors Acclaimed. Principal Cornetist, Bruce Davies was also awarded the Best Soloist prize.
Congratulations everyone and thank you to the really hard-working organising committee of the West of England Bandsmen's Festival for running such a wonderful event!
On Sunday 9th the band played at a Charity Concert at Stinchcombe Rugby Club. Organised by the Dursley Rotary Club,
this well-supported, annual event raises funds for a wide range of local charities.
The band performed a variety of music, closing the evening as always with the traditional favourites from the Last Night of the Proms - Jerusalem, Pomp & Circumstance and Fantasia on British Sea Songs.
Our thanks go to our guest conductor for the night, Mr Simon Jones.
This event is a first for the band, performing an afternoon concert on Sunday 19th at the Kingshill Arts and Meeting Centre in Dursley.
The weather probably put off some who might have come along for an afternoon in the great outdoors, but we were lucky enough to avoid the rain and the audience that did come along were extremely appreciative (as were the neighbours - thank you!)
We hope we will be able to play at this lovely venue again in the future, and will do our best to arrange better weather next time!
On Monday 13th, the band performed alongside our newly-formed Wotton Learner Band and the Cam Learner Band. This event is a great opportunity for the learners to play to an audience and get a feel for the experience of playing in a large group with other musicians.
A big thank you to Nigel Galliot who stepped in as our conductor for the evening!
Click on the link for more information about how to learn to play a brass insturment with our Learner Band.
The sun shone (for a while) on us for this year's trip to Wotton Hill where we welcomed in the Summer on the first Sunday in May.
The band first began this ritual in 1910 and in recent years it has attracted quite a large crowd which is very much appreciated.
Our thanks as always go to our good friend, Gordon Phillips from the Wotton Arts Festival, who was our Musical Director for the morning.
What an amazing night! The band's anniversary concert took place on 13th April at The Renisahaw Innovation Centre at New Mills, Kingswood, where we were joined by the world class Cory Band. The concert began with a short introduction from Wotton Silver Band, telling the story of our first 125 years with music and accompanying slide show. The audience were then treated to a wonderful concert from the Cory Band which included their Brass in Concert winning performance - retelling the story of Romeo and Juliet.
The concert was also an opportunity to say farewell and thank you to Eb Bass player, Derek Horsfall who is retiring and who will be greatly missed!
The band played in the West of England Championships in Torquay on Saturday 10th, playing Darrol Barry's 'The Rise of the Phoenix'. After a strong performance the band was awarded 4th place, which now leaves us at the top of the West of England 2nd Section.
Well done to everyone and thanks to Julie for organising the weekend for us again!
Unfortunately there are no further tickets available for our concert with The Cory Band.
We are delighted to release the details of our exciting concert which takes place on 13th April:
At the very location of the textiles mill that the band originated from in 1894, Wotton Silver Band will perform a joint concert with the World’s No. 1 Brass Band, The Cory Band from South Wales.
Now the global headquarters of engineering technologies company Renishaw, the concert venue is The Innovation Centre at New Mills, Kingswood, a conference facility with comfortable, tiered seating and state-of-the-art acoustic - a fitting venue for a spectacular, multimedia presentation in celebration of brass band music.
The audience is invited to witness the amazing, virtuosi talents of The Cory Band who are multiple National, European, British Open and Brass in Concert champions. Prepare to be astonished! They are as good as it gets! Musical Director, Philip Harper is a prolific composer and resides in Gloucester.
For 125 years Wotton Silver Band (formerly the Abbey Band – named after the historic abbey in Kingwood) has played a significant role in the life of Wotton-under-Edge and the surrounding district, performing concerts, leading community parades and testing themselves regularly in both regional and national competitions. In 2017, under the leadership of MD Ian Dickinson, they achieved the highest ever placing in their long history of 5th in the First Section of the West of England Championships.
One family will be represented in both bands. Cory percussionist Ali Woodman will be joined on stage by his father Stuart, sister-in-law Jo and teenage nephew George as both bands come together for the finale.
Wotton Silver Band has consistently developed young brass players and has a Training Band. Since 2016, they have worked in partnership with the Cotswold Edge Brass Festival towards the vision of flourishing brass tuition across the wider district. The ticket price for this concert is therefore subsidised for young people to make attendance affordable for families and to inspire the district’s learners.
Tickets: £15 adult, £5 under 18s, available here from Monday 28th January or at Robinson’s Florist, Long Street, Wotton-under-Edge 01453 887774.
On Sunday 24th the band took part in the ODBBA contest in Oxford, performing the 2019 area test piece 'The Rise of the Phoenix' by Darrol Barry. After a fine performance, the band was awarded first place. Special congratulations go to our horn section who won the best section of the day, and principal cornet player, Bruce Davies, who not only won the best cornet player of the day, he was also awarded best instrumentalist!
On Tuesday 19th the band gave its first public performance of this year's area test piece, 'The Rise of the Phoenix' by Darrol Barry.
The open rehearsal took place at the Innovation Centre at Renishaw, New Mills site, where in April the band will be performing a concert alongside the Cory Band in celebration of our 125th anniversary.
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 9th. A huge thank you to our hosts who, as always, made us feel extremely welcome and appreciated.
The band spent the weekend of 19th & 20th January at a brass workshop with John Miller - the fantastically accomplished professional trumpet & music educator.
We spent a really entertaining and informative 2 days going back to basics on brass technique including posture, breathing, sound in a musical context, listening skills, sense of team, concentration and communication - and we even managed to squeeze in a curry night!
Meanwhile, our percussionists benefited from a great percussion tutorial day with Jon Helm from the Welsh Opera.
Thank you John & Jon for a wonderful, educational weekend & thanks to Bruce Davies for another superbly arranged event!
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