On Tuesday 7th we performed a concert for Chipping Sodbury Music Society in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. The concert featured a wide variety of music from Malcolm Arnold's 'Cornish Dances' to Queen's 'Fat Bottomed Girls'! The concert concluded with a Jubilee Finalee, including Crown Imperial, Nimrod and Pomp and Circumstance No. 1.
Thank you to Chipping Sodbury Music Society for inviting us along, and also our thanks to the players from other local bands who stepped in at extremely short notice to help us out due to a number of players falling ill!
On Friday 3rd the band played at the Wotton Jubilee celebrations in Synwell Playing Field. The Training Band started the afternoon off with a lovely programme of music under the direction of their MD, Alan Swain.
The main band followed on with a selection including some patriotic numbers including Crown Imperial and Pomp and Circumstance, and solos from Bruce Davies on Cornet and George Woodman on percussion.
On Thursday 2nd a small group of us performed as 'Wotton Oompah Band' at the Chalford Beer Festival. We entertained the early evening crowd with a selection of Oompah music and a few 'old favourites' such as Delilah and Sweet Caroline.
The Oompah Band is made up of anything from 5 to 8 players, and can be contacted here.
We were part of another sad occasion on Wednesday 11th when we played at the funeral of our Honorary Life Member and dear friend, Robert Moss.
Robert played a really active part in the band during the 1990s, always attending our rehearsals, listening to the music and chatting with all his band friends - young and old! He would join us at all our engagements from village fetes to brass band competitions and also came to all our social functions - band dinners, skittles evenings and even some of our weddings! But he really came into his own at Christmas time with his collection bucket in Wotton Street and various supermarkets and shopping centres across the area - we know that his amazing efforts at this time of year made all the difference in the world to our collections.
Robert didn't stop there, he even did a sponsored swim to raise money for the band to buy a set of band banners. This must have been absolutely exhausting for him, but we never heard him complain!
Robert will always remain a big part of the band's history - a truly amazing man!
On Friday 6th we joined members of Nailsworth Band to play at the funeral of our dear friend Alan. It was a huge privilege to have been able to play a part in this beautiful service in St George's Parish Church in Nailsworth.
We are really looking forward to returning to the church and joining our friends from Nailsworth band on Saturday 24th September in a special tribute concert in Alan's memory.
It was great to be able to get back to Wotton Hill on May 1st after a two-year break. The 'Band Sunday' tradition takes us to the top of the hill on the first Sunday in May each year to perform hymns and marches to welcome in the Spring. The weather wasn't all that 'springlike' this year, but at least we kept dry as we played to a lovely audience who turned out despite the weather. Thank you to all of you for your support - it is very much appreciated!
We are very sad to hear of the death of our ex-principal euphonium player, Alan Bruton.
An exceptional player, Alan played a huge part in the band's success over the last 15 years, performing solos at many of our concerts and also contributing in a big way to contest successes as we progressed from the third to the first section. Alan will always be remembered as a kind-hearted and dedicated bandsman who always supported the band and encouraged our young players. This heartbreaking news has saddened us all, and our thoughs are with Alan's family at this really sad time.
As musicians, we are so grateful that Alan shared his talent with us, and his beatiful playing can be heard on our CD, 'Legacy', particularly in his solo performance of 'Catari, Catari'.
Unfortunately we didn't get a reapeat of our Oxford success at Cheltenham this year. Nonetheless, team Wotton Band found plenty to smile about as we headed off to the racecourse by pirate ship!
Our congratulations go to all the bands who were able to compete in the regional finals this year after 2 years of lockdown, and special congratulations to our close neighbours, Nailsworth Band - third place in the 3rd Section.
On Tuesday 29th the band held an open rehearsal as we completed our preparations for the upcoming West of England Brass Band Championships in Cheltenham.
It was lovely to see such a great audience ath the Baptist Church in Wotton. Thank you for your support and we hope we can once again do the town proud at the regional finals.
On Saturday 26th the band travelled to Oxford to take part in the ODBBA annual competition. The band chose to play this year's area test piece - Gilbert Vinter's 'Spectrum' which it is rehearsing ahead of the rearranged West of England Championships at Cheltenham on 2nd April.
We were pleased with our performance and even more pleased to be awarded first place in the First Section. The band was also awarded additional prizes for best bass section of the day and best percussion section of the day.
Congratulations to everyone, and special congratulations to our bass section - Morris, Mark, Simon and Andy; and our percussion section - George and Sam.
All in all, a very succesful trip!
All change! The band is still busy rehearsing Gilbert Vintner's 'Spectrum' ahead of the West of England Brass Band Championships, but the competition will now be taking place at the Centaur Centre, Cheltenham on Saturday 2nd April (instead of our usual March trip to the Riviera Centre in Torquay).
The band will also be performing later this month when we travel to Oxford to take part in the Oxford District Brass Band Association competition.
On Monday 31st a small group from the band were able to attend a very special birthday celebration to play happy birthday to 100 year-old Wotton resident, Edwina Heatherington. The celebration was held in front of Mrs Heatherington's home, on the lawn of the Tabernacle in Wotton-under-Edge.
Happy Birthday Edwina!
Rehearsals are now well underway for the West of England Brass Band Championships in Torquay where we will be competing in the First Section following our promotion in 2020.
This year's test piece is Gilbert Vinter's 'Spectrum' - his musical depiction of the seven colours in the spectrum, each vividly portrayed in brilliant sound/colours: Intro and Red; Orange; Yellow; Green; Blue; Indigo; Purple.
On Tuesday 11th a small group from the band played at for the funeral of our dear friend Brian Chappell who passed away on Tuesday 14th January, aged 91.
Brian has always played an important part in our band, joining as a beginner when the band was struggling in the late 1960's, and going on to teach generations of new players right up until recent years when he still popped along to the Training Band to help out with learners and play the bass part in rehearsals. Brian was a true bandsman, always willing to step up to the challenge - playing Eb Bass, trombone, baritone, or pretty much whatever the band needed him to do at the time. He also served on the Band Committee for many years in both the Chair and Secretary roles, and was proud to become an honorary life member when he retired from playing with the main band.
Our thoughts are with Brian's lovely family at this sad time as we remember a very special man who gave so much to Wotton Silver Band and whose spirit will always remain at its core.
We are so pleased that on 9th September 2019, we were able to gather together (under lockdown regulations) to play for Brian's 90th birthday celebrations, and we were also able to send him a very special video message which can be viewed here ...
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