Ruth Takes up the Baton
"Excellent music, brilliant conducting, what a talent!" - Lynne Roberts.
Ruth Mellor launched our Women Make Music campaign in a concert last Saturday where she conducted her arrangement of Vienna Teng’s song Hymn of Acxiom. We were performing as guests of the Knaresborough Silver Band in a joint concert.
Ruth, 18, is our principal euphonium player and is a talented musician and aspiring conductor. In September she’ll be starting studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she’ll be taking lessons in conducting from top professionals. Her composition was very well received by the audience and we loved performing it.
If you’d like to write for brass band and would like to hear your composition performed please get in touch with Nick Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to find which composers we'll be featuring in the campaign follow us on Facebook here.
"Brilliant thanks a lot! Thank you so much for all your support…" - Andy Straiton
UniBrass is a fantastic festival of brass band music performed by the UK's best University brass bands. Nineteen bands came to the Harrogate International Centre to compete against each other for a plethora of prizes and they all had a brilliant time.
We were only too pleased to help out Andy Straiton and the UniBrass student team who did a great job organising the competition. University Bands are usually innovative and highly creative in their programmes, something we like to think we are so it was only natural for us to lend support.
Our bandroom was used to store equipment, our banners and music stands were used and we lent our percussion instruments for the percussion masterclass. UniBrass were hugely generous in giving us a space in their programme and gave us a shout out on the day.
If you're at University, have just left or are on a gap year and want to play in a fun, creative Band then you'll be more than welcome to come along irrespective of whether we have a vacancy.
Contact Catherine at email@example.com if you thinking of popping down.
Women Make Music Campaign Starts
We're delighted that the first music of our campaign to perform more music by women has been arranged by our Euphonium player Ruth Mellor. Ruth is a young talented aspiring conductor and is shortly due to start studies in Cardiff.
Ruth's arrangement will be performed at our joint concert with Knaresborough Silver Band on February 25th at Gracious Street Methodist Church, Knaresborough, 7:30pm. Tickets are available on the door.
Ruth commented: "I was delighted when the Band said they wanted to perform my piece and asked me to conduct it. I've enjoyed working on the piece with the players and am looking forward to the concert."
Ruth will be developing her conducting experience with the Band before she starts her studies.
New Band Room
We're delighted to announce that our new rehearsal space is at Victoria Avenue, Harrogate right in the heart of the town.
Following 30 wonderful years at Harcourt Road thanks to the generosity of The Hymas family we have been fortunate to have the amazing support of Hornbeam Park Developments owned by Chris Bentley.
The new bandroom will be temporary until we can find a permanent residence. The building will be redeveloped for commercial property use. Having us use the building means it will be looked after and kept secure until redevelopment.
The first rehearsal will be Wednesday 8th February 2017, 8pm.
The new space features:
We'd love to see you if you fancy playing with the Band, our rehearsals are:
- Ample private car parking
- Rehearsal room exclusively for ourselves
- Extra rehearsal space for small groups and tuition
- Toilets and kitchen facilities and social area
- Noise dampening to eliminate sound going outside
Wednesday 20:00 - 22:00, Sunday 19:00 - 21:00 - Victoria Park House, 18 Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 5QY
Please get in touch with our Chairman Catherine Morland if you'd like to come along: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 07779 320606
Brass at the Guild
We were delighted with coming fourth in our latest competition at the Preston Guildhall.
Playing Philip Sparke's exciting piece The Land of the Long White Cloud was everything we love about competing; a contemporary piece originally written for brass, plenty for our percussion team to do and a great piece to listen to!
The judge commented on the quality of our sound and the level of detail we brought out of the piece.
We'll be competing again in March in Durham playing The Land of the Long White Cloud again so we'll be practising hard again!
A Christmas Gift
Knaresborough residents were treated to a surprise Christmas treat Sunday night as The Harrogate Brass Band visited their number one fan Helen Easton.
The band played carols outside Helen's house where neighbours joined in. Afterwards the players enjoyed drinks and cake.
Helen said: "Honoured, humbled and completely thrilled to have received a private carol concert from the wonderful Harrogate Band tonight! Thank you!".
Helen: 3rd from the right
Every year the Band bestow their Christmas Gift on a special supporter and friend and play carols round their house.
Thank you very much for donating to the Band when we’ve played Christmas Carols in Marks and Spencer. We rely on the income we raise through people generously donating money.
The money we use supports the Band and in turn we use this to help the Royal British Legion, Christian Aid, Harrogate Easier Living Project, Barnardos, Harrogate Homeless Project, Starbeck Methodist Church, St Paul’s Church Shadwell raise funds. Every pound you give we probably triple for good causes. We also make a donation to Marks and Spencer’s store charity.
The staff at Marks and Spencer are always very kind and look after us really well.
Charity Christmas Concert
"Feeling gloriously festive after the most wonderful concert by Harrogate Band at Trinity Methodist Church last night. A mix of brass classics with some festive favourites, it was both uplifting and great fun! We were delighted to bring along some clients and volunteers to enjoy the performance. Huge thanks to the Band for their continued support raising awareness of socially isolated older people across the district." - Lizzie, Harrogate Easier Living Project
Despite being known as a wealthy area there is a real issue in Harrogate with social isolation particularly amongst the elderly with low incomes.
All throughout the year we support the HELP (Harrogate Easy Living Project) by promoting volunteering through our concert programmes and providing tickets for their clients. We also give our time for free to perform at a Christmas Concert at the wonderful Trinity Methodist Church, Harrogate where HELP bring some of their clients and volunteers and promote volunteering.
Our second half included contemporary music for brass at Christmas including Philip Harper’s Yule Dance and loads of fun music. The audience were able to vote for their favourite carol and were treated to our flugel player, Craig Buchan, singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and we changed out of our uniforms into more festive gear!
If you'd like to support people in the Harrogate District by taking them out to concerts and other activities then please contact HELP.
Brass at RAF Menwith Hill
We supported the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at RAF Menwith Hill by playing carols and background Christmas music. Marketing Manager, Vicky Gray, was delighted with our support: "Thanks again for playing at our family event, you help make it really special."
Proms @ the Swan
"Great concert, super choice of music and lovely afternoon tea..the band is going from strength to strength!" – Anne Lancaster.
"Fabulous afternoon. Thank you so much!" – Jude Jones.
"Laura was wonderful, the Band were brilliant. Thank you, we'll be back in June and next year of course!" - Jan Taylor.
We had so many people complimenting us after we'd finished our latest concert at the Swan Hotel, Harrogate that it was hard getting out of the door to leave!
As usual we ensured there was contemporary music specifically written for brass band in the programme and so we included Darren Shaw's Guardian of My Soul which the audience really appreciated.
Our guest singer Laura Jackson was so brilliant to work with and we loved performing with her. The variety of pieces we sang with her showed what a versatile singer she is; And All that Jazz, There's a Fine Fine Line, Jerusalem, Skyfall!
The Trumpet Shall Sound!
Imagine four choral societies, four professional singer soloists, a cellist, an organist, harpsichordist and two trumpet players packed into a church performing one of the greatest pieces of choral music ever written.
That was the scene for Holy Trinity Church, Knaresborough, where our principal cornet player, Nick Garrett, and our former principal cornet player Andrew Jackson both played their trumpets in this amazing performance of Handel's Messiah.
About £5000 was raised for the Harrogate Homeless Project.
“Just a note to thank you so much for once again playing for us yesterday in the Nidderdale Messiah. You are a great friend to the event and we very much appreciate all your time both in coming on the day and practicing beforehand. The feedback we have had has been excellent and, although I don't yet know how much money we have raised, hopefully it will be a good enough sum to ensure that some of the homeless of Harrogate and district have a better future." - Jane Burniston - Chairman, Nidderdale Messiah
It was great to be involved in such a brilliant event. If you'd like to sing in the Messiah next year then check out nidderdalemessiah.org.uk for more information.
The Winter Gardens Wetherspoons in Harrogate asked us to play Christmas Carols for their customers to kick off their festive season. We were only too happy to oblige. There were loads of great comments from people and requests for carols.
As it was so early in the season we kept it quite gentle to start with before jollying it up towards the end.
In times past The Winter Gardens was part of a municipal spa complex which included a music salon. The Band used to perform there regularly so it was really interesting to come back.
Have a look out for us in Harrogate and Leeds as we entertain folk with more Carols this year.
Acts of Remembrance
Plenty of brass bands up and down the country serve their community by playing hymn tunes and marching at Remembrance Sunday events.
We took part in two acts of remembrance last Sunday. The Tewit Youth Band and ourselves played at the cenotaph in Harrogate town centre. We marched and then played hymn tunes and Elgar's Nimrod for the laying of the wreaths.
After this we went to Stonefall Cemetery where there is a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. The service there is led by the Rotary Club. We led the congregation in the hymn O God Our Help in Ages Past and again played during the laying of the wreaths.
It's a very calm, reflective and peaceful place. Looking at the row upon row of graves makes you think and reflect on the sacrifice people made for peace in Europe, especially those who weren't even from this continent.
Our principal cornet player, Nick Garrett, sounded the Last Post and Reveille.
After the short service we played a hymn tune at the grave of F.S Taylor a Canadian Airman who died in a training exercise in Yorkshire preparing for combat in World War II. This continues a tradition started a few years ago when his family contacted the band.
Firecracker at Rudding Park
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of The Angels for your part in this weekend's event. The ball was a great success, raising just under £300,000 for Barnardo's. The band was a great success and we hope you all enjoyed it too. Please thank the rest of your wonderful team on our behalf. We look forward to working together again soon. Many thanks, Holly”
The Annual Firecracker Ball is a huge occasion which we were thrilled to take part in. This years theme was the circus and we provided circus themed music for the start and background music whilst guests were dining.
During our performance circus performers entertained people which was pleasantly distracting for the players! We had a brilliant time and had loads of great comments from guests.
Our lovely soprano cornet player Liz happened to be the official photographer for the Ball and although we missed her fab playing she took some great shots of the Band as well as the act that followed us, All Saints.
Mayor Presents Sash To Harrogate Band
The Harrogate Band have been honoured by Councillor Nick Brown, the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate and former Mayor Councillor Nigel Simms for their services to the district. Gareth Gibbs, Vice President and Drum Major of the award winning brass band, was presented with the Sash in recognition of the band's success since its establishment in 1970.
The Harrogate Band are one of North Yorkshire's premier brass bands with strong community links who provide music for a variety of occasions including fetes, church services, carol concerts, sporting events, agricultural shoes, marches, processions and charity concerts. The band performs over 30 concert engagements each year both nationally and internationally – having visited Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Holland. Over the last 46 years, the Harrogate Band has competed in a wide variety of competitions including the National Brass Band Championship Finals and was named North of England Regional Champions (1st Section) in 2001, 2011 and 2013.
The Sash was paid for out of the Mayor's charity fund by Councillor Nigel Simms during his mayoral year. The sash will be worn for the first time at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday (13 November 2016).
Councillor Nick Brown, Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate said: "It is a real honour to present the Sash to the Harrogate Band in recognition of their work. The band have entertained so many people over the last four decades, with their spellbinding performances and their talent has rightly been recognised through their success in a wide range of competitions, most notably in the National Brass Band Championships. They are quite simply standard bearers for brass music."
Councillor Nigel Simms said: "The Sash is a great way of recognising the contribution the Harrogate Band has brought to the people of the Harrogate district and I, as well as the whole community, will look forward to enjoying their performances in the future."
Gareth Gibbs, Vice President and Drum Major of the Harrogate Band said: "Sashes are traditionally awarded for bands to follow and to announce their arrival. It is a great honour to receive the Sash from the Mayor on behalf of the Harrogate district and have our contribution to the community recognised in this way."
News report courtesy of The Harrogate Informer
Concert for Christian Aid
"Thank you to all concerned for making last evening's Band Concert such a success. A lot of effort was expended, but rewarded with a joyful occasion and with generous results for Christian Aid." – David Wells, Christian Aid.
Thanks to generous match funding from the European Union on ticket sales we helped raise thousands of pounds for Christian Aid's work in some of the countries in Africa where people are suffering from natural disasters. Our concert was well received.
We ran our popular Juke Box where audience members pay a pound to vote for a piece of music we perform in the second half out of a choice of three. This year, The Great Escape won the most number of votes and we were delighted to play it.
The concert featured numbers from Musical Theatre including, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I Dreamed a Dream, Circle of Life and Wicked. As usual with this type of concert our percussion team were kept busy ably lead by Vincent Ashby-Smith (pictured).
Haymarket Media Group booked us to play at the annual GP Conference being held in the Harrogate International Centre.
We performed in reception as GP's arrived and on stage as delegates took their seats for the inaugural speech.
People always enjoy a bit of light relief in the hubbub of a conference and we proved a welcome diversion with plenty of GP's saying how much they liked our playing.
Afterwards we had a coffee and had a look round the conference stalls which showed the latest techniques and technology in primary healthcare. There were healthy snacks and exercise machines which made us smile.
Computer Science Conference
York University booked us for their Computer Science Conference which was held in the fabulous National Railway Museum.
We had a great time performing background music whilst guests milled about checking out the steam engines and then we performed more background music whilst they had their conference dinner on one of the platforms.
Conferences are always good fun for us to perform at as we are able to show people who would never hear brass music in Britain what we can do.
We always get great comments from people at conferences and this time a number of Malaysian delegates came up to us to say how much they enjoyed our performance.
British Legion Concert
Bramhope Rugby Club was the venue for our concert in aid of the vital work by the British Legion.
Organiser David Marshall was full of praise for our performance, “You've done it again, another wonderful programme of music, well done.”
The concert was special for us as our good friend and supporter Ollie Davies said farewell to us before spending a very long stint on military service in the navy. Ollie is Chief Petty Officer on a warship and has followed us when onshore for a number of years.
At the end of the concert he presented us with a picture he had specially commissioned highlighting the good times he's had with the Band.
We wish Ollie and all his crew a safe time at sea.
Just walking home and we had the absolute delight of hearing you play in the Valley Gardens. That really made my day. I absolutely loved the rhythms and the unique way of putting on the show. You could have played all day for me but a bit tough on you. Thank you for making a sunny day even sunnier. You are a very talented bunch. – Joan Dodds.
Joan heard us performing in the Valley Gardens, Harrogate, at the inaugural community arts festival, Happygate. The festival was an extravaganza of local musicians performing a variety of style including, jazz, reggae, ska, rock, funk there was also belly dancing, poetry and loads of fun activities for kids and families.
We performed three outstanding flashmob performances choreographed and arranged by the band's percussionist and self-styled creative director, Ed Dennis.
The audience loved it and so did we.
Follow us on Facebook to find out when Happygate is on again.
The Great Yorkshire Show
We love the Great Yorkshire Show!
Performing on the Bandstand throughout the day we kept the crowds entertained at Yorkshire's busiest agricultural show.
It's a great event for players as during the breaks we get to see the animals and sample food from the wonderful selection of stalls.
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society do a fantastic job of bringing hundreds of thousands of people to Harrogate to the show, they looked after us really well.
Our cornet player Becca was interviewed by Radio York and Stray FM which she enjoyed and we met loads of supporters on the day who popped over to listen to us.
If you want to book us for your event please get in touch – email@example.com
Durham Miners' Gala
“Quite honestly, you're easily the most entertaining brass band at the Gala, I watch all the bands and I always wait for Harrogate because you're the best.” – Dave Tyson, GMB Union.
The Gala is a huge community and national event held to recognise the heritage of the mining industry's workforce in Durham. This was the 132nd Gala and over 100,000 people attended.
See www.durhamminers.org/gala for more information on what the Gala is.
We represent the Durham mining village of Trimdon. We march in Trimdon in the morning and play a special hymn tune called Gresford outside the homes of poorly miners. Then we go into Durham, march into the centre and play a couple of party pieces on route.
The Harrogate Band prides itself on creating a special arrangement unique to the event arranged by the Band. This year our percussionist Ed Dennis arranged Bruno Mars' Locked out of Heaven which went down a storm. We'd spent weeks working on choreography and the hard work paid off.
We're no strangers to TV Documentaries (last year we took part in one by Grayson Perry), this time we were filmed by a Spanish TV crew. They were really friendly and we showed them a great time. Plenty of our friends came along for the day on the bus and had a great time. If you'd like to join us on this unique event please get in touch but be prepared to leave the Bandroom at 5am!
"Wow! No other brass band does a performance like this! Brilliant!" - Marcus Aisborough.
Wetherby Bandstand holds a brass band concert every Sunday during summer which is free. We marched up to the Bandstand and then performed Bruno Mars' Locked out of Heaven and Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 stood in front which we'd choreographed, before moving into more 'traditional concert' mode on the Bandstand.
No band does that at Wetherby Bandstand and we were delighted that the audience enjoyed it. This year we were again part of the excellent Yorkshire Festival.
Our guest musical director Leigh Baker was delighted with the performance, “That's what I love about this Band, they're a really happy bunch willing to go the extra mile to entertain the audience!”
A huge thanks to the lovely Mary Gray, the good folk at the excellent Wetherby Bandstand Trust and Leeds City Council who do so much to keep brass music free every summer weekend. We're looking forward to returning to Wetherby Bandstand July 2nd 2017.
Follow us on Facebook to stay in touch with us and find out what we'll be doing next time.
Twenty Years of Harrogate Band on the web
Many of our players weren't born in 1996 but those that remember it may recall:
At the time just over 4% of the UK had access to the internet, of course there were no smart phones, no social media and the web was mainly used by tech savvy people, banks and students.
- The birth of Dolly the Sheep
- The Spice Girls release Wannabe
- The Harrogate Band launched one the earliest brass band websites
Gavin Holman, creator of the website, recalls the early drive to get a website: "At the time I was a computer manager at the British Library, we had just launched our prototype website Portico (or 'online information server' as we called it) in 1995. Around the same time a local initiative in Harrogate led to the launch of the Harrogate Online project. It was clear that this new technology was an exciting way to provide access to information across the world. Following my initial designs of the Band's first webpage, Harrogate Online agreed to host the pages. [in fact the descendents of that organisation are still hosting the website today]"
Images of the first site were sadly destroyed in a fire at Gavin's home but by luck some were found recently in the Band's library. Click the image on the left to see an early "front page" from 1997. Also some archived snapshots can be found archived online at Internet Archive (1) and Internet Archive (2).
A full printout of the first pages is contained in this PDF document.
The early web really just featured a few basic pages and a "guestbook" where visitors could leave comments, and was written using HTML. The first comment we received was from David Lee, Epsom & Ewell Band, who were also early adopters on the web. Although the internet has exploded over the last two decades and many additional software technologies have become available, the basic structure and premise of websites remains very much the same.
David Lancaster who was Musical Director of the Band at the time recalls: "In the beginning it started off as a little bit of an experiment, it was pretty exciting for those of us who loved technology and brass bands. Over time it became one of the outstanding band websites."
Steve Morland was chairman at the time: "It's incredible to think that it was twenty years ago! The band were very indeed very early adopters, particularly within our field, and the site secured us reputation, publicity and new jobs from the outset. I clearly remember the message board printouts which were pinned on the noticeboard for those many members who, at that time, weren't on the internet!"
Before he became Engagement Secretary, Nick Garrett played in the Band in 1997 in between years away at University. "I remember using dial-up at University and posting to the Band's Guestpage, Gavin would then print it out and players would read my messages during the break!"
As with many amateur sites the challenge is now how to keep up with different platforms and how to integrate social media. The key, thinks Nick, is to have a good strategy for what you're trying to achieve. "The website is primarily for new business and basic information, facebook's for fans and twitter is for shaping perception. We need to up our game on video sharing sites like youtube as this where potential clients will see and hear what we do. So the aim now is not just about keeping a website and social media updated it's thinking about how to get great content onto the right platform to suit the audience whether that's potential players, potential clients or followers."
As he started the whole website off, it seems fitting to give the site creator and still the architect of the site, Gavin Holman, the last word: "The Band's website has grown over the years and had several facelifts along the way, but still remains the primary shop window for the band and its presence in the world. Being one of the first bands on the web, together with the awards the site accrued in its first five years, gave us a much wider profile than similar bands, and led to a number of prestigious and unique engagements. That continues to this day, reinforced by the Band's reputation for excellent music and innovative programming.
From a personal perspective the website introduced me to many new friends and colleagues worldwide and, with the development of the IBEW, an offshoot from the website's early "links" pages, and subsequent research and historical initiatives, this led to my participation in major brass band development and history events across the world and an academic role far beyond my IT professional life." See: independent.academia.edu/GavinHolman for some results of this work.
"What a fantastic Band you have here in Harrogate!" - Pat Downer, National Chairman, Trefoil Guild
"Brilliant! Thank you very much, you were a great success!" - Georgia Bashford, Events Organiser, Venture Abroad.
We had a wonderful time entertaining the national ex girl guides group the Trefoil Guild who had their national conference in Harrogate. Performing for the first time in The Holiday Inn, Harrogate, we put on a show where the 330 strong audience got to sing, waive their flags and clap along to our selection of music from Harrogate and Yorkshire.
Not only that but Catherine, Charlotte, Izzie and Helen in the Band introduced some of our music and told the Guild members about their favourite Guide and Brownie experiences which went down a treat.
Izzie, a 17 year old Girl Guide and percussionist with the Band, told them about the Guide trip she is going on in July to Madagascar and after the concert members of the Guild very kindly spontaneously donated money for her trip!
If you're looking for great conference entertainment in Harrogate then get in touch.
Swans Songs and Scones
"Felicity and the Band were superb, I love brass music you were great! I've booked for November!" - June Adams
"Great choice of music again! I come every year and you always do a great job." - Brian Smith
"I came because my Grandad needed someone to help him, I didn't expect to enjoy it as brass bands aren't really my thing but I really enjoyed it! I'll be looking for an excuse to come again. - Stephen Smith
The audience at the Old Swan Hotel Harrogate thoroughly enjoyed our Songs from Stage and Screen concert with singer Felicity Day.
Felicity is a music student at York St John University and made a wonderful debut with the Band singing classics such as, Over the Rainbow, Get Happy and Can't Help Loving That Man.
The audience enjoyed afternoon tea and really appreciated Felicity's wonderful singing. We love working with singers and performers, it's a key part of what makes us so successful.
If you like great music, brass bands, afternoon tea and singing then come along to our Proms at the Swan Concert 27th November, Old Swan Hotel Harrogate, 3pm to 5pm. It's bound to be popular so make sure you book your tickets by contacting the hotel on: 01423 500055.
Paul's Mate Gary's Wedding
Our bass trombone player, Paul Davies, went on a stag-do recently where they canoed down the river Wye dressed as members of The Village People.
Thankfully the Band didn't have to dress like this when playing at Paul's mate Gary's wedding at the Peacock pub in Leeds.
Gary was delighted with the Band: "Absolutely brilliant guys! Thank you so much, loads of great music and we really enjoyed it!"
Weddings are always good fun for the players as we like to play popular music and because Gary was a sports fan we were able to play The Great Escape and World in Union which he loved. Seeing as there were local and international guests we put on a bit of a Yorkshire theme which went down really well. Plus we always enjoy checking out guests outfits!
Gary was an absolute star as he arranged food for us afterwards. All brass musicians build up an appetite when playing. Thanks Gary!
Pies & Peas
“What can I say? You've done it again! Another fantastic performance from the Band. Thank you once again and see you next year!” - Brian Watson, St Paul's Church, Shadwell
After another brilliant concert in St Paul's Church Shadwell we joined the audience and trooped down to the village hall for a hearty pie and peas supper. It's a fine tradition they have here in Shadwell and the players are only too delighted to have a feed after an energetic concert.
Craig Buchan our indefatigable assistant musical director did a great job of leading us in the concert. Keri Graham performed brilliantly with her first ever solo with the Band playing Ennio Morricone's Gabriel's Oboe.
Our final piece was Edward Gregson's Laudate Dominum which is based on the hymn tune of the same name (Oh Praise ye the Lord). Craig decided that it would be a great idea to involve the audience and so they sang the hymn tune accompanied by the band before we played the final piece to show how Gregson constructed the music. It was a great success.
“That was brilliant, I loved Laudate Dominum, what a fantastic piece of music and what a great idea to sing the hymn tune beforehand. I certainly got a lot more out of it!” – Anne Clough
“I didn't expect to turn up to a brass band concert and sing a hymn tune, I'm not particularly religious, but I surprised myself and enjoyed it. A good idea really as I was able to engage with the piece better.” – Dave Smythe
We're back next May at Shadwell, follow us on facebook to find out when and you never know, you might have to sing!
"That was a good result for the Band against strong competition." - David Lancaster, guest musical director.
Third place in a competition always seems a bit disappointing. A case of nearly but not quite. We had a great day out in Buxton and it was great to welcome back former players Rob and Lynne Illsley on principal cornet and flugel horn.
Our performance was commended by the judge who praised our stylish and musical playing.
Grayson Perry Documentary
We were delighted that the first programme of Grayson Perry's documentary series featured our good friends at Trimdon Grange. We perform at the Durham Miners' Gala every year for the Trimdon Grange community and it was extra special filming the documentary. Seeing Grayson Perry's artwork in Durham Cathedral and also performing Gresford there was magical.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what you think.
“May I express on behalf of all the members of Starbeck Methodist Church our heartfelt thanks for providing us with a memorable Concert of Brass Band Music. I am sure it was evident to you that by the response of every member of the audience they all without exception enjoyed every minute of your performance.” - Keith Nowell, Starbeck Methodist Church
We love playing in Starbeck, the church was full and the audience were warm and welcoming as always. It was a pleasure to raise money for the church which does so much to support people in our community.
David Lancaster one of our former musical directors and a good friend of the band took us for the concert and true to form he selected a concert programme that inspired, delighted and informed.
We performed some brilliant original contemporary music for brass including Thomas Wilson's Sinfionetta and Edward Gregson's Prelude for an Occasion.
We'll be back at Starbeck next year, keep a look out on facebook and our website to find out when.
For the first time ever we performed with the world's most famous brass band and we helped them become Yorkshire Champions!
Before a major competition brass bands like to take part in a special rehearsal called an Open Rehearsal. This is where an audience are invited to listen to a performance of a competition piece to prepare a Band for performing under pressure.
Thanks to our conductor and former player, Dave Smith, playing for the Black Dyke Band we were given the opportunity to perform our competition piece alongside the Black Dyke Band at their Open Rehearsal in Ossett Town Hall last Friday.
Nick Childs the conductor of the Black Dyke Band gave the audience a fabulous introduction to Dave Smith and ourselves and we performed our competition piece Essay by Edward Gregson. Black Dyke performed their piece Philip Sparke's exciting Cambridge Variations. They were fabulous and we sensed they were going to win.
We found it pretty nerve racking performing in front of such amazing players which was good preparation for us!
The following day the Black Dyke Band went on to win their competition and were crowned champions of Yorkshire.
We're taking part in our competition this Saturday.
Prize for Julian
We were delighted that our soprano cornet player Julian Holling was awarded the prize for the best soprano player at our latest competition. The Band were competing against seven other brass bands at the Brass at the Guild competition at the Guildhall in Preston. All the competing bands were ranked above us and we came a creditable 5th.
The music we performed was Edward Gregson's Essay and the judge decided that Julian had performed brilliantly and awarded him this special prize.
Our conductor for this competition was Leigh Baker, the resident conductor of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, he praised the band for our hard work in the build up to the competition and was very pleased that Julian won the best soprano player prize.
Julian, who by day job is a software designer and developer, was absolutely delighted to win: "I've thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing this piece with Leigh Baker, he's really encouraged me and all the players in the Band to believe in ourselves and enjoy performing."
We'll be competing again in March at the North of England Championships in Durham where we'll be performing Essay once again.