SCABA SPRING CONTEST 2013 - WINNERS!!
On the 28th April, the band made the short trip up the A23 to Crawley for the SCABA spring contest at the Hawth Theatre. The band had chosen to play Ravenswood for the march and Divertimento For Brass for the own choice test piece. We came off stage pleased with our performance, and having been drawn last in the section, after a short refreshment break in the bar our hard work was shown to have paid off as the results were read out. The band were placed 1st for the test piece, 2nd for the march and also won the Best Solo Cornet section and best Conductors prizes! Many thanks to Andy Wooler who helped out on Solo Cornet, Andy Taylor on 2nd trombone and Mike Gray on timps!
The adjudicator's comments had the following summaries:
March - "There is ability here, no doubt, but please take care for real precision and balance"
Test Piece - "This was a performance with much commend. The next priority for you is attention to real quality of intonation and trying to mellow the sound more."
Favourite Quote from the comments: "I appreciate the tasteful percussion dynamics - thank you!"
A look through the archives shows that the last time we played Divertimento for Brass was in 1990 also at the Spring Contest in the 3rd section and we won on that occasion too!
BRIGHTON MARATHON 2013
Well done to Charles and James Slaney (2nd horn and bass trombone) who completed the Brighton Marathon on the 14th April. Charles decided last year to enter the marathon to raise money for the Martlets Hospice who had given wonderful care to his wife Elizabeth who sadly passed away in February 2012. Charles had very limited running experience prior to entering, and brother James provided training and support in the lead up to the marathon and the half marathon which they both completed in February. Between them they have raised over £3000 in sponsorship in aid of the hospice. Well done to both!
CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2012
After last year's success, Brighton and Hove City Brass will once again be joining forces with the Ditchling Singers in a Christmas concert at Ditchling Village Hall on SUnday 9th December. The two groups will be performing individually as well as some joint performances along with a few carols for audience participation. Tickets will cost £5 each and a raffle will be drawn at the interval when refreshments will be served. Tickets can be bought in advance or on the door. All proceeds will go to St Peter and St James' Hospice.
BRIGHTON SUPPORTS THE MARTLETS
Brighton & Hove City Brass and Hangleton Band
Friends of Brighton Festival Chorus
On Saturday 15 September two of Brighton's premier brass bands joined forces with friends from one of the top choirs in the UK to celebrate the life of Elizabeth Slaney who was a member of all three groups at some time before being tragically taken from us in February this year.
The concert, held at St Johns Church in Brighton, was given in aid of The Martlets Hospice who were responsible for the wonderful care afforded to Elizabeth.
Performing to a nearly full hall the audience were treated to a feast of music accompanied along the way by a striking slideshow on a big screen next to the stage. MC Andy Taylor kept the evening flowing with his informative and relaxed style of introductions.
The Hangleton Band was first on stage under the command of Musical Director Richard Baker. Starting the proceedings with a rousing rendition of Hubert Bath's Out of the Blue which everybody recognised as the theme tune to Sports Report. This was followed by Darrol Barry's arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen whilst on the big screen was the iconic image of the band in the now famous pose of Freddie and his mates. Hangleton followed this with a solo - but not played by the soloist they had in mind at the beginning of the day. Unfortunately their first baritone player was unable to attend at the last minute for personal reasons so principal euphonium player, Rachel Taylor, stepped in to the breach to give a wonderful rendition of Stephen Roberts' beautiful Carrickfergus. The piece was chosen as a tribute to Elizabeth's time spent playing baritone with the band.
The band wanted to include a rendition of the Largo from Dvorak's 9th Symphony and so chose Gordon Langford's New World Fantasy as their next piece. With an interwoven collection of stirring American tunes right in the middle of it all was the Largo which was beautifully played by flugel horn player Jennifer Ireland. To finish off, the band performed Steven Sykes' arrangement of the Duke Ellington classic Caravan.
Before giving way to the choir completely they joined forces to perform a rugby song! The theme tune television used for the Rugby World Cup was Gustav Holst's I Vow to Thee My Country and the band accompanied the choir in the arrangement by Philip Sparke.
The stage was then the choirs. Usually 150 strong it was a privilege to have 35 members taking part to remember Elizabeth who had been a member for many years. Under the direction for the very first time of Sally Tatterall the choir were in outstanding form beginning with Rachmaninov's Bogoroditsye Dyevo. Showing astounding dynamic contrast and control the piece brought more than a tear to the eye of the audience. The same can be said of their second piece the exquisite Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner and their final piece Sleep by Eric Whitacre. With the audience totally captivated and straining to hear the closing bars the choir had made their own very special tribute to Elizabeth.
Before the interval Clem Hunnisett from The Martlets Hospice was invited to say a few words. Explaining that Martlets offer a free service and that it costs in excess of £3.5 million a year to run brought home just how important fund raising is to keep this invaluable organisation going.
Following the interval it was the turn of Brighton & Hove City Brass to take to the stage under the guidance of Musical Director Matthew Hackett. Starting with Slaidburn, a classic brass band march by William Rimmer, they followed this with Brassed Off by Darrol Barry. With no connection to the film of the same name it featured the band's drummer Jon Ireland. Next came a piece written by bass guitar legend Herbie Flowers. His simple yet beautiful Carillon seemed just right in the church surroundings. Next up, with images of John Travolta strutting his stuff, was Manhattan Skyline by David Shire - written as a musical interlude from the film Saturday Night Fever.
Elizabeth played horn with Brighton & Hove City Brass and the next piece was the band's tribute to her. The second movement of Cry of the Celts by Ronan Hardiman is entitled Suil a Ruin and featured the band's solo horn player Jennifer Ireland, playing in her real position with her own band this time. The band then played the last movement of the suite arranged by Peter Graham. Entitled Victory, it uses the famous Lord of the Dance tune, otherwise known as Simple Gifts.
The band's final piece was Goff Richard's Breezin' Down Broadway which takes you through a multitude of tunes you are likely to hear to this day playing at a number of theatres in America and beyond.
To close the concert the bands and choir joined together to perform The Irish Blessing by JE Bacak. A moment of true reflection to remember precisely why we were all here tonight. The bands then performed the closing moments of Windows of the World by Peter Graham with excellent "Mambo's" provided by the choir. To finish the night of celebration the audience were invited to join in for a stirring rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, even inciting an encore with their enthusiastic appreciation.
So, the concert celebrating the life of Elizabeth Slaney had come to an end. It was a stirring occasion with bands and choir giving their all and one which Elizabeth would have appreciated and been truly proud. The performers and audience should be equally as proud as their combined efforts mean that a cheque for over £1000 will be winging its way to the Martlets. A grand effort from everybody concerned.
MARTLETS HOSPICE CONCERT - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2012, ST JOHNS CHURCH, KNOYLE ROAD, BRIGHTON.
On the 15th September the band will be joining forces with Hangleton Brass Band and members of Brighton Festival Chorus in a concert in aid of the Martlets Hospice in Hove who provided care and support to our 2nd horn player Elizabeth Slaney who sadly passed away in February after a four month battle with cancer. Elizabeth also had ties with Hangleton band, where her sister, Christine, plays cornet, and was a member of Brighton Festival Chorus, and in her memory we are putting on this joint concert to support this very worthy cause. The concert, titled "Musical Dreams and Themes For Autumn" will feature each group individually and include some joint performances.
Tickets, available on the door, will be £5 adults and children go free. The concert starts at 7.30pm with doors opening at 6.45pm. Interval refreshments will be available and a raffle will be drawn with all proceeds going to the Martlets.
Please come along and show your support at what promises to be a great evening of music.
ALL CHANGE IN 2012!After a couple of challenging years filling seats, this year the band is concentrating on recruitment and rebuilding to get us back to where we want to be. With four new players joining us already and one ex-member returning, we are making great progress. Now that the contest season is over for a few months we are having a little reshuffle and using the summer concerts to build on the progress we have made so far to go into the autumn contests in a much stronger position. So, a big welcome to John on flugel, Christian and Andy on Euphonium, and Gareth on Trombone. Also, welcome back to Wendy on 2nd baritone. The players pages have been updated with the changes that have been made in the horn, baritone, euphonium and trombone sections meaning we now have every part in the band covered, and our remaining vacancies are for boosting the back row cornets and the bass section.
ELIZABETH SLANEY - TRIBUTE
On February 7th 2012 our 2nd horn player Elizabeth Slaney passed away in the Martlets Hospice in Hove after a 4 month battle with cancer. In October last year she was due to play with the band at SCABA's Autumn contest in Folkestone, but 3 days beforehand she was taken into hospital. A few days later she was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour.
Throughout Liz’s illness she was very brave, never once complained, blamed it on anyone or anything, she just accepted it and got on with things. She showed solid determination in making sure her family had the best Christmas ever, and she continued to attend band socials & musical concerts.
Liz was very talented and had a long history with local brass bands. She joined Hangleton Band on 1st baritone when she was just 10 and stayed with the band for 20 years. She later joined Patcham band and then eventually Brighton in 1991. She left Brighton in 1998 when her son Richard was born, but had recently rejoined in the autumn of 2010. She was also a talented singer, joining the Brighton Festival Chorus 10 years ago, singing at The Brighton Dome, Royal Albert Hall and concerts abroad.
Liz met her husband Charles (Bb bass) when he rejoined Brighton after he moved back to the area from London, and they were married for 13 years. She also leaves behind her daughter Hannah (22) and son Richard (13).
Liz was always a charming, kind and considerate person, wanting to help or advise you on anything. Nothing was ever a problem. She was always dedicated, immaculately prepared and dressed. She will be deeply missed by her fellow musicians and every one who knew her.
BRITISH SEA POWER - BRIGHTON 03 FEB 2012
In a repeat of an engagement from 2008 we were asked to perform a support act set for the popular Indie group British Sea Power. The article below was written for the band by Colin our press officer for the night!
Last Friday evening Brighton and Hove City Brass swapped their usual sedate surroundings of bandstand, hall or competition stage for the packed and rocking arena of The Haunt nightclub in Brighton city centre. In an exciting link up with popular Indie group British Sea Power (BSP) party goers were treated to a rich and rewarding musical experience. As slightly nervous band members started to gather Musical Director Matthew Hackett said 'this is a really exciting evening for the band and is certainly something different'. He added 'we will be opening the evening with a medley of popular tunes starting with Thunderbirds, then later some of the band will be playing Waving Flags with British Sea Power.’ Trombone player and Chairman of the Band David Hush who has been with the band for 12 years said 'this will be completely different from normal, it will be interesting to gauge the reaction!’
BSP UK manager Dave Taylor said 'we did this with Brighton Brass some while ago and it went down very well but this time around both bands will be playing together. The people in here tonight will be in for a few surprises.' BSP guitarist Marton Nobel said 'everyone loves a brass band, when our two sounds come together it should be very exciting!'
The Haunt is an amazing arena for live concerts, its cosy and everyone is really close to the action. By around 8.00pm the place was packed as the Band dressed in blue waistcoats and black bow ties took their place on stage. With a 17 piece on show they looked fantastic. The show started with Thunderbirds, then Sweet Gingerbread Man, The Floral Dance, Calon Lan, good old Sussex by the Sea, The A Team and finished with a BSP request of All Creatures Great and Small. The crowd loved it and were cheering and applauding enthusiastically throughout. John Hodkinson (16) cornet said afterwards 'that was good fun and it was nice to be appreciated.' The youngster revealed 'playing in the band is a great hobby and you never know where it might take me.’ Euphonium player Gareth Amison revealed he was a Stoke City fan which is amazing given that the temporary press officer supports Crawley Town. Both teams will be battling out an FA cup tie on 19th February at the Broadfield.
By 11.30pm band members Jen Ranger, Jen Martin, Amy Richardson, Hilary Lowe, Martin Shelley, John Skinner, Will Lindley and Stefan Sommer, decked out in vivid Red and Gold, were back on stage ready for their big number with BSP. A wonderful rich sound was created as Waving Flags was played. The brass band really added to what is already a great number. The crowd really went wild and everyone was dancing away. It was a magical moment during what was an amazing evening.
Young Daniel Raphael (18) of Sussex Uni raved 'that was an amazing sound which could go down in history!’
Well, we'll have to see!
SCABA SPRING CONTEST - HOVE 17 APRIL 2011
After our success at Skegness with Hungerford Town, the band decided to enter the (very) local SCABA spring contest held this year for the first time at Blatchington Mill school in Hove. The contest is an own choice march and test piece and we chose to play Slaidburn for the march. We came off stage once again pleased with our performance and had only a short wait until the results. Results started off with a fantastic result of 1st prize for the march, and continued with 2nd prize for the test piece and the best trombone section prize.
Celebrations moved to the nearby Hangleton manor pub garden and it's probably fair to say that quite a few of us regretted having to go to work in the morning!
BUTLINS CONTEST - SKEGNESS 22 JANUARY 2011
This year the band decided to make it's first appearance at the popular Butlins contest in Skegness. Armed with thermals and a barrel of beer we set off on the coach journey north on the Friday afternoon and after a mystery tour of parts of East Anglia we arrived just in time for a pizza dinner and a couple of pre contest drinks before an early night.
We were drawn to play 3rd in the third section afternoon contest on the Saturday and around 1.30pm took our place in the King Arthur suite to play Hungerford Town. We came off stage pleased with our performance and settled in for the afternoon in the Sun and Moon waiting for the results at 8pm. The band was very pleased with our result of 7th out of 15 and the celebrations continued into the early hours. The weekend was enjoyed by all and we hope to be able to make this a regular fixture in the band diary. Many thanks again to Helen, Rachel, Andy T, Andy W, Sue, Chris and Mike for playing with us, to our supporters group who came along for the weekend and to Jonnie for driving us all there safely in the coach.
Congratulations from everyone at B&HCB to Heather (front row cornet) and Dave (Eb bass) on the safe arrival of baby Charlotte Hush on 6th June.
The band has been donated a full set of jackets from the trustees of Pennine Brass. Thanks to Richard who travelled up to Manchester to pick them up for us.
L&SC QUALIFYING CONTEST - STEVENAGE. 21 MARCH 2010
With a 9am rehearsal booked, we set off bright and early on a sunny March morning for Stevenage. As there were 17 bands playing Kingdom of Dragons by Philip Harper in our section we were hoping for an early draw and felt buoyed when Band Secretary Jon's famous 'feeling in his water' predicted us drawing 3rd. We actually drew 11th and unfortunately that wasn't the only disappointment of the day.
Once again some player shuffling was required and we were really grateful to have former member Helen Woolley and regular helper Andy Wooler on board as well as Dom Hackett covering the tricky timpani part.
At 1pm we went on stage and both the band and MD came off feeling we had done our best, so even though we were competing against some excellent bands we were very disappointed to be placed 16th.
Adjudicator Simone Rebello made the following comments on our performance:
Watch opening few bars are secure.
A - Better ensemble here
B – Keep brilliance of colour here
C to D – watch intonation
D – Keep rhythm and tight and exact
Keep sound focused to F.
G – well managed.
H – Keep watching conductor to ensure tempo is stable
J – excellent contrast here – good.
K – Better ensemble here. Keep at piano dynamic.
Watch tuning before L
Keep triplet rhythm accurate
Watch tuning before Q
Keep Q at a steady speed and allow all long phrases to sing through
R – Confident work from soloist – Keep sound balanced and supported.
Again some tuning and intonation concerns here in exposed sections e.g. before S) to address.
Use as wide a range of dynamics as possible.
Watch ensemble before T.
T – keep lantano effect and watch articulation is clean.
Keep controlled at V.
W hold tempo in the fugue. Better use of dynamics here.
Y – watch 7/8 does not rush at the end of the bar.
BB – warm full sound from the band here – good.
Keep excitement building through CC to the finale.
A good performance. There are some general tuning and intonation concerns to watch out for. Watch that band follow conductors tempo exactly which will make the start of each entry more secure and watch tempo is established don’t allow rhythms to rush. Soloists play with confidence and good commitment from the band. Thank you.
Full results are shown here courtesy of 4 bars rest website.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT HENFIELD HALL 19TH DECEMBER 2009
Despite the snow and ice the band decided to go ahead with the Christmas concert at Henfield Hall. This years programme included a mixture of different musical styles, including of course some festive pieces and carols for the audience to sing along to. Audience numbers were down on previous years no doubt due to the weather but the evening went successfully and everyone made it home safely. The programme was:
Masters of the Universe
Beatles Medley No 1
Once in Royal David's City
Midnight Euphonium - featuring Andy Day
Fairytale of New York
The First Noel
Concerto D'Aranjuez - featuring Richard Slyman
A Christmas Fresco
There's No Business Like Show Business
Christmas Celebration in Brass
Away In A Manger
Frosty The Snowman - Featuring Dave Hush
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Merry Christmas Everybody
Sussex By The Sea
We Wish You A Merry Christmas
CAROLS AT THE WESTBOURNE PUB 16TH DECEMBER 2009
For what is now becoming an annual event, the band was invited to lead a night of carols at the post-rehearsal local pub on the 16th December. About half of the band squeezed into the corner of the pub to play to a packed room of diners and drinkers who were all provided with song sheets and most joined in with the singing - especially loudly in the faster paced ones as the night progressed! A good night was had by all - no doubt aided by the free drinks laid on by the pub! No doubt we'll be back next year.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT 19TH DECEMBER 2009
The band will be holding their Christmas Concert at the Henfield Village Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 19th December. Tickets are available on the door at £5 / £4 concessions. Refreshments will be available in the interval. A raffle will be held in the interval.
The hall is located on Coopers Way in Henfield and there is plenty of free parking.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE CITY BRASS SAYS FAREWELL AND THANKS
Brighton & Hove City Brass announce the departure of two of its longest serving members.
Husband and wife team Martin and Sian Buss, who met through the band, have decided to call time on their long association with the Sussex based group.
Both joined as youngsters more than 30 years ago and have been through some tough times as well as experiencing some happy and highly successful times.
Martin held the principal cornet position for most of his years of service, winning plenty of accolades and a number of solo prizes along the way and in his position as bandmaster conducted in the absence of the MD - including many concerts and a couple of contests.
Sian made the Secretary role her own, willingly taking on the 1001 jobs this entailed for more years than most of the band members can remember. Her flexibility as a player was second to none as she occupied practically every seat within the band at one time or another without a hint of protest.
The band would like to thank Martin and Sian for the service they have given over the years and sincerely wish them both all the very best for their future ventures.
SOGGY POPPIES!!! REMEMBRANCE DAY 2009
Sunday looked like we might be lucky and the rain would hold off for our early morning start in Henfield. It was not to be. The second we formed up the heavens opened. Up the High Street and along to the Church avoiding all the puddles we performed our usual three marches. A nice cup of tea in the Church Hall while Martin and Heather climbed the tower to play Last Post and Reveille. We formed up again just as the rain stopped so with damp feet we led the procession back to the Memorial. Another perfect Last Post and Reveille, National Anthem and a Hymn finished off the morning nicely. All back home to get dry socks and trousers!! Another year over.
FOLKESTONE CONTEST 11 OCTOBER 2009
After a busy summer, it was time for the last contest of the year - the SCABA Autumn contest held at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone. This contest is normally held over two days, but this year had an impressive 34 bands playing a hymn and test piece all on one day. Several members of the band were very pleased that this meant the usual early start was avoided ! After our success at Hove earlier in the year, our MD chose another piece from the pen of Philip Sparke - The Land of the Long White Cloud along with the hymn tune Colne. We met at lunchtime for a rehearsal and then waited to see when we would be playing, drawn 11th out of 13 bands we were in for a long wait ! We came off stage feeling disappointed that it hadn't gone as well as we had hoped, and that was borne out in the results - 12th out of 13 in the hymn and 13th out of 13th for the test piece.
Adjudicator Philip Harper made the following comments about our performance:
Hymn – slightly bumpy to start and tuning issues immediate(sic) obvious. The sound is warm however, dynamics are well attempted but add to the tuning issues. 178 points
Test piece – Has impact to begin, but out of tune on C chord and not always together in big middle group. Rhythm inaccurate two before A, and tuning very wayward at A. Much happier at B but could blend better. Flug and troms rhythm is also rather approximate at C. Top D’s tuning is so (underlined 3 times) sharp – ouch !
D has good life but is scrappy. G needs a little more discipline. Technical patches (e.g. before J) are not accurate enough.
L Sop is fine, but doesn’t really connect with ‘express’. Good cornet. Flugel on the other hand is a pure nugget of gold – terrific solo ! It starts to get rather edgy again at ff – any sense of quality goes.
P isn’t ‘ppp’ side drum !!
Effective fugato from R but back to untidy again afterwards. Big problems at Maestoso. Prestissimo is exciting, but out of tune to end. A good effort, but this piece got the better of you today ! 178 points
Shame about the result but congratulations to Rich (Flugel) for the excellent comments - and well deserved !
Full results are shown here, courtesy of 4barsrest.com
RYE WURLITZER GALA CONCERT 27 SEPTEMBER 2009
What a beautiful day to drive over to Rye, all the band arrived in good time ready to set the stage and wait for their turn to play. The first set was half an hour of Len Rawle entertaining the audience with some fascinating tunes on the famous Rye Wurlitzer. Amazing how many different instruments and sound effects on one organ. The band struck up the second set with Phantom of the Opera and, having requested some lights on stage for the basses, continued until the interval. After some much needed refreshments Len started the second half with a bit of an unusual ending - one Morris Man dancing to a selection of foot tapping tunes. We went on again and performed our second set but due to time, had to forego our flugel solo and the closing piece. The whole concert concluded with a joint rendition of 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. The audience were very complimentary of the afternoon and we were pleased to have sold about 15 CD's in the process. The highlight had to be Matthew our M.D. being presented with a jar of the famous Rye Wurlitzer Plum Jam!! Mmmm yummy!
SONGS OF PRAISE 20 SEPTEMBER 2009.
Not the famous TV programme but just as much singing!! Our local Church where we rehearse held an afternoon of singing, part of which was to celebrate 20 years or their Vicar being with them. The band accompanied five of the hymns and due to the length of the service, had to forego the interlude of light music. After a few hand signals to the Organist up in the loft it was agreed we could play the congregation out and so we changed the mood slightly with a rendition of Breezin' Down Broadway. No one had actually left the church so we received a rapturous applause at the end. Our contribution to the Church as they have provided us with our rehearsal facilities for many years.
ANYONE GOT A TORCH???? METROPOLE HOTEL 15 SEPTEMBER 2009
The Band was asked to perform at a private function at the Metropole Hotel on a weekday evening. It was a bit of a rush to get down to the Seafront Hotel in time but enough of us made it. The theme for the conference was 'Seaside' and when we entered the hall it was full of side shows and dodgem cars etc. We set up on the small stage provided and entertained the guests as they sat on the deck chairs in front of the Band. The lighting for the first two sets was quite bad but when we had to move to the other hall for the last two sets we really wished we had miners helmets!! It was so dark the guests were struggling to see their food let alone the Band reading the music. Well done to all the players for squinting enough to get through the last two sessions. Good comments were received from the listeners so we went away happy.
A BEAUTIFUL SETTING - PARHAM 22/23 AUGUST 2009
Parham House was the beautiful backdrop to the annual Craft Fayre held every August over three days. The band entertained the crowds as they sat with their refreshments by the catering tent. During the breaks, the band managed to stock up on their usual purchases of home-made pies and curry sauces, firm favourites every year. The weather was kind and a few CD sales were made. The Saturday night stayed fine for the 12 who camped over, making the barbecue and bevies a nice relaxing evening around the camp-fire.
WOW!! What a hot day!!! HEVER CASTLE 9 AUGUST 2009
It was one of the hottest and humid days we'd had but we all turned up armed with picnics ready for the break. Our first hour concert was well received by everyone especially some soloists spots within the programme. It was interesting how the bass solo echoed round the Castle grounds, making it sound like a trio!! A long break to allow the public to watch the archery and medieval displays gave us enough time to cool down and enjoy a picnic lunch. The last two hours were indeed the hottest but, without too much complaining, we finished our concert.
2009 AND THE BANDSTAND IS FINALLY OPENED!!
At last the Brighton & Hove Seafront Bandstand has re-opened. The last band performed on the bandstand in 1974. After an extensive restoration that has used some 80% of the original fabric of the structure and seen some 40 layers of paint stripped from the intricate metal work.
Patcham, Hangleton and Brighton Bands all joined forces to perform at the official opening on Friday 24th July. The crowds enjoyed the performance by the three bands, even though it was rather breezy! Look out for concerts throughout the year and keep an eye on the diary page for our turn, on what is now considered one of the finest 'Victorian Birdcage' Bandstands in the country.
Check out the recording of this auspicious occasion at brightonbandstand
ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH FETE 5 JULY 2009
Our usual Burgess Hill appearance at the event went without any problems. The last two years have seen the weather squash everyone inside the church, including the bouncy castles!! This year the weather was kind and we played to a very appreciative audience, even selling a few copies of our new CD. Martin and Jon attempted the climbing wall but figure hugging harnesses really did nothing for their street cred!!!
PAVILION LAWNS 28 JUNE 2009
Another glorious day with lots of people around. The band set up under their usual tree in order to have some shade. There were a few stalls around for another event and during our break we were fortunate enough to meet the mayor who kindly agreed to have some photos done with the band.
EASTBOURNE BANDSTAND 27 JUNE 2009
A beautiful sunny day and the beach was packed with people enjoying the weather. The band gave a 90 minute programme which was well received by the audience. If only Brighton had the same parking charges as Eastbourne, it would be far more inviting for us to perform in our own City.
BRIGHTON MARINA 24 MAY 2009
Sunday saw the end of the Brighton Festival celebrations. The band had been asked to play just before the fireworks in the evening. Little did we know that we were to perform on a floating platform and for every section to have microphones up their bells!!! The two hour concert was well received and the band had front row views of the spectacular firework display rounding off the evening.
ST. ANN'S WELL GARDENS 23 MAY 2009
This was the bands first time performing at the fayre. Apart from some of the green bowlers complaining about the thousands of people disturbing their bowling, a good time was had by all.
CRAWLEY ENTERTAINMENT CONTEST 17 MAY 2009
This is probably the bands favourite contest where we have to perform a 24 minute concert and be marked on music, entertainment and deportment. It is definitely more nerve racking than the closed adjudication contests we normally attend during the year. Everything ran smoothly but we did wonder whether it was worth all the effort of our 'special effects' when the adjudicator hardly looked up from his notes. Dave Hush performed a wonderful rendition of Bare Necessities which involved other players trying to 'steal' his solo from him. Unfortunately we didn't come in the prizes this year but it was good fun.
Adjudicator David Read made the following comments about our performance:
Ravenswood - The notes could be measured a little better it all sounds rather hurried. accompaniment drowns the tune in the 3rd strain. A good choice of march but the playing must be equal to it.
The Bare Necessities - Eb Bass (Dave Hush soloist). Smooth playing to open and all goes well. Bass plays with confidence and loyally supported by band - good rhythmic pulse, helped by good Side Drum. Playing is not sacrificed for humour. Nice cornet touch continued by the section. A good choice for the contest.
A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square - Good start, excellent cornet cadenza. Mood captured. The music is shaped well by conductor. Well done, an enjoyable number.
Fat bottomed girls - Not a good balance to open but secure. Be careful of tuning on held notes. All just a little to square and not enough contrast in the piece.
Doyen - Uncertain to open and there are intonation problems within the ensemble. I like your dynamic contrast as you proceed. Excellent solo cornet at K. It all gets a little dull in character. Good close.
Some interesting choices but the playing not always equal to it.
Musical performance 48/60
Entertainment value 25/30
Full results are shown here, courtesy of 4barsrest.com
SCABA SPRING CONTEST - HOVE TOWN HALL. 5 APRIL 2009
Despite following only 3 weeks after the area contest, MD Matthew Hackett set the band a stern challenge when he decided on Castell Coch (T J Powell) and Endeavour (Philip Sparke) as the test pieces for Hove. The band were all for it as they are pieces that we really enjoy playing – and it must have showed ! After a long day, the band members brave enough to go into the hall for the results were delighted to hear that we had achieved quite a haul. We were awarded 1st prize for the test piece and our bass section obviously caught adjudicator Colin Hardy's ear as he named them as the best bass section and our Musical Director Matthew Hackett won the cup for the Best Interpretation by a Conductor. After some speedy texting a cheer went up in the bar where the rest of the band were waiting anxiously for news.
Colin Hardy made the following comments on our performances:
Castell Coch - Solid start but why rush quavers each time. Nice Solo Cornet and good bass solo. Well Balanced. Again super solo cornet and good horn a/c (Ed: accompaniment!) and all flows along to close. 185 points. 5th place.
Endeavour - Good detailed start and flows.
A+ though has some intonation in intervals. Take care but a good build up from B with good dynamic contrasts. C Well controlled.
New Challenge – lots of detail here and so effective. F+6 well done solo horn and flugel. H is so well balanced and all is heard. Lento – super contrast and lovely flugel solo and Euph joins well. K+ - all well done.
L+ - super lead to Celebration and lots of good well executed playing here. N + P+ all detail noted and all soloists are playing there part and balance is so good you can hear all parts.
I feel that I am on a journey to a super close. A classy performance of a little used piece.
Many thanks, Colin Hardy
Whilst presenting our cups, adjudicator Colin Hardy mentioned that he had adjudicated this piece just once before and ‘it was dreadful’ so wasn’t sure what to expect when he saw Endeavour on the list of pieces to be played. But continued that ‘from the very start he knew he was listening to something special. The interpretation was absolutely spot on and our neat, tidy, tight and musical performance brought the piece to life. It was a delight to listen to and he thoroughly enjoyed it.’
MD Matthew Hackett commented to the band that the overall effect was a fantastic performance and he is proud of everyone. An excellent team effort.
Certain players were later spotted struggling down the road to the nearby Albion pub laden with cups for a celebratory drink or two!
Full results are shown here, courtesy of 4barsrest.com
L&SC QUALIFYING CONTEST - STEVENAGE. 21 MARCH 2009
After our trip to the National Finals in 2008, we were promoted back to the 2nd section for the first time since 2006 and the test piece selected was a new piece composed by Dan Price called New World Sketches. Some player shuffling was required to cover the 4 percussion needed, with front row cornet player Heather Hush kindly agreeing to play the tricky tuned percussion part – and a great job she did too.
Unfortunately despite a lot of pre-contest rehearsal, the band didn’t play to the best of our ability and were placed 15th.
Adjudicator Philip Sparke made the following comments on our performance:
1st movement - Confident start. 7 – dim trombone?? Please grade your dynamics a little more carefully – mp/mf contrasts not always clear. 59 – Careful cornet 78 – a little straight-faced 79 – careful trombone. Not a good end
2nd movement - 106-115 tuning worries a little. 138 Cb? B Trom – sounds more like a C natural !! J+ limps a little - I don’t feel a regular pulse. 183+ is very nice and you end well.
3rd movement - Not quite together to start. Good tempo chosen but it needs to be tighter – It lacks rhythmic and musical conviction. O – has nice humour. 294 – cornets not balanced. 302+ sounding a little tired. 326 Cornet rhythm not exact.
As you near the end it starts to show you are not quite on top of this technically and ensemble is not your best. There is more for you to do on this piece.
MD Matthew Hackett praised the band for their efforts leading up to Stevenage, with particular thanks going to Helen Woolley for helping out at short notice and also to Heather for doing such a sterling job on tuned percussion. He felt that unfortunately it just didn’t come off for us on the day and we simply had a bad day at the office saying these things happen and we shouldn’t be too down hearted about it but look forward to the next contest at Hove.
Full results are shown here, courtesy of the L&SC website.
THE CD IS FINALLY READY!!!!!!
It was a long wait but worth it. Our CD finally arrived, all 1000 copies of it!! A lot of good comments received from the listeners. They will be available at all our engagements and of course we can send then by post to anyone requesting one via our website. £7 each or two for £10.