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Spring Festival organisers wish to hear from bands with their constructive views about the recent Blackpool contest.
The organisers of the British Open Spring Festival have informed 4BR that they will welcome feedback from bands about any aspect of the event run in Blackpool last weekend.
Contest Controller Frank Hodges told 4BR that Karyn and Martin Mortimer wish to develop the event along progressive lines to benefit competing bands and offer audiences an even more enjoyable contesting experience at the Winter Gardens.
"There is a considerable investment in time and expense in running both the Spring Festival and the British Open," he said.
"The Winter Gardens continues to undergo long term redevelopment, whilst Besson/Buffet Group has announced its continued sponsorship. Once again a new test piece has been commissioned for Symphony Hall, this year from the highly respected composer Stephen Roberts."
He added: "We are aware that certain aspects of the Spring Festival have come under critical scrutiny, but as we have said from the outset, nothing is set in stone and certain aspects such as player registration and split draws are open to further progressive development.”
He concluded: "The 2013 Spring Festival attracted a great deal of support from bands and listeners, and we wish to build on that. Any constructive feedback will be welcomed and acted upon."
Please contact Frank Hodges by telephone: 01942 703217
David Childs is getting ready to conduct his debut concert performance with the Cardiff Symphonic Winds Orchestra featuring guest soloist Philip Cobb.
David Childs has told 4BR that he is looking forward to leading the newly formed Cardiff Symphonic Winds Orchestra in a high profile concert in the Welsh capital on Saturday evening.
The orchestra comprises many leading South Wales musicians, and has already created a great deal of interest in the arts media with its ambitious programming of events and repertoire.
"This is another major step in the orchestra’s exciting development," David said.
"To have a world class performer such as Philip Cobb as our guest soloist says a great deal about the level of commitment and musical ambition that is being shown."
He added: "It’s a great honour to be able to conduct on a programme that I’m sure will prove very popular. I’m really looking forward to Saturday evening."
Billed as ‘East Meets West, the inaugural performance will feature a host of popular and contemporary music from Western Europe, United States and Russia.
The principal trumpet of the LSO will perform the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto, as well as Paul Sharman’s ‘Flourish’ and Andrew Pearce’s ‘Interlude’.
Venue: Dora Stoutzker Hall
Saturday 18 May 7.30pm
Tickets: £10, £8 concessions (Bench £8, £6 concessions)
Shostakovich: Festive Overture
Arutunian: Trumpet Concerto
Johan de Meij: Extreme Makeover - Metamorphoses on a theme by Tchaikovsky
Eric Whitacre: Equus
Andrew Pearce: Interlude
Mark Camphouse: A Movement for Rosa
Paul Sharman: Flourish
Gustav Holst: First Suite in Eb
Matthew Gee will present Chris Jeans with the 2013 All England Masters International Dedication Award next weekend.
Philip Biggs and Richard Franklin have announced that trombone virtuoso Matthew Gee, Principal Trombone of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, will present the 2013 All England Masters International Dedication Award to his former teacher Chris Jeans in recognition of his 37 years of dedicated championship banding and over 30 years of youth band conducting.
Philip Biggs told 4BR: "Chris is a true legend of brass banding as a player, conductor, mentor and educator. His work with Youth Brass 2000 is nothing short of astonishing and to see the players Chris has taught, shaped and inspired really says it all.
He is the consummate professional and a role model to us all. He was the unanimous candidate for this year’s award."
Youth Brass programme
Meanwhile, Youth Brass 2000, the current National Youth Entertainment Champions, BBC Radio 2 Youth Band of the Year and Butlins Youth Champions has announced their pre-results programme for this year’s All England Masters International on the 26th May.
Under the baton of Chris Jeans, they will perform ‘The Essential Glenn Miller Set’ dressed in American Air Force uniform, with a number of arrangements that have been specially written for them by members of the Glenn Miller Band when Youth Brass 2000 performed with them last year.
The set will include items such as ‘St. Louis Blues’ and ‘Moonlight Serenade’, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, ‘Little Brown Jug’ and ‘American Patrol’, as well as Thomas Fountain performing Kenny Baker’s ‘Virtuosity’ and Ivor Bosanko’s ‘Rocky Mountain Centennial’.
The All England Masters International Dedication Award will be presented to Chris at the conclusion of the Championship which takes place at the Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering on Sunday 26th May.
Tickets for both the Championship and Gala Concert are available from the Lighthouse Theatre: Box Office, telephone 01536 414141.
Cawston retains its Champion Band title in Norwich.
There was plenty of high quality playing on show at the recent East Anglian Brass Band Association Championship in Norwich, where Cawston Band title as Champions Band of East Anglia.
The adjudicator was Foden’s euphonium star Glyn Williams.
1. Cawston (L. Sharpe)—194
1. Cawston (L. Sharpe)
1. Great Yarmouth Brass (C. Swaep)—187
2. Fakenham (C. Brown)—185
1. Fakenham (C. Brown)
2. Great Yarmouth Brass (C. Swaep)
1. Wrentham (I. Bauers)—189
2. Castleto Brass (P. Ryan)—182
3. Dereham (A. Hampton) - 180
1. Wrentham (I. Bauers)
2. Castleto Brass (P. Ryan)
3. Dereham (A. Hampton)
Highest Aggregate Points:
2. Great Yarmouth Brass - 187
2. Castleton Brass—182
Best Euphonium - Class B: R. Ryan (Castleton Brass)
Best Euphonium - Class A: A. Craze (Cawston)
Best tenor horn: Class B: P. Nicholls (Dereham)
Best tenor horn: Class A: K. Ogden (Cawston)
Best Soloist: C. Harrison (Great Yarmouth Brass)
More great music from John Maines
World of Brass Radio:
Presented by John Maines
A new programme every Friday heard 24/7 52 weeks!
Also catch up with previous programmes
John Maines invites you to listen to World of Brass Radio
Brass Music 24/7 52 Weeks of the Year!
Conductor: Dr. Nicholas Childs
Conductor: Major John Mott
Narrator: William Himes
Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue
Arranged Darrol Barry
Conductor: Richard Evans
Solo: Maurice Murphy
The Eternal Presence
Conductor: Dr. Stephen Cobb
Times Square 1944
Conductor: Morgan Griffiths
The Nun’s Chorus
Johann Strauss II
Conductor: Brian Grant
Solo: Kevin Crockford
Gold and Silver
Brighouse & Rastrick
Conductor: Allan Withington
Variations on a Ninth
Conductor: Prof. Walter Hargreaves
Who Wants to Live Forever
Conductor: James Gourlay
Solo: Jens Lindemann
An American Tale
Conductor: Morgan Griffiths
Ewan Easton to lead an exciting day of music making in Cumbria. So why not make sure you get along by booking your place now.
Join us on Sunday 9th June at 10.30am, at St Pius X Catholic Primary School in Cumbria (LA14 4AA) for an exciting day of expert tuition, meeting new players and learning a wide range of exciting performance pieces.
The exciting event will be led by Ewan Easton MBE, Principal Tuba with the Hallé.
Ewan is also a tuba tutor at the RNCM, Manchester University and Director of Hallé4Brass.
He has previously held the positions of Principal Tuba with the Ulster Orchestra Belfast, and has been involved with brass bands since his early teens, culminating with him playing with Brighouse & Rastrick whilst studying at the RNCM.
Beginner or experienced
The day will include the formation of two ensembles so whether you are a beginner or more experienced, there is sure to be something to challenge you.
Tickets £5 (Includes a 15% discount on all accessories.)
Please contact Grenville Moore to book your place:
07807326828 / 01823 282386
Daniel Brooks has become the new MD of Elland Silver Band.
Elland Silver Band has announced of Daniel Brooks as their new Musical Director.
Elland’s Sam Harrison told 4BR: "Following the retirement of Jim Shepherd, the band has been conducted by David Essex until a permanent replacement could be found.
David has done a fantastic job over the past six months and was instrumental in helping the band qualify for the National Finals in September. David will take the band at Whit Friday and then hand the reigns over to Daniel."
Since 2011, Daniel has been the MD of the Eccleston Band in Lancashire, where he has enjoyed a great deal of success at local contests as well as playing a central role in developing their Training Band.
Band Secretary Kathleen Harrison added: "We are all excited about working with Danny. He is really enthusiastic and eager to take the band forward."
Daniel himself added: "Working with Elland is a challenge I’m looking forward to. Following in the footsteps of some great musicians is an honour and a privilege.
I will strive to continue the traditions of the band whilst looking to take them into the future with hard work, passion and hopefully success as a reward for our joint efforts."
The band has also welcomed new signings, Graham Blue and Tim Mosdale on tuba and David Woodward on solo baritone.
The lucky youngsters of Dobcross Youth Band enjoy a double workshop and concert day with Foden's.
Players from Foden's Band recently carried out a coaching day following an invitation from Dobcross Youth Band and their conductor Jonathan Parkes.
The event was led by Helen Williams, Chris Haigh, Glyn Williams, John Barber and Stuart Baglin, who worked on various pieces that were to be performed by the band in a joint concert with the Double Champions at Uppermill later that night.
Speaking about the event Foden's John Barber told 4BR: "We had a very enjoyable day working with the talented youngsters. The playing and general behaviour has been a credit to the Dobcross Youth Band and they certainly have a great future ahead of them."
The concert at Uppermill was played in front of packed audience which featured Dobcross Youth performing at the start of the first and second half before joining Foden’s in a massed number to conclude the event.
Dave Nixon from Dobcross Youth added: "This was a fabulous opportunity for our young players to be tutored and then perform alongside these wonderful Foden’s players.
I must thank them for a superb evening concert thoroughly enjoyed by all."
There are still a few places up for grabs on Brett Baker's Trombone Focus Day this weekend.
There are still some spaces available for the Trombone Focus day this Sunday, 19th May featuring the Junior, Youth and Senior Quartets of the Black Dyke Band.
The day is part of the Black Dyke Festival and takes place at Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD and will feature a brand new commission written for the event.
Please register your interest by contacting Brett on
Please help the organisers by pre-registering your attendance by emailing Brett Baker at
9.00am: Arrive and registration
9.30am: Warm up and Massed blow everyone on Mr Sandman and new commission
10.45am: Workshop withh Black Dyke Trombone Section featuring Junior and Youth quartets
11.15am: Q&A chaired by Brett Baker and senior quartet
11.30am: Performance by Black Dyke Youth Quartet and Junior quartets
11.45am: Final run through massed pieces.
12.05pm: Mass Band rehearsal including trombones:
Highlights from the European Championships in Oslo.
Listen to the Band
Frank Renton with music from the 2013 European Brass Band Championships Gala concert featuring Black Dyke and trumpet star Ole Edvard Antonsen with The Norwegian National Brass Band.
There is a must see and must hear evening of brass entertainment on show in Bedford this weekend
There is sure to be an incredible evening of musical magic and nostalgia on show in Bedford on Sunday May 19th as Sterling Instruments celebrates its 25th anniversary with the help of some of the world’s finest players.
The concert at Bedford’s Corn Exchange will also feature 2012 ‘Double Champions’, Foden’s as well as guest soloists and the all time euphonium greats—Trevor Groom and Lyndon Baglin.
In addition there will be appearances by current superstars such as Glyn Williams, Patrick Randefalk, Robert Voss, Kevin van Giel, Nick Ost and Stijn Berbe.
Dream come true
Sterling founder Paul Riggett, told 4BR that getting such a line up of Sterling endorses on euphonium, baritone and horn is something of a dream come true.
"It is a bit of a wish list—with the added bonus that they are all wonderful Sterling instrument players!2
He added: "It’s going to be a great night of brass band entertainment, so please come along and enjoy it—I know I will!"
Tickets are available from the central box office at: www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk
or call 01234 718112
Geneva Musical Instruments will sponsor the National Finals for a third year.
The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain has announced that the Principal Sponsor for the 2013 Finals will once again be Geneva Instruments.
This will be the third time that the Geneva Company has sponsored the event, as well as this year linking with the Scottish Brass Band Association.
Tim Oldroyd of Geneva told 4BR: “The National Championships remain an icon of achievement and an inspiration across the world to players, with which we’re very proud to be associated.
Without doubt, the ‘Nationals’ create international interest in Geneva instruments and, in turn, Geneva is delighted to contribute something to the world’s most prestigious competition series.”
Craig Buchan, Geneva’s Managing Director, added: "Brass bands are at the heart of what we do as a company and we are excited once again to be supporting the championships.
We feel honoured to be given this opportunity to again share the stages of the National Finals with the nation’s best bands and to be able to contribute to the health of the banding nation."
Philip Morris, of Kapitol Promotions, told 4BR they were delighted to again welcome Geneva on board.
"At a time when many companies might struggle to step up to the bar of sponsorship, Geneva has lived up to its pledge of sponsorship made immediately after last year’s Finals," he said.
"We are therefore delighted to welcome the Geneva as Principal Sponsor. The professionalism with which Geneva is currently run is a perfect fit for the ‘National’."
'Soaring on High' by Oliver Blyth has won the 2013 Kirklees Music Publishing Composition competition in partnership with Salford University.
The University of Salford, in partnership with Kirklees Music Publishing has announced the 2013 winner of the Kirklees Composition Competition as Oliver Blyth.
Oliver's sparkling concert opener, entitled ‘Soaring on High’, was the unanimous choice of the jury which included the university’s Dr Robin Dewhurst together with David and Graham Horsfield representing Kirklees.
Oliver received a trophy and certificate during the annual Salford Celebration Concert, while the formal premiere was recently given by the University Band under the baton of Dr Robert Childs during their visit to Regent Hall London in April.
‘Soaring on High’ will be available as part of the Salford Collection from Kirklees in the near future.
Professor Peter Graham told 4BR: "The Kirklees competition is one of the most important dates in the university calendar and has been an important launch pad in the professional careers of a number of young composers such as Dan Price, Richard Rock and Ludovic Neurohr.
We value the partnership with Kirklees and look forward to a continuing mutually beneficial relationship."
More in future
Dr Robert Childs added: "’Soaring on High’ is a super concert opener, and if Oliver sustains this standard of writing I'm sure we will be hearing a lot about him in the future."
Trumpet star makes a surprise appearance to help Macclesfield Youth Band with the premiere of Lucy Pankhurst's 'Spirit of the Flame'
Macclesfield Youth Band’s recent Spring Concert turned out to be a quite remarkable event.
International tuba quartet Tubalate were special guests, as was American virtuoso trumpeter Rex Richardson, who surprised 120 delighted young players by dropping in to perform the English premiere of ‘Spirit of the Flame’ by composer Lucy Pankhurst, with the composer sat in the front row of the audience.
MD Louise Renshaw told 4BR: "I arrived at the concert to learn that one of the world’s best trumpet players was at Macclesfield Station and was asking if he could play ‘Birdland’ with the band!
Les Neish had bumped into him at the RNCM that morning and invited him to the concert. I didn’t even meet him before the concert started! He literally ran in, went straight on stage and delivered a thrilling performance!"
Having given a workshop for the young players in the afternoon, Tubalate also delivered a brilliant performance in the evening.
The surprised everyone with their singing and then, joined on kit by Ant Mann of Foden’s, performed Andy Scott’s ‘Bite the Bullet’ which had the audience completely enthralled.
Louise added: "I’m absolutely delighted that we were able to bring these fantastic players to Macclesfield and to share some really exciting contemporary, as well as traditional, brass music with the audience."
Lucy Pankhurst was delighted too with the performance of ‘Spirit of the Flame’: "All of the ensembles were superb and I was blown away with the confidence, talent and sheer enjoyment that shone from the stage."
The death has been announced of Gary Horsley of Gresley Colliery Band.
Gresley Colliery Band is deeply saddened to announce the death of band member and friend, Gary Horsley.
Gary passed away peacefully following a short illness on Sunday 5th May. He was aged 47.
A band spokesperson told 4BR: "Gary was a committed bandsman and member of Gresley Colliery Band for over 15 years. He was also a founder member of Liquidbrass and a key part of its early success.
He will be fondly remembered for his sharp wit as well as his considerable musical ability and unshakable commitment."
The funeral will take place at Bretby Crematorium, DE15 0QE on Tuesday 21st May at 3.45pm.
Former National Youth Band of Great Britain player Ben Gernon has won a prestigious international conducting competition in Salzburg.
Former National Youth Band of Great Britain tuba player Ben Gernon has won the prestigious Nestle and Salzburg Young Conductors Award, and with it the opportunity to direct the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in a Festival concert at the Felsenreitschule later this year.
Latest high profile success
It is the latest high profile success for the 23 year old, who played in the National Youth Band between 2004 and 2008. The final of the event saw three conductors’ direct performances during a weekend of festival concerts, with Ben leading the Camerata Salzburg and pianist Sophie Pacini in works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Mozart and Beethoven.
In addition to his concert prize, he also claimed the prize of €15,000 after beating off the challenge of 81 of the world’s leading conductor’s under the age of 35.
Sir Colin Davis
Ben studied tuba and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Sir Colin Davis and Martyn Brabbins, and has worked with orchestras from London to Sweden. He made his professional debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the St Magnus Festival, in Orkney in 2011 and has been invited to return to the festival to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra next year.
In 2012 he won the second prize in the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition and is now principal conductor of the Southwark Youth Orchestra as well as working with Gustavo Dudamel during his Los Angeles Philharmonic residency at the Barbican in London earlier this year.
Jury Chairman Ingo Metzmacher stated: "The three concerts had a very high level. The jury decided quickly and unambiguously for young Ben Gernon from Great Britain.
His great musicality and his special connection with the orchestra convinced us."
Artistic Director Alexander Pereira, added: "At the recent award ceremony for the International Opera Awards in London, several experts confirmed to me that the ‘Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’ is among the most important initiatives for giving young conductors a platform for their later career.
This year, we are delighted that we are able to give Ben Gernon the opportunity to conduct the Prize Winner’s Concert with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra as part of the Salzburg Festival on August 17th."
National Youth congratulations
National Youth Band Administrator Philip Biggs also added his congratulations, adding that the seeds of his conducting career may well have first been sown by Bramwell Tovey on a NYBBGB course a few years ago.
He later went on to win the 2009 National Association of Brass Band Conductors, 'Young Conductor of the Year' Competition.
"I’m sure everyone in the banding movement and especially those associated with the National Youth Band is thrilled by hearing about Ben’s wonderful success."
He added: "I recall Bramwell Tovey (who also offered his congratulations to Ben through his Twitter account) giving Ben the opportunity to conduct the band in one of his popular masterclasses when he was a player with the band, so the seeds may have been sown there!"
Anna Hughes-Williams will be making a welcome return to Foden's Band.
Foden's has announced that former cornet player Anna Hughes-Williams has made a welcome return to the band.
Anna will rejoin the 2012 Double Champions on the solo cornet bench for what will be her third spell with the Sandbach band.
Speaking about Anna’s return, principal cornet Mark Wilkinson commented to 4BR: "We are extremely pleased that Anna is coming back to Foden's. She first joined in 1989 under Howard Snell and stayed up to 1992 before moving to enjoy success with Wingates and YBS before returning in 2004."
He added: "Anna left again in 2008 to concentrate on her work with Bolton Music Services, so to regain her experience and talent will be a huge asset to the band.
She also follows in the footsteps of other experienced players Phil Green and Paul Taylor who have also returned back to us."
Richard Marshall is looking for the final few places on his forthcoming cornet spotlight to be filled.
For the fourth consecutive year Black Dyke principal cornet player Richard Marshall will be hosting a Cornet Spotlight, which will take place at Leeds Town Hall on Sunday 19th May as part of the high profile 2013 Black Dyke Festival.
Plenty to enjoy
And Richard told 4BR that there will be plenty of things to enjoy during a packed morning session.
"I have decided to start proceedings with a performance by the cornet students of the RNCM directed by myself. Following that there will be a massed warm up and rehearsal on a brand new commission by talented young composer Andrew Stevenson."
The Q&A session this year will give delegates the opportunity to put the Black Dyke player under the spotlight. "They can ask me anything they like," Richard added.
There is a nominal charge of £5.00 for the event which will finish in plenty of time to hear Black Dyke are performing their Festival concert in the Town Hall the same afternoon.
There is still time to get in touch and book your place, so contact Richard on: with your details.
9.30am: RNCM Cornet Ensemble Recital
9.50am: Massed Warm Up and rehearsal on new Andrew Stevenson piece.
11.00am: Q&A - Richard Marshall
11.30am: Final performance of new work.
The remarkable Colin Cranson retires after 40 years at the helm of Roberts Bakery Band.
It’s not only Manchester United who has lost the services of one of the longest serving managers in the business, following the news that after 40 years as Musical Director, the widley respected Colin Cranson is hanging up his baton.
A former solo euphonium of Foden's, Colin began conducting the then Middlewich Town Band in 1972, when they were languishing in the Fourth Section.
Less than a decade later and after securing long term sponsorship from the Northwich based Roberts Bakery, Colin led the band to the Championship Section and to second place finishes at the Grand Shield and the top section at the Pontin's contest in Southport.
Under his passionate and dedicated leadership, Roberts Bakery Band has also established themselves as one of the most entertaining concert bands in the North West, making 11 recordings in addition to numerous broadcasts and representing Great Britain at the European Blasmusikfestival in Germany on ten occasions.
Due to his remarkable leadership, the band has maintained a Championship/First Section status for 28 of the last 30 years.
Band spokesman Tom Hancock told 4BR: “Roberts Bakery band members past and present are enormously grateful to Colin for his role in their musical development. 40 years as conductor is a magnificent achievement, a record almost unheard of in the brass band movement.
While we are sad to see Colin go, he leaves us in a very strong position, and we are pleased he will maintain a relationship with the band as honorary President."
An announcement will be made shortly regarding Colin's successor as Musical Director.
Sean Chandler has been appointed the new MD at Greenalls Band.
The Greenalls Band has announced the appointment of Sean Chandler as their new MD.
The Salford University graduate currently teaches and performs music on a freelance basis and is widely respected for his work in leading brass workshops in Deaf Schools and working with disadvantaged children in encouraging them to take up playing a brass instrument.
He told 4BR: "I’m honoured to be invited to conduct Greenalls Band and I’m looking forward to taking the band forward in the future."
Oberschwaben-Allgau create a title winning firestorm in Chemnitz to take German Open title.
Brass Band Oberschwaben-Allgäu conducted by Peter Schmid has won the 2013 German Open title at the Deutsche Musikfest in Chemnitz.
The former B Section European champion beat their Austrian rivals Oberösterreichische Jugend Brass Band by the narowest of margins to claim the title with 2012 Euro champions 3BA Concert Band in third.
The winners opened their 40 minute programme with the march ‘Jubilee!’ by Paul Drury, followed by Philip Sparke’s ‘Partita’, ‘S'isch ä-bene Mönsch uf Ärde’ by Thomas Ruedi and their own choice test piece, ‘Firestorm’ by Stephen Bulla.
Principal cornet Uli Bestfleisch told 4BR that the result showed that Oberschwaben-Allgäu were continuing to improve under the baton of their exciting young conductor.
"It is a great result for us and we are very happy," he said. "We are improving all the time and want to be able to compete against other brass bands on a more regular basis."
In the First Section, a clear victory went to Brass Band Sachsen conducted by Johnny Ekkelboom.
Adjudicators: Hannes Buchegger, Stefan Fritzen
1. Brass Band Oberschwaben-Allgäu (Peter Schmid)—90.5pts
2. Oberösterreichische Jugend Barass Band (Karl Geroldinger)—90.0pts
3. 3BA Concert Band (Franz Matysiak)—87.5pts
4. Cologne Concert Brass ( Heinrich Schmidt)—83.5pts
Adjudicators: Hannes Buchegger, Stefan Fritzen
1. Brass Band Sachsen (Johnny Ekkelboom)—89.0pts
2. Nordbayerische Brass Band (Mathias Wehr)—85.0pts
3. Brass Band Blechlang Jena (Alexander Richter)—82.0ot
4. Berlin Concert Brass (David Rodeschini) - 80.5pts
Buizingen's little green men claim yet another banding title
Brass Band Buizingen included a repeat performance of their recent European Championship own choice work, ‘When World’s Collide’ in winning the De Luxemburgse Muziekfederatie Union Grand-Duc Adolphe internanational competition held in Luxembourg.
The event was held as a part of the 150th anniverasay celebrations of the organisation and saw bands from Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany take part.
The two legged event saw the Belgian champion under the direction of Luc Vertommen, play the set work, ‘Connotations’ by Edward Gregson followed by their own choice programme that included Nigel Clarke’s amazingly inventive tribute to the 1950’s Hollywood sci-fi movies, subtitled, ‘Little Green Men in Interglatic Spaceships with Rayguns and Phasers’.
Principal cornet Harmen Vanhoorne also delivered a sparkling account of ‘Fortune’s Fool’ written for him by his great friend Stan Nieuwenhuis.
3,000 first prize
The open competition organized by renowned Dutch conductor Jan Cobert saw the band claim the 3,000 Euro first prize and a ‘Great Distinction’ award ahead of Concordia Vetroz from Switzerland, who also performed ‘Triastan Encounters’ conducted by Geo-Pierre Moren, with Brassband de Waldsang of the Netherlands in third.
Set work/Own Choice: Total
1. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen): 94.5/97.5 = 96.00
2. Concordia Vetroz (Geo-Pierre Moren): 94.25/96.25 = 95.25
3. Brassband De Wâldsang (Rieks van der Velde): 92.25/88.5 = 90.38
4. Brass Band du Conservatoire d’Esch-sur-Alzette (Guy Conter): 80.8/89.5 = 88.88
5. Brass Band Düren (Martin Schadlich): 82.00/83.5 = 82.75
More great music from Chris Helme
Produced and presented by Chris Helme for further information please see www.chrishelme-brighouse.org.uk and follow the Sunday Bandstand links for this play list and previous week’s. It is also available via Podcast from the Radio Phoenix website www.phoenixfm.co.uk
It is also available on Drystone Radio 106.9FM or through their website www.drystoneradio.com on Sunday mornings between 8am and 10am
My radio programme has now been picked up by www.wiganfm.com a local internet only radio station and my weekly brass band show can be heard on Sunday’s between 11am and 1pm
Listeners in New Zealand will be pleased to hear that this programme is now also played on www.worldfm.co.nz in Wellington at 2p—4pm (NZ time) every Thursday.
I am always pleased to receive requests—you might want to hear a piece from your own early days in banding, recordings that have long since joined the record deletions list and difficult to find.
Or have a burning nostalgia question about the world of brass bands, if you have then please contact me via e-mail:
Sunday 12th May:
Rhythm and Blues
Opening for weekly show
MD: Michael Fowles - 2010
Black Dyke Band
MD: Dr. Nicholas Childs - 2010
Scottish CWS Band
MD: W. C. Crozier—1958
Cornet Soloist Kirsty Abbotts with the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
MD: Allan Ramsey - 2007
The Dam Busters
Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) Band
MD: Gary Cutt - 2001
Dance Prelude from Faust
Sun Life Band
MD: Roy Newsome - 1992
Anglian Dances (Movements 1/4/5)
Scottish Co-op Band
Guest MD: Alan Fernie - 2006
The Quiet Heart
Arr: John Meredith
Boscombe S A Band
BM: Howard Evans - 2011
Euphonium Soloist Olaf Kruidorf with the Brass Band Rijnmond The Netherlands
MD: Anno Appelo - 2010
Battle of the Planets
Arr: Philip Harper
British Army Brass Band
MD: Cpt David Barringer - 2008
Til I hear you sing from Love Never Dies
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Arr: Chris Wormald
MD: Dr. Robert Childs - 2011
I will follow him from the film Sister Act
Arr: Goff Richards
Enfield Citadel Band
BM: Jonathon Corry - 2012
Fodens (Courtois) Band
MD: Nicholas Childs - 1998
Cornet Soloist Philip McCann with the Black Dyke Mills Band
MD: David Loukes - 1981
The Reg Vardy Band
MD: John Ward - 2011
Finale from Francesca de Rimini
Arr: Iain McKnight
The Leyland Band
MD: Richard Evans -2011
Es Burebueli Goes Strange
Trumpet Soloist Heinz Sauer with the Swiss Brass Consort—2011
West Yorkshire Police Band
MD: Cpt Gary Clegg - 2010
Arr: Ray Woodfield
MD: Dr. Robert Childs - 2010
Ol’ Man River
Arr: Mark Freeh
Grimethorpe Colliery Band
MD: Brian Grant - 2011
Brighouse and Rastrick Band
MD: David Hirst - 1996
La Reine de Saba Grand March
Virtuosi Brass Band of Great Britain
MD: Eric Ball - 1970s
Rhythm and Blues
Ending for weekly show
MD: Michael Fowles—2010
Milnrow and Kirkintilloch head to Symphony Hall as favourites fail to stake succesful British Open claims in Blackpool.
The 93rd Grand Shield in Blackpool certainly lived up to its reputation as the most unpredictable competition in the banding world, as Milnrow and Kirkintilloch claimed their places at the British Open at Symphony Hall.
As the Milnrow players raucously celebrated on the stage of the Opera House with the famous shield hoisted precariously above their heads, outside, the contrasting sound of collective puzzlement and despair filtered through the air as a batch of fancied rivals took in the news that they would be returning to the Winter Gardens next year.
There will be no trip to Birmingham for pre-contest favourites Flowers, despite principal cornet Andrew Smith deservedly taking the ’Best Instrumentalist’ award for his outstanding playing.
Although many neutrals in the audience felt the West of England champion had done enough to qualify after delivering an imposing rendition late in the day, they could only end sixth.
Meanwhile, there was also disappointment for fifth placed Whitburn.
The Scottish champion will now have to contemplate the tricky balancing act of Grand Shield and European Championship appearances within the space of seven days next year, with the possible added complication that ‘Electra’ (the 2012 British Open test piece) may not be chosen as the Grand Shield set work.
Just outside the podium places, Rothwell Temperance showed further signs of their return to form by coming fourth, whilst a delighted Aldbourne will have returned home buoyed by an impressive third place finish.
“We knew we played well, but to come third here shows just how far we have developed in the last few years,” said Chairman James Sheppard. “We are now a confident contesting band, and even though we just missed out on the Open, we are still delighted by the result.”
Elsewhere, Newstead Brass pipped Welsh champion Tongwynlais (who also now have a Blackpool/Perth balance to ponder in 2014) to seventh, with Co-operative Funeralcare and BTM making up the top ten.
At the other end of the results table, the relegation trap door opened on Wingates, Mount Charles, Redbridge and Marsden Silver, who will compete in the Senior Cup next year.
Despite not being the name on everyone’s lips as the probable 93rd champion as compere David Hayward prepared to announce the winner of a contest that varied greatly in overall quality, Milnrow, conducted by Marieka Gray, will now make their British Open debuts 99 years after they were formed.
Meanwhile, an equally delighted Kirkintilloch maintained their remarkable record of consecutive British Open appearances by making an immediate return to Symphony Hall for the second time in three years under the direction of Philip McCann.
As disappointed rivals contemplated their results with the type of feeling that comes when a stale chip wrapper blows into your face off the Golden Mile, the immediate concern of the delirious members of Milnrow was to contact conductor Marieka Gray, who had left with husband Russell before the results to sort out the evening’s babysitting arrangements.
Young Angus Gray had to wait just a little longer for his proud parents to return home as Marieka raced back to join her players and take in the news that she had become only the second woman to lead a band to Grand Shield success.
Marieka will also become one of a select female trio to conduct at the world’s oldest banding championship.
“It’s all a bit unbelievable,” she told 4BR as she struggled to lift the famous trophy in triumph for the umpteenth time for the benefit of the press photographers. “They are such a hard working band—so close and determined.
I was just a little unsure we could make the step up to the very top level before the start of this year, but since we qualified for the Albert Hall under Russell at the North West Area I was confident we could do well here. It’s another brilliant achievement for the players.”
Marieka added: “Now comes even more hard work, as we want to build on this result and show people just how good a band we turning into too.”
Meanwhile, Philip McCann was left almost speechless as he contemplated a quite remarkable Open return for the Scots of Kirkintilloch.
“The band really had to dig deep for this one,” he said. “Some unfortunate and some unforeseen personal circumstances within the band meant that we had to get in some players to help us out. It meant I came back from the Europeans on Monday and didn’t have a full rehearsal until the morning of the contest.”
He added: “It’s been one heck of a week—and this result is a bit of a miracle given the build up. It’s been a good year for me so far though and there are still six months to go!”
Adjudicators Allan Ramsay and Frank Renton were in no doubt that on a day when nearly all the bands were unable to meet some pretty basic contesting requirements, the winners gave them just what they were looking for from Philip Wilby’s complex score.
In an entertainingly perceptive address, Frank told the audience that to gain success on ‘Red Priest’, conductors had to ensure that their bands, ‘...played in tune, together and made music’ to catch their ears in the box.
His added remark that, ‘...not a lot of you did that today’, may have been met by a stony silence that in years gone by has been reserved for an ill timed one-liner by a lack lustre Blackpool comedian, but it clearly defined their opinion that bands had struggled to project clarity, balance and security, as well as musical vibrancy in a deadened Opera House acoustic.
Come to life
He later told 4BR: “You can’t hope to make this music come to life if conductors can’t get these things right and instead rely on such an aggressive approach to the music. Milnrow certainly did though. It did have its errors, but it so stylish and full of musicality, as was Kirkintilloch.”
It was an analysis that also backed up Allan Ramsay, who later told 4BR that unwarranted aggression, especially in the opening sections, followed by poor muted tuning issues undermined a number of contenders.
“We were surprised so many conductors chose to deliver the music in such a way, especially in the opening,” he said. “The score didn’t call for it, and the tuning issues at times really grated—not just with mutes but between main solo lines too.”
On a day when listening numbers appeared to be up on previous years, there were grumblings about the new registration system brought in by the organisers, with rumours that some bands had boosted their playing ranks with up to a dozen or more ‘borrowed’ players.
As one player told 4BR as they left for the long journey home: “If this is the future, then God help us. We’ve been hearing all sorts about even successful bands today. We need to get back to bands playing at contests with their own players—not by getting help in. It makes the whole contest a free for all.”
A full contest retrospective will appear on 4BR in the next few days.
Test Piece: Red Priest - Concerto after Vivaldi (Prof Philip Wilby)
The Opera House
Adjudicators: Allan Ramsay & Frank Renton
1. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)*
2. Kirkintilloch (Phillip McCann)*
3. Aldbourne (David Johnson)
4. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
5. Whitburn (Ian Porthouse)
6. Flowers (Paul Holland)
7. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
8. Tongwynlais Temperance (Steve Sykes)
9. Co-operative Funeralcare Band North West (Jef Sparkes)
10. BTM (Dewi Griffiths)
11. Northop Silver (Thomas Wyss)
12. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
13. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Mearsk)
14. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (David Nesbitt)
15. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
16. Thorseby Colliery (Brian Grant)
17. Marsden Silver Prize (Glyn Williams)**
18. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise)**
19. Mount Charles (Simon Dobson)**
20. Wingates (Andrew Berryman)**
Best Instrumentalist: Andrew Smith (cornet) - Flowers
*Promoted to British Open
**Relegated to Senior Cup
Woodfalls triumph as East Yorkshire Motor Services, Burry Port and Unite the Union join them in the Grand Shield in 2014.
Although it would be almost impossible to verify, you suspect news of Woodfalls' victory in the Senior Cup was met with an ironic smile of satisfaction by Dr Nicholas Childs as he sped home in his car to Yorkshire on Saturday night.
It hasn’t been a vintage year of success so far for the Black Dyke Director of Music, so a victory, although not entirely eradicating the disappointments of Bradford and Oslo of late, will have made the journey across the tiring M62 a little more pleasurable.
Speaking to 4BR he later said. "I have such a great time conducting the band on my visits, that the short trip home from Blackpool flew by after they played so well.
The win is a credit to the band and the commitment and effort they gave in preparing the piece. I’m delighted for them."
After securing qualification to the National Finals at Albert Hall later this year, Woodfalls deservedly claimed their second Senior Cup success in four years by producing a finely structured performance of ‘Capriccio Italien’ to beat off the challenge of an impressive East Yorkshire Motor Services conducted by Alan Morrison.
Their experienced soprano star Kevin Donaldson gave a thrilling display of high-wire filigree work to claim the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award.
According to adjudicator David Read MBE (who was in the box with Adrian Morris), the pair were ‘a little way above’ the rest of the 18 strong field, with the delighted brace of Burry Port Town and Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) joining them one step closer to the British Open in the Grand Shield next year.
Aveley & Newham and Staffordshire claimed the remaining top six places, with Felling, Kingdom Brass, Tylorstown and Blackburn & Darwen pushing their way into the top 10.
At the other end of the results table, Bo’ness & Carriden and Wakefield Metropolitan fell through the trap door to the Senior Trophy with Freckleton and Lochgelly, who failed to make it to the starting line up.
There was no happier man in the entire Winter Gardens than 90 year old Ken Worgan, who marched onto the stage at a tempo as brisk as Woodfalls' ‘Capriccio’ finale, to lift the Senior Cup as a proud President of the West of England band.
"We’re delighted," he told 4BR. "It was wonderful to have Dr Childs back down with us this week. We have a great musical relationship with him and he certainly brings the best out of us—especially today. It was a superb performance."
Meanwhile, Band Chairman Kevin Woods added: "We have enjoyed a fine year so far and have now met two of our top objectives—to get to London and take a step closer to a return to the British Open."
In a contest that saw Derek Broadbent’s brightly coloured arrangement cause as much mayhem as Silvio Burlesconi gate-crashing a 18 -30 weekend holiday break in Rome, David Read’s pre-results analysis emphasised the difficulties posed by both its adherence to the original orchestral pitch and deliberate lack of tempo markings.
The tricky four and five sharp key signatures caused problems he said from the opening cornet fanfares, whilst the lack of prescribed tempo markings, although ignored purposefully by orchestral maestros, proved problematic for unwary or over ambitious conductors on the day.
Speaking to 4BR, David later said. "Intonation was a problem with the F# - C# fanfare combination in the opening causing immediate difficulties.
I also listened to numerous orchestral recordings of the work that had so many different tempo choices, so they only became a real concern when the bands couldn’t play to the choices made by their MDs."
Adrian, who has performed the piece with the Halle and other leading orchestras on numerous occasions, was in agreement with his colleague.
"The technical issues, although tricky, could have been sorted out better, and some of the part swapping was noticeable for us. Some of the tempos chosen though were questionable—they just robbed the music of the style required."
He added: "The top two bands were excellent, and it was obvious the conductors knew what style and pace was required to make the music flow."
One MD who certainly did that was Alan Morrison with East Yorkshire Motor Services, who later told 4BR that one of the main reasons behind his band’s success was having a settled team of players.
"It was a difficult piece to get to grips with to start, but being able to have full band rehearsals and having players who want to be part of improving the band, such as Kevin on sop really helps."
He added: "I knew we were playing well, despite the disappointment of the Area result. To qualify so well against such an evenly matched field has given us a huge boost as we look forward to Whit Friday and then to the Scottish Open once more."
With the set work testing the contenders to the full, there was some sympathy for the bands that had to play in what was a cold Pavilion Theatre throughout the day.
However, there would have been a warm glow of delight in both West Wales and South Yorkshire as Burry Port under Nigel Seaman maintained their run of recent good form with Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) conducted by Derek Renshaw showing further evidence of their developing top flight quality to gain promotion to the Grand Shield in 2014.
For others however the dead acoustic meant that any misplaced contest camouflage work, nervousness or unforced errors were easily identified in the box—something not lost on the arranger himself, who listened to the bands throughout the day.
Derek told 4BR: "I wanted the piece to be as faithful as possible to the original, so that’s why it was perhaps difficult for some today in an acoustic that made things sound very clear.
The understanding of the style required to make the music come to life was crucial and the technical issues should have been well within the capabilities of bands at this level."
Test Piece: Capriccio Italien Op 45 (Tchaikovsky arr. Derek M Broadbent)
The Pavilion Theatre
Adjudicators: David Read MBE & Adrian Morris
1. Woodfalls (Dr Nicholas Childs)*
2. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison)*
3. Burry Port Town (Nigel Seaman)*
4. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (Derek Renshaw)*
5. Aveley & Newham (Melvin White)
6. Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)
7. Felling (Stephen Malcolm)
8. Kingdom Brass (Alan Duguid)
9. Tylorstown (Gary Davies
10. Blackburn & Darwen (Nick Sheppard)
11. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
12. Fishburn (Huw Thomas)
13. Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)
14. NASUWT Riverside Brass (Ray Farr)
15. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
16. Ashton under Lyne (Paul Andrews)
17. Wakefield Metropolitan (Michael Howley)**
18. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul Drury)**
Withdrawn: Freckleton (Paul Dalton)**
Withdrawn: Lochgelly (Bryan Allen)**
Best Instrumentalist: Kevin Donaldson (soprano) - EYMS
*Promoted to Grand Shield
**Relegated to Senior Trophy
Blackpool triumph for Newtongrange as Laganvale, Camborne and East London Brass head to the Senior Cup in 2014.
A proud Englishman led the delighted Scots of Newtongrange to the Senior Trophy title in Blackpool on the weekend, as Eric Ball’s ‘Journey into Freedom’ provided a fine test of musicianship in the colourful surroundings of the Spanish Hall.
Less exotic virtues
However, it was the less exotic virtues of secure technique, well chosen tempos, balanced dynamics and an appreciation of purpose rather than forceful aggression that saw the Scottish First Section champion claim victory under the direction of MD, Lee Skipsey.
In the process it also sent them one step closer on their personal contesting journey towards the British Open.
They will be joined in the Senior Cup in 2014 by Northern Ireland’s Laganvale (Metal Technology), and the English duo of Camborne and East London Brass.
The in-form pairing of Drighlington and Sovereign Brass just missed out on promotion in coming fifth and sixth respectively, whilst the remaining top 10 places in an entertaining contest were filled by Friary Guildford, St Dennis, Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) and Oldham (Lees).
At the other end of the results table, Hade Edge, Meltham & Meltham Mills, Wantage Silver A, Pontardulais, Hatfield Colliery and City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) will wait to see if they gain an invitation back next year.
Adjudicator’s Lynda Nicholson and Simone Rebello stated they were impressed by the ‘high standard’ of the 20 bands that tackled Eric Ball’s iconic work.
However, Lynda told the audience before the announcement of the results that despite its age, ‘Journey into Freedom’ was still a ‘real test’, with many bands struggling to find coherent tempos, correct dynamics and internal ensemble balances.
She also noted that a number of MDs failed to appreciate the rather lively acoustic of the Spanish Hall, with the result that some interpretations bordered on being far too aggressive.
That certainly wasn’t the case with the winners, as Lee Skipsey deliberately emphasised controlled dynamic and tempo contrasts to lead Newtongrange to victory.
"It’s such a wonderful piece to work on," he later told 4BR.
"I felt we just had to take the edge off the louder dynamics and the quicker tempos to show the clarity in the score. That enabled me to bring out the darker qualities of the music and the contrasting styles of each of the sections without losing the detail."
No U turn
His respect for the music and the composer also meant that for once he didn’t round off his band’s performance with his trademark 180 degree turn to face the applauding audience.
"I think there is a time and place for that," he laughed, "...and perhaps the end of ‘Journey into Freedom’ isn’t one of them, as it’s such wonderful, engrossing music."
The conductor also took time to thank Newtongrange for taking him on in the newly appointed role of professional Musical Director.
"It’s a great way to start what I hope will be a successful partnership,” he added. “They are such a great bunch to work with and we now have the First Section National Finals in Cheltenham to look forward to."
Northern Irish smiles
The long return journey homes was certainly made more enjoyable for Laganvale (Metal Technology) after conductor Trevor Carter as he got his hands on the North West Counties BBA Trophy after leading the Northern Irish band into second place.
It also meant that they came within a whisker of repeating their 1954 victory at this contest, thanks in no small part to the contribution of their outstanding principal cornet Dessie Neill who claimed the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award.
Meanwhile, the equally long trip home down the M6 was also made less arduous for Camborne, as John Berryman used all his years of experience both playing and conducting Eric Ball’s music to lead the Cornish band into third place.
There was also delight for East London Brass who continued to show plenty of evidence of their top flight development by claiming the final promotion sport under the direction of Jayne Murrill.
Test Piece: Journey into Freedom (Eric Ball)
Adjudicators: Lynda Nicholson & Simone Rebello
1. Newtongrange (Lee Skipsey)*
2. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Trevor Carter)*
3. Camborne (John Berryman)*
4. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)*
5. Drighlington (Jim Davies)
6. Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone)
7. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
8. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
9. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (John Ward)
10. Oldham Lees (Russell Gray)
11. Dalmellington (Archie Hutchison)
12. Unison Kinneil (Craig Anderson)
13. Easington Colliery (Chris Bentham)
14. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
15. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter)
16. Hatfield Colliery (Stan Lippeatt)
17. Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins)
18. Wantage Silver A (Phillip Bailey)
19. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)
20. Hade Edge (Simon Wood)
Best instrumentalist: Dessie Neill (cornet) - Laganvale (Metal Technology)
*Promoted to Senior Cup
There's a great prize to be won with our Spring Festival quiz sponsored this week by Ev-entz.
Once again there is a great prize package sponsored by our friends at Ev-entz - as long as you can guess the TWO qualifiers who will make it to the British Open from the Grand Shield.
CDs and DVD
We have the latest ‘Electra’ CD from Black Dyke and Mark Wilkinson’s wonderful new solo CD, ‘Milestone’ to win, as well as the remarkable ‘Masterclass’ DVD from David Childs.
All you have to do is pick the TWO bands you think will qualify from the Grand Shield this weekend in Blackpool.
If no one gets it right we will do a 4BR roll over to next week....
The competitors are:
3. Co-operative Funeralcare North West
5. Hammonds Saltaire
6. Jaguar Land Rover
8. Marsden Silver
10. Mount Charles
11. Newstead Brass
12. Northorp Silver
13. Pemberton Old Wigan DW
15. Rothwell Temperance
16. Thoresby Colliery
17. Tongwynlais Temperance
20. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
Just take your pick of who you think may win!
All answers for this one must be received by 4BR before the announcement of the results on Saturday 11th May.
The European quiz winner was Callum Mallett of Ohope in New Zealand, who plays for Eastern Bay Brass. He will be receiving his prize package as soon as we can get it on a Quantas flight....
E-mail us the answer at:
Kapitol Promotions set up a Nationals and BBP registry office.
Kapitol Promotions Ltd. has opened an office for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and Brass Band Players registry.
The National Brass Band Championships can be contacted on 02920 704325 and email:
The registry can be contacted direct on: 02920 700943.
Point of focus
Philip Morris for the National Championships told 4BR: "Establishing one operational base for the National and Brass Band Players makes logistical sense and will provide bands with an excellent administrative point of focus."
Three long serving Cory players call it a day after claiming European victory in Oslo.
After securing its fifth European crown, the Cory Band is bidding a fond farewell to three outstanding players.
Chris Turner, Joanne Childs and Lisa Fitzgerald-Lombard played with the band for a combined total of 35 years, with all three being integral performers in the most successful period of Cory’s contesting history.
Chris joined in 2003 and became one of the most respected assistant principal cornet players in the banding movement, whilst flugel star Joanne and back row cornet Lisa were part of the first influx of players that came to the band under the baton of MD Dr Robert Childs.
Reflecting on his decade with the band, Chris told 4BR: "Cory has been like an extended family to me. After being invited to join by Bob Childs, who has also been a constant support to me and my family, highlights include numerous contest wins and concert performances in some of the world’s finest venues."
He added: "I also considered it a privilege to play with my best man and my daughter's godparents, and was inspired every day by the great soloists in the band. I wish Cory all the best for the future. My journey with them has been exhilarating."
Joanne added: "When I was invited me to join Cory I fulfilled a childhood ambition. I grew up in the same village as the band and had dreamt of one day playing for them.
I’ve had a wonderful time over the years and would like to thank all the people who have made my experience so enjoyable. I’m definitely not giving up playing, but I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my family!"
For Lisa, work commitments has meant that she has reluctantly had to give up her role leading the back row cornets after 12 great years.
"I remember my Dad calling me in 2001 to see if I could help Cory out at the European in Montreux. Little did I realise how life changing that one phone call would be!
Twelve years later I consider myself so fortunate to have been part of the amazing successes enjoyed by Cory both on and off the contest platform."
Lisa added: "I’ve been given some of the best memories of my life playing for Cory, sharing the stage with my dad, brother, sister-in-law and great friends. I sincerely wish Cory all the very best and look forward to what the future may hold."
The trio leave with a trophy cabinet filled to bursting point, with a combined CV of 25 Welsh Championship wins, 11 British Open victories and 12 European wins. They played their last performance with Cory in Oslo last weekend, going out on a high as the band lifted the title.
Musical Director Philip Harper concluded: "Jo, Lisa and Chris have been an integral part of the Cory team for over a decade, and we are all so grateful for everything which they have brought to the band, both in terms of the commitment, as well as the wonderful playing they have consistently brought to the stage whenever Cory performs.
I'm sad to see them go, and we will certainly miss them all."
There is going to be one heck of a brass explosion at John Packers with the opening of its new bespoke brass salesroom in Taunton.
John Packer Ltd is about to get bigger and better by exploding in size with a superb launch of its new showroom in Taunton.
Not only does it mean a massive increase in the very best instruments on offer to our customers, but the new showroom is dedicated to providing brass players from students to professionals with a bespoke area to try out the world’s great brands from prestigious makers like Bach, Besson, Conn, Courtois, Holton, JP, King, Mauriat, Rath, Schagerl, Schilke, Smith-Watkins, Sterling, Stomvi and Yamaha and many more.
To mark the occasion, we are hosting a special launch event on Saturday 25th May from 9.00am.
There is plenty to catch your eye too - with many fantastic discounts available.
Internationally renowned trumpeter Andy Crowley joins the John Packer team for the day and will be on hand to give free 30 minute tuition to individual customers
Whether it’s a query about performing or advice on your technique, Andy’s experience playing on the Last three James Bond movies, as well as backing artists such as Paul McCartney and Tina Turner will be invaluable in improving your approach to playing.
Also on hand for the day is Grenville Moore, one of the brass world’s most respected instrumentalists in both the orchestral and brass band fields.
Book your slot
So make sure you come along and book your slot with Andy or Grenville by contacting Steve or Tommy, at John Packer on 01823 282386 (option 1) or email Steve at .
Spaces are sure to book up quickly so let us know soon if you are interested.
Also available to try on the day will be the exciting new Yamaha Neo brass range, which is due to be released in August, including Bb & Eb cornets and EEb tuba.
A professional member of the Yamaha team will be on hand to answer your questions and to discuss the new range, which has been developed in association with Professor David King amongst other leading performers.
And to celebrate John Packer expansion we are giving away a generous JP goodie bag (worth at least £20) to the first 50 customers who visit on the day!
Amongst other things it’ll include a TGI98W Metronome and Tuner electronic combined tuner/metronome and plenty of other music related goodies.
Also included is a special website discount voucher giving 20% off all accessories. There is also a free £50 prize draw too!
This is valid for 12 months and an unlimited number of purchases through our website www.johnpacker.co.uk.
Everyone at John Packer warmly invites you to visit us on Saturday 28 May. They look forward to seeing you there!