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October 01, 2008


Writing about web page http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=8651

After a long week of rehearsals and several curries later. We played at Harrogate.

After being drawn 19th, what we believed to be the worst possible place to be drawn, we played an absolute blinder.

And this got us placed 5th!!!

Yes 5th!!!

Coming 1 point behind a band that had practiced it since the piece was announced and only 5 points the winners. This is a great achievement!!!

Well done and congratulations to all who played and many thanks to who made it possible and came to support us!!!

June 04, 2008

National Finals Contest Pieces Announced

Writing about web page http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?p=605422#post605422

From the tMP forums…

Section 3:
Suite for Brass
Composer: John Rutter
Arranger: Sandy Smith
Publisher: Obrasso-Verlag AG

NB: This arrangement is taken from Rutter’s piece, “Suite for Strings”.

Dates Announced for Regional Contest 2009

Writing about web page http://www.mabbc.org/

Hello all,

The Midlands Area Brass Band Championships website has announced the dates for next year’s Areas contest. They will take place in Bedworth on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March.

Term 2 ends on Friday 13th March.

This will involve some interesting organisation skills… ;-)

May 22, 2008

Online Videos and Photos of Us at Whit Friday

Whilst trawling round the internet, I stumbled across some videos and photos of us at Whit Friday. See the links below.



(All from Facebook)

May 19, 2008

Whit Friday Results 2008

Writing about web page http://www.whitfriday.brassbands.saddleworth.org/Ranking_2008.php

So, the full results are in…

Here’s how we did (with comparison to Leeds Uni)


Warwick: 34 (Look for “Boris Johnson Appreciation Society” (Don’t ask!))
Leeds: Did Not Compete (DNC)
Total Bands: 45


Warwick: 36
Leeds: 39
Total Bands: 43


Warwick: 41
Leeds: 29
Total Bands: 53


Warwick: 41
Leeds: DNC
Total Bands: 55


Warwick: 74
Leeds: 58
Total Bands: 78

Other Villages Leeds Uni Did

Denshaw: 35/52
Friezland: 10/48 (NB: 3rd Section and below only play here)
Greenfield: 44/66
Uppermill: 41/58

Other Prizes Won


So basically, they thrashed us this year!

March 14, 2008

What 4BarsRest thought

Just an extract from www.4barsrest.com who seemed to like us a bit. Special congratulations to Matt on timps, Rachael on Sop, Tom on Euph and the “well balanced” cornet section.

Drive and control

University of Warwick got off to a decent start and demonstrated drive and control in the quicker sections. The slow section seemed a little stilted but all the solo lines were safe and the band returned to top form in the reprise for a romp to the finish with great dynamic contrasts and a relentless pulse to the music.

A major contributor to this was the timpani player who was top class and the last eight bars or so was particularly exciting. The soprano and euphonium players gave excellent accounts and a well balanced cornet section was also a feature. Just the odd lapses in ensemble and lack of flow in the slow movement may have cost them a point or two.

These three bands will represent the Midlands at the finals, and if they perform at this level they must be in with a chance of doing very well.

March 09, 2008

Brass Band Qualify for National Finals

On Saturday 8th March, the University of Warwick Brass Band competed in the Midland Area Third Section Championships, and achieved a very impressive 3rd place playing Paul Loveatt-Cooper’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”. This means the band will be travelling to Harrogate in September for the National Finals.

This is the first time in 8 years that the band has qualified for the finals, and the band will be proud to represent the University at one of the World’s premier brass band contests.

The University of Warwick band are the highest ranked contesting student band in the country, and regularly perform outstanding concerts under the musical direction of former Fine Arts Brass trombonist Simon Hogg. The band recently performed in the prestigious Butterworth Hall at Warwick Arts Centre with World renowned tuba soloist Steve Sykes.

After a break for Easter, the band will be taking part in the annual Whit Friday march contest, as well as performing a variety of concerts at the University and in the local area.

February 25, 2008

Brass Band and Big Band Joint Charity Concert – Tomorrow!

Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa
Tuesday 26th February 2008
Starts 7.30pm
Tickets £8 (£5 Concessions)

The University of Warwick Brass Band and Big Band will be coming together for the first time ever this Tuesday to raise money for two very worthy local charities.

All proceeds from the concert will be split between Coventry Mind, who work with people with mental health problems in the region, and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, who safeguard the region’s wildlife.

The Big Band is an international award-winning ensemble which regularly tours the UK and the world playing jazz competitions and festivals. The band plays a range of styles including jazz, funk, swing, latin, soul and blues. www.thebigband.co.uk

The University Brass Band has an excellent reputation for top class concerts, and recently performed with world famous tuba soloist Steve Sykes. This year’s concert programme includes great brass band works such as Kenneth Downie’s Purcell Variations, and the virtuosic xylophone solo Taps in Tempo. www.brasssoc.co.uk

Tickets are available on the door or from the Spa Centre box office
01926 334418 / www.royal-spa-centre.co.uk

June 05, 2007

Whit Friday Results

Writing about web page http://www.whitfriday.brassbands.saddleworth.org/winrs.htm

Well, the full results are in…

Univeristy of Warwick

Lees (50 Total)

Grotton (50 Total)

Lydgate (66 Total)

Dobcross (61 Total)

Delph (84 total)

And the comparisons with other Uni’s…

Delph (84 total)
Leeds 59
Warwick 72
Durham 77

Dobcross (61 Total)
Warwick 47
Leeds 57
Durham Did not play

Lydgate (66 Total)
Leeds 54
Durham 65
Warwick 66

Other Results:

Leeds Uni
Denshaw 49/57
Friezland 34/50 (Correction, the bands were listed in playing order rather than results order.)

Durham Uni
Greenfield 67/67

May 31, 2007

And I quote "Talented Group!'

Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAcxSH2_hnA

Check out the comments on Ben’s youtube video of us playing at Lydgate at Whit Friday last year – we have at least 3 fans!

March 22, 2007

Whit Friday

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/academicoffice/documents/summer_07_draft_tt.xls

Whit Friday: June 1st 2007

The provisional exam timetable is now out. Who can make it?

I have an afternoon exam on the 1st and a morning exam on the 2nd (which I can’t afford to drop) so I reckon that pretty much rules me out unless they change the dates on the real timetable :-( first missed Whit Friday in 7 years!

March 16, 2007

What 4barsrest thought of us

Writing about web page http://www.4barsrest.com/articles/2007/art692a.asp

Outside of these top four performances were a couple of others that 4BR felt were also very good and worthy of qualification for the finals.

The first of these was the University of Warwick band that put in a very commendable performance and one, which we thought, could have nicked a qualification place. The band may have fallen a little short due to some shaky soloist entries and lack of clarity in some of the quicker passages.

There was a feeling of great togetherness between the sections, particularly the muted cornets and xylophone and the dynamics were well controlled and varied. It’s back to the drawing board however having just missed out on the finals.

October 20, 2006

No Horns Please


Photo from my mate Pete who emailed me this from his trip around China. Apparently it means you can’t use car horns but I think it could explain the lack of brass bands emerging form China in recent years. I think Brass Soc Services Legal Division should create sanctions on China withholding our services until they legalise brass bands.

October 12, 2006

EGM Next Wednesday

Due to Nick resigning from the exec position of Social Secretary, there will be an EGM next wednesday.
We welcome any member to consider standing. According to the constitution:
The Social Secretary shall:
•Organise social events to help encourage a community atmosphere within the Brass Society;
•Help organise the Music Centre Ball in association with the other Music Centre Societies.

There are no arduous tasks, it simply involves organising some socials and attending weekly exec meetings, usually at 4pm on Wednesdays.
The post will last until the end of the second term.

Anyone who wants to stand or vote needs to join the society
This can be done at the Students union website or in person at Union north reception

October 08, 2006

Whit Friday video

Ladies, Gentlemen and Wee-man,

Yes it’s me again… only a quick one this time, because it’s way past my bedtime here and I’m flying tomorrow. I’ve just uploaded the video of us performing at Lydgate on Whit Friday to YouTube. According to the marks it wasn’t one of our better ones, but it doesn’t sound that awful apart from the beginning of the trio (listen out at about 1min50sec… you’ll see what I mean.)

Make of it what you will.

October 05, 2006

New: Brasssoc Board Game

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with immense pleasure that Brasssoc Services Group Airline Pilots and Garden Labourers division announce the release of the prototype of the all-new BRASSSOC BOARD GAME. This fun and unique creation came about as a result of many hours of hard work and imagination having nothing better to do.

An action-packed and family-friendly game, the designers hope that the game will be perfect entertainment at social gatherings such as Cheese and Beer evenings, end of year parties and quiet afternoons in the Graduate. It is also hoped that it will educate new members of the Society in a little bit of its history and events gone by; older and ex-members, meanwhile, will no doubt have some of their happiest memories brought back to them.

[Disclaimer: BSSG accepts no liability for any consequences arising as a result of involvement in this game. Individuals partake in the entertainment entirely at their own risk. You’re all allegedly grown-ups now. Woodwind players should play with extreme caution. This affects your statutory rights considerably. More seriously, the Brass Society does not condone irresponsible drinking. This production is a independent creation of an ex-member and does not reflect views or opinions of the Brass Society in any way. For further guidance in responsible drinking in the event that this game is actually played, see the edits after rules.]

Now that’s out of the way, click the image below to expand the board. A full-size version can be e-mailed on request; Warwick Blogs doesn’t seem to want to support it in full 3485×2362 resolution and is limiting it to 1280×868 on my machine. The captions, however, are just about legible.

So that’s the board, and now for the rules:

What you’ll need:

  • For a start, some way of actually committing the board to paper. For this to come out properly, you will probably need the full size version from me. It should fit nicely on four sheets of A4. I would suggest printing it out, laminating each sheet individually and blu-tacking them together. It shouldn’t cost too much (and anyway, what is the Socials budget for?) Note: This assumes you’re not lucky enough to own printing and laminating facilities that go up to A2 size.
  • Some sort of small counter for each person playing. Preferably nothing sharp like a drawing pin; BSSG Airline Pilots and Garden Labourers division can accept no responsibility for injury caused due to use of inappropriate apparatus.
  • A die. (Or a dice, for those that prefer using the plural despite only meaning one.)
  • A large container of Brasssoc Cocktailtm.
  • At least four 3 litre bottles of White Lightning.
  • Lots of beer. And I don’t just mean a couple of packs, I mean CRAP LOADS of the stuff. If every player hasn’t downed at least 10 pints by the end, something’s gone wrong. It doesn’t hurt to buy too much – whatever you have left can be used next time. Helpful hint: don’t try using gassy lager. Once you’ve read the rules, you’ll understand why.
  • A couple of empty buckets in close proximity.
  • A coin may be required in the event that a player lands on square 101.
And now, the most important bit:

Rules of the Game.

  1. Everybody get a pint. The order in which players play is dependent on who downs the initial pint the fastest.
  2. Players take turns to roll the die (dice) and move their counter along the board the number of spaces indicated. The object of the game is to be the first to the finish square.
  3. Follow all instructions given on the white squares.
  4. The automatic penalty for not carrying out a direction on a white square is downing a pint.
  5. Pints must be downed without stopping. Hence the advice above about using gassy lager. If you are directed to down a pint and don’t manage to complete it without stopping, you must then down another pint. Without stopping. Etc…
  6. In the event that a player is directed to drink pints of White Lightning, the above rule is suspended for that player.
  7. Without intending to promote any gender divide whatsoever, blokes are expected to drink pints. Women are also expected to drink pints; however, if they really are unable to do so and would otherwise be unable to take part, bottles of VK, Smirnoff Ice or Reef (i.e. “girly drinks”) are acceptable on the proviso that they are consumed using the “strawpedo” method.
  8. Any player landing on a space which mentions an act or situation they have been directly involved in him/herself must down an extra pint.
  9. Fun must be had at all times. It is suggested that having “Brassed Off” on TV might provide some nice background atmosphere.

Enjoy. And if anyone has any suggestions or amendments, I will certainly consider incorporating them.

EDITS made since original release of board and rules.

[EDIT: I should also point out, in case anyone from the Union reads this, to my knowledge square 111 has never actually happened.]

[EDIT 2: Considering the remote possibility that this game really does get played at some point, which I didn’t expect it would, in the interests of promoting sensible drinking on a society blog feel free to substitute “pint” with “2 fingers worth of drink” if you so wish.]

[EDIT 3: In fact, unless you’re seriously hardcore and have the drinking capacity of a camel, I strongly insist that “downing a pint” becomes “drinking 2 fingers worth of drink” if the game really gets played; if someone landed on square 119, they’d probably end up in hospital shortly afterwards if they had to keep downing pints. So please do bear that in mind. But now I’ve made that concession, it has to be a proper 2 fingers – not just a little sip! IMPORTANT: the penalty for not complying with any direction given on the board is still downing a pint, regardless of this edit.]

[EDIT 4: I am aware of a few errors in certain squares on the board, plus a few formatting errors. These will be corrected soon.]

October 01, 2006

Start of term rehearsals

Just to let people know that the Brass Society rehearsals start soon for the new year.

Brass band rehearses on wednesdays 5-7.30, normally in the ensemble room but this week in the Butterworth Hall. We welcome players of all abilities and can provide instruments from all sections for those who do not have their own. This is done on a first come first served basis. As usual we’ll be following rehearsal with drinks at the graduate. I hope to see players old and new on wednesday.

Symphonic Brass Ensemble is a 10-piece group comprised of trumpets, trombones, french horns, and tubas. They rehearse fridays 5-7:30pm beginning in week 3 in the ensemble room. Again we have instruments to offer people if necessary, and it’ll be followed by drinks in the bar.

New for this year we have Beginners Brass which is a group for anyone who wants to take up a brass instrument. No knowledge is necessary,and we’ll provide the music, instruments and tuition. This will take place on wednesdays 1:30-2:30 in the ensemble room, beginning in week 3.

All of our ensembles are active both socially and musically with many concerts on campus and in the local area, for details of our forthcoming concerts please see our website

August 18, 2006


The summer is rushing past so its getting to be time to think about next term.
We're looking to buy/borrow new music and so want your suggestions of things to play. Ideas are very welcome for:

  • Concert pieces
  • Testpieces for Leamington (2nd/3rd section)
  • Christmas items (Please do your duty to save us from 'Instant Christmas'...)
  • Pieces suitable for beginners band.

We'll be buying a selection before the start of term, but also if anyone can borrow good pieces from bands at home that's always appreciated.

July 05, 2006

Graduations 2006

Friends and members of Brasssoc,

If you're graduating next week, please leave a comment to let us know which ceremony you'll be at – this way the quintet will know who to look out for and when!

June 23, 2006

Nathan's Gala Concert Photos

Check out Nathan's Blog for some great photos here

I particularly like this one of the cornets and Simon. Sorry, I didn't make it. Was really meaning to go but I had lots of things to tie up at Uni before tour and hence I wouldn't have been able to get there until really late!

EDIT: Removed apostrophe from the word "photo's