The Corsham Band
April 2021 - Although all banding activity together was curtailed for pretty much most of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we all hope to be back playing and making music again at some point in 2021 subject to UK government and Brass Band England approvals. We have maintained some of the social side of banding, throughout the lockdown periods with bi-weekly band quiz nights via Zoom meetings - and all credit to Dave Walker our brilliant quizmaster for these great fun evenings!
April 2021 - Although all banding activity together was curtailed for pretty much most of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we all hope to be back playing and making music again at some point in 2021 subject to UK government and Brass Band England approvals. We have maintained some of the social side of banding, throughout the lockdown periods with bi-weekly band quiz nights via Zoom meetings - and all credit to Dave Walker our brilliant quizmaster for these great fun evenings!
Oct 2020 - in light of the recently re-issued Brass Band England (BBE) guidelines, we continue to be closed from a rehearsals and performing perspective until further notice- all engagements have been cancelled. The band committee who are meeting (virtually!) throughout the lockdown period will continue to monitor and will provide updates to Band members via our social media channels and to the public via this website.
Center Parcs, Longleat (24 December)
The last engagement of the year sees the band at its annual Christmas concert, at the ever welcoming Center Parcs on the Longleat Estate, on Christmas Eve. As per usual the band entertained guests and visitors with an array of festive music.
Corsham Carol Parade (17 December)
The traditional outside carols by candlelight service took place in the town centre of Corsham, accompanied by members of the band. It started by the Christmas tree in the high street and the destination by the end of the service was outside St Bartholomew's Church where the congregation gathered to sing some more. Luckily the rain held off, but it was definitely colder by the end of the service! Thank you for the mince pies at the end of the evening!
Corsham Town Hall (15 December)
Another Christmas concert, this time performed in our home town of Corsham. With festive cheer a plenty and the audience in fine singing voice, the band played a variety of well known tunes and carols, such as 'In the Bleak Midwinter' - a horn solo played by Claire Urmston - and 'It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas'. With party poppers and crackers being popped and pulled the afternoon definitely had a Christmas party feel!
Many congratulations to Elaine for 'The Most Improved Player' award and to Chris (Brimmy) for finally getting the 'Bandsman Award - after 45 years as a member of The Corsham Band!
Merry Christmas Corsham!
Broughton Gifford (7 December)
The first Christmas concert took place in Broughton Gifford village hall. The most important part of the evening was the mulled wine, mince pies and warm sausage rolls provided for the band during the interval. Obviously entertaining a fabulously festive crowd was up there too! The band certainly earned every drop and crumb! Father Christmas also stopped off on his rounds in preparation for the big day and soprano cornet player Steve Harris was certainly given the run around during the rendition of The Twelve Days Of Christmas! Saddle up the reindeer, we are now off to the next job ...
Center Parcs (14 November) & Lowden Garden Centre (15 November)
Here we go! Carols have been played which must mean it is the start of the Christmas season!
Check out our other website pages to find out all you need to know and where the band will be next!
Remembrance Sunday (November)
The Corsham Band played their part in today's Service of Remembrance in Corsham. The church service was held in St Bartholomew's Church followed by a memorial at the Corsham cenotaph. All dignitaries of the town were present, alongside veterans, serving personnel from the local MOD and the youth groups.
Last post was played and the town observed a two minute's silence to remember those who have served and fallen in duty. Wreathes were laid and the procession then made its way back into the centre of town.
Lest We Forget
And poof! Summer is over! (September)
On Monday 23rd September it will officially be the first day of Autumn and, after the Band's August break from engagements, Corsham Band are now in the bandroom preparing for the next jobs … Remembrance followed quickly by Christmas. Yes, Christmas! It will soon be that time of year when brass bands delve into the 'December music' drawer to see what festive delights await them. The stage is set, the tinsel is hung and bells are jingling …
Take a look on our 'Engagements' page to see where the band will be and come along and support the band at their annual Christmas concert, held in Corsham Town Hall, on Sunday 15th December, at 3pm. Hope to see you there!
Cream Teas, Neston Church (14 July)
So, after a quiet start, the villagers came out and enjoyed the annual cream teas event at the church, in Neston, with the band playing background music while they ate and drank. It was another (very) warm day and the tree provided much needed shade while the band played. The highlight of the afternoon was when the band played 'The Big Top' and spectators (mostly children) provided the circus percussion in the middle of the piece. If you would like to see and hear this new rendition please go to our Facebook page where it has been uploaded for your amusement! :)
Stonar School Fete, Nr Atworth (29 June)
Not unlike last years' Stonar School Fete, the weather was again hot - with temperatures hitting 29-30 degrees first thing in the morning!! Luckily for the band, they were positioned under the same tree, in the shade, sheltering from the unforgiving heat whilst they played and entertained the visitors to the school. No summer fete would be complete without the obligatory ice creams during the interval! The Band endeavoured to cater for the visitors during the morning, playing tunes like 'Men of Harlech', 'Puttin' on the Ritz', 'The Floral Dance' and 'The Lion King', just to name a few.
Happy Summer everyone!
John Coles Park, Chippenham
The Band were (very) lucky with the weather on Sunday in the park when they played to an audience who were making the most of the sun whilst it was there! The one and only bandstand engagement this year now complete and looking forward to the remaining summer jobs.
Denis Pollard Memorial Concert (Sunday 19 May)
The Corsham Band, of which Denis Pollard was a member for many years, gave a concert in his memory on Sunday 19th May, in Holt United Reformed Church. £321.50 was raised from retiring donations and will be split 50:50 between two causes that were close to Denis' heart - "Holt Church Hall Refurbishment Project" and "Caring for Life".
DENIS POLLARD (1928-2018) - Husband, Brother,
Father of 5, Grandad of 9, Great Grandad of 3
and long time
Eb Bass player of The Corsham Band
Denis began playing a brass instrument, the bass trombone, at the age of 10, and subsequently moved onto E flat bass a year later. In 1944, at the age of 16, Denis started his 24 year in the RAF and immediately joined the station band. The RAF moved him around frequently, to Wales, Germany, Lincolnshire, Melksham, Kenya, Aden and finally Lyneham so that he and his family could live in Holt. On 1st September 1966, Denis wrote a letter to the then Corsham Band Secretary asking if he could join the Corsham Band. His application was accepted and 50 years later Denis was still an active playing member of the same band - up to and beyond his 88th birthday. The E flat bass was the instrument that he played for the rest of his banding life - only put on hold when he contracted tuberculosis and had to spend two years in Wroughton Hospital in Swindon recovering from surgery to remove a quarter of his lungs!
As well as playing and being the Band Treasurer for 17 years, Denis was always there helping new members and providing a taxi service to many. He always turned up ready to share a story. He is remembered for his sincerely 'fed up' face at band, but also for laughing so much that he was crying … which made everyone else laugh too! The band will always remember his good sense of humour and if you ask anyone who knew Denis, you will find a familiar theme running through the words they use to describe him: "One of life's treasures", "A legend!", "A pleasure to play alongside", "A fine bandsman, bass player and a gentleman". Denis dedicated his life to the things that were important to him in both his career and in his home and social life. The band will miss him greatly.
Regional Brass Band Championships, Torquay (Saturday 9th / Sunday 10th March)
Some band members travelled down to the Riviera Centre in Torquay, on Saturday 9th March - others arrived the following day, looking forward to playing The Rise of The Phoenix in the second section on the Sunday. Whilst killing time on the Saturday, some Corsham Band players surrounded the TV screens, in the pub around the corner, enjoying banding down time! Unfortunately, the result of the banding contest was not as was hoped for, but looking on the positive side, the result of the England rugby game against Italy was much more acceptable!
Memorial Concert, Holt - Denis Pollard
On Sunday 19th May the Corsham Band will be performing a small concert in memory of Denis Pollard - a former Corsham Band Eb Bass player. The concert will be held in the United Reformed Church, in Holt, at 3.00pm and will last an hour. The concert will be followed by refreshments and there will be a retiring collection in aid of Holt United Reformed Church Restoration and Caring For Life - both organisations were very dear to Denis.
If you knew Denis, or know someone who did, then please pass this information on and feel free to come and join the band to celebrate the life of a banding gentleman.
Welcome to Corsham Band John! (January)
Corsham Band would like to announce the appointment of their new Musical Director, John Heritage, who has taken on this role just in time for the Area contest preparations. John has a wealth of banding and musical experience and the band look forward to working with him. See our members page for more information about John's experience.
John's first job, as mentioned above, is to take the band to Torquay for the Regional Brass Band Championships in March. Now settled into the Second Section, Corsham Band are getting to grips with the contest piece, Rise of the Phoenix by Darrol Barry.
Welcome John and Good Luck at your first outing with Corsham Band!
Denis Pollard - Eb Bass player
It is with great sadness that the Corsham Band announce the death of Denis Pollard on Saturday 29th December 2018. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Denis' memorial service will take place on Monday 21st January, 12.30pm at United Reformed Church in Holt.
Corsham Band wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas
and a tuneful New Year!
Thank you for your continued support. See you in 2019!
Center Parcs, Longleat (24 December)
And so the last Christmas engagement of 2018 arrived and for the band members who played this continues to be the most favourite job of the year. Center Parcs visitors were treated to a bumper crop of carols and festive pieces to get them in the mood for Christmas Day.
Check out our photo gallery to see more!
The White Hart, Atworth (23 December)
The penultimate engagement of the festive season finds the band in their weekly haunt, the local pub (local to the band room!)! The band ensemble entertained the pub goers with carols a plenty during the White Hart annual Christmas Draw interval. Watch and listen to them on our Facebook page playing 'Jingle Bells' to end the evening.
With one more Christmas banding job to participate in, the band are now on the home straight. Center Parcs on Christmas Eve will be the icing on the Christmas cake and will include the final carol of the 2018 season. Remember to keep up to date with Corsham Band news here on our website or on Facebook.
Conservative Club, Westbury (22 December)
Ok, so the 'traditional yuletide carol service' advertised (on the right) is not the standard 'traditional yuletide carol service'! Saturday night was a chance for the Club members to let their hair down, sing along (very loudly) and exude sackfuls of merriment with plenty of laughs. This year's highlight of the evening was no different to any of the previous years - 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' involving every table in the room. Who can sing the loudest? Corsham Band can of course!
Carol Service, St Bartholomew's Church, Corsham (18 December)
On Tuesday evening the band performed at the Corsham Area Churches Open Air Carol Service. Unfortunately it ended up being a not-so-open-air service! Due to bad weather, the evening was spent in St Bart's Church instead of outside. This event is held every year and this is only the 2nd time it has been held indoors in it’s history!! With 'O, Come all ye Faithful' starting off the service the congregation's singing filled the church. Several carols later, 'Hark! the Herald Angels Sing' ended the evening and mince pies were consumed.
Only one more week to Christmas and four more band engagements to go … check out our engagements page to see where we will be, or like us on Facebook for regular updates - search 'The Corsham Band'.
Christmas Concert, Corsham Town Hall (16 December)
The annual Christmas concert put on by the band took place on Sunday at the Corsham Town Hall. The wet and cold weather did not keep the audience away - in fact, extra rows of chairs had to be put in the room before the band could start! With carols a plenty the band entertained the audience with some Christmas favourites and played with stacks of festive cheer. Not unlike the previous week, a special visitor came along to see the children - much to the surprise (again) of our Flugelhorn player, Chris Hazell, who seems to miss seeing Father Christmas at every concert!! Keep your eyes open this coming week Chris … !!
Take a look at our photo gallery for more pictures from the afternoon.
Broughton Gifford Christmas Concert (8 December)
So it was the band's first Christmas Concert of December on Saturday evening. Broughton Gifford welcomed the band to the village hall where a selection of Christmas music was performed - some well known, some not so. With Candlelight Carol being played by candlelight (stand lights!) and the Twelve Days of Christmas giving soprano player, Steve Harris, the runaround, Christmas joy was spread. Audience members sang along to traditional carols and the children gave solo singing performances while the band played Away in a Manger.
The Christmas music heard in Broughton Gifford attracted the attention of Father Christmas who popped in to see if the band members were being naughty or nice! Ho! Ho! Ho!
Lowden Garden Centre, Atworth (16/17 November)
On Friday evening and Saturday morning the band were back in the marquee again for another session of carol playing at the garden centre to entertain Christmas shoppers. Hopefully they got you all in the festive mood!
Center Parcs, Longleat (15 November)
Yes, with less than 6 weeks to go, the band has started carolling to the public (although it has been going on in the band room for a few weeks now)! It is officially Winter Wonderland in Center Parcs and every Thursday evening you will find a Corsham Band ensemble entertaining the holiday makers (and staff members) to Christmas carols and music in the lead up to the big day. The band will also be performing in Center Parcs on Christmas Eve afternoon. Look for the very tall Christmas tree in the Plaza and that is where you will see, and hear, the band performing. Come and sing along to the carols. Bring the children (or young at heart) and get invited to shake some bells! The Christmas festivities has begun ...
Remembrance Day (11 November)
It was a fresh, but thankfully dry, morning on Sunday when the band took to the streets of Corsham for the annual Remembrance Day parade, commemorating, this year, 100 years since the end of World War 1. Many people turned out to line the streets to watch the parade and also to take part in the service at St Bartholomew's Church. It was standing room only in the church as the congregation sang and the band played. With the Last Post played and the two minute silence taken the band then marched and played their way towards the war memorial where many wreathes were laid and the second two minute silence was observed. A final march along the high street took the band to the final destination of the Royal British Legion. Thank you to everyone who supported this very special occasion.
Twinning Association Concert (23 September)
On Sunday afternoon the band played at the Corsham Town Hall. The band showcased some new and exciting repertoire for brass bands along with some well-known tunes from popular films and musicals which included 'Out of Africa', 'The Greatest Showman' and '42nd Street'. There were also sensitive renditions of beautiful hymn tunes and a rousing big finish in the form of Louis Prima's 'Sing, Sing, Sing'.
All proceeds from this concert were split between The Corsham Band and the Corsham Twinning Association who brought along their members and provided the refreshments during the interval.
Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the band. We hope you enjoyed the concert as much as the band did.
easyfundraising & easysearch (July)
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**PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BAND!**
Neston Village Fete (7 July)
On Saturday the band performed at the Neston Village Fete. With the sun shining, yet again, the band were situated in a marquee on the playing field providing background music to all visitors.
It was also a day for others to show the band their stuff by coming along during the interval and 'Having a Blow'. With a few instruments set aside, (cornet, horn and bass) the public (young and old) were invited to see if they could produce a note. With a variety of sounds expelling from the instruments it was great to see that they were all successful. Thank you and well done to you all!
It is the band's intention to form a Beginners Group or Training Band in the near future and are looking for new members. The band are able to offer free tuition along with the loan of an instrument. If you, or anyone you know, are interested please contact our secretary, Greg Hayes, using the details on our contacts page.
Neston Cream Teas, St James' Church (1 July)
The annual cream tea event took place outside St Philip & St James' Church in Neston. The band entertained the audience with some popular favourites - African Waltz, 42nd Street and New York, New York, just to name a few. Check out our Facebook page to listen to the band playing 'The Irish Blessing'. Thank you to the church for providing the band with cold drinking water throughout our performance on yet another hot day, and for the tea, cake and scones that followed!
With another local engagement under the belt, the band now look forward to the Neston Village Fete next weekend. Come and join us more music and support the local village.
Stonar School Fete (30 June)
It is not very often that the band get to play during the morning at a weekend job (unless it is at a church service). On Saturday, the last day in June, a morning summer fayre was the call for the day. Stonar School, near Atworth in Wiltshire, was a new venue for the band and Gavin Clemons was out in the front. It was a hot, sunny day but with music to entertain the visitors, and ice creams at half time, the band did very well coping with the high temperatures. A big thank you goes out to the guest players that morning for filling a few empty seats and the band looks forward to playing at next year's event.
Goodbye Colin! (End of May)
It is with sadness that we have to share the news that our Musical Director of many years has decided to leave the Corsham Band. Having travelled from Swansea to Neston most weeks since July 2012, Colin has now made the decision to concentrate on his golfing and spend more time away with his wife in their caravan. In recent years, Colin has helped the band to gain promotion from the fourth section to the second section in the contesting arena, with notable visits to the finals in 2014 and 2017. All the band members would like to extend its best wishes to Colin for the future.
Twinning Association Concert, Corsham (6 May)
The Bank Holiday weekend proved to be a very hot one and the band took a well deserved pint break (we mean, tea break) during the interval of the concert held at the Town Hall in Corsham. With the concert scheduled to start at 2.30pm, the French guests arrived to take up the audience chairs at 2.45pm! So with rousing music, the band entertained the Corsham Twinning Association and their French counterparts, treating them to tunes and music they could sing along and sway to. With a standing ovation at the end the band concluded the afternoon by playing the German drinking song, In Munchen, ... as you do! We hope they all had a safe journey back to Jargeau, in France, the following day. Bon voyage.
Royal Air Force Centenery, Corsham (5 May)
On Saturday, the band were delighted to be asked to take part in the Royal Air Force centenery weekend celebrations. The RAFA were taking part in the 100th Anniversary Commemorative Walk from Corsham to Calne, via Chippenham, which is a total of 10 miles - one mile for each 10 years of the RAF. They were carrying a token to representing Major General Trenchard the first Commander of the force and the Corsham Band played to send the token, with the walkers, on their merry way. With Aces High, 633 Squadron and the Royal Air Force March being played, the cadets led the walk through the Corsham High Street. Despite being an extremely hot morning, the band donned their uniform and supported the occasion.
Corsham Grant Evening, Springfield Centre, Corsham (22 March)
With new brass band mutes in hand the Corsham Band provided the entertainment at the Springfield Centre in Corsham for the meeting with all Wiltshire Council grant recipients. The evening was held in the community centre for those who were successful in obtaining much needed funds for their groups. The Corsham Band's grant was received back in December and Thursday evening was the first opportunity for the whole band to use the new m
West of England Regional Brass Band Championships (10 March)
On Friday afternoon the band members made the long journey down to Torquay for their last evening rehearsal before 'the big day'. In the morning, having been drawn 8th, the band took to the stage to see what they could do with Ex Terra Lucem (the test piece). With a snug seating arrangement and some timpani stick throwing the band finally reached the end of their performance and exited the Forum pleased with what they had done. The result came later in the afternoon - a very commendable 10th place out of 16 was achieved by Corsham Band, coming ahead of some very established bands. Not bad for the first outing in the second section. Onwards and upwards!
More Contest Preparation (week commencing 5 March)
And so it continues ... a week full of contest rehearsals in preparation for the West of England Regional Championships held down in Torquay this coming weekend. Corsham Band are due to play on Saturday morning (10th) with a rehearsal down in Torquay itself the night before. The 'engine room' (percussion) is set up at the back of the bandroom and MD, Colin Hogg, is baton ready. Wish the band luck!
Winter Contest, Oxford (24 February)
So, on a cold Saturday the band travelled to Woodstock, in Oxford, to compete in the annual Winter Contest. This was an opportunity to play out the Regional test piece, Ex Terra Lucem, in preparation for March. This year the band were competing in the second section and were able to "put in a good performance" (according to the ODBBA Twitter feed). Thank you to Mike Ward for boosting the back row whilst back from Australia! It was great to see you! A second place result meant the band came away with another trophy to put in the bandroom trophy cabinet. Congratulations Corsham Band! See you next week for more Ex Terra Lucem ...
Happy Valentine's Day! (14 February)
Love is ... a strong feeling of affection; a great interest and pleasure in something; a person or thing that one loves; (in tennis, squash and some other sports) a score of zero, nil ... and with the test piece on the band's mind and only four more rehearsals to go until the Oxford contest, hearts are pumping, palms are sweaty and there's turmoil in the stomach. Oh, the joys of contesting!
Il Vello D'Oro, Atworth (20 January)
This Saturday the band spent the day in a full day workshop consisting of sectionals and full band rehearsals in preparation for the two forthcoming contests - the Winter Contest, in Oxford, in February and the Regional Championships, in Torquay, in March. The day started at 10am with sections of the band taking their parts apart, note by note, hour by hour, in an attempt to make each section sound as it should. The final part of the 'banding' day ended with a full band stint for two hours until 4pm. This was a chance to put all the music together and make a decent performance of the test piece.
When the serious part of the day was complete it was a chance for members to catch up at the annual 'Christmas meal' at the Italian in Atworth, around the corner from the bandroom! This was a great evening enjoyed by all.
Happy New Year!! Happy Second Section!! (3 January)
...and off the band go, hitting the ground running - or rather, getting in the band room and playing contest music - and officially now in the Second Section!
Ex Terra Lucem (translation: From the Ground, Light) by Johnathan Bates is the set test piece for the contests at the beginning of the year. 'Ex Terra Lucem' is the motto of the Merseyside town of St Helens which pays homage to the rapid growth of the town during the industrial revolution. Corsham Band is now getting fully prepared, with players and percussion equipment (including vibraphone, tubular bells, glockenspiel, xylophone, timpani's, drum kit, cymbals, tam-tam ... just to mention a fraction of it!!). Sectionals have been booked in diaries and it's full speed ahead (well ... dotted crotchet = 132 for all you musicians out there).
Corsham Band would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Best wishes for a great ending to 2017 and a
wonderful beginning to 2018. Thank you to you all for
your continued support throughout the year.
Center Parcs, Longleat (24 December)
'Twas the night before Christmas when all through Winter Wonderland, nothing was stirring except Corsham Band. The musicians all settled at the tree with care, in hopes that St Nicholas would soon be there. Carols were playing, bells -they were rung, children were singing with their dad's and mum's. Good wishes to everyone, enjoy what you can, a Merry Christmas to all, from The Corsham Band.
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas ... "
The Plaza, Center Parcs, Longleat (21 December)
After seven weeks of carolling, the final Center Parcs evening has taken place around the Christmas tree. Thank you to the holiday park for having the band - Corsham Band have thoroughly enjoyed performing during the Winter Wonderland festivities and look forward to being invited again next year. Many thanks also go to the 'audiences' on the Thursday evenings. We hope you enjoyed the music whilst you were fed or wandering around the complex.
"Silent Night, Holy Night ... "
Carols, The White Hart, Atworth (17 December)
Brass bands are always associated with pubs to some degree, and Corsham Band is no exception. As in previous years a small number of the band went to the 'local' to play carols and entertain drinkers on Sunday evening. The evening was a very anticipated one as the landlords hold their annual Christmas Draw and the inside of the pub is jam-packed with prizes and revellers hoping to get lucky. With drinks flowing, the band played carols alongside the sweet singing from the bar!
"Ding, Dong Merrily on High ..."
Concert, Conservative Club, Westbury (16 December)
And so the Christmas frivolities continue ... a return visit to the Westbury Conservative Club this time where the audience was yet again treated to a joyful Christmas programme and a bunch of carols to sing along to. It seemed like the club-goers were certainly in the mood before the band even turned up, and the festive atmosphere was plain to hear. It was also evident that the crowd in Westbury on Saturday night could certainly give the audience in Corsham (at the band Christmas concert last weekend) a run for their money with regards to their version of the '12 Days of Christmas'.
"Little Donkey, Little Donkey ..."
Open Air Carol Service, Corsham (12 December)
This event was definitely in the 'open air' - the band accompanied the carollers for the carol service held in Corsham town. The first stop was at the High Street where the band played their first carol, followed by a walk to the St Batholomew's church square where the remainder of the service took place. A charity collection was made during the service for Medecins Sans Frontieres (where medical teams act fast to save people's lives in conflict zones , natural disasters and epidemics) and Borderlands (who work with people seeking asylum in the UK or have become a refugee from other countries). It was apparently 'mild' outside but wrapping up warm was still essential!
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear ..."
Christmas Concert, Corsham Town Hall (10 December)
The cold and the snow could not keep our audience away from the highlight of the Corsham Band calendar. With crackers, party poppers, balloons and tinsel at the ready the band played carols with fabulous audience carol singing raising the roof. Forgetting the miserable weather outside, those that attended enjoyed an afternoon of merriment at the (very) festive concert. The children sang for their treats from Father Christmas and the participation from everyone for '12 Days of Christmas 'can be outdone by no one! Many congratulations to Kay Cadby who won 'Most Improved Player of the Year', a well deserved trophy recognising her progress since joining the band in March this year. Also congratulations to new band secretary Helen Turnbull who received the trophy for being the Bandsperson of the year (voted for by the members of the band). A huge thank you goes to Claire Urmston who stepped in to conduct the band at the very last minute as our MD, Colin, could not wade through the snow in Wales to get to Corsham this weekend.
"O Come, All Ye Faithful ... "
Broughton Gifford (9 December)
... And so the Christmas concerts continue - this time at Broughton Gifford village hall. On Saturday 9th December, with a full audience and mulled wine flowing, the band put on yet another performance that any Father Christmas would be proud of. It seems that even the band members were not expecting the visitor on this occasion!!
"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells ... "
More Grant Success (December)
The Corsham Band are very pleased to announce that the Wiltshire Council has part-funded a project to purchase a set of new mutes to replace existing ones, which have become unusable due to age and extensive use. This community grant has been greatly received and the band look forward to using the new mutes for performances in the new year. Thank you Wiltshire Council.
Corsham Band are tweeting! (November)
Along with the Facebook page, the band have now entered the realms of Twitter.
Use the link buttons below to take you to the pages to see what the band are all about.
We welcome you to follow the Corsham Band, like our pages, share our posts with your family and friends and support the band.
Merry Christmas to our friends on Facebook and Twitter!
"Joy to the World ..."
Lowden Garden Centre, Shaw (17 & 18 November)
As the band continues with their Christmas engagements (with no end in sight quite yet), it was at the Lowden Garden Centre (near Melksham) that the joyful sound of music could be heard at the weekend. It was a chilly evening on Friday (17th) and also during the morning of Saturday (18th) but there was definitely some festive spirit in the air. With a small ensemble gathered in the marquee, Corsham Band members entertained the shoppers as they browsed for Christmas inspiration!
If you haven't spotted or heard the band yet, check out the 'Engagements' page to find out where they will be next! "Hark the Herald Angels Sing ..."
Remembrance Day Parade, Corsham (12 November)
So with the band kitted out with a new bass drum and fresh morning marching legs, Corsham Band assembled outside the Royal British Legion, in Corsham, to lead the parade to St Bartholomew's Church where the annual remembrance service was held. After the hymn and last post were played the band again lined up to march, through the high street, ending up at the war memorial for the wreath laying and traditional 2 minutes silence. Thankfully the weather was fine and the streets were lined with people supporting the occasion, remembering those who died fighting for the country.
"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
Center Parcs, Longleat (9 November)
And so it begins ... the start of the Christmas carolling!
So this was the band's first Christmas engagement ... the first of many. Center Parcs welcomed the band into the Plaza to play carols to the public. Sat beside the tall Christmas tree, the band performed many a carol to an appreciative audience. Jingle Bells a plenty for the children.
Look out for the band again in the Plaza at Center Parcs ... every Thursday evening up to Christmas ... and also on Christmas Eve in the afternoon. If you can find the huge Christmas tree on these dates, then you are sure to find the band too (although it is likely that you will hear them first!).
"Away in a Manger ..."
Christmas in Corsham (November - December)
Yes! These reindeers do belong to us!
It's coming up to that time of year again where we start to advertise our annual Christmas concert and hope that our adoring public will once again support their local band. As in previous years, the band are holding their Christmas concert in Corsham Town Hall. This year it will be held on Sunday 10th December, starting at 3.00pm. There will be refreshments and a raffle as well as the usual sing-along carols. Tickets cost £7 each and are available at the door, on the day.
The band look forward to seeing you there to join in the festive celebrations. Remember to bring along your fine singing voice.
"Deck the halls ... fa la la la la ..."
National Brass Band Finals 2017 (September)
So the band had an early start - leaving the Neston bandroom at 6am, on Sunday 17th September, to travel to Cheltenham for the 'Finals'. Unfortunately it was not Corsham Band's day. Despite a good draw, number 7, the band just could not out perform the rest of the field. Having reached the National Finals of Great Britain is an achievement in itself, so being in the top 20 third section bands - out of approximately 160 - is not too shabby! Brass band website 4barsrest, having listened to the band play, said that it was 'a performance that really tested the band and one for which they deserve huge credit."
Well done to everyone in the band for all the hard work put in over the summer. Now it's on to Christmas ......
Preparations for the National Brass Band Championships 'Finals' (August)
Corsham Band are currently busy at rehearsals on the Finals test piece for September. The contest is being held at Cheltenham Racecourse and the third section piece is entitled 'Hinemoa', composed by Gareth Wood. The music is based around a Maori love story about a young chief (Tutankai) and his lover Hinemoa who are forbidden to marry but who are determined to be together. It is a challenge for the band who only have a few weeks left to get confident and ready for the performance on Sunday 17th September! Fingers are crossed!
Neston Village Fete (1 July)
So the Neston village fete ran as most fetes do, apart from a quite small occurance ... only a fly past from Spitfire (photo on left) AND the Red Arrows (too quick to capture on camera!)! As well as the usual fete music to entertain the visitors, there was a barbeque, café area, ice cream van , and, of course, a beer tent - attended by many throughout the afternoon. Thank you to our guest bass players who helped the band out on this fine afternoon - much appreciated.
John Coles Park, Chippenham (18 June)
On Sunday 18th June it was Father's Day. It was also the hottest banding event ... in a very long time! Despite the soaring temperatures, the band played well and entertained the crowds as part of the Chippenham Family Fun Day. Resorting to the dress code of white shirts (no jackets or bow ties) the band performed numerous well known tunes including: 'You Raise Me Up', a cornet solo played by Hilary Ruffell, 'Stars', another cornet solo played by Nick House and 'Under the Boardwalk' featuring flugelhorn player Chris Hazell and Bb Bass man Chris Brimble. No concert would be complete without a rousing 'New York, New York' rendition and performance of 'What Makes You Beautiful' - featuring a very welsh Harry Styles MD, complete with mask!
Local Grant Success (May)
The Corsham Band are very pleased to announce that the Corsham Town Council have part-funded its project to purchase new music stands for use at public performances within the town.
The Band's current music stands, due to their age and general wear and tear from constant use, are in a very bad condition and need replacing with new ones. This grant from the Town Council has been greatly received and the band thank them very much for their contribution to our cause and look forward to using the new stands for all the concerts, and other performances, in due course.
The Corsham Band Celebrate Promotion! (29 March)
The West of England post-contest grading tables were announced on 29th March, and the band, as a result of their success at the Regional Championships, have been promoted into the Second Section!! It's been a long while since the Corsham Band have competed in this section and many current players have not had the opportunity of doing this before, but are very much looking forward to doing so. The promotion becomes effective on 1st January 2018, so the Band will continue playing throughout the rest of this year as a Third Section band - getting prepared to compete in the National Finals, in Cheltenham, in September. Feel free to send your best wishes to the band and wish them luck for the Finals.
CONGRATULATIONS CORSHAM BAND !!!
An appeal to help a local trombonist (March):
Stephen Sykes, from Midsomer Norton in Somerset, is a trombonist and conductor who found out he was suffering from blood cancer last February. Brass band members and supporters have been signing up, by the hundreds, to go on the register as stem cell donors, in the hope that someone out there will be a match for Stephen.
But why stop at brass bands? Maybe you can help? Check out our Facebook page to read about the brass band world's support for Stephen.
West of England Regional Championships (12 March):
Corsham Band travelled down to Torquay on Saturday 11th March to start the banding weekend. With a rehearsal in the evening (after an afternoon of rugby watching) and an early breakfast (after a night of Karaoke!), the band rehearsed the test piece one last time before walking to the Riviera Centre for the actual performance. After a lengthy wait for the remaining bands to finish playing, the results came in ... Corsham Band were rewarded with 2nd place and an invitation to the National Finals in September!
Brass band website 4barsrest had the band listed as the "dark horse" saying that the "MD used all his years experience to manage his troops here and it came off pretty well." They also commended "the brilliantly ambidextrous one man band on the percussion section." Well done everyone!!
Oxford Winter Contest (25 February):
So the year started frantically with test piece rehearsals for the first contest in this banding year - the Oxford Winter Contest. This is a new contest and venue for the Corsham Band - an Own Choice contest - and gives bands the opportunity to run out their regional test piece in preparation for the Championships in March, held in Torquay. After an early start and a positive performance, the band was rewarded with a second place trophy. Well done to Colin and the Band for their hard work ... so far... Onwards and upwards for the next contest in two weeks time!!! A special mention to our percussionist Adam Powell - who needs three percussionists when one does such an amazing job?!
"Corsham played really well, a safe run through, nothing stood out but everything was played and played well. Top percussion." (as reported on Twitter)
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Corsham Band would like to say a very big thank you to all it's supporters and audience members who have attended ne of our performances during 2016 and to say that we hope to see you all again at our forthcoming events in 2017.
We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Center Parcs (24 December)
As always our final engagement of the year will be back in the Plaza at Center Parcs on Christmas Eve. Such a festive and wonderful way to end the banding year and hopefully a well earned rest for the band until we start back in January.
Center Parcs (22 December)
Our final Thursday gig at Center Parcs, Longleat, was performed on 22nd December. The band have played at the venue on every Thursday since 10th November, so well done to everyone for your amazing efforts. Center Parcs is a great place for the band and the passing guests are always so happy to hear us play. We encourage people to book a holiday there so they can enjoy the wonderful 'Winter Wonderland' that Center Parcs put on (and enjoy listening to the band of course!).
Corsham Carol Parade (20 December)
We were greeted with yet another dry night for the Annual Carol Parade through the High Street in Corsham. Some great playing from the band (I think we must be getting used to playing these 'carol' things by now!!) and a nice, if a slightly chilly, night. Shame about the mince pies though!!!
The White Hart, Atworth (18 December)
Following the carol service at Holt the band headed for The White Hart at Atworth to play carols and other Christmas music in the pub. Once again our audience were in fine form with some very loud impressive singing. A great night and, as always, thanks to Nathan and Kirsty for your hospitality.
Holt United Reform Church (18 December)
A small number of band members made their way over to Holt on the evening of Sunday 18 December to perform at the Annual Carol Service. A lovely event as always with some great singing and delightful playing from the band.
Westbury Conservative Club (17 December)
With pretty much every seat in the club occupied (as well as the whole length of the bar of course) the patrons of the Westbury Conservative Club were ready for an evening of Christmas cheer and boy that is what they got. With some very loud singing, and general festive fun, a great evening was had by both the audience and the band. Thanks to everyone at the Club and here's looking forward to next year.
Corsham Town Hall (11 December)
The band held it's Annual Christmas Concert at the Town Hall on the afternoon of Sunday 11 December and were lucky to play to a packed house. What a great afternoon entertainment for all those who attended. Well done to everyone in the band for putting on such a good show.
Broughton Gifford (10 December)
The band made it's way to Broughton Gifford on the very wet evening of Saturday 10 December to play a Christmas Concert in aid of the Village Hall. Having worked hard on our programme, the band put on a great show and we even got to see the big man himself, Father Christmas!!
Lowden Garden Centre (18 November)
A new venue this year was the Dorothy House Christmas Event held at Lowden Garden Centre just outside Melksham on Friday 18 November. The band played Christmas Carols during the busy evening and it looks like we will be attending again at next years event.
Remembrance Sunday (13 November)
Once again, we were so lucky with the weather for Remembrance Sunday and with a good turnout the band led the parade from the British Legion to St Bartholomew's Church for a Service of Remembrance and then onto the War Memorial for the laying of the wreaths. Thank you to everyone who tool part in this important day. We did ourselves proud.
Early Christmas (10 November)
Yes, it may only be 10th November but Christmas has started for the band. Our first outing to Center Parcs at Longleat was on Thursday 10 November at the start of their Winter Wonderland. Center Parcs, as always, looked amazing, decked out with twinkly lights and pretend snow and it was a great way to kickstart the festive season.
80th Birthday Party, Melksham (8 October)
It was a real pleasure for the band to perform at the 80th birthday celebrations of Mrs Nora Phillips on the afternoon of Saturday 8th October. Mrs Phillips and her father were both members of the Corsham Band and her daughters thought that it would be a lovely surprise if the band could play at the party. So, with the whole band quietly set up behind the stage curtains, a cue was given and the band struck up as the curtains were drawn. A complete surprise for Mrs Phillips who was very touched by our attendance. The band played for a full hour, playing some older pieces from the time that Mrs Phillips would have been in the band and finishing up with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday'. Congratulations to Mrs Phillips on her special birthday.
St Katharine's Church, East Woodlands (25 September)
It has been a couple of years since our last visit to East Woodlands but on the afternoon of Sunday 25th September the band performed a concert to raise money for church funds. The band put on a really good performance treating the audience to a variety of music which was well received. As always we were treated to the famous Woodlands refreshments during the interval! Thanks to everyone who turned out to support the band and well done to the soloists on the day.
St Philip & St James Church, Neston (3 July)
Once again the band played outside the church in glorious sunshine during one of the church Cream Tea afternoons. What better way t spend a coule of hours than sat in the sun with a cream tea and listening to the wonderful sound of a brass band!
Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations (11/12 June)
The band was busy over the weekend of 11th and 12th June, playing at two functions in celebration of the Queen's 90th Birthday. On Saturday the band entertained at the Springfield Campus in Corsham during a whole day's event showcasing many of the town's local organisations. On Sunday morning the band were involved in a celebrations service in St Bartholomew's Church located in the centre of town. Well done to all who tool part in these events. Did anyone notice that on Saturday the Queen was wearing green to match our uniforms ... ?!!!
John Coles Park, Chippenham (5 June)
Every year we play at John Coles Park in Chippenham and every year we are bathed in glorious sunshine. 2016 was no exception and it turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. Consequently many people turned out to listen to our performance in the bandstand and they were treated to a great programme of music which was brilliantly delivered. The band was on top form and everyone played superbly throughout the afternoon. Well done to everyone and thank you to Adam on percussion.
National Brass Band Championships (12 March)
The band made its annual trip down to a sun-drenched Torquay on the weekend of 11-13th March to compete in the West of England Regional Brass Band Championships. The set music, which every band on our section had to play, was 'A Cambrian Suits' composed by Michael Ball. The band had really got to grips with the music and we put together a good performance on the stage of the Riviera Centre against a field of 18 bands. Unfortunately it was not to be our day and the adjudicators places us in 11th place. We don't believe we could have played the piece much better than we did, so despite the result we were happy with our performance.
Valentines Concert (14 February)
The band were very pleased to present their first concert to assist in raising funds for the Corsham Twinning Association on the afternoon of Sunday 14th February in the Town Hall. The concert was extremely well attended and the band played a wonderful selection of music to a packed hall who thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Well done to the soloists, Claire Urmston, Lisa Hill, Ton Goodman and Chris Hazell, who all played wonderfully.
The band are very pleased to announce the arrival of Dave Walker who has recently joined the band on 2nd Euphonium. Dave is a well known and respected member of the local banding community and we are pleased to have him on board to strengthen the section.
During the band Christmas & New Year meal, awards were presented to the following members: the award for the most improved player during the year went to Lisa Hill on cornet and Bandsperson of the year went to Nick House. Congratulations to you both.
Christmas & New Year Meal (9 January)
Dinner suits and posh frocks were the order of the day when the members and their partners met for our Christmas and New Year meal at Beechfield House Hotel, Beanacre, on the evening of Saturday 9th January. Another very enjoyable evening with great food and great company. Many thanks to Becky for organising everything.
Another year of banding completed which has seen the band continue to grow both musically and socially. We secured a reasonable result at the Regional Championships back in March placing us towards the top of the Third Section in our area and with a balanced mix of engagements in between also saw the band win the Third Section at the Wessex Brass Band Contest at the end of November. Well done to everyone for your hard work during the year and let's look forward to a successful year in 2016.
Center Parcs (November & December)
The band played a total of 11 individual engagements at Center Parcs, Longleat Forest, this year, culminating in our annual carol concert performed on Christmas Eve in the Plaza. What a lovely venue to play in and our thanks go to the Center Parcs Events Team for inviting us to play and for their help throughout this busy time of year.
Corsham Carol Parade (22 December)
For the first time that we can remember, the annual carol parade and outdoor service had to be relocated inside to the shelter of St Bartholomew's Church due to the inclement wet and windy weather. This was a shame as the outdoor parade with lanterns and candles always created a magical atmosphere. This move did however give the band a chance to show off it's lovely sound as it played several carols whilst people were filing into the church prior to the service. A lovely evening finished off with warm mince pies as always.
The White Hart, Atworth (20 December)
Following the Holt carol service the band moved on to The White Hart pub in Atworth where we played carols before and after the pub's annual Christmas draw. Thanks to Kirsty and Nathan for the invite and we look forward to seeing you again next year. Happy Christmas Atworth!
Holt United Reform Church (20 December)
A small number of the band attended the United Reform Church in Holt to accompany the carols in their annual carol service. Always a delightful evening. Merry Christmas Holt!
Westbury Conservative Club (19 December)
We arrived at the next Conservative Club in Westbury once again to perform our concert and carol singalong. With a much larger audience than last year, both they and the band had a great evening of festive fun. We are booked again for next year, so make a note in your diaries. Merry Christmas Westbury!
Christmas Concert (13 December)
The afternoon of Sunday 13th December saw the band put on it's annual Christmas concert in the Town Hall in Corsham. Once again we played and the audience enjoyed the rousing selection of Christmas music and carols. Everybody is really starting to get in the festive spirit now. A wonderful concert with a full and appreciative audience. Merry Christmas Corsham!
Broughton Gifford Concert (12 December)
Our first main concert of the Christmas season got underway in the village hall at Broughton Gifford near Melksham. An informal evening with lots of Christmas music, singing of carols and other frivolities which was loved by everyone. We even had en early visit from the man himself, Father Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho!! We are booked again for next year, so make a note in your diaries.
We are sad to report that our Soprano player, Steve Harris, has had an unfortunate accident involving a slippery bath and a very loose shower curtain. Steve slipped out of the shower and broke his arm in the hotel we were staying at Bournemouth and has had to have a cast put on for several weeks. Steve has had to miss all the Christmas engagements and we thank Ed Goodman for stepping in and helping out at the Christmas concerts. The band sends its best wishes to Steve for a speedy recovery.
WBBA Contest (28 November)
On Saturday 28th November that band headed off to Bournemouth for our annual visit to compete in the Wessex Brass Band Association Own Choice Contest at The Life Centre in Wimborne Road. We had chosen to play a piece of music written by Philip Sparke entitled 'Triptych' which presented us with a good challenge. The band had moved up to section from 2014 and was now competing in the Third Section of the competition. Our rehearsals leading up to the contest had been pretty good and we were pleased with our performance on the stage. It was now down to the adjudicator for the day, Graham Jones. We are very pleased to announce that Graham found our performance particularly good and placed us in first position, winning our section and coming 10th overall out of all the bands competing on the day. He even mentioned to Rebecca, when she was collecting the trophy from him, that he really enjoyed our performance. So, congratulations to everyone on a wonderful performance. Bring on the Area Contest next March.
Christmas Concert (13 December)
As usual the band will be putting on their annual Christmas concert on the afternoon of Sunday 13th December in the Town Hall, located in the Corsham High Street. Please come along and support your local band for a wonderful and fun concert filled with lovely festive music and all those traditional carols to get you in full swing for the Christmas period. Tickets are priced at only £7 each and will be available on the door and you can still be home in time to watch X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing!
Center Parcs (12 November)
Christmas has arrived! Yes, the band played their first Christmas engagement of the season at Center Parcs, Longleat on the evening of Thursday 12th November. The holiday village was decked out for the festive season complete with artificial show storms! What a great way to start the fun.
Remembrance Sunday (8 November)
Another Remembrance Sunday and another dry(ish) day! The band proudly led the annual parade between the British Legion to the Church, from the Church to the War Memorial and then back to the British Legion. For a non-marching band we looked pretty good leading the parade and sounded like true professionals. Well done everyone.
See the following link of the Remembrance Day Parade on the Corsham TV Website:
Twinning visit (28 October)
On Wednesday 28th October a small number of members once again set sail for France to visit Corsham's twin town, Jargeau. During the weekend the band played the national and European anthems at the official ceremony and entertained the mix of both French and English guests with a short concert at the Saturday evening social gathering. Once again a great time was had by those who went and our thanks go out to the Corsham Twinning Committee for their hard work and efforts in organising this trip.
Pound Arts Centre (17 October)
Our charity concert in aid of the 'Springboard Opportunity Group' was held in a new venue, The Pound Arts Centre, on the night of 17th October. The band played a varied style of music to cater for all tastes, including a new piece featuring a vocal soloist, the band's Solo Horn player, Claire Urmston, which was very well received. Our other soloists on the night, Lisa Hill on cornet, Karen Adams on Euphonium and Chris Hazell on flugelhorn played superbly and deserve recognition for their fine renditions of their chosen pieces. All in all a nice evening and well done to the band for a good all round performance.
Charity Concert (17 October)
The band are delighted to announce that we will be performing a charity concert on Saturday 17th October with 50% of the proceeds going towards the 'Springboard Opportunity Group' who are based in Chippenham. The group is a charity run pre-school providing care for children under 5 with disabilities and special educational needs. Their mission is to provide a high quality care and learning environment for young children with additional needs and their families.
The concert is being held in the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham and will start at 7.30pm. Tickets priced at £7 and £5 concessions are available from the Arts Centre or on the door on the night of the concert. The band will be playing an exciting and entertaining mix of all types of music, so lease come along for a lovely evening and help us to support this worthwhile charity.
St Philip & St James Church (12 July)
The band paid their usual visit to the annual cream teas held at the church in Neston on the afternoon of Sunday 12th July. Unfortunately the poor weather meant that both the cream teas and the band had to relocate inside the church rather than outside as usual. A good performance by everyone involved which seemed to be well appreciated by the audience.
Craig-y-Nos Castle (27th June)
It was an honour for the band to play at the recent wedding of our Musical Director's daughter, Kerry, at Craig-y-Nos Castle on the edge f the Brecon Beacons National Park. Colin, our MD, was obviously rather busy on the day, so our Deputy Musical Director, Claire, conducted the band. We send our congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple.
Corsham Summer Street Fair (20 June)
The band were very pleased to have been invited to play at the combined Corsham Summer Street Fair and Armed Forces Day Celebration on the afternoon of Saturday 20th June. The band played outside the Town Hall in the High Street prior to the march past by the local military from Corsham Joint Services and once again following the official speeches by local dignitaries. Thank you to Corsham Town Council for their kind invitation to play at this important date in the Town's calendar.
John Coles Park, Chippenham (14 June)
Although quite a cloudy day, the weather was warm enough to bring everyone out to John Coles Park in Chippenham on the afternoon of Sunday 14th June. A full band just about squeezed onto the bandstand to play a variety of music to our audience. Special mentions for our soloists on the day, Lisa Hill, who played 'Share My Yoke' on cornet, Karen Adams playing 'Benedictus' on euphonium, Chris Hazell on flugelhorn with his rendition of 'Nikita' by Elton John and Dave Whetham playing 'Nobody Does it Better' from the James Bond movie, on trombone. Thank you to our two guest players on the day, Steve and Colin, and well done to everyone for a great performance.
The band are sad to report the recent passing away of Pete Gale who played with the band for many years until ill health forced his retirement. A much loved and very loyal bandsman who leaves us with many wonderful memories.
Pete was aged 81 and his funeral service will be at West Wilts Crematorium, Semington, on Wednesday 3rd June at 2.30pm. Donations if desired for Dorothy House Hospice Care can be made online by clicking on the Memory Giving logo at http://www.bewleymerrett.co.uk/ where you can increase your donation with the benefit of Gift Aid. Alternatively cheques made payable to the charity may be sent care of Aaron Bewley at Bewley & Merrett Funeral Directors, 57a Pickwick Road, Corsham, SN13 9BS.
Weston Super Mare Contest (17 May)
With a lot of hard work carried out in the rehearsal room the band made its way down to Weston Super Mare to compete in the annual Own Choice Contest held in the Winter Gardens Theatre. We had chosen to play a piece of music entitled 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. We came off stage very pleased with our performance which was both confident and full of musicality. Unfortunately we were competing against a very strong field of seasoned third section bands and we came away with a fourth place. No trophies for the cabinet this time but another good performance under our belt. Well done everybody.
Wedding (15 May)
The band would like to extend their congratulations and best wishes to our Soprano Cornet player, Steve Harris, on his recent marriage to his lovely fiancé Lorraine. The ceremony was held at Leigh Park Hotel, Bradford on Avon, on Friday 15th May and a small contingent of the band played at the reception in the evening. We hope you will be very happy together and about time!!!
The band are very pleased to announce the arrival of 3 new players into the band room. The Goodman family consisting of Ed and Rob on cornets and Tom on horn have recently joined the ranks of the band and will be making their debut at the forthcoming contest at Weston Super Mare. The band extends a very big welcome to you all.
Regional Brass Band Championships (15 March)
As reported below, the band made its way down to Torquay during the weekend of 14/15th March where it competed in the Regional heat of the National Brass Band Championships. Having just been promoted to a higher section the band were not expecting to feature high up in the rankings so were really pleased when we were awarded 6th place out of 16 bands who entered. This is a great result for the band and puts us in a strong position in the tables from which to build on next year. Well done to everyone for their hard work and effort. The results of our section are listed below:
WEST OF ENGLAND - SUNDAY 15TH - RESULT
Evolution, Five States of Change - Philip Sparke
Adjudicators: Graham O>Jones MBE & Prof Roget Webster
1. Soundhouse Brass (Lee Clayson)
2. Cambourne Junior Contesting (Alan Pope)
3. Denmead (Estelle Flood)
4. Bath Spa (Martin Perry)
5. Midsomer Norton & Radstock (Joanne Sykes)
6. Corsham (Colin Hogg)
7. Wilton & District (Colin Herbert)
8. Cinderford (Gary Davies)
9. Bratton Silver (Simon Carr)
10. South Molton Town (Gil Taylor)
11. Spinnaker Brass (Michael Pennicote-Henrie)
12. St Stythians (James Burns)
13. Gillingham Imperial Silver (Jim Bennett)
14. Heyl Town (Shaun Marsden)
15. Swindon Brass (Francis Cowley)
16. Chalford Academy (Steve Tubb)
Regional Brass Band Championships
With only two weeks to go, the band are very busy in the band room rehearsing for the West of England Regional Brass Band Championships which will be held at the Riviera Centre, Torquay on Sunday 15th March. Having been promoted to the Third Section in the National Gradings for 2015, the band will be competing against a string field of other bands who will all be hoping to gain favour from the competitions two adjudicators. the prize for the top two bands will be a place in the National Finals to be held in September. The band are working very hard on the compulsory test piece called 'Evolution - Five States of Change' by the well respected composer Philip Sparke. Watch this space for further news.
It was great to see the return of Tony Whitlock to the band room on Wednesday 21st January. Tony joins in readiness for our forthcoming performance at the Regional Brass Band Championships in March. A big welcome back to Tony from all your friends.
During the band Christmas & New Year meal, awards were presented to the following members. The awards for the most improved player during the year went to Ed Kerr on trombone and the Bandsperson of the year award went to Chris Hazell. Congratulations to you both.
Christmas & New Year Meal (10 January)
Once again the members and their parents donned their dinner suits and posh frocks when the band met for our Christmas and New Year meal at Beechfield House Hotel, Beanacre, on the evening of Saturday 10th January. What a fantastic evening we had with great food and great company. Many thanks to Lisa and Becky for organising everything and here's to a good year of banding in 2015.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MEMBERS, FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS AND FELLOW BANDSMEN
Well, that's the end of another banding year which has seen the band become West of England Fourth Section Champions 2014 and subsequently compete in the National Finals of the Brass Band Championships and be placed 5th overall. Well done to everyone for their hard work and dedication. Let's look forward o all that 2015 has to offer.
Center Parcs (24 December)
Our last engagement of the year, as always, was completed on Christmas Eve with a Christmas carol concert at enter Parcs, Longleat Forest. What a great way to end the Christmas season with a lively and entertaining programme of music played to a wonderful audience.
White Hart, Atworth (21 December)
Following the carol service at Holt the band moved on to the White Hart at Atworth to play carols before and after the pub's massive Christmas draw which took place during the evening. Many thanks to Nathan and Kirsty, our hosts for the night.
Holt United Reformed Church (21 December)
As always the last Sunday before Christmas sees the band performing at Holt United Reformed Church carol service and this year was no exception. Many thanks to Denis Pollard for the invitation.
Westbury Conservative Club (20 December)
A new venue for the band was the Conservative Club in Westbury, where we performed a carol concert during the afternoon of Saturday 20th December. The carols were sung with great vigour by everyone present and the audience participation during 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' was hilarious. Thank you to the club for their kind invitation.
Center Parcs (4, 11 & 18 December)
Another 3 successful evenings playing carols and Christmas music at Center Parcs, Longleat, with some really good feedback from the guests.
Corsham Carol Parade (16 December)
As usual a huge crowd turned out for the Christmas carol parade and service in the centre of Corsham on the evening of Tuesday 16th December. The band played carols for both the parade and service and everyone enjoyed warm mince pies afterwards.
Christmas Concert (14 December)
The band's annual Christmas concert took place in the Town Hall on the afternoon of Sunday 14th December. Our programme included lots of seasonal music including some traditional Christmas carols which the audience sang along to with great enthusiasm. Another great concert with some fine playin from the band.
Wessex Brass Band Association Winter Contest (29 November)
On 29th November theband travelled down to Bournemouth for the annual Winter Contest organised by the Wessex Brass Band Association. The venue once again being the Life Centre in Winton, Bournemouth. The band were drawn to play 8th out of 21 competing bands from all sections. After a good rehearsal earlier in the day, the band took to the stage and put on a great performance of Philip Sparke's piece 'A Malvern Suite' which it had been rehearsing for several weeks. The performance was good enough to win the band first prize in our section and we were able to walk away with a cup and a cheque for £175. Our performance also gained us an overall position of 11th, meaning that we had beaten several higher section bands. Well done to everyone involved and thank you to our guest players on the day. A good day and a great result.
Center Parcs (20 & 27 November)
We continue our Christmas concerts at Center Parcs with another two Thursday engagements. As each week passes we seem to be getting into the Christmas spirit more and more ...
St Katharine's Church, East Woodlands (23 November)
With the heating on full blast and the stage set, the band performed a full concert to a packed church at St Katharine's, East Woodlands, near Frome, during the afternoon of Sunday 23rd November. The concert included some solos, duets and other stand up features along with lots of popular music which was greatly appreciated by the audience. Funds raised from the concert were shared between the band and the church. Thank you to our two guest players, Claire and Dave, for helping out.
Center Parcs (13 November)
One day earlier than last year, and yes we have completed our first Christmas engagement of 2014! The Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs has well and truly arrived and the sound of sleigh bells were ringing through the main plaza in anticipation of the big dat. There was a rumour that even Chris Brimble was starting to get a little festive towards the end of the evening!
At the end of November Lindsey Lovelock will unfortunately be leaving the band due to work commitments. We will be very sorry to see Lindsey leave and wish her the best of luck for the future. This does mean that we will have a vacancy on Second Euphonium and we are actively looking to fill this position as soon as possible ready for the 2015 season. If you or anyone you know would be interested in applying for this role then please feel free to contact us. We are a happy, friendly and progressive band who enjoys their banding under the great guidance of our Musical Director, Colin Hogg.
Remembrance Sunday (9 November)
Once again the sun shone brightly on another Remembrance Sunday in Corsham. We have been so lucky with the weather over the years and this year was no exception. There was certainly a massive turnout in this 100 year anniversary of the start of World War 1 and the band were honoured to lead the British Legion parade through the streets of Corsham, as well as playing in the Service of Remembrance and at the War Memorial. Nick House, our Principal Cornet, played the Last Post and Reveille in both locations with great feeling. Well done to all the band.
National Brass Band Championship Finals, Cheltenham (20 September)
Following our success at the Regional Qualifying Contest back in March, the band were honoured to travel to Cheltenham on Saturday 20th September to represent the West of England region in the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships. The day turned out to be a very long drawn out affair which started with a rehearsal at 9am and us actually taking to the stage to play around 7pm in the evening. Up against the best Fourth Section bands from all over the UK, the band performed a great performance of the test piece, 'Narnia Suite' and was awarded 5th place out of 19 competitors. Although not in the top 3 places, the band were over the moon with this position which puts us in a solid position to start contesting in the higher Third Section from next January. Our thanks go to Colin Hogg, our Musical Director, for his hard work and training to get the music to the required standard.
The band are very pleased to welcome Bass player, Tim Perry, back to the band after an absence of several years. Tim's first engagement with the band will be at the National Finals in Cheltenham.
Seend Fete (9 August)
Our thanks go to the organisers of the Seend Fete for once again inviting the band to play at their annual event. Despite the weather being a mixture of sunshine and showers the event still attracted a large crowd and the band were pleased to be a part of the occasion which raises funds for the village. We hope to see you all again next year.
Neston Cream Teas (20 July)
Neston was once again blessed with a hot sunny afternoon for their cream tea event on Sunday 20th July. The band set up on the green opposite the church and entertained the crowd with some delightful popular music, followed by a wonderful cream tea.
John Coles Park, Chippenham (29 June)
Once again we were blessed with some very good weather on our visit to John Coles Park in Chippenham on the afternoon of 29th June. The park was really busy and a good crowd of people sat around to listen to our performance. it is always a pleasure to play here and we look forward to a return visit during 2015.
Broughton Gifford (28 June)
The band felt very privileged to be asked to play again at the evening garden party out on by Mike Bailey at Broughton Gifford, in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charity. Despite there being heavy rain showers all day long, the rain held off for the best part of the evening and the band entertained the crowds with a good selection of music finishing off with a proms style singalong just before the fireworks finale. A great evening for a good cause.
Band Social, Savernake Forest (21 June)
What a brilliant day we had when we headed to Savernake Forest just outside of Marlborough for a band get together. Amazing weather, great food, a few drinks and some fun games combined with really good friends. Thanks to all of you who turned up and roll on the next one.
Corsham/Jargeau Twinning Weekend
With the town full of French visitors from our twin town of Jargeau in the Loire region of France, the band were asked to play at an event organised on the Sunday afternoon/evening at Corsham Football Club. The band played the first half of its programme outside whilst the guests enjoyed their food and drink and then took a refreshment break, during which time a local power failure occurred setting off the burglar alarms, Eventually these were silenced and having retaken our positions and played a couple of pieces, the weather decided to change and it started raining. Everybody headed indoors, where there was still no power and after some discussions and setting up, the band played its final pieces in very dark conditions (its 's a good job we all know the music off by heart isn't it?!). With some hastily acquired generating equipment and lighting the evening carried on with the official speeches and exchange of gifts, following which a few members of the band played the national anthems. Well done to everyone involved and for getting over some quite challenging conditions. We look forward to our return visit to France in 2015.
The band would like to send their congratulations to our percussionist, Paul, and his wife, Hannah, on the recent birth of their new daughter, Lottie. Love and best wishes to you all and we hope to see Lottie at many engagements in the future.
Weston Super Mare Contest (18 May)
On a glorious sunny Sunday morning the band once again headed to Weston Super Mare to compete in the South West Brass Band Association Annual Competition held in the Winter Gardens Theatre. The band had worked hard on preparing the test piece 'Music from Kantara' composed by Kemneth Downie and took to the stage full of confidence. The performance showed just how far the band has progressed in the last year and everybody was pleased, including our Musical Director, Colin. We were hoping for a first place in the competition but came away with second prize overall and the best soloist prize won by the band's Soprano Cornet Player, Steve Harris. All in all a good day and another step forward in the band's progress.
Center Parcs (20 April)
What a shame that the lovely weather over the Easter weekend decided to disappear for one day on Easter Sunday. Center Parcs had organised a host of different Easter events to be held outside the Village Square in the middle of the Parc but the weather was quite wet and windy and therefore most of the events had to be relocated to indoor areas. The band therefore played inside the dome of the Plaza as we do at Christmas time. As always, a delightful place to play and much appreciated by everyone we spoke to. Happy Easter everyone.
St Bartholomew's Concert (12 April)
The weather is both drier and certainly warmer, so it must be Spring. Consequently, the band played a spring concert at St Bartholomew's Church in Corsham on the night of 12th April to help raise funds for the Church Restoration Appeal. It turned out to be a great concert in which the band and especially the soloists played really well. Thank you very much to St Bartholomew's and to our audience. We hope you enjoyed our programme of music.
Contest Success (8 March)
On Saturday 8th March, the Corsham Band were crowned 'West of England Fourth Section Champions' having taken part in the Regional Championships held at the Riviera Centre in Torquay. This amazing victory was a result of a great deal of hard work and dedication by the band members and our Musical Director, Colin Hogg. Our winning performance of the piece 'Three Spanish Impressions' caught the judges ears for its style and portrayal of the music by composer Alan Fernie. Against a field of 20 other bands our performance stood out as the nest and means that the band will now be heading to the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships in September to represent the West of England and compete against bands from all parts of the UK. A massive congratulations must go to the band for this great result. Well done to you all.
The band are pleased to announce the signing of two new members. Edward Kerr joins on 2nd trombone and Dave West joins us on percussion. Both players will be making their debut with the band at the Regional Brass Band Championships in Torquay on 8th March. A big welcome to you both.
Dining In Night (13 February)
The band attended and played at one of our regular venues, MOD Corsham, on the night of 13th February in the Officers Mess. As it was our MD's birthday we gave him the night off and our deputy, Claire, guided the band through the evenings events. A good night which was enjoyed by all who attended.
During the band Christmas & New Year meal, awards were presented to the following members. The award for the most improved player during the year went to James Phillips on Bass Trombone and the Bandperson of the year once again went to Claire Urmston. Congratulations to you both.
Christmas & New Year Meal (11 January)
Dinner suits and posh frocks were the order of the day when the band met for our Christmas and New Year meal at Beechfield House Hotel, Beanacre, on the evening of Saturday 11th January. What a fantastic evening we had with great food and great company. Many thanks to Becky for organising everything and here's to a good year of banding in 2014.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
Thank You: The band would like to say a very big thank you to all it's audiences and supporters during 2013 and to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
Center Parcs (24 December): Christmas Eve arrives once more and the last job of 2013 at Center Parcs, Longleat. A great way to finish the year. Many thanks to Adam Turner for helping out on the day playing Euphonium.
White Hart, Atworth (22 December): Following the carol service at Holt the band moved on to the White Hart at Atworth to play carols before and after the pubs massive Christmas draw which took place during the evening. Many thanks to Nathan and Kirsty, our hosts for the night.
Holt United Reformed Church (22 December): The last Sunday before Christmas always sees the band performing at Holt United Reformed Church carol service and this year was no exception. Thanks to Denis Pollard for the invitation and the day will be booked in to next years calendar!
Center Parcs (5,12 & 19 December): Another 3 successful evenings playing carols and Christmas music at Center Parcs, Longleat with some really good feedback from the guests.
Corsham Carol Parade (17 December): Despite the inclement weather a huge crowd turned out for the Christmas Carol parade and service in the centre of
Corsham on the evening of Tuesday 17 December. The band played carols for both the parade and service and everyone enjoyed warm mince pies afterwards.
Christmas Concert (15 December): Our Annual Christmas Concert took place on the afternoon of Sunday 15 December in front of another full audience in the Town Hall. The concert was a great success with some fine playing by the band and some wonderful singing from the audience. Thank you to everyone who turned up to support this event which raises much needed funds for the band.
Chantry Court, Westbury (9 December): A small section of the band made a visit to Chantry Court in Westbury on Monday 9 December to play Christmas carols for the residents during one of their pre-Christmas concert evenings. The band were joined by the Chantry Court Choir who also provided some great entertainment.
Corsham Choral Society Concert (7 December): On the evening of Saturday 7 December the band joined forces with The Corsham Choral Society for a concert of Christmas music and carols in St Bartholomews Church, Corsham. A great evening for both musical groups including the impressive joint piece at the end of the concert entitled 'Sir Christemas'. Lets hope we can make this a more regular venture.
Wessex Brass Band Association Winter Contest (30 November): The band travelled to a new venue this year for the Annual Winter Contest organised by the Wessex Brass Band Association. The new venue being The Life Centre in Winton, Bournemouth. Having been drawn to play last there were no early morning starts but quite a lot of hanging around. After a good rehearsal earlier in the day, the band took to the stage and put on a good performance of Gordon Langfords piece 'Metropolis' with only a few minor blips. The performance was good enough to win the band First prize in our section and we were able to walk away with a cup and a cheque for £175. Well done to everyone involved and thank you to our guest players on the day. A good day and a great result.
Visiting Player (27 November): On a rare visit back to the UK, an ex-player of the band, Mike Ward called in to our rehearsal on Wednesday 27 November. Mike and his wife Lois emigrated to Australia about 4 years ago and were back in the country for a family wedding. It was great to see both Mike and Lois again and we hope to see them again very soon.
Center Parcs (21&28 November): We continue our Christmas concerts at Center Parcs with another two Thursday engagements. As each week passes we seem to be getting into the Christmas spirit more and more....
Center Parcs (14 November): It's only the 14th of November but Christmas has arrived in the banding world. Our first Christmas engagement of the season was fulfilled last night at Center Parcs, Longleat Forest. Christmas here we come.......!!
New Member: Last night saw the bands youngest ever member arrive for band rehearsal. At only 8 hours old Debbies newly born daughter, along with Mum of course, turned up at the bandroom!! Now that's what you call dedication!! Congratulations to Debbie at this exciting time and we hope the baby, having sat through a two hour rehearsal, will now have the sound of brass bands running through her veins!
Remembrance Sunday (10 November): On yet another bright and sunny morning the band turned out in Corsham for the annual Remembrance Day parade and service. Having led the parade from the British Legion to St Barts Church, the band then played at the church service. Another march to the war memorial where wreaths were laid and then back to the Legion with a march past. Well done to everyone for turning out and showing their respects.
French Trip - October: On Wednesday 30 October a small number of members once again set sail for France to visit Corsham's twin town, Jargeau. During the weekend the band played the national and european anthems at the official ceremony and entertained the mix of both French and English guests with a short concert at the Saturday evening social gathering. Once again a great time was had by those who went and our thanks go out to the Corsham Twinning Committee for their hard work and efforts in organising this trip.
Band Barge Trip - 10 August: On the evening of Seend Fete the band held a social evening consisting of a canal boat trip between Bradford on Avon and Avoncliff. The trip may have been a little 'sedate' for the band, but nevertheless we all had a good time, ending up in the Lock Inn next to the canal in Bradford.
Seend Fete - 10 August: The sun was shining brightly and the recreation field was packed full of people for the Annual Seend Fete. The band played two performances during the afternoon's events and we hope to return again next year.
Dining In Night - 9 August: Under the guidance of our Deputy Musical Director, Claire Urmston, the band returned to the MOD Corsham site on 9 August to play in the Officers Mess. The band put on a sound performance which was much appreciated by all.
Armed Forces Day - 29 June: With the long established connections that the town of Corsham has with the military it was more than appropriate that Armed Forces Day should be celebrated in style. The weather was wonderful, the High Street was filled with people and the band played really well both before and after the military parade and drills that took place.
John Coles Park, Chippenham - 2 June: With the sun shining brightly and the park full of people, the band played their first Bandstand engagement at John Coles Park in Chippenham on the afternoon of Sunday 2 June. Our programme of music was received well by the attentive audience and it was great to see some old band friends listening. Thank you to our two guest players standing in for regular members who were on holiday.
New Player: We are very pleased to announce that Lisa Hill has now permanently joined the band and will be taking up the position of Assistant Principal Cornet with effect from 19 May. Lisa is a very experienced and talented player and will be a great asset to the cornet section. A big welcome to Lisa from all the band.
Songs Of Praise - 19 May: With the results having been announced at Weston-Super-Mare Contest, the band headed straight back to Corsham to play in the Songs of Praise service in St Bartholomews Church. This turned out to be a lovely service of Hymns, readings and music which the band were very pleased to be part of.
Weston-Super-Mare Contest - 19 May: With all the preparation done, the band headed over to Weston-Super-Mare to compete in the South West Brass Band Association Annual Competition held in the Winter Gardens Theatre. In the pre-contest draw we were drawn to play 5th out of the 5 bands entered in our section. The band played a lovely piece of music entitled 'A Salford Sinfonietta' written for brass band by the composer Darrol Barry, and whilst we did not play the piece as well as we should have done, we came away with 2nd Prize, a trophy and a cheque. Congratulations also to our friends in Bratton Silver Band who picked up 3rd prize in the 3rd Section competition.
Broughton Gifford Village Hall - 24 March The band performed their concert entitled "Music from Stage & Screen" at Broughton Gifford Village Hall on the afternoon of Sunday 24 March. The proceeds of the concert will be split between the Band and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal. Thank you to all our helpers for the refreshments, etc and to our audience for turning out in the bitter cold weather.
Birthday Boy - 9 March The band would like to congratulate Chris Hazell (Trigger) on his 50th Birthday which was on the day of the contest in Torquay.
Regional Championships - 9 March Following a period of intense rehearsals the band travelled down to Sunny Torquay during the weekend of 8 to 10 March to compete in the Regional Contest of the National Brass Band Championships. Having been drawn to play number 6 out of a total of 21 entries, the band took to the stage on Saturday afternoon to perform Eric Ball's original work, the appropriately titled 'Devon Fantasy'. Our performance was solid and well played and was good enough to earn us a 5th place in the competition, which we were delighted with. Well done to everyone and thank you as always to our supporters.
Freedom of the Town - 2 March The band were very pleased to be part of the celebrations on Saturday 2 March when Corshams very own Paralympian Stephanie Millward was awarded the Freedom of the Town following her achievements at London 2012 where she won 1 bronze and 4 silver medals. This was an historic ocassion as it was the first time that this award has ever been made to an individual. Well done to Stephanie from all the band.
Dining In Night - 9 Feb: The first engagement of 2013 was completed on Saturday 9 February at the MOD Corsham site playing in the Officers Mess. Thank you to our guest players who helped out on the night.
New Player: The band are pleased to announce that Philip Loveday has joined the band on Trombone and would like to say a big welcome to Phil and that we hope he enjoys his time with the band.
Happy New Year The Corsham Band would like to wish everybody in Corsham, Neston and the surrounding area a Happy New Year for 2013 and to thank anyone who has supported the band during 2012 to enable it to continue it's long tradition of providing quality musical entertainment in the local area.
Center Parcs (24 December): Our last engagement at Center Parcs and the final engagement of 2012 was carried out on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. What a great Christmas atmosphere and a lovely way to finish a good year of happy banding.
The White Hart, Atworth (23 December): Having finished the Carol Service at Holt, the band moved on to The White Hart at Atworth to play Christmas carols and other music whilst the pub held its Annual Christmas Raffle with some 120 prizes. A great night was enjoyed by everyone and our thanks to Nathan and Kirsty for their kind invitation as well as the liquid refreshments!!
Holt Carol Service (23 December): Once again a small band attended the United Reform Church in Holt to play in the Annual Carol Service on the evening of Sunday 23 December. Another lovely Christmas event and our thanks to Denis as always for inviting the band to play.
Center Parcs (6,13,20 December): Another 3 Christmas engagements completed in the wonderful setting of Center Parcs Winter Wonderland. Only Christmas Eve left now. I've got a feeling we should know these Carols off by heart by then?!!
Corsham Carol Parade (18 December): On an unusually dry night, the band played carols for the Annual carol parade and service in the High Street and outside St Barts Church on the evening of Tuesday 18 December. This event, held by candlelight only, always seems to get us into the true Christmas spirit.
Annual Awards: Congratulations to the following band members for picking up awards at the recent Concert held in the Town Hall. The award for the most improved player during the year went to Lyndsey Orme on Euphonium and the Bandsperson of the year award, with a majority vote, went to Claire Urmston. Well done to you both.
Christmas Concert (16 December): Due to the competition posed by X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing in the evenings during December, we decided to move our Annual Christmas Concert to a Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm. The net result of this was a packed Town Hall. The concert was a tremendous success and the band would like to thank everybody who turned up to support us. Note for Nick - 'the refresher maths lessons start on 2 January!! (5? 4? !!!!)
WBBA Contest (1 December): Having been drawn to play last at the last contest in Ross on Wye, the tables were turned completely upside down and we were drawn to play number one at the Wessex Brass Band Association contest in Weymouth on the first Saurday in December. With such an early draw we were aware that the result might not be where we would have hoped to be, but the band played well and we were happy that our performance was an improvement on the previous contest. The disappointing result aside, we had a great weekend even though the sea was a little on the chilly side!!!!!
Center Parcs (22&29 November): The Christmas cheer continues with further Thursday engagements at Center Parcs, Longleat Forest. I think we might be getting slightly Christmassy now!!!!
GBBA Contest (18 November): With an early start on Sunday 18 November, the band travelled up to the Forest of Dean for the Annual Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Contest held in Ross on Wye. Following a good morning rehearsal the band arrived at the venue in good time for the draw. Unfortunately luck was not on our side and we were drawn to play last in our section, meaning lots of waiting around until we eventually got on stage at about 4.15pm. We played a reasonable performance, although our best playing was left in the rehearsal room, and came a creditable 6th place. Bearing in mind we were playing against higher graded bands this was a good result for the band and we are looking forward to improving on our performance at the next contest in Weymouth in two weeks time. Many thanks to Lisa and Mark for helping us out.
Center Parcs (15 November): Is it really Christmas? Well in Center Parcs it is (well their Winter Wonderland anyway). Yes, our first Christmas engagement of 2012 was completed on 15 November and I actually think most of the band members are already getting the Christmas spirit. I wonder if we will have seasonally themed cup cakes sometime soon?!!!
Remembrance Day (11 November): What a glorious morning of sunshine we encountered for the annual Remembrance Day parade and service. Having led the parade from the British Legion to St Barts Church, the band then played at the church service. Another march to the war memorial where wreaths were laid and then back to the Legion with a march past. Well done to everyone for turning out and showing their respects.
Corsham Twinning Concert (2 November): As part of the weekend itinerary for our French visitors from Corsham's Twin Town in France, Jargeau, the band played a full concert on Friday evening in the Town Hall. The band responded well to the packed town hall and even ran out of encores (probably a good thing or we might have been there all night!!). Well done to everyone for putting on a great show.
Saturday 6 October: A small contingent of the band played at the wedding of a friend in Royal Wootton Bassett on the 6th October and as always the band sounded great in the church. After retiring to the Five Bells around the corner for some vital refreshment, we then headed back to Atworth, where a band meal was held. All in all it was a very enjoyable and fun day and evening with several memorable events!!
Wychavon Festival of Brass: It is several years since the band last entered this competition but at the crack of dawn on Sunday 16 September, we packed up our cars and headed north up the M5 to Droitwich Spa to play in the Wychavon Festival of Brass. Our programme of music was carefully chosen and the band was well rehearsed. Everybody was confident and we played a reasonable performance which earned us fourth place in the Third Section. This is a good start to our contest season and the band are hoping to build and move forward in the next few competitions.
New Player: The band are very pleased to welcome Debbie Dring to the band. Debbie will be joining the girls and boys on the cornet section with her first engagement being the forthcoming contest at Wychavon.
Easterton Fair (27 August): The typical British Summer weather continued into August and unfortunately resulted in the cancellation of the Annual Fair at Easterton, albeit a much smaller affair was held inside the Village Hall. Such a shame as the band always love playing at this delightful venue. Fingers crossed for next year!
New Conductor: The band are very pleased to announce the appointment of our new Conductor and Musical Director, Mr Colin Hogg. Colin brings a wealth of musical knowledge and experience to the band and everybody is looking forward to working with him in preparation for the forthcoming concert and contest season. A big welcome to Colin from all the members.
St Philip & St James Cream Teas (15 July): Big News! The band played in the open air at St Philip & St James Church in Neston on Sunday 15 July and the sun was shining!!! Very enjoyable and a very nice cream tea. We hope the church raised a good amount for their funds.
Neston Fete (7 July): With another unseasonal wet and windy Saturday on the cards, the band arrived at the Village Hall and Rec Field to play at the Annual Village Fete. Unfortunatley, due to the inclement weather we had to play inside the hall, but at least it stopped us getting wet!!!!
Annual General Meeting (30 April): The Annual General Meeting of the band was held in the bandroom on Monday 30 April followed by cheese and wine and other refreshments. The following elections were made: President - Roger Fido, Chairman - Steve Harris, Secretary - Rebecca Hazell, Treasurer - Nick House and Equipment Officer - Chris Turnbull. The following members were elected onto the Committe - Brian Bond, Chris Hazell, Hilary Ruffell and Sarah Harding.
East Woodlands Concert (29 April): On the afternoon of Sunday 29 April, the band returned to the village of East Woodlands near Frome to perform another fund raising concert in the church of St Katharines. The band performed their entertaining programme of music very well to an appreciative audience and well done to the evenings soloists, Claire Urmston, Chris Hazell, Nick House and Karen Adams. A good sum of money was raised for the church's rewiring fund.
New Players: The band are very pleased to announce the arrival of two new players. Chris Pearce on Eb Bass has rejoined the band after being away for a number of years and Karen Adams has joined on Principal Euphonium. A very big welcome to both players.
Regional Contest (10 March): Despite some good rehearsals and a great build up to the Area Contest in Torquay, the band did not do as well as it could have done on stage at the Riviera Centre and was placed quite low. Although we are obviously disappointed with this result, it is still early days in the band's rebuilding process and the atmosphere and feeling around the band is very positive. We will be back rehearsing on Wednesday 21 March and working towards our Spring and Summer concerts.
Social Night (2 March): With everyone working so hard rehearsing for the forthcoming Area Contest, it was a nice change to have a band meal and social night at The White Hart on Friday evening. The food was good, we had a laugh and everyone had a great time. Next social evening - at Torquay after the contest!!!!
New Players: The band have recently had an influx of new players and are very pleased to welcome Rob Moore, Isacc Hiorns and Jess Crudge on percussion,
James Phillips on Bass Trombone, Lindsey Orme on Euphonium, Jimmy Bell and Anthony Ashby on the Cornet section. The band are currently rehearsing for the Regional Contest in March and the addition of these players to the ranks will go a long way to ensuring a good performance at the Contest. Welcome to you all. I would also like to say well done to Helen Turnbull, wife of Chris on Horn, who has started playing the cornet and has recently been sitting in on our rehearsals. Keep up the good work Helen.
Returning Players: With the build up to the Regional Contest on March 10th in Torquay, the band are very pleased to welcome back two players who have returned to the band to strengthen our position. Welcome back to Callum Henry who will be playing Principal Euphonium and to Sharon Blake who will be taking the position of 1st Horn.
Skittles & Social Evening (28 January): Our first social evening of the year got underway at The White Hart in Atworth with another Skittles Evening. The playing was intense and a great fun night was had by all who attended. Watch out for the next Social Event which may well involve water!!!!
Dining In Night (20 January): The first engagement of 2012 saw the band perform at the new MOD site in Corsham for one of their regular Dining In Nights. Thank you to our various guests who helped us out on the night.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year: The band will now take a little break over the festive period and will return for their first rehearsal of 2012 on Wednesday 4 January. May we wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.
Center Parcs (24 Dec): The last job of the year and I think we are all ready for a rest! We carried out three concerts on Christmas Eve which were all very enjoyable. Our thanks go out to Center Parcs for their genorosity and hospitality.
Corsham Carol Parade (20 Dec): Unusally mild would be the comment for this engagement! It made a lovely change not to be freezing cold as we played carols through the High Street and outside Corsham Court. A very enjoyable evening.
Holt Church Carol Service (18 Dec): Once again a small section of the band travelled over to Holt to play carols in the Annual Church Service on the evening of the 18th Dec. Thanks to Denis and his church for inviting us to play but please bring back the mulled wine and mince pies!!.
Living Nativity, Melksham (17 Dec): This must have been the first time that the Band had actually carried out an engagement with a real Camel (yes a real camel)!! The theme was the Living Nativity, with a mixture of lessons and carols at Brookside in Melksham. It was a cold night but very enjoyable and Therese the camel was lovely.
2011 Player Awards: Congratulations to the following members who received awards for their contributions during 2011: Most Improved Player Award - Chris Turnbull: Bandsman of the Year Award - Chris Hazell. Well done to both of you.
Christmas Concert (11 Dec): On Sunday evening the band played its Annual Christmas Concert in The Town Hall in Corsham. Whilst audience numbers were down on last year ( I blame 'Strictly Come Dancing Final' !!), we still played a great concert and the faithful followers in the audience had a good time to get them in the spirit for Christmas.
Center Parcs (8,15 & 22 Dec): More Christmas cheer!! The Winter Wonderland is certainly starting to come alive at Center Parcs now :-)
WBBA Winter Contest, Weymouth: On Saturday 26 November the band headed down to Weymouth to compete in the Annual Wessex Brass Band Association Winter Contest held in the Pavillion Theatre. The band played a decent performance and was awarded 2nd place in the Third Section retaining the trophy we had won last year. Well done to everyone and many thanks to our guest players on the day.
Center Parcs (17 & 24 Nov): Christmas came well and truly early for the band this year as we played our first Christmas Carol Concert at Center Parcs, Longleat on 17 November! We also played the following week and will continue with these weekly events right up until Christmas Eve.
Remembrance Day (13 Nov): The sun was shining brightly for this year's remembrance parade and services in Corsham and as always the band led the parade to both St Bartholomews Church, then to the War Memorial and back to The British Legion. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded twice by the band's principal cornet, Nick House and the usual two minutes silence observed.
Wedding: The band would like to send their congratulations and best wishes to our First Baritone player, Alison Cunningham, who recently got married to Dave Robinson. Members of the band and other friends were priveliged to be able to play during the ceremony and we wish them both much happiness for a bright future together.
Dining In Night (29 Oct): The band once again played at the Annual Horseshoe Dinner at Basil Hill Barracks. The marquee was missing this time and we were treated to a brand new combined Mess Building with its own balcony for the band to play on. Many thanks to Major Campbell for his superb organisation.
French Trip (Oct): On Friday 21 October a small contingent of the band headed off to Corshams twin town, Jargeau, in France, to accompany the towns Twinning Association which was en-route to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the twinning between the two towns. Whilst in France, the band played two short concerts, which were greatly received by our French hosts. Many new friends were made and everyone on the trip seemed to have a great time.
Member Leaving: The band are very sad to have to say goodbye to Callum Henry our Principal Euphonium who due to A Level and then University commitments has had to relinquish his position with the band. We wish Callum the very best of luck with his studies and would like to thank him for not only his excellent playing ability but his conducting skills as well.
National Brass Band Championship Finals: The band would like to wish all our friends who are competing in the National Brass Band Championship Finals at Cheltenham today, Saturday 24 Sept, the very best of luck. Our thoughts are with members of Bratton Silver Band, Brunel Brass and Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band. Good luck everybody!!
New Members: We are pleased to announce the signing of two new players in the band. A familiar face on trombone, Bob Shore, has returned to the band and a new face, Claire Urmston, a music teacher who has recently moved to the area, has joined on Solo Horn. We welcome you both and hope you enjoy your banding with us.
New Conductor: The band are very pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Griffin as our new resident conductor/musical director. Jon is not a new face to Corsham Band and had conducted the band many years ago for a very successful period. Under Jon's experienced leadership work has already started on working towards another successful time in the band's history and we are all looking forward to the future.
John Coles Park, Chippenham (4 Sept): The people of Chippenham seem to love spending time in their park and this Sunday afternoon was no exception. The weather was good and the park was full. Well done to all members as we played really well under our conductor for the day Steve Smith. Many thanks to Steve and to our other guest players for helping out.
Easterton Fair (29 August): The late Bank Holiday Monday saw the band performing once again at the Easterton Fair. As always the sun shone and our music was very much enjoyed by the crowds as they looked around the stalls and other attractions. The band really enjoys playing at this event and looked very smart in their new band polo shirts.
New Polo Shirts: The Band have recently taken delivery of new Band polo shirts which will be used at certain outdoor events instead of full band uniform. The shirts have been made in the same design as our new rainproof jackets and we look forward to wearing them at events around the County and beyond!
Broughton Gifford (20 August): Despite rain showers the previous night and in the morning, the clouds cleared and things dried up nicely for the Annual Broughton Gifford Charity Night organised in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The band provided background music for approximately 300 people while they were eating, drinking and generally enjoying the event. The evening finished with the band providing a Proms style finale complete with singing, flag waving and fireworks. We look forward to hearing the final amount raised on the night.
Skittles Evening (6 August): The White Hart, Atworth was the venue for the inaugural Corsham Band Skittles Challenge Event!! The teams fought hard to win and the individual players battled for the highest score with the youngsters coming out on top. A delicious buffet was provided by the pub and a great evening was had by all who attended. Roll on the next one. Thanks go to Becky & Chris for their organisation.
Neston Cream Teas: The band played on home territory on Sunday 17th July when we provided background music in St Philip & St James Church during one of their Cream Tea events. Callum stepped up to conduct us and did a great job. (lovely suit by the way!!)
Conductor: Due to unforeseen circumstances the band are sad to have to report that Adam, our Conductor, has had to relinquish his position with the band. We are sorry to see him go but wish him the best of luck for the future. The band are therefore looking for a new Conductor to take up this position in the near future. Please contact our Secretary, Becky Hazell, for an informal chat if you are interested.
St Barts Concert (5th March): The band's first public engagement under their new Conductor, Adam, was hailed as a great success. We performed our annual concert at St Bartholomews Church in Corsham on the evening of Saturday 5th March and the well prepared and entertaining programme was enjoyed by everyone. It was a shame about the short rain shower half way through the first half but fortunately the band were well prepared!!! Part of the proceeds for the evening went to the St Barts Spire Appeal. Well done to Adam and the band for providing a great evening and we look forward to our next visit.
New Conductor: Following the departure of Martin Perry, the band are pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Treadaway as our new Conductor. Adam comes to the band with a wealth of musical experience and new found enthusiasm. We all look forward to working with him in the future.
New Music Library: Over the last few weeks some members have been busy sorting out the band's music library. This work has now been completed and we have new filing cabinets, library folders and a new database. Lets just hope that members can learn how to put the music in the folders the correct way!!!!
Twinning Trip to France: The band are currently looking at the possiblity of going to the towns twin town of Jargeau in France during October 2011. Watch this space.
Christmas & New Year: After our final concert at Center Parcs, the band now take a well earned break until our first rehearsal of 2011 on Wednesday January 12th. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and many thanks to all our supporters during 2010.
Center Parcs (24 December): Our final engagement of 2010! Our Christmas Eve visit to Center Parcs. It was nice to be back on the centre Plaza stage this year and the spirit of Christmas was plain to see everywhere.
Corsham Carol Parde (21 December): The spell of cold weather was obviously not going to go away easily and it was a case of wrapping up as warm as possible for this next outside event. The snow did add something to the ocassion combined with the lighted lanterns and the christmas music.
Holt Church Carol Service (19 December): Whilst one half of the band were playing in Melksham the other half were playing at our annual visit to Holt. The only difference being that they were inside a nice heated church!!! (Maybe we should swap over next year?!!)
Melksham Churches (19 December): A new venue for us this year was playing carols by candlelight around the Town Christmas Tree in Melksham Market Place. It was once again a bitterly cold night and thermal underwear should be added to the list of necessary band uniform!! Thanks to Lorraine & Steve for their hospitality at their house after the event.
Neston Carol Service (15 December): The band played at St Philip & St James Church for their Christmas service of carols and lessons.
Christmas Concert (12 December): Our annual Christmas Concert was once again held in the Town Hall in the High Street, Corsham on this cold Sunday night. The music and carols were welcomed by the audience and a fun night was had by all. Well done to Harry Harding for his first Solo in front of the band and as always thank you to the ladies for their refreshments and for doing the raffle.
Bowerhill School, Melksham (10 December): With the artic freeze continuing we had to wrap up warm for this outside event at Bowerhill School. The band played carols whilst the children sang with their handmade lanterns.
Wessex Contest, Weymouth (27 November): Whilst rehearsing our normal programme of music the band were also hard at work preparing our test piece, Dimensions, for the Wessex Brass Band Association Annual Contest on Saturday 27 November. We were in the middle of the artic freeze at this time with snow and ice covering the whole country and there was an artic blast along the Weymouth seafront. Due to unforeseen circumstances the band were short of several players on the day but despite this we put on a great credible performance and managed to secure a second position in our individual section with an overall placing of fifth. Well done to everyone. Maybe the band should considering adopting 'musky' hats as part of the uniform.
Center Parcs (18,25 November, 2,9,16 December): Christmas came to the Corsham Bandroom rather earlier than normal this year as we started the season playing Christmas carols and music at Center Parcs in Longleat on Thursday 18 November!! We then played on every Thursday evening up to Christmas. Despite the early start we love playing here as everyone is always so happy and appreciative.
Remembrance Parade (14 November): Unusually the weather was not kind to us and it ended up raining on and off for most of the morning. Luckily we had recently invested in new waterproof fleece type band jackets and these were put to good use during the march and at the war memorial.
Rudloe Manor Dining in Night (2 October): Our annual visit to play at the Horseshoe Dinner took place at a different venue this year. Instead of Basil Hill the Dinner took place at Rudloe Manor (I'm sure they keep changing it to confuse Becky even more!!!). Despite having a smaller band than usual due to holiday and other commitments, we put on a good show which was much appreciated.
East Woodlands Concert (12 September): Nick felt right at home travelling back to his birthplace at East Woodlands where the band performed a two hour concert in the Church of St Katherines in aid of the Church Restoration & Maintenance Appeal. The band played to a full audience who really appreciated our entertaining programme of music. Many thanks to the local ladies who put on a lovely half time buffet. The organisers liked our performance so much that we have been invited back in 2011.
Easterton Fete (30 August): Bank Holiday Monday and our annual trip over to Easterton to play at the Church Fete. The weather was once again kind to us all and the 6X was received well by the playing members! It was a bit of a shame that we were positioned right below the loudest PA speaker in the field but Val took it on herself (literally) to sort this out for us after we had finished playing!!!!!!!!!
Colerne Dining In Night (21 July): The band travelled up to Colerne near Bath on the evening of 21 July to play at one of the Sergeants Mess Dinners. Our choice of music was well received and we look forward to our next visit.
Swindon Town Gardens (11 July): Our only visit to the Town Gardens this year was once again a lovely sunny day with a great crowd. Being the holiday season we had a little help from a couple of guest players which was very much appreciated.
Leigh on Mendip Country Fair (19 June): Saturday 19th June saw the band perform for the first time at Leigh on Mendip Country Fair and Dog Show. Although a little overcast and breezy, the weather stayed dry and turned out quite sunny. Everybody seemed to enjoy our music and the band seemed to enjoy the real ale tent!!
John Coles Park, Chippenham (13 June): The first of our Summer bandstand jobs was carried out on Sunday 13th June at John Coles Park in Chippenham. It was a glorious sunny day and the park was exceptionally busy. The band played well and it was good to see some old faces in the crowd!
Area Contest: Following several weeks of intensive rehearsal on this years Test Piece: 'Labour & Love' written by Percy Fletcher, the band travelled to Torquay in Devon on the weekend of 13 March to compete in the Regional heat of the National Brass Band Championships. With the sun shining outside, the band took to the stage and put in a credible and musical performance. We needed a reasonable result this year to make sure we were safely outside of the relegation zone and were more than pleased to come away with a 6th position out of the 15 bands that played. Congratulations to all members for a decent performance and well done to all the soloists who had their work cut out on the day with some testing solo passages.
Christmas & New Year: As a well earned break, the band completed its final engagement of the year on Christmas Eve and will be on holiday until its first rehearsal of 2010 on Wednesday 6th January. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during 2009 and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year.
Center Parcs (24 December): To round off the year, the band once again travelled to Center Parcs, Longleat to perform our annual Christmas Eve concert. This is always a great event and again was much appreciated by everyone listening. After a couple of Christmas beers and a lovely swim the band headed off home for the Christmas Break.
Holt Carol Service (20 December): A small number of players attended the annual carol service held in Holt. Thank you to Denis for inviting us to play once again.
Spencers Social Club, Melksham (16 December): Following the success of the bands performance last year, we were invited back to play for this charity event which is held in aid of Dorothy House Hospice. The band always like to play on these occasions and our playing went down very well whilst the audience were enjoying their evening meal.
Corsham Carol Parade & Service (15 December): On what was a very cold night, the band attended the annual Outside Carol Parade and Service held in the centre of Corsham to provide music for the carols. It is always a great sight with lanterns and torches, and the mince pies afterwards were much appreciated.
Christmas Concert (13 December): Our annual Christmas Concert was held in Corsham Town Hall on the night of Sunday 13th December. Once again we had a great audience and the concert was a great success which hopefully got people well into the swing of Christmas. Our thanks to the ladies for doing the refreshments and to Val for organising the raffle.
Christmas Carols, Corsham (12 December): Despite the chilly weather, a small group of members turned out to play Christmas carols in the Corsham Shopping Precinct on the morning of Saturday 12th December. A good collection was made for band funds and our thanks go out to the people of Corsham for their generousity towards the band. Thanks also go to Tony & Val for the much appreciated coffee and soup.
Center Parcs (December): The band played on a further 3 Thursday evenings during December as part of Center Parcs Christmas programme and each engagement was well received by the holidaymakers. We have already taken bookings for next year and are looking forward to returning to the Parc to play again.
Wessex Winter Contest (28 November): The band travelled down to a very wet and very windy Weymouth on Saturday 28 November to take part in the Wessex Winter Contest, held in the Pavillion on the sea front. We had a good rehearsal before the competition and the band played reasonably well although tuning and some untidy playing meant we were well out of the points!! It was an enjoyable day and evening and everyone seemed to be in high spirits despite the result!!
Center Parcs (26 November): Our Christmas engagement programme got off to an early start on Thursday 26 November with our first visit to Center Parcs, Longleat to play a variety of Christmas carols and music. The Parc was already decorated up for the Christmas season and holidaymakers seemed very happy to get into the festive spirit even though it was still only November!!
Player Leaving: After 13 years service to the band, we are sorry to have to report that Mike Wheeler has decided to step down from playing and has recently left the band. We would like to thank Mike for his hard work and dedication over the years, being our regular Soprano player and also a member of the Band Committee for many years. We wish Mike all the best for the future.
Remembrance Service & Parade (8 November): For the first time in many years it actually rained during the Remembrance Day Parade and the band therefore came away looking rather be-draggled!! Despite this we had a good turnout and as usual the band carried out their duties with professionalism to ensure everthing ran smoothly.
Dining In Night (3 October): The band was once again invited to play at the annual Horseshoe Dinner at the Officers Mess in Basil Hill. Once again the band played really well on the night and the pie and chips went down a treat :-)
Dining In Night (1 October): The first of two events at Basil Hill this week saw us play at the Sergeants Mess, and guess what? - we even went to the right camp!!!
St Bartholomews Church Concert (5 September): Our annual concert at St Bartholomews Church in Corsham was undertaken on the evening of 5th September in aid of the St Barts Spire Appeal. This turned out to be a fabulous concert in which the band played really well and sounded great. Proceeds are still to be finalised but lets hope we raised a tidy sum for the appeal. Thank you to our guest players for helping out, We hope you enjoyed the concert as much as we did.
Dining In Night (4 September): Friday evening saw the band playing at Colerne for the Sergeants Mess Dinner. The band played well and the music was much appreciated by the diners. There is a story that goes with this evening but I think enough has been said already (what do you think Becky?!!).
New Player: The band are very pleased to announce the signing of our new Principal Euphonium player, Wesley Thomas, who has been involved with the band in previous times both as a player and conductor. This is great news for the band and completes our Euphonium/Baritone section ready for the Winter contesting season.
Easterton Fete (31 August): Yet again the sun shone brightly on the afternoon of August Bank Holiday when the band attended and played at the Easterton Church Fete near Devizes. What a great afternoon, sunshine, 6X, golf and £1 hot dogs....lush. Oh and the band played really well.
Swindon Town Gardens (2 August): Even though the Met Office decided to change their prediction of a hot Summer to a complete washout, Sunday 2 August was a nice sunny day and the band played to a full audience at The Town Gardens in Swindon. The band played really well and received numerous positive comments. Thank you to our guest players for helping out.
Band Barbeque (1 August) Many thanks to Nick for hosting the band barbeque at his new house in the middle of nowhere!! Despite the torrential downpours all day long, it did eventually dry up in the evening to allow proceedings to go ahead as planned. The firepit gave some much needed warmth to the chilly conditions and it is understood that the Solo Cornet Buddies had a long heart to heart in the hot tub until the early hours!!!!! Thanks guys, it was a cracking evening :-)
Neston Cream Teas: Due to the wet and windy weather, the cream teas at Neston Church took place inside. The band played for about one hour and enjoyed a wonderful cream tea during the interval.
Summer Rehearsals: Just to let everyone know that as from week commencing Monday 6th July, the band will only be rehearsing on Wednesday nights. Monday rehearsals will recommence on Monday 7th September.
Euphonium Vacancy: Due to Tim leaving the band this Summer, we now have a vacancy for a Principal Euphonium player. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in taking up this position then please contact the Band Secretary, Becky Hazell. Please see our Contacts page for details.
Player Leaving: The job at Chippenham on 21 June was the last engagement for our Principal Euphonium player, Tim Williams. Tim, a teacher, has decided to move closer to his girlfriend and has secured a new job in that area. The band would like to thank Tim for all his hard work and dedication to the band over the last few years and we wish him well in his new position.
John Coles Park, Chippenham (21 June): Despite several regular members being away for this engagement on stag weekends and other domestic duties, we enlisted the help of a few guest players from other local bands and arrived at Chippenham to play in John Coles Park. The weather was warm, although a little cloudy. As Nick was away, Hilary stepped up to take on Principal Cornet and did a great job (well done Hilz). Many thanks to our guest players (cheques are in the post!!!!)
Birthday Party, Corsham (14 June): A local man, Jim, was celebrating his 85th birthday with his family at a local venue in Corsham, but unbeknown to him, his Wife and Son had arranged for the band to come and play Happy Birthday and a few other light pieces during their lunch. Jim, a lover of brass bands for most of his life was overcome with emotion, especially when the band finished with his favourite hymn 'Abide with Me'.
Grittleton School (15th May): Like a scene from Harry Potter, Grittleton School was decked out with skeletons, ghosts and other spooky treats for the Round Table Charter dinner. The band played a mix of appropriate music including Scooby Doo and Lord of the Rings to help set the scene but left before it got too dark!!! What a scarey place!!!!
Swindon Town Gardens ( 10th May): Sunday 10th of May saw our first visit of 2009 to the Town Gardens in Swindon. Our regular conductor, Martin, was away on holiday and with Mike Ward now in Australia we had to draft in Simon Carr from Yeovil Band. It was a glorious day and despite Radio 1's big weekend being in town, the park was full and it was a great afternoon. Many thanks to Simon for his help on the day.
New Player: We are pleased to welcome a new player to the cornet bench. Another young man called Harry Harding has joined and will be playing 3rd cornet for the band. A big welcome to you Harry.
Player Leaving: After many years on the waiting list, Mike and Lois Ward have finally heard that they have been cleared to emigrate to Australia to be near Lois's family. Mike has been a member of Corsham Band for many, many years and Lois has always been a major supporter. Both of them have been very involved and important in the bands existence and they will be very much missed. We wish them good luck and happiness in their new life down under and who knows, maybe The Corsham Band will have to do an Australian Tour one day to visit?!!
New Committee Members: As a result of the AGM, the existing committee members (who were all re-elected) were pleased to find that two new committee members were elected to serve. Thank you and welcome to Hilary Ruffell and John Shearsby who will be serving on the committee for the forthcoming year.
Annual General Meeting: Not long after the Area Contest was the end of the bands financial year and the Annual General Meeting. All the necessary reports, accounts, etc, were prepared and presented and some discussions took place about the way forward for the band which were very positive. The meeting was followed by a short social evening with cheese and wine (yum yum!).
Area Contest: With no regular engagements in the calendar for the first couple of months of the year, the band set about rehearsals for the forthcoming Area Contest in early March. To assist us with the preparation of the piece, we employed a Professional Conductor, David Barringer, who has worked with the band on previous occassions. Davids work in conjuction with our Resident Conductor, Martin Perry, ensured that the band tackled the music to the best of it's ability and we were very pleased with our performance at the Riviera Centre in Torquay. Unfortunately the adjudicators were not of the same opinion and we didn't get the result we felt we deserved. It was a good learning curve for the band, however and we will strive for a better result next year.
New Players: The first rehearsal of the new year gave us great encouragement as a trio of 3 young players joined the band. We were pleased to welcome Hilary Ruffell on cornet, Callum Henry on Euphonium and Gareth Cooper on Trombone. It is great to see some new young faces in the band and we hope you will enjoy your time here.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE
Center Parcs (24th December): Those of us who were fortunate enough to not be working on Christmas Eve headed for Center parcs at Longleat to play our annual carol concert on the Plaza stage. We played a good concert in what is a great accoustic environment which, as always, was followed by a couple of hours swimming in the rapids!!
Neston Carol Service (17th December): Our thanks go to St Philip and St James Church, Neston for asking the band to once again play at their Christmas Carol Service.
Corsham Carol Parade & Service (16th December): The band were once again pleased to provide the music for the Annual open air Carol parade and service in the High Street and Church Square. Hundreds of people turned out, many with lanterns and candles, to listen to readings and sing carols.
Corsham Town Hall (14th December): Sunday night saw us back in the Town Hall for our Annual Christmas Concert. A great mix of carols, Christmas music and solo items was well received by the near capacity audience and a great night was had by all.
All Saints Church, Christian Malford (13th December): The bad weather on Saturday which caused wide spread flooding, had an unfortunate impact on our concert at Christian Malford. The village was nearly completely cut-off when the river burst it's banks about an hour before the concert. Some band members were unable to get to the concert and the audience numbers was well down on previous years. We presented a good concert to those who managed to make the journey and it is always a pleasure to play in the church.
Spencers Social Club, Melksham (10th December): A charity carol supper was the venue on Wednesday 10th with all proceeds going to the Dorothy House Hospice Appeal. The band played a mix of carols and other seasonal music whilst the guests enjoyed their supper.
Center Parcs, Longleat (9th December): Our first visit to Center Parcs this December saw us playing carols around the Christmas tree in the Plaza on Tuesday evening. As usual the seasonal decorations at Center Parcs were amazing and the whole place had a magical Christmas feel.
Sutton Benger School (5th December): We were kindly invited by the Head Teacher at Sutton Benger Primary School to join the children and staff at their Victorian Christmas Fayre. It was a great start to our Christmas engagements playing a selection of carols with the children singing their hearts out around the Christmas tree.
Remembrance Sunday (9th November): Despite the bad weather forecasts, once again, it remained dry for the annual Remembrance Sunday parade and service in Corsham. With an impressive looking band, we led the parade from the British Legion to the church where the service of remembrance was held. After the service it was back on the road for the march to the War Memorial where wreaths were laid in memory of the fallen. A short march followed back to the British Legion. Well done everyone and thank you for your support on this important day in the band's calendar.
New Player: The band are very pleased to welcome Stacey Mayle to its ranks. Adding strength to the middle of the band Stacey joins us on 1st Horn. Stacey has played for various bands in the Hampshire area including Hampshire Youth, New Forest and Tadley. An accomplished brass player, she has also played Bb and soprano cornet and euphonium. A big welcome to Stacey and good luck with your studies at UWE in Bristol.
St Bartholomews Concert (27th September): For the second year running, the band was asked to play a concert in the wonderful environment of St Bartholomews Church in Corsham. The concert was given to assist in raising funds for the 'St Barts Spire Appeal' to carry out essential repairs and refurbishment works on the building. Whilst the audience was less than last year, it was still a wonderful evening and hopefully a good fund-raiser.
Swindon Town Gardens (14th Sept): Our final appearance for 2008 at the Town Gardens took place on Sunday 14th September and fortunately the British Summer has seemed to have arrived, albeit rather late!! Despite the party at the Neston Inn the night before, we still managed to muster a full band, although some were a little delicate around the edges! Whilst writing, I must also reiterate the rules - 'no mascara to be worn on stage at any time!!'
Easterton (25th August): August Bank Holiday saw the band return to the village of Easterton near Devizes to perform once again at the Annual Village Show. Although it was a little overcast, the rain did not appear and the sun did show itself for a short time. Being a Bank Holiday we did have a few members away and our thanks go to the deps who stood in on the day. (just for the record - bank holiday monday is always on a Monday not a Sunday!!)
Chippenham (27th July): Having been rained off last year, our annual visit to John Coles Park in Chippenham couldn't have been any different if we'e tried! Clear blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures of 25 degrees! We have never seen so many people in the park and we put on a great concert. Thanks to the deps who helped out.
Swindon Town Gardens (20th July): Sunday 20th July saw us back at the Town Gardens in Swindon. The weather was once again kind to us and we were able to perform to a large crowd. Some good news was that the tea and snack hut was up and running again, although the tea was a little strong!! We put on a strong performance and many thanks to the deps who helped out. We shall we making a late appearance in Swindon on Sunday 14th September.
Neston Cream Teas: During the afternoon of Sunday 13th July the band played outside St Philip & St James Church in Neston whilst the PCC served cream teas to raise funds for the Church. The weather was kind to us and it made a pleasant change to play outside the church rather than in it!!!
New Players: The band are delighted to welcome three new players to it's ranks. They are: Steve Harris on Soprano, Charlotte Goodyear on 2nd Cornet and Helen Thomas on Percussion. A big welcome to you all from the band and we hope you enjoy your time with us.
60th Birthday: The band recently attended a ficticious engagement which turned out to be a surprise 60th Birthday party for Mike Ward. Everyone in the band was in on the surprise and telling Mike that it was a band job was the only way of ensuring that he would turn up!!!! It was so funny to see him walk through the door with his cornet, uniform, etc!! Anyway it was a great evening and thanks very much to Lois for her organisation and well done to everyone else for keeping the secret!
Players Leaving: Now that Fabien has completed his studies in England, he has now returned to France where he is hoping to get a Summer job until he travels to China in September to take up a position in the tourist industry. Fabien has been a great asset to the band during his short time here and we are sorry to see him go. We wish him the best of luck with his future career and his music making.
Swindon Town Gardens (11th May) : Our first bandstand job of the season got off to a great start with the sun shining brightly and a nice crowd of people enjoying their Sunday afternoon in the park. Unfortunately the tea and snack bar was closed so no ice creams or other goodies were able to be consumed at half-time! Many thanks to our deputy players who helped out on the day. You can see the band in Swindon once again on Sunday 20th July.
Retirement : As many of you will know our Secretary, Marilyn Kinch, has, due to ill health, recently had to retire from playing horn with the band. With her ongoing problems, Marilyn has now also felt the need to relinquish the position of Band Secretary, a position she has held for six years. The band would like to publically thank Marilyn for her hard work and dedication to the band over the years and wish her well for the future.
New Secretary : Following Marilyn's retirement and the bands recent Annual General Meeting a new Band Secretary has been appointed. Mrs Rebecca Hazell has taken up the post with immediate effect and her contact details can be found on the Contacts page of this website. All correspondence regarding membership and engagements should be directed to Rebecca.
Torquay (8/9th March 2008): The band travelled to Torquay on Saturday 8th March to compete in the West of England regional contest at The Riviera Centre on Sunday 9th March. Preparations for the contest went well with two very good rehearsals beforehand. Our performance on stage was of a high standard and both players and conductor alike were satisfied with how we played. Several complimentary comments were made and we were hopeful of being placed in the top 6 bands. When the results were announced we were therefore a little disappointed at being placed 8th out of the 14 bands that competed in our section. The band should however be proud of the way we performed and continue to strive forward at every contest.
Congratulations however must go to Mike Gatty and Chris Hazell for their performance (not on stage but on the golf course!!). They once again took the trophy and first place honours in 'The Annual Corsham Band Torquay Golf Open'. We are a little unsure about the scoring procedures on the course however, and it was agreed that an independent scorer would be appointed for next season!!!!
Area Contest (March 2008): With the regional heat of the National Brass Band Championships just around the corner, the band are busy rehearsing the test piece 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. The piece portrays a muscial picture of the composers imagination of what the dark side of the moon is like, from the rugged landscape to the awesome beauty. A wonderful piece of music to play and one which we hope we can do justice to in March!
Frome Rugby Club (12 January 2008): The band were invited to play at Frome Rugby Club to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Club Chairman who used to play Trombone in Grimethorpe Junior Band. With a mixture of tunes, including Happy Bithday, Congratulations and Seventy Six Trombones, the band were very well received and we look forward to a possible concert at the Club sometime in the future.
December 2007 News
Wessex Contest (1st December 2007): Once again competing in the Championship Section of this competition the band travelled down to Weymouth in early December, and with the help of the percussion girls from Parc & Dare Band (Ceri and Sarah), the band gave a well balanced and tight rendition of Philip Wilby's 'Partita'. Although we were not able to get in the prizes against such stiff competition, the band enjoyed playing the piece and gained valuable experience from it.
Christmas Concerts (8th & 9th December 2007): Saturday and Sunday evenings were taken up by playing two Christmas concerts. One at Christian Malford Church and one in The Town Hall in Corsham. Both concerts were well received and the audiences were left with no doubt at the end of the evenings that Christmas was well and truly on it's way!!
Christmas Carols and Services (December 2007): The rest of December was taken up with a mixture of carol playing, carol parades and carol services. Many thanks to the people of Corsham and Chippenham who so kindly put money into our collecting boxes during this time.
Center Parcs (Monday 24th December 2007): Christmas Eve saw the band return to the Plaza Stage at Center Parcs, Longleat for it's annual Carol concert followed by the ritual dip in the cold plunge pool and race down the rapids. Congratulations to John Shearsby for setting a new record of 1min30secs in the plunge pool!!!
Mansion House Fete (23 June 2007): Thank goodness for the invention of the garden gazebo! Thanks to this wonderful and practical invention the band, along with the rest of the fete were able to carry on with business as usual despite the rather unusual June weather. I'm not sure quite what the band sounds like outside of it's temporary shelter however but at least the basses and the other upright instruments don't fill up with rainwater!!! Despite the weather, this was an enjoyable event for us to attend as it is always nice to perform in our home town.
Band Barbeque (23 June 2007): Following the Mansion House Fete, the majority of the band headed off to 'our local', the Neston Country Inn for a barbeque. Michelle, the landlady, and her trusty team provided us with an ample supply of food and drink and a great time was had by all. Once again thanks to the umbrellas for keeping the rain off! Remind me to emigrate to sunnier climes!!!!
Swindon Town Gardens (24 June 2007): Another trip to Swindon to play in the Town Gardens rounded off a busy weekend. Again we were unsure as to whether we would be able to perform due to the weather, but fortunately it cleared a little in the afternoon and we played to a small but appreciative audience. (and theres me thinking that Englishmen only came out in the midday sun not the rain!)
Holt Fair (30 June 2007): Oh no! Is this rain ever going to stop?? No gazebos this time but playing in the school building with a very low ceiling. Good practice for the band on how to play quiet I suppose? We played our hour stint without too much problem and as always we shall be returning to Holt again in December to play at the Christmas Carol Concert.
New Shirts: New shirts you say? Yes! The committee recently decided to allocate funds to purchase new shirts for the band. An order is currently being put together and we hope to have these delivered very shortly. Watch this space for the new look Corsham Band!!
Neston Church Cream Teas (29 July 2007): Neston Church invited the band to play at one of it's Sunday afternoon cream tea events in the church and grounds. The band played a selection of background music whilst people sat in the sun enjoying their afternoon tea. We then, obviously, had to help with the clearing up operation! I wonder what too much jam and whipped cream does to the inside of your instrument!!!!
Mike Gatty's Stag Day: This is the best bit about Band Members getting married, we always get to spend an eventful day with the condemed man! Those who attended had a great day and I think the send off for Mike was pretty good considering his age!!
Easterton Church Fete (27 August 2007): Bank Holiday Monday and the sun was shining! That must be something worth writing about!! We were pleased to be asked to play at this event to raise funds for the parish church in Easterton, near Devizes. The band played well to the passing crowds and a good time was had by all.
Crimestoppers Fun Day (2 Sept 2007): Sunday 2nd September saw the band play at the Annual Crimestoppers Fun Day in the grounds of Bowood House, Calne. Once again we were playing alongside the headlining acts of 'Liberty X', 'Eaton Road' and 'Lisa Scott-Lee'!!! Well, they were on the main stage and we were about half a mile away in the middle of a field!!!
More Wedding Bells! A small ensemble from the band attended and played at the recent wedding of cornet player Mike Gatty and his partner Lisa Franklin. The band sounded great in the Stone Gallery of The Vyne, an early 16th Century National Trust property, where the ceremony was held and the music was enjoyed by all the guests. Our best wishes are sent to you both on this happy occassion.
Grittleton Fete (16 September 2007): The grounds of Grittleton House School was the venue for the village fete and once again the weather stayed good for the event. The band played quite a long stint from 1.30 til 4.30pm and created a great atmosphere to this traditional village fete with it's wide selection of popular music.
West of England Regional Contest
On Friday 9th March the band travelled to Torquay to take part in the National Brass Band Championships, West of England Region.
With two rehearsals under our belt on the Friday night and Saturday morning we awaited the announcement of our draw position.
Val promptly arrived with the news; we had been drawn to play last! With a couple of hours to kill an eventful round of 'pitch and put' was played with the final ball ending up in the tennis courts!! Thanks to our professional coach, Mr Gatty!!
We performed on stage at around 2.00pm and although we didn't perform as well as we could have done, a fairly sound and musical rendition of the test-piece was delivered which most of us felt happy with.
Subsequently the results were announced and we had been placed 3rd out of 15 bands. A great result, although just one point short of gaining a place in the National Finals at Harrogate later in September to compete against bands from all over the country.
Well done to everyone for a superb effort, but special mention must go to Martin our Musical Director, Mike on Sop, Sharon on Solo Horn and our two percussionists, Alex and Tim.
For the full results of this contest, visit: www.4barsrest.com
Older News - pre 2008
Bromham Social Centre (29 April 2007): Despite the really hot weather outside, the local branch of the British Legion gathered together an appreciative audience who thoroughly enjoyed the afternoons entertainment provided by the band. Many thanks to our helpers on the day and to the British Legion for their hospitality.
Christmas Meal: Saturday 20th January was the date of the band's Christmas Meal. (better late than never!!) The event was held at our local, The Neston Country Inn, and the food was superb. I'm sure that everyone enjoyed this fun evening. Shame about the carpet Trigger!!!!!!!
Wedding Bells: It is with great pleasure that the band can announce the recent marriage of our Flugel Horn player Chris and our Second Horn player Becky. Our best wishes go out to you both.
Swindon Town Gardens (18th June 2006): What do they say about 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen'??? Well the sun shone and the crowds appeared! It was a delight to see so many people in the Town Gardens on a hot and sunny afternoon enjoying that typical Sunday afternoon in the park! We even had the treat of having Melinda Messenger listening (Swindon being her home town!). Under the baton of new Conductor Martin Perry the band gave a good performance of the new Summer programme of music which appeared to delight the audience. Our thanks to Matthew and Cheryl from Wooton Basset Band for helping out.(see photos in our gallery - not of Melinda Messenger I'm afraid!!)
New Conductor: The Band are very pleased to announce the appointment of a new Resident Conductor following the departure of Maria at the end of 2005. Martin Perry was offered and has subsequently accepted the position with immediate effect. You can read more about our new man in the middle on the Members page of this site. Martin's first official engagement with the band will be at Swindon Town Gardens on Sunday 18th June.
Tetbury Woolsack Races 2006: Another Bank Holiday Monday and another trip to Tetbury, Gloucestershire to play at the Annual Woolsack Races. Being a typical Bank Holiday the weather was suspect but by and large it stayed relatively dry until the end of our performance. Our worst problem with this job was having to compete against the 110 decibels booming from the adjacent fun fair ride!! All I can say is we tried our best but what a shame for the audience who would have liked to hear traditional live music instead of the latest chart hits that you can hear anyday of the week!! Anyway it was a successful day for some of the band, in particular Mike Gatty, who came away with his supper, consisting of lamb and mint sausages, fetta cheese, olives and pickled eggs!!! What a combination!!! (please see photo of the band performing at this event in our gallery)
Weston-super-Mare Contest 2006: Under the very able baton of John Winterflood, the band rehearsed the piece 'Dimensions' by Peter Graham and travelled to Weston on Sunday 21 May to compete in the 3rd Section of this Annual competition. During the week before and on the stage, the band produced a great sound that I have not heard for quite a long time. Despite a couple of untidy moments, the performance was controlled and clean with good dynamic control. We were placed 5th out of 10 bands which we felt was a little harsh, but at the end of the day we know we played to the best of our ability and produced a good performance. Unfortunately no silverware to place in the trophy cabinet though!!!!
New Contest Secretary: Due to current work commitments our existing Contest Secretary, Trevor Rowland, has had to relinquish this position. From the beginning of April the post has been taken over by: Chris Hazell. Please contact Chris on 01373-824897 with any contest related enquiries.
Temporary Rehearsal Facilities: At the end of March the band had to move from it's regular rehearsal facilities in the Pound Arts Centre to temporary accommodation at Corsham Rugby Club on Lacock Road. The Arts Centre is undergoing a £1.5million overhaul over the next 12 months including new rehearsal and performance areas and we hope to return to a much improved environment sometime in 2007. During this time rehearsals will continue to be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Rugby Club.
West of England Championships, Torquay: During the weekend of 17th to 19th March the band travelled to Torquay to compete in the Annual Area Contest against bands from all over the South West. Despite a lot of hard work during rehearsals it was unfortunate that the band did not produce a convincing performance on stage and we came away with a dissapointing 10th place out of 14 bands! We did however have an enjoyable weekend in Torquay and it was good to see everybody in such high spirits!
New Member: We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new member on the Euphonium seat. Tim Williams joins the band on Principal Euphonium and will take over this spot from the forthcoming contest at Weston-super-Mare. Welcome to the band Tim.
Christmas Concert: Sunday 11th December saw the band stage it's annual Christmas concert in Corsham Town Hall. The band played a selection of Christmas and other light music which seemed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! The audience were able to sing along to all their favourite carols and during the second half crackers were pulled, party poppers 'popped' and silly hats worn!! Thank you to all our audience and we hope to see you again at our concerts in 2006.
New Members: The band is pleased to announce the arrival of two old members. Mike Gatty rejoins us on cornet and Alison Cunningham, nee Morris, joins us on Euphonium, both in time to take part in the forthcoming Weymouth contest. Welcome back to the band guys. We hope you enjoy your playing with Corsham.
Charity Work: The Corsham Band, although itself being a registered charity, is always working hard to raise money for other deserving causes and has donated many hundreds of pounds to other charities from it's fundraising over the years. This year is no exception and funds raised from it's 'Summer Concert at the Court' will be given to the Emergency Appeal for Sudan. International aid agencies fear that the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region could continue until 2006! It is estimated that over 2 million people are at present dependant on external assistance. Following the bands 'Summer Concert at the Court' a cheque for over £200 will be presented to Oxfam's 'Emergency Appeal for Sudan' to assist them in their vital work.
'A Summer Concert at the Court': Saturday 4th June saw the band return to the grounds of Corsham Court (a National Trust property) to perform it's annual 'Summer Concert at the Court'. Despite the cold and windy weather the open air concert on the front lawns of the Court once again proved to be very popular with the audience, who with their garden chairs, rugs, picnics and wine, set up camp whilst listening to the wide variety of music provided by the band. The programme this year included popular music from recent times as well as some classical selections. The band would like to say a very big thank you to James Methuen-Campbell for the use of the Court and to the audience who braved the elements to help us raise a substantial amount for charity (see paragraph below).
Weston-Super-Mare Contest: The band attended the Weston-Super-Mare own choice contest at The Winter Gardens Pavillion on Sunday 15th May 2005. Against some stiff competition we were pleased to be awarded 3rd place, taking home a trophy and a cash prize. The test-piece we chose was 'Music for a Festival' by Philip Sparke and we were able to put on a good performance of this enjoyable piece of music. Well done to all members and our Conductor, Maria.
Wessex BBA Winter Contest
On Saturday 3 December 2005 the band travelled to Weymouth, Dorset, to compete in the Wessex Brass Band Association Winter Contest at the Pavillion Theatre. Playing in Section 1 against 7 other bands from around the area, the band performed a controlled and musical rendition of the test-piece 'Diamond Heritage' by Darrol Barry. The Adjudicator, Steve Sykes, was very impressed with the performance and placed the band in 1st position with 184 points.
With the celebrations still going on in the auditorium, there was an added bonus when it was announced that our Principal Cornet player, Nick House, had also won the best cornet player award.
This was a fantastic result for the band, many of whom had put in much effort and rehearsal time. Armed with two shiney trophies, the celebrations went on throughout Weymouth into the small hours.
Well done everyone!