2020 was a year that was very difficult for everyone, including the brass band community. We started the year optimistically but by mid-March band rehearsals were put on hold because of the pandemic and we have not returned to the band room since -based on advisory guidelines from Brass Band England.
During the year, a number of band members played within their neighbourhoods for various community gatherings such as clap for NHS, VE-day and of course Remembrance Sunday. Their participation was much appreciated.
In the meantime, the band meet regularly over Zoom video meets (recent Christmas Quiz screenshot shown here, including special guests from Adelaide, Australia !) and there is a great spirit between band members to ensure we keep the name of Corsham Band out there and return better than ever in 2021. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021.
Center Parcs, Longleat (24 December 2019)
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 ...
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.
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!
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.
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 mutes and show the audience the difference they make in performances. THANK YOU WILTSHIRE COUNCIL!
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!