We have been quite quiet on our Website recently since our Dorchester Abbey Concert. This is for very good reason. We were heads down with our preparations for the West of England Brass Band Area qualifying competition. As always the Competition is tough with some of the finest Bands in the West of England competing in the Championship Section. The competition piece was Seascapes by Ray Steadman Allen. It was deceptively tricky and required 100% concentration throughout all three movements. Dr David Thornton our Musical Director in Torquay had a fantastic reading of the piece with which he had led Brighouse and Rastrick Band to victory in the Yorkshire Areas the previous week. On the day the Band drew no 13 which was going to be the last Band playing that day in the Championship section. This was going to prove to be a very long day , with the Band taking the stage not until around 6pm on the Sunday evening. This could be considered a very tricky draw, and it was important to think about even the smallest details of eating correctly and keeping hydrated !. It was to prove to be a fine competition with many fine Bands setting out their stall earlier in the day. The stage at Torquay is also notorious for being a very dead acoustic to play upon and again this year proved to be so. It is amazing how you can hear parts you have never heard before or entries that seem very loud in comparison to other venues. However the Band held its nerve and although we all honestly felt that we had not given Seascapes our finest performance with some slips and errors of live competition, we left the stage reading some good reports from the social media pundits. So we held our breath !……… and we were well rewarded. The Band is delighted to announce that we came 2nd off a NO 13 draw. Many congratulations to Flowers Band on retaining the West of England Title. However by coming Second We are very happy to announce, that in 2019, we will perform at both the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall and the British Open at the Symphony Hall. A massive thank you to Glyn Williams and David Thornton – what a team! Also a big thank you for the messages we have already received.
Congratulations to all our friends at Flowers Band and also Filton on their performance !
Aldbourne Band continued its busy start to the New Year with a slightly chilly but top-quality joint concert at Dorchester Abbey with the Reading Phoenix Choir and Aldbourne Bands Musical Director Glyn Williams
Due to the unprecedented amounts of snow in North Wiltshire the band had to get creative in getting all of its players physically there with some players spending hours digging their cars out of their drives, and the band coach taking a slightly circuitous route to gather up all the players on its way to Dorchester-on-Thames! Further complications arose with two of the front row players falling ill earlier in the day, however once again the Blitz spirit prevailed and Ian Barnes (normally on top 2nd cornet) superbly rose to the challenge of second man down! A massive thanks must also go to Taddy Evans Evans of Cory Band who stepped in to help us on 2nd cornet, and to all those in the banding community who aided in our search for last-minute cornet players!! The concert was held in an amazing venue of Dorchester Abbey with its fabulous acoustics to an appreciative audience. With the temperatures dropping rapidly outside on the coldest night of the year(!), the band kept itself warm performing a range of contemporary music such as the The Incredibles, Chick Corea’s La Fiesta and Philip Harper’s ‘The Greatest Storyteller’ which featured a stunning version of ‘Pure Imagination’ from the band’s solo euphonium, Matt Dixon. Reading Phoenix Choir wowed the audience with their pieces which included John Scott’s ‘Behold O God’ and a lovely arrangement of the traditional American folk tune ‘Shenandoah’ to name but a few. The band also performed some fantastic joint items with the choir, including Sandy Smith’s arrangement of John William’s Hymn to the Fallen, the Hallelujah Chorus, and Hubert Parry’s Coronation Anthem ‘I am Glad’. Aldbourne Band really enjoyed their first joint concert with Reading Phoenix Choir and look forward to this being the beginning of a great musical relationship. Aldbourne Band now is looking forward to focussing on the run into the WEBBA Area competition on the 10th March , where they will be performing Seascapes in the Championship section. #Aldbourneband#Dabchicks
Aldbourne band were once again delighted to be guests of the Immanuel United Reformed Church in Swindon at their annual concert, continuing an unbroken trend since 1963! Performing to a packed audience, the band shared the concert with the excellent Immanuel Church choir and delivered an exciting and entertaining programme, starting 2019 as they mean to go on.
The band’s musical director, Glyn Williams, chose a varied programme of popular music from the high-octane John William’s Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, to the chilled Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo. Many of the band’s excellent soloists were given a chance to shine in pieces like ‘La Fiesta’ and Billy Joel’s ‘Lullaby’ and principal cornet Richard Hughes once again wowed us all with his spine-tingling rendition of ‘Born on the 4th of July’. Inspired by Glyn’s powerful baritone voice, the band also treated the audience to a rousing rendition of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, complete with singing! The band was thrilled to finish the first half of the concert with a joint item with the Reverend Geoff Gleed, Choir Master and Organist of Immanuel URC, leading the band on the organ in the Finale from Camille Saint-Seans’ Organ Symphony.
As usual the church choir thoroughly entertained the audience and the band, especially with their little ditty about the band’s success to the tune of All things bright and beautiful and He who would valiant be! Aldbourne rounded off the very successful concert with Philip Harper’s tribute to Roald Dahl “The World’s Greatest Storyteller” and with an encore of Festive Overture.
The concert featured on ‘A Touch of Brass’ on Swindon 105.5 FM on Sunday night, and we thank Martin Upfold for the recording.
The Band now looks forward to the 2nd of February where they will be performing at Dorchester Abbey with the Reading Phoenix Choir.
Aldbourne Youth and Junior bands were very lucky to kick off their 2019 rehearsals with an inspiring interactive session led by the band’s resident @Glyn Williams. The young musicians learnt about the importance of breathing properly, of warming up, using the diaphragm and listening critically to themselves as they practice every day! Glyn held a band competition to find the player who could hold the longest note and demonstrated how using the diaphragm improved tone and volume. The band went on to play an arrangement of Colonel Bogey. The youngsters were mesmerised and very much enjoyed the session. Hopefully it has inspired them to improve their own standard this year.
Youth and Junior band Musical Director, Janet Roe, said “The evening has been great fun as well as teaching and reminding the players of some of the basics of playing. Glyn even managed to get the parents who were watching to participate in some of the warm up activities!” #Aldbourneband#Dabchicks
Aldbourne Band’s Christmas Season was full of great music, superb venues and fabulous audiences.
Reflecting on a historic year for the band, we thoroughly enjoyed closing out 2018 with a busy schedule of Concerts and carol playing. We were thrilled to welcome special guest, Helen Williams, to play with us at our Christmas Concert in the Village; her rendition of ‘Away in a Manger’ was truly magical, and the players were especially grateful to Glyn Williams for buying us a round of drinks afterwards!
As we look ahead to 2019 with its exciting new sets of concerts and competitions, we are thoroughly looking forward to building on the achievements of last year under the strong guidance and focus of Glyn Williams and David Thornton. 2019 will be hopefully a great year of musical experiences and making new friends.
A massive thank you must go out to all the amazing supporters and Friends of Aldbourne Band. Without you, we simply could not do the things we do!