Aldbourne band has been busy since the National Finals in October focusing on concerts and the run up to Christmas.
At the start of November we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Friends of Aldbourne Band with a concert composed entirely of pieces picked by our supporters. It was a great success and the band really enjoyed playing such a varied programme, often re-visiting music many of us had not played for years! Last weekend (24th of November) we kicked off our very busy Christmas Schedule in the usual showbiz style by once again supporting Sheila Howard and the Kentwood Show Choir at their Annual Christmas Cracker Concert at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon. As always, we played to a packed audience and really set everyone up for the Christmas season.
Looking ahead, Aldbourne has a very busy schedule of even more Christmas Concerts, starting this Sunday (December 1st) where we are once again very much looking forward to playing carols at the Light up a Life service at the Prospect Hospice in Wroughton. On the 6th of December we shall be in Chiseldon at the Church of the Holy Cross for their annual Christmas concert, and on the 7th of December will be guests of the Swindon Choral Society at their Christmas concert in Christ Church, Swindon. We shall be holding our own Christmas Concert on the 14th of December in St Michael’s Church, Aldbourne, and are especially looking forward to once again be playing at the BBC Wiltshire Carol Concert on the 15th of December in Salisbury Cathedral. In addition to all this we also have lots of carolling outside supermarkets and around the village, and not to forget, will be up at 4am on Christmas Morning to wake up the village!
Please see below for the full list of our forthcoming engagements into 2020.
Wishing you a Happy Banding and a very Happy Christmas, one and all!
Aldbourne Band have once again been very busy preparing for their jam-packed summer season of concerts and contests.
On Sunday 2nd June we kicked off the summer season of Pond Concerts led by Glyn Williams with an exciting and eclectic programme of music including ‘Nordic Polska’ and a beautiful arrangement of John Ireland’s “Love Unknown”. Unfortunately the weather was not kind to us but once again the beautiful village church of St. Michael’s served us well. The concert also featured some outstanding solo performances by ‘2nd man-down’ Shaun Mundy playing Dan Price’s “Dirty Duck” made famous by Tom Hutchinson; Solo Trombonist, Rob Marsh, playing Derek Ashmore’s arrangement of “Bolivar” and 2nd Euphonium, Ed Latham, playing the classic Air and Variations on “Rule Britannia”.
The Aldbourne Youth Band also joined in the fun wih enthusiastic performances of Bohemian Rhapsody and ‘Grease’ really getting the audience’s toes tapping! It was also a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the progress the Youth and Training Bands have made over the past year, and Glyn William helped to present the annual awards to players in the band rewarding their progress and commitment.
We next turn our focus on the 9th of June to supporting the BBC Concert Orchestra as warm up act at the Grange Park Opera in West Horsley Surrey. This will be a subset of Aldbourne Band (14 piece) known affectionately as the “Paddling Dabchicks” and play an American Song book themed programme.
The pace then does not let up as the Band competes for the first time in its 160-year history in the famous Whit Friday Marches contest up in the villages of Saddleworth Moor on Friday 14th June. This is a very old and famous contest dating back to 1884 where bands play two pieces, one whilst marching and then a contest march which they are judged on. Aldbourne will be competing against some of the world’s finest brass bands “Brighouse and Rastrick” as well as over 100 amateur bands from around the country (and the world!) in what has been branded ‘the greatest free show on Earth!’. The band is especially excited to take part in this contest as this is the first time Glyn Williams will be taking us.
Beyond this over the coming months, the band and its supporters have a lot to look forward to with our regular Pond Concerts through the summer season as well as performances at the Marlborough College Summer School. Check out our website and Facebook pages for further details. This builds up to us playing at the British Open Brass Band Championships in September plus the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October, which is the first time the Band has qualified for both competitions in the same year in its history.
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’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!
Aldbourne band was thrilled to take part in the 2018 Christmas Cracker on Sunday 25th of November with Sheila Harrod and the Kentwood Show Choir. Playing to a full Wyvern Theatre with a terrific atmosphere, our guest conductor, Chris King, led the band in a great set of music as we both supported the choir and took centre stage throughout the concert.
We also made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed listening to guest artist, Kim Cypher, a talented jazz singer and saxophonist. Here are some photos of the evening for your enjoyment, and we look forward to performing with these artists again in the near future.
Back in the band room this week, we’ve been hard at work with Glyn Williams preparing for the next series of concerts, the first being the Prospect Hospice’s Light up a Life carol service this Sunday 2nd December at 4.30pm in Wroughton. We then look towards a busy weekend on the 7th and 8th of December with the Chiseldon Church (7.45pm) and BBC Wiltshire’s Salisbury Cathedral (5pm) concerts. We hope to see some of you there! #Aldbourneband#Dabchicks
Thankyou Ron Milsom for the fabulous photos and permission to use them.
Aldbourne Band is a Championship Section Brass Band