Category Archives: Contest News

Success at Wychavon

The Band was delighted to be placed first at the recent Wychavon Entertainment contest. This was in a field of 17 Bands , with Aldbourne playing no 16. This was especially good being the first contest in nearly 2 years and the first led by their M.D. Glyn Williams. There is an excellent write up of this on 4bars rest here. The Band is thrilled with the result and look forward to a busy couple of months of Concerts and rehearsals for the upcoming British Open Contest. Suffice to say every member is smiling as they look forward to January !

rah reflections

It’s a week since our performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Congratulations to the Cory Band (and our Musical Director Glyn Williams) on their richly deserved win, and also to our local rivals, the Flowers Band, on their fifth placing.

Thanks to Glyn and also Lee Skipsey for all their hard work in preparing the band immediately following the British Open. We were placed 14th on the day – and the work starts now to try to qualify for the Royal Albert Hall again next year.

Also, thank you to the other West of England bands that sent their messages of support, Barnes Coaches for the extra rehearsal facilities and of course, to the Friends of Aldbourne for their support on the day!

Aldbourne secure 2020 place with top 10 finish at the Open

Wow! What a weekend for the Band! – 9th at the British Open after being drawn to play no. 17, sandwiched between The Cory Band and Grimethorpe Colliery Band – probably not the best draw you would think! 🙂

The Band rose to the occasion though and we played our hearts out led by the inspirational Ivan Meylemans who was taking us at a contest for the first time, but we’re sure not the last!

A big thank you to all our players and their families for the sacrifice and commitment it takes to play at this level, and of course to our supporters who robustly led the cheering as we played our triumphant final chord. It was quite something to be there on stage and receive such a rousing ovation from not only our own supporters but others who were listening too. We’ve had lots of messages of congratulations from all around the globe and we very much appreciate all of them.

The band would also like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to our Solo Euphonium player on the day, Danny Jones, who stood in for Matt Dixon with just a week to go due to illness. He did an excellent job and we couldn’t have found a better replacement!

This weekend we welcomed on to the stage for the first time with us two new members, David Tutty on Eb Bass and Matthew Richardson on the front row of the cornet section. Both did themselves proud with very little preparation time so well done to them both.

Our very warm congratulations go to Cory and of course our very own resident conductor Glyn Williams and his wife Helen Williams who play for them, for their iconic performance which took the title on Saturday. Also a resounding well-done to our fellow West of England band, Flowers Band Band, who were placed 5th, a fabulous result for them.

Finally, we just have to say how grateful we are to Ivan for his fantastic interpretation of Dynasty and the genuine, friendly manner he went about preparing us for the day, working closely alongside Glyn. You won a piece of our hearts this weekend, that’s for sure!

Our focus now is on the National Finals at the Albert Hall in just a few weeks and another challenging test piece, Titan’s Progress. Keep a lookout for the date of our public rehearsal which will be announced soon so that you can come and listen to us prepare for this great occasion #Aldbourneband #Dabchicks

Aldbourne Band Secure Exciting Conducting Team for British Open and National Finals

Aldbourne Band are delighted to announce that we have secured the services of two of the most dynamic and exciting conductors in Europe to work with our resident conductor, Glyn Williams, for the British Open and National Finals later this year.

For the British Open in September, the band will be led by one of the foremost emerging talents from Europe, Belgian conductor Ivan Meylemans. In October, we welcome the highly respected and sought after Lee Skipsey to take us for the National Finals.

The band committee has worked closely with Glyn to build a team for both competitions that will encourage high standards of musicality, technique and discipline, but one that also works well with the friendly ethos of our historic, yet highly ambitious village band from Wiltshire.

Ivan has been involved with the brass band scene in Europe for a number of years and has ties to one of the top bands in the world, Valaisia Brass Band, recent British Open and European champions. He has also worked with many well known orchestras and brass bands around Europe including conducting the 2018 European Youth Brass Band as part of the European Brass Band Championship activities last year.

Lee is well known on the British brass band scene as the Director of Music for the City of Bradford Brass Band, a band he took from the 3rd Section to the Championship Section, including qualification to the National Finals. His record speaks for itself with 31 podium finishes in the last seven years so far as a conductor of City of Bradford and other bands.

Band Chairman Ian Keene commented “We’re looking forward to working closely with these two highly respected and charismatic conductors and together with our resident conductor Glyn Williams, we believe they will help us continue building on our recent success in these major competitions”.

For more information on Aldbourne Band search for us on Facebook or go to our website at

#Aldbourneband #Dabchicks

A summer to look forward to !

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 Qualify for Royal Albert Hall Finals 2019!

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 !