Category Archives: Contest News

West of England Champions!

The Band is absolutely delighted to be crowned West of England Champions of the Championship Section at Cheltenham on Sunday 3rd April 2022. We were delighted with our performance of Wilfred Heatons Contest Music . This was the result of the leadership and Musical Direction of our M.D. Glyn Williams . This comes off a 2 year Enforced hiatus from major competition and also off a winning performance led by Glyn at the recent Wychavon Entertainment Contest October 2021.

As our Chairman Shaun Mundy stated.

“West of England Champions for the first time since 1981. Thanks to the band of today and everyone associated with the band through those years! Also, well done to all the bands today after a rough couple of years. We look forward to representing the West of England and the village of Aldbourne at the Royal Albert Hall in October!” 

The Band is overwhelmed with the amount of Congratulations and feedback that it has received from the Banding Family and beyond, plus the feedback it has received from the Banding Press

4 Bars Rest Iwan Fox states

Deftly led by Glyn Williams over the treacherous hurdles of ‘Contest Music’, it was the Wiltshire band’s first top-flight Area victory since their sole success in 1981, although it was by no means a lucky outside bet come good”

The Band now looks forward to a busy Spring and Summer season of Concerts and looks forward to preparing itself for the British Open at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on September 10th 2022, closely followed by the Royal Albert Hall National Finals on October 15th 2022 ….we cannot wait !

Full Results

Results:
Championship Section:
Test-piece: ‘Contest Music’ (Wilfred Heaton)
Adjudicators: Dr Robert Childs and Alan Morrison
1. Aldbourne (Glyn Williams)*
2. Flowers (Paul Holland)*
3. Camborne Town (David Hirst)
4. Verwood Concert Brass (Kevin Smith)
5. St Dennis (Darren R Hawken)
6. Filton Concert Brass (Erik Van De Kolk)
7. Brunel Brass (Daniel Hall)
8. Woodfalls (Garry Cutt)
9. Michelmersh Silver (Melvin White)
10. Lydbrook (Steve Sykes)
11. SW Comms (Stephen Sykes)
12. Roche Brass (David Hamilton)

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 www.aldbourneband.org.uk

#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.