SHIPSTON TOWN BANDS

David Birch - Is a familiar face in brass banding circles, being an extremely experienced  euphonium player, Having spent many years encouraging and mentoring many future players, he launched the fledgling community-based concert band to complement Shipston Band's Town and Training Band.

Stour Concert Brass is the 'new kid on the block' founded by conductor David Birch,  the  brass band has proved highly succesful with players and audiences alike. The band welcomes players of all abilities and proves the next stop for players after their early training, as well as experienced players as an alternative to contesting. The band meet every Friday evening and fulfill a full engagements calender throughout the year.

SOPRANO CORNET:

PRINCIPAL CORNET:

SOLO CORNETS:



REPIANO CORNET:

SECOND CORNETS:


THIRD CORNETS:    

FLUGEL HORNS:

PRINCIPAL Eb HORN:

1st Eb HORN:

2nd Eb HORN:

PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM:

2nd EUPHONIUMS:

1st BARITONE HORN:

2nd BARITONE HORN:

PRINCIPAL TROMBONE:

2nd TROMBONE:

BASS TROMBONE:

Bb BASS:

Eb BASSES:

KIT PERCUSSION:

TUNED PERCUSSION:

Paul Herbert

Luke Barker

Bethan Bown, Louise Turner, Kieran Bown, Alec Banner

Bob Pitts,

Karen Wears

Caroline Banks,  Anne Witts,

Jim McLeman

Roger Rippen,  Chris Bown

Mike Butler

Mary Cox, Karen Pitts

Norma Begley

Angie Weaver

Eugene Gratwohl

Alan Birch, Tim Wilson

Gordon Sharp

Tim Banks

Mark Banner

Sandra Butt

Richard Barker

Keith Davies, Vacancy

Mark Davies, Ken Smith

Roy Flitcroft

Vacancy

a truly dynamic duo

     Young Luke Barker adds further achievements to his already successful musical career when he completed the Easter Course of the National Youth Brass Band Of Great Britain with concerts in Harrogate and Morley Town Hall in Leeds.

     The course which lasted for a week was held at Harrogate Ladies College after the customary audition for seating places Luke was told that he had progressed to third Solo Cornet out of a total of around thirty cornets.

     The second success belongs to our young cornet and percussionist Alec Banner  who had a very enjoyable day at the annual CBSO Young Musician Day at Symphony Hall.

     Playing alongside many other youngsters who were both older and much bigger he had a thoroughly enjoyable day which included playing the timpani in Mars from the 'Planet Suite'.

a wonderfully wooly day

SHIPSTON WOOL FAYRE - MONDAY 27th MAY, 2019

     The threat of the odd shower did not deter Shipston folk and one of it’s town bands as a large crowd assembled in the town square to view the official opening of this annual event, which was preceeded by a short performance by Stour Concert Brass.

     A full band turned out to entertain fayre-goers prior to the opening by Shipston Town Mayor, in fact he too was joined by a gathering of mayors and officials from surrounding towns. The band struck-up up with a regular opener 'Aces High' and this stirring piece set the stage for the bands performance, which much to the pleasure of members was regularly greeted by cheers from the large audience.

     Cornet player Kieran Bown took to his feet and featured in a Frank Bernaerts arrangement of the Lenard Cohen number ‘Hallelujah’ and Alex Banner 'rattled those bones' as he gave a delightful rendition on the xylophone of the traditional Scottish melody 'Charlie is My Darlin'.

     Being on home turf this event always proves a meeting point for former players and this year was no different as Charlie Cox, retired former Shipston Town Band conductor, who came along to have a listen and former Baritone player Jimmy Kench, his wive and family joined the audience to give the band a listen and were delighted to see a strong turn-out, including the bands new front row cornet rank of keen young players, one of whom a school chum of a member, has been with the band for two weeks and will, were sure, look forward to a brilliant Summer with Stour Concert Brass.

a little poetry on a grey day

EVESHAM BANDSTAND, ABBEY PARK, EVESHAM - SUNDAY, 2nd JUNE, 2019

     Stour’s first bandstand of 2019 didn’t bode well, it was bright, the sun was there and although showers threatened the day remained rain free, yet grey  - there was a good audience turnout to welcome the band to Abbey Park on this June afternoon, although it has to be said it was a little smaller as the risk of rain deterred the usually larger turnout.

     Three soloists were featured with Eugene Gratwohl and Mike Butler airing solos for the first time with ‘La Novia’ and ‘Alfie'. Solo Cornet Kieran Bown was also featured with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and gave an excellent performance in the Principal Cornet seat for the first time. The programme was varied and included both ‘Singing In The Rain’ and ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ to hedge the band’s bets. ‘Clog Dance’ and ‘Londonderry Air’ were also featured before the band finished with the ever popular 'Breezin' Down Broadway’.

     Amongst the gathering was former Euphonium player Paul Wareing who commented that he had just penned a little verse dedicated to the band, so we thought you might like to read what Paul composed.

a sunny sunday in sanders

SANDERS PARK, BROMSGROVE - SUNDAY, 16TH JUNE, 2019

     Stour Concert made their way to Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire for their annual visit and as the band set up on the bandstand, the sun came out and so did a good audience, which made for a brilliant Sunday  afternoon for band and audience alike.

     Two of our young soloists were featured in the first half with Alec Banner playing a xylophone solo ‘Charlie Is My Darlin’ and Principal Cornet Kieran Bown playing an arrangement of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen and were followed later during the concert by Principal Euphonium Eugene Gratwohl who played a lovely arrangement ‘La Novia’ by Alan Fernie.

     The band played a varied programme including the March ‘Victors Acclaimed ‘, ‘Singing In The Rain’ and  ‘Clog Dance’ from the film Brassed Off before concluding with ‘Breezin’ Down Broadway’. There were a number of ex-bandsmen in the audience and we were very impressed to be told that we were by far the most entertaining band they had had so far this year.

Brass Band stand

I heard it on the wind,

The distant Brass Band sound,

I followed down to the River,

With the park there all around,

They were playing with deportment,

Together and in tune,

These dedicated amateurs,

On a dull day, early June,

Tuba heavy artillery, trombones by the three,

Euphonium and Baritones, all in B or E,

The Cornets sometimes muted,

Flugel Horn quite loud,

All were playing up their parts,

Appreciated by the crowd,

A grey day looking Evesham,

Though one I have enjoyed,

And I hope the rain just keeps off,

With my umbrella not employed.

‘best of british’ at blockley

ST GEORGE’S HALL, BLOCKLEY - SATURDAY, 22ND JUNE, 2019

     Stour Concert Brass and Blockley Ladies Choir came together to present a concert at St George’s Hall, Blockley, to celebrate the best of British music.

     Both groups played alternate sets and the band programme included music by Holst, Elgar and Vaughan Williams alongside Ron Goodwin and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Both the music from Holst’s ‘Suite in Eb’ and the first movement of Vaughan Williams ‘English Folk Song Suite’ - Seventeen Come Sunday proved popular and the two final items, ‘Memory’ and 'Love Changes Everything’ drew particular applause.

     The choir’s programme was equally varied with Vaughan Williams ‘Linden Lea‘, alongside music by The Beatles, Elton John and Queen. The concert closed with a Proms Finale with the capacity audience in fine voice for ‘Jerusalem’, 'Rule Britannia’ and 'Land of Hope and Glory’ and enjoying the challenge of keeping up with band in the traditional ‘Hornpipe’.

     The interval of the concert saw everyone provided with a splendid spread of food provided for band and audience alike. Altogether it was a most memorable  and enjoyable evening.

delightful droitwich spa

DROITWICH LIDO BANDSTAND - SUNDAY, 7TH JULY

     Stour Concert made their annual visit to Lido Park in Droitwich to perform their third and final bandstand concert of the summer.

     The varied programme brought a lot of positive comment from an audience who liked the choice of music and commented favourably on how well the band played. Young soloists Kieran Bown and Alec Banner both drew appreciative applause as did Mike Butler our flugel horn soloist who performed the theme music from ‘Alfie'. ‘Breezin’ Down Broadway’ with its selection of show tunes brought the concert to an entertaining close.

badsey show

BADSEY SHOW - SATURDAY, 10TH AUGUST, 2019     

Concert Brass visited Badsey Show for the first time. They were positioned near the tea room and their varied programme drew a large crowd.

     Eugene Gratwohl and Mike Butler were featured soloists and Luke Barker gave a terrific first performance of the cornet solo 'Honeysuckle Polka' by J. O. Casey specially arranged for him by ODBBA’s Nigel Hall.

alec hits 90 and gets a chair

Congratulations and a big well done to one of our young members, Alec Banner who has just passed his Grade 5 theory exam with a score of over 90 out of 100.

     Not only that, but young Alec has also been offered a seat in the National Childrens Brass Band of Great Britain.

     The organisers provided us with a gazebo but not everyone was fully covered and Luke Barker and Paul Lay were jointly adjudged to have won first prize in the getting soaked category. The show was treated to a fly past by a hurricane and the band duly downed tools to watch especially the famous victory roll.

     With some members on holiday the band was grateful for help from Nick Smith of Alcester Victoria and Alan Robbins of Avonbank.

tysoe show    

TYSOE SHOW - SATURDAY, 17TH AUGUST, 2019

Concert Brass visited Tysoe Show on Saturday, August 17th for their last summer engagement and enjoyed excellent weather.

     The band was at full strength and played a full a varied programme giving a first outing to William Himes march 'Gods Children' and the film music from 'Dances With Wolves'. They were grateful to help from Nick Smith of Alcester Victoria and Andrew Scarborough and Alan Robbins of Avonbank and Bob James to cover for holiday absences