Sixth Place For Town Band in Regionals . . .
Sunday March 12th saw the band visit Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Bedworth to compete in the Midland Area Brass band Championships.
The set test piece was 'St Andrews Variations' by Alan Fernie. The performance was excellent and the 4bars rest adjudicator had us in the lead from when we played until band number 20 Warwick University had finished. The Adjudicator favoured them and put us second. Sadly, however, when the adjudicators pronounced their result we were played sixth and Warwick University were sixteenth which ended both bands day on a disappointing finish.
Fourteen members from the Shipston Town Band and Stour Concert Brass travelled to Cradley Heath Salvation Army when the West Midlands Brass Bands Association hosted the Association’s very successful ‘Big Brass Band Concert’.
The aim was to revive the spirit of ‘Harry Mortimer’s Men Of Brass’ and 70 players from no less than 20 bands came together to recreate the massed band sound.
The programme included a number of traditional items such as ‘Grand March from Aida’ and Harry Mortimer’s own composition ‘The Medallion’. All nine solo cornets were featured in ‘Bugler’s Holiday’ which made a spectacular solo item.
Conductor Dave Bishop Rowe had produced a special arrangement of ‘The Day Thou Gavest’ and this was dedicated to the late Dave Hodgetts Principal Cornet from Arrow Valley who suddenly passed away a week before the event. Dave was scheduled to play Principal Cornet and was well known to many present which added a sad touch to what was otherwise a happy and successful day. Jaguar Landrover’s Lisa Organ stood in at short notice and her help was much appreciated.
The assembled band had such an enjoyable day that many have already contacted WMBBA and asked if we are going to have another one. They enjoyed the music, the chance to meet old friends and make new ones and the thrill of playing in such a large group. Plans are already afoot to organise a second event.
'Big Blow' For Shipston Band and Stour Concert! . . .
Luke Barker Takes His Chair
for the 2017 N.Y.B.B. Of Great Britain
Congratulations to Luke Barker who has just started his first course with the National Youth Brass Band Of Great Britain. 14 year old Luke had to audition for his seat and is sitting number 8 out of 13 solo cornets.
This is tremendous for one of the younger members There are about 28 cornets in total. Luke has a week of intensive playing before concerts at Cambridge on Saturday and the Barbican in London the following Saturday.
The 'eagle-eyed' amongst our visitors who know look, will no doubt have spotted him in the blue, white-striped jumer and jeans, end chair, second row from the front on the left.
Grace Takes Grade Six With Distinction!
Congratulations to our young solo cornet player Grace Coates who has passed her Association Board Grade Six examination with distinction.
Grace’s lyrical playing is an aspect of musicianship that is so admired within the Town Bands, particularly Stour Concert Brass where she is a regular contributor, playing a many a delightful solo, as well joining the line-up with her friends in duets and quartets within the band. A regular successful entrant in solo competition, Grace is testament to how hard work and commitment to her competence and skill on her cornet can reap some very satisfying rewards. It goes without saying how proud we are of Grace and congratulate her accordingly - well done Grace!
Will John Find That Famous 'Choo Choo?'
Eight years ago a young John Bosley joined Shipston Town Band with his father Chris who joined the band on solo cornet with John joining on 3rd cornet.
Over his time with the band John progressed to his present position on solo cornet and enjoyed many successes at Solo Contests. He was part of a very successful cornet quartet which also included in later years Luke Barker, Grace Coates, Bethan Bown, Megan Barker and Sasha Turner. Chris has moved to CHATTANOOGA in the USA with his work and John his mum and younger sister are moving out to join him at the end of July. Everyone at the band wishes him all the best and he was presented with a picture of the band's winning performance at the Oxford Contest.
PERSHORE MIDSUMMER BRASS - SATURDAY, 1ST. JULY 2017
Once again the band took part in the magnificent Pershore Midsummer Brass and played two concerts firstly in Pershore Abbey and then in Pershore Baptist Church. The performances were well received with both cornet soloists Luke Barker in the Abbey and John Smith in the Baptist Church receiving a warm reaction.
Eb Bass soloist Adrian White who is at the heart of the organisation of the festival was in sparkling form for his solo 'In Lively Spirits'. The concert in the Baptist Church concluded with 'The Day Thou Gavest' arranged by Dave Bishop Rowe who was there in the audience to enjoy the performance as his band Shirley were performing next.
STRATFORD BANDSTAND, THE RECREATION GROUND, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, WARWICKSHIRE - SUNDAY, 11TH JUNE, 2017
Sorry about that, but as Stratford Bandstand was the first engagement for the Town Band on Sunday, 11th June, we couldn't resist this play on words, as not only were the band playing close to the Bards home, but in the shadow of the World Famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The weather was kind and the band drew a good audience for the bands first bandstand concert of 2017.
Featured soloists included Luke Barker with ‘Someone Cares’, Rachel Macrae with ‘Yesterday’, Eugene Gratwohl with ‘Donegal Bay’ and the horn section all came to the fore to feature the Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude’. The cornet trio ‘The Veterans’ played by Luke Barker, Grace Coates and John Bosley drew many admirers not only for the performance but also for the youth of the performers. ‘Highland Cathedral’ as ever proved an excellent finale.
Sunny Sanders For Shipston
SANDERS PARK, BROMSGROVE - SUNDAY, 9TH JULY, 2017
Sunday, 9th July saw the Shipston Town Band visit the Sanders Park in Worcestershire for another of their regular visits.
The Band and audience were treated to lovely weather and the plentiful free parking brought out a large crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the band’s varied programme.
Darran Wheeler on Flugel and young cornet player Luke Barker were among the featured soloists. Special mention should be made of the band’s guest solo trombone David Pitts, whose parents play in the Town Band, who kindly stood-in at short notice and gave a fine performance of Don Lusher’s ‘Concert Variations’ without rehearsal.
Pershore Farewell To Rob & Co.
Today was the last appearance for some time of Rob, Dan and Katie Wallis. They are moving to Leek in North Stafford where Rob’s wife Leanne has been posted as a Salvation Army Officer. They were presented with a framed photograph of the band’s winning performance at the Oxford Winter Contest in February.
'Is This A Euphonium I See Before Me?'
Sunshine, Showers and Dave Bowie
JEPHSON GARDENS, LEAMINGTON SPA - SUNDAY, 23RD JULY, 2015
The Town Band made their annual visit to Leamington Jephson’s Gardens and received a good reception from a large audience.
Despite a couple of breaks in the first half due to sudden downpours the audience were very resilient and soon returned. This is one of the band’s favourite venues and they certainly gave a fine performance. A number of the band’s soloists were featured including solo trombone Bev Bosworth who played Don Lusher’s Concert Variations and Solo Horn Rachel Macrae who played Yesterday.
The Beatles theme continued when the horn section played Hey Jude. It’s always gratifying to receive compliments and one regular visitor remarked how much she had enjoyed our performance and in fact she always looks out for us on the list of performers. The band concluded their performance with Life on Mars by David Bowie.
Solo Showcase Sets the Scene
For Shipston's Last Bandstand Of 2017
ABBEY GARDENS, EVESHAM - SUNDAY, 30th JULY, 2015
Sunday, 30th July, saw the Town Band making its annual visit to Evesham Bandstand. Everyone was a little apprehensive as heavy rain and thunderstorms had been forecast but after an early shower the weather was fine.
The appreciative audience were treated to a soloists showcase with no less than 8 solo items being featured including Principal Cornet John Smith, Soprano Cornet Paul Lay and the horn and flugels featured in Hey Jude. The performance concluded in fine style with Paul Lovatt Cooper’s The Home Of Legends.