Halloween has faded, Bonfire night is over and the sky’s are once again quiet and still. Wroughton Band is however far from quiet and still. The beginning of November was, as usual, a busy time for the band. With our annual concert in Malmesbury Abbey on the 10th closely followed by the village parade on the 12th and then the concert at Ridgeway School on the 17th. With our engagements, weekly practice night and a few extra practices for good measure we were playing 9 times in the 20 days from October 29th to November 17th. No wonder it seemed so busy. This is only beaten by the two weeks before Christmas where we are playing every day and twice on some days. Except Christmas eve, at the moment!
Unfortunately we aren’t holding our own Christmas concert in the village this year. We will however be once again joining with Swindon Male Voice choir at Christ Church in Swindon on Friday the 15th. We will be playing carols and Christmas music during December at Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose and the Ellendune shopping centre. To see a full list of our Christmas season engagements please visit our web site, www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
Other highlights include:
Nov 26th Switching on of Old Town Christmas Lights, Swindon,4.45pm
Dec 2nd Switching on of Wroughton Christmas Lights
3rd Alexandra Park carols, 2.30pm
10th Shrivenham Christmas tree and Lights 6.15pm
14th Prospect Hospice, 7.30pm
15th Swindon Male Voice Choir concert, Christ Church, Swindon, 7.30pm
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout 2017. Whatever you do at Christmas and whether you do or don’t celebrate it we at Wroughton Silver Band hope you all have a very enjoyable time.
September the 28th saw the band gathering once again at Swindon crematorium. Our ranks were swelled by friends from other local bands and further afield. This time we played a fond farewell to our long-time member and friend Peter Jones. Although a sad time it is a great privilege for the band to be asked to participate on such a personal occasion. Peter was for many years very active on the bands committee. I won’t list the posts he held for risk of missing one, and of course he was also+ a much-valued member of our tenor horn section. Not only will we miss his playing but his smile and sense of humour. Farewell Peter.
A few weeks later the 8th of October were playing at the Hillier Bereavement Care service at Christ Church in Swindon. This special annual event for so many people in Swindon had extra poignance for the band, so close after Peter Jones and Mike Piers funerals. The recently refurbished church was, as always, packed and the new wooded floor really helping to raise the sound of both music and singing.
We are looking forward to playing in Malmesbury Abbey on the 10th of November for our annual concert in aid of the Malmsebury branch of the British Legion. A great venue to play in with the music resonating and echoing around the ancient building. Tickets are £6 and available on the door.
The week after, on the 17th, we are at the Ridgeway School, in partnership with their Performing Arts Department. A village concert of remembrance with young and old alike coming together to for a very moving evening. Tickets and further details are available from The Ridgeway School office.
Then it will be full steam ahead for Christmas. Over first engagement is at the end of November, not even waiting for December to arrive! Sunday 26th with the switching on of Old Towns Christmas lights in Swindon closely followed by the Wroughton Christmas lights on the 2nd of December.
Other highlights include:
December 3rd Alexandra Park carols
10th Shrivenham Christmas tree and Lights 6.15pm
15th Swindon Male Voice Choir concert, Christ Church, Swindon, 7.30pm
For details of all our other engagements and news please look at our web-site (wroughtonsilverband.co.uk) or follow us on facebook.
August turned into what seems a very typical English summer month. The beginning of the month started well with a sunny afternoon playing in the Town Gardens. The following weekend was a bit touch and go but in the end we had a very enjoyable Sunday evening playing in Purton. However, the following weekend we had to cancel playing in the village, at the Fox and Hounds, because the rain started. The following Wednesday, 23rd, the sun shone as we paid our last respects to our ex-principal cornet player, Mike Pier, at the crematorium. The band had the honour of not only playing but to lead the hearse on the final approach to the chapel. The respect and affection that Mike held in the band community was evident by the players the came to join us. Wroughton Band was joined by ex-players including one from Cornwall, and representatives from Aldbourne Band, Pegasus Band, Swindon Brass and Wantage Silver Band. Farewell Mike, and thank you for sharing all your talent, being an inspiration and basically being an all-round great chap. Mike will be sadly missed.
Only a few days later we had more sad news to come to terms with, the sad passing of Peter Jones. Although Peter had been too unwell to play with the band for some time, he was still a close part of the Band family. Over the years he had a huge influence in the band, both playing with the band and with the less glamorous committee and behind the scenes work. All our thought and best wishes go to Phyllis and the family.
The beginning of September saw the band playing at the Prospect Hospice Garden Fete. An occasion we are always very glad to support. For the majority of the day the rain stayed way but when it rained did it rain! This did show how localised our weather can be though. While we were playing in the sun around 2 o’clock, Old Town in Swindon, approximately 2 miles away, was experiencing the rain that hit Wroughton at 4.00ish. It was really great to see so many people supporting the Hospice and it was good for us to have such an appreciative audience too.
The next few months will be particularly difficult for the band with almost all our engagements relating to remembrance in one way or another, with the Hilliers Bereavement Care Service being particularly poignant.
We are once again playing at Malmesbury Abbey, which is always an enjoyable evening particularly with increasing audience numbers. Closely followed by the concert at the Ridgeway School, in partnership with their Performing Arts Department. If previous years are anything to go by, you’ll need to get tickets early to avoid disappointment. The people of Wroughton seem to be increasingly making this a ‘village event’ not to be missed.
Then it will be full steam ahead for Christmas!
Our future engagements include:
October 8th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service at Christ Church, Swindon.
November 10th Remembrance Concert at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm
Tickets are £6 and available on the door.
November 12th Wroughton Parish Church and Parade. 10.00am
November 17th Remembrance Concert at Ridgeway School. 7.30pm
Tickets are available form Ridgeway School.
December 8th Christmas Concert with Wroughton Infants School at Ridgeway School.
More details later.
Details of all our engagements and news can be found on our web site and follow us on face book.
The last couple of months have been a very eclectic mix for the band. Our engagements have ranged from travelling as far away as Yorkshire (see below) and staying right in the heart of Wroughton.
It was another good year at the Wroughton Churches Together cream teas, although I’m not sure much could spoil a good cream tea. Particularly with the fine weather and lots of people enjoying the afternoon. After we had played the ‘Can Can’ I had one happy lady come up and remark it brought back happy memories of her dancing it. Luckily, we only tried playing it!
Chiseldon village fete similarly had good weather, oh and cream teas funnily enough. Even with one of the mini buses of players returning from Saddleworth that morning going a little too far on the M5, we still started on time and with plenty of puff left to play. The zip wire from the church tower was unfortunately only for teddy bears, but I am certain the teddy parachute wouldn’t have taken my weight.
Wroughton Carnival also had nice weather, luckily for us it was cooling down by the end of the afternoon though. We played for an hour to officially bring the afternoons events on the field to a close. There was still plenty of people enjoying the sun and fun fair when I left though.
Our future engagements include:
August 6th Town Gardens bandstand, Swindon, 3-4.30pm
September 9th Prosprect Hospice Fete, Wroughton.
Next month details of Remembrance and Christmas concerts
For up to date details see our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
The band enjoyed it’s second trip to Whit Friday marches t’up north in Saddleworth, Manchester. Thankfully, last years rain did not return and we had glorious weather. This did mean it was much busier, but we still managed to get to 5 villages: Grotten, Lydgate, Friezland, Greenfield and Dobcross. We started off, marching through the packed streets playing the joyful ‘Baggy Trousers’ which went down a treat! Then performing the march ‘Punchinello’ on the contest stand.
Safe to say with the lovely weather, great company, great food and the occasional beverage ALONG with seeing and hearing top brass bands including Brighouse and Rastrick, we all had a fantastic day and thoroughly look forward to our third appearance next year!
Just after midday on the 29th April the band started arriving at Immanuel church in Swindon for their master class with Dr. Robert Childs. I think there was every emotion present from anticipation and excitement through to worry and anxiety. If you follow the brass band world you’ll know that Bob Childs is renowned worldwide for both playing and conducting. After a cup of tea and a few brief introductions, it was straight to work. From then on, I think, most of the worry went out of the window. Bob is such an understanding, encouraging, knowledgeable and enthusing person. The rest of the day just flew by. Over two hours of solid playing, solo session for four of our members, a session of Bob talking about technique, styles and answering question followed by tea and pizza. To round the day off, an hour’s free concert performing the music we had been rehearsing through the afternoon. Donations after the concert raised over £100 for Prospect Hospice. By 8 o’clock it was sadly all over, tired but happy and enthused we made our ways home.
I think it was the first time, and possibly the last, that the band has been described, by Bob, as a bunch of sponges. No, not because we are all round, soft and wet but because we were so keen to absorb everything he was telling and explaining to us.
One of our guest payers was Mr. Fran Cowley. Bob fondly remembered, from when he was a boy, attending contests for solo players and it was always Fran who was there and usually the winner. One of our players’ response was, “sat next to Fran and being conducted by Bob, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Thank you Bob – it was a privilege for us all.
We had a day to recover before we were playing in Wroughton at the Duck race. Variable weather meant we could enjoy playing outside in the sun and inside when it rained. The best of both worlds. It was good to see so many of Wroughton out enjoying the day and the races.
The next weekend we were out again this time in the glorious summer sun, playing in Chippenham park. This marked the beginning of our ‘summer season’. Hopefully the summer sun will carry on too.
Diary of engagements:
June 3rd Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas. St. Joseph’s Church, Wroughton
9th Whit Friday Marches, Saddleworth, Yorkshire
10th Chiseldon Fete, Holy Cross Church, Swindon.
July 1st Wroughton Carnival
8th Haydon Wick Fete, URC Church, Haydon Wick, Swindon.
August 8th Town Gardens Bandstand, Springfield Road, Old Town, Swindon.
We look forward to seeing you at any of these events.
See our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk for up to date details and information about the band, and follow us on facebook.
Easter is almost here once again. Longer, warmer days and the prospect of summer just around the corner. The band held it’s AGM towards the end of February and after the business of the evening was over we had a social time playing skittles. This year we had some awards to band members who had made particular, notable achievements. These included, ‘Most improved player’, ‘Highest attendance’ at rehearsal nights, ‘Best performance’ and the ‘Muppet moment’ for the most outstanding mistake of the year. We gave out 7 awards in total. Who knows what this year may hold?
The band is rehearsing hard for our main new event if the year, so far, a Master Class with Dr. Robert Childs, who is world renowned for his Euphonium playing, and conducting. We are having rehearsal sessions during the day and finishing with a short concert conducted by Dr. Childs. There will be no admission charge for the concert but any donations will go to Prospect hospice.
Hot on the heels of this we start our list of engagements for the year. The Easter bunny is replaced by the Wroughton Duck (1st May), the hot cross buns by the prospect of cream teas (3rd June) and the Easter cross by the Victoria Cross event (2nd April) an one off event for this year.
All of our engagement details are on our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk along with player profiles, archive programmes and photos of past events. You can of course also follow us on facebook.
Sunday 2nd April Victoria Cross Event, Wroughton Cenotaph 10.30am
Thursday 20th April Swindon Stroke Club (private booking)
Saturdy 29th April Master Class day with evening concert.
Immanuel Church, Swindon. Concert 6.30-7.30pm Admission free.
Monday 1st May Wroughton Duck Race
Sunday 7th May Chippenham Park band stand 3.00-5.00pm
Saturday 3rd June Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas. St. Joseph’s Church.
Snow drops and crocus are appearing and the evenings are definitely getting lighter-spring must be once again on the way. Between Christmas and Easter is for the band definitely our quiet period for engagements. Plenty of time to practice though with new and old music alike. An extra incentive to get practicing is a very special day on the 29th April. We are going to have a ‘Master Class’ day and are very lucky that it will be led by Bob Childs. Bob is well known in the Brass band world and beyond. He has had a long career as principle Euphonium for many top-flight bands including Black Dyke. He has also been musical director for many bands including Cory, Black Dyke and director of Brass Studies at the Royal Welsh collage of music to name but a few. We should be in for a great day. We will finish the day with a short concert with Bob conducting the band at Immanuel church, Upham road in Swindon. The concert will last about one hour starting at 6.30pm and admission is free.
This should put us in good stead for our up and coming engagements that we are starting to book in.
Diary of Engagements-2017
April 2nd – Victoria Cross Event, Wroughton
April29th- Master Class and concert with Bob Childs.
May 7th – Chippenham Park
June 9th – Whit Friday Marches-Saddleworth, Yorkshire
June10th Chiseldon Fete
July 1st – Wroughton Carnival
For all our up to date events and contact details please go to our web-site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or see us on facebook.
It seems only a short time ago that I was preparing for the summer sun, and now I’m lighting open fires and shaking off gloves and hats. Not only do we arrive and leave rehearsal evenings in the dark but all of our engagements are now in the dark evenings as well.
Remembrance weekends will mark the beginning of our busy winter season running up the Christmas.
Our two Remembrance concerts are:
Friday November 11th at Malmesbury Abbey starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door at £6 and all the profits go to the Malmesbury branch of the British Legion.
Friday November 18th at Ridgeway School starting at 7.00pm. This concert is with Wroughton Junior School and the Ridgeway School Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts.
Tickets are £5 each and available from the Ridgeway school office or on 01793 846100.
Then Christmas will be rushing up on us before we know it. I noticed that Christmas puddings and mince pies were in the shops at the end of September!
Our main Christmas events this year are:
November 28th-Switching on Old Town Christmas lights in Swindon.
December 3rd-Switching on Wroughton Christmas lights.
December 10th– Concert of Christmas Music at Ridgeway School with Thamesdown Ladies Choir. Mince pies and refreshments from 7.00pm.
Tickets are £5 each or £10 for a family of 2 adults and up to two children (under 16).
They are available from Cloud Nine hair and beauty in St. John Road or 01793-616165.
December 16th-Christ Church, Swindon, when we will be joining Swindon Male Voice Choir.
Details of all our other Christmas events are on our web site wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or on facebook.
What a great start we have had to our 2016 playing calendar. We had a good evening playing for the Swindon Stoke Support Club. Although a slightly smaller group met than usual that evening, they were as enthusiastic and appreciative as ever. An evening that we thoroughly enjoy performing.
This was closely followed by our first public concert of the year on the 23rd April. This was our third year running of being asked by the Swindon Lifeboat Committee to perform a fundraising concert. This year we made it an extra special evening for the band as well as the audience. Our programme included many pieces that had been either arranged, transcribed or written especially for our band.
Pieces including: The Beatles-Echoes of an era, Over the rainbow, Lion King (sound track highlights), Fandango and Selection from ‘Les Miserables’. We presented an engraved bowl to David as a token of our gratitude for all his hard work over the years. Rumour has it there are more pieces in the pipeline. We can’t wait to try them out.
Many thanks to all who attended the evening and helped us to raise a total of £335.54 for the Lifeboats.
Looking forward to the next few months we have mainly outside engagements.
June 4th – Wroughton Churches together afternoon cream teas at St. Joseph’s Church
June 11th– Liddington Fete
July brings two new very important and exciting engagements for us.
On the 2nd we will be playing at the Swindon Hospital Radiotherapy Fundraising Day in Chiseldon and on the 16th we have been accepted to play at the Marlborough Jazz Festival.
We look forward, as always, to seeing you at any of our engagements. More up to date details can be found on our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or on facebook.
Back towards the end of February the band had our annual AGM. We reviewed our achievements over the previous twelve months and looked at some ideas and initiatives for the next. We reflected that in a continuingly difficult economic environment we managed to support a number of charities, both local and national. These included: Help for Heroes, Prospect Hospice, Lifeboats, NSPCC and The Poppy Appeal. Our concerts had been well attended and we had a lot of private bookings as well. Looking forward we already have bookings through to August confirmed and a couple for next Christmas pencilled in.
After the official part of the evening was over we continued with a selection of bar meals, plenty of chatting and catching up and some competitive, but friendly, skittles. This year the team game was won by the ‘W’s.
Our first public concert for this year is on Saturday 23rd April. This will be the third year running that we have been booked by the Swindon Branch of the Lifeboats to give a fund raising concert. Once again it is at Bath Road Methodist Church in Swindon starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 each and can be reserved on 01793 521934 or purchased on the door. This year a lot of the music we are playing has been arranged or transcribed specially for Wroughton Band.
April 7th Swindon Stroke Support (private booking)
April 23rd Concert in aid of The Lifeboats @Bath Road Church 7.30pm
June 4th Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas
June 11th Liddington Fete.
Further details of all our events, band news and how to contact us can be found at our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or on Facebook.