It Just gets Better and Better!
It’s that time of year when things start getting better. Lighter evenings, warmer weather, spring flowers and blossom. Things are also getting better and better with the band too. You will remember last month I wrote about our success at coming second at the Regional heats of the National Brass Band Championships. We’d only just got the trophy plaque engraved when we received another communication from the organisers to inform the band that we have been promoted to the Third Section, as of January 2020. To those not familiar with the system it’s rather like the football leagues. The forth section is the lowest participating bands (forth division), up through the third, second, first and to the championship section at the top (premier league). If you see any members of the band around the village you can recognise them by a big, ear to ear, smile. With the amount of interest and congratulations that we received both in person and via social media (thank you to you all) we are organising a concert in the village to play our contest piece and a selection of our current repertoire. The provisional date is the 13th July, venue to be confirm but it will be in the in the village.
We enjoyed an evening playing at the Swindon Stroke Support Club in early April. It’s an evening that we look forward to and enjoy each year and judging by their enthusiasm the members do to. This year our play list focused on music connected with films, both new and old.
June 1st Cream Teas at St. Joseph’s church (tbc)
June 14th Whit Friday Marches (Saddleworth, Yorkshire)
June 23rd Town Gardens Band Stand, Swindon (15.00-16.30)
June 29th Chiseldon Fete (14.00-16.00)
July 13th Wroughton Village Concert (19.30)
For any other Information go to our web site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
Wroughton Silver Band hit the right notes.
It was in mid-February that the band held it’s A.G.M. at the White Hart in Wroughton. A long with the usual report, accounts and committee elections we also present our awards for the previous year. These cover both the serious and fun sides of our year, from the Soloist award to the Muppet moments. It was with great pleasure that we were able to confirm that starting this year the soloist award would be presented in memory of our late Principal cornet player and friend Mike Pier. His wife was at the meeting to present a cup to the band engraved “The Mike Pier Solo Cup”.
The awards this year were:
Bandsman: Ken Habgood
Most Improved Section: Basses
Most Improved Player: Diana Wagnal (Baritone)
Soloist: Paul Collins (Euphonium)
Rehearsal Attendance: Roger Little (Bass)
Well done to all our winners.
We also had great pleasure in welcoming Mr. David Jennings as a new Vice President, in recognition of his ongoing outstanding contribution to the band.
Following the meeting we had light refreshments and time for socialising and skittles.
Some twenty years ago Wroughton Silver Band decided to stop competing in the National Brass Band Championships and instead focus on community-based concerts and charitable fund raising. Most of the present-day members therefore had little or no experience of competition playing. This year we decided we would widen our playing skills and enter the regional heats. It would be a chance to see how our standard compared with other bands of similar ability. The regional heats were held on the 9th of March in Torquay and our set piece of music for the forth section was ‘Stantonbury Festival’ by Ray Steadman-Allen. So from the beginning of the year to March 9th we have been practising harder than usual. Extra rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, guest conductors and rehearsing in different venues.
Most of the band booked into one hotel in Torquay which gave time for some final rehearsal. Over the weekend the regional heats were held for all the sections from fourth right up to the Championship level. Somewhere in the region of two and a half thousand musicians descended on Torquay.
With seventeen other bands from all over the west of England in our section, we hoped that our standard of playing would put us somewhere around tenth place. We were thrilled, proud and excited to be placed second, and dare I say just slightly surprised. This result offers the band a place in the finals of the competition, to compete with the other top three bands from each region in the country. A great result and experience for all in Wroughton Silver Band.
Watch this space to find out what happens next, follow us on facebook or our website www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk
What a month November has been. Getting used to the change of clocks, a definite drop in temperature and of course autumn colours. With the extra anniversary remembrance events this year, November has been the busiest the band has had for many years. I’ll include Palestine police Old Comrades Association reunion which was right at the end of October. There is a phrase that they frequently use to describe difficult work that the Palestine Police undertook in the Middle East which I think we could all learn from – “to the best of their ability, a job well done”.
Our annual concert in Malmesbury Abbey was on the 9th of November. The wet and wind didn’t stop the audience, that was in good singing voice, turning out for an evening of music and song. The spectacular architecture rang to the sound of ‘Keep the home fires burning’ and then the more sombre ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ and Last Post.
The very next evening we were at Wroughton Parish church for the ‘100 Armistice Anniversary.’ Joining with the church choir and choral society made for a very special evening. The church echoed with music, verse and song. The formal music of Elgar, Parry, Greig and Hingley was mixed with the community singing of “I do like to be beside the seaside”, “Hello,hello! who’s your lady friend” and “If you were the only girl in the world”. A very special village event for this year. Our thanks to John Henderson for all his hard work making this occasion a reality.
A mere 13 hours later we were back at a packed parish church for Sunday morning service. It was really good to see so many from the young uniformed groups. Thank you all for showing that this special service has a relevant place in village life and that it has a good future. As the vicar said, it seemed particularly appropriate that there was so much life and energy in the building to mark the occasion. It is always a privilege for the band to play for this service, and then to lead the parade down the hill to the war memorial. Not only was the sun out and shining, but the village residents were out in force too. As flags fluttered in the bright autumn sunlight the Last Post soared over the silent figures and up through the shimmering trees. Three hours later, with the sun still shining, a small band were at Radnor Street cemetery for a short service to mark this year’s centenary. Radnor street cemetery is home to a number of WW1 grave stones that have been restored for this year.
At the time of writing of course we hadn’t yet had our evening concert at Ridgeway school on the 16th, so on to Christmas!
Our diary of Christmas engagements is growing by the day. Our main concert this year is once again with the Swindon Male Voice Choir at Christ church in Swindon, on the 21st.
Some of our engagements are:
25th November – Old Town Christmas Lights Switch on
1st December- Wroughton Village Christmas Lights Switch on.
2nd -Alexandra Park community Christmas event
2nd – Thamesdown Ladies Choir Carols at St.Barnabus church, Swindon. 7.00-8.30pm
8th-Moormead Nursing Home
9th-Bromham Church, Chippenham. 2.00-3.00pm
19th- Prospect Hospice 7.00-7.30pm
21st- Swindon Male Voice Choir, Christ church, Swindon.7.30-9.30pm
This is a selection of our engagements over the Christmas period. For the full list of our engagements please see our web-site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a peaceful New Year, and to thank you for your support during 2018.
Wroughton Silver Band Chairman
Well, another month has flown by with weather for all seasons. With most of our summer holidays fading into the past already, we are looking forward to a busy period for the band. Our rehearsal pad of music is bursting at the seams. A very busy Remembrance weekend will be followed very quickly by Christmas music.
Once again we had a really good afternoon at the Prospect Hospice Garden Fete, back at the beginning of September. Judging by the amount of people there, we weren’t the only ones. The weather stayed fine and there was plenty of people milling about enjoying the stalls, teas and music. Thank you to everyone who sat and listened to the band and particularly the people who came up and chatted to us.
Looking ahead, we have a new venture this year which we are greatly looking forward to. On Saturday the 10th of November we are joining with our friends in Wroughton Choral Society and Wroughton Parish Church Choir for “Wroughton 100, Armistice Anniversary Concert”. An evening of music, reading, poems and of course some songs to join in and sing. It promises to be a really varied evening with a wide selection of musical style and spoken word. Admission is free with a retiring collection in aid of SSAFA – the armed forces charity.
Just prior to this on the 9th, the band will be at Malmesbury Abbey for our annual concert and service of Remembrance. All proceeds from this go to the Malmesbury branch of the Royal British Legion. Then following on a week later we join the Ridgeway School department of performing arts and Wroughton Infants School to present an evening Concert of Remembrance at Ridgeway School. Hopefully, once again, the village will come together to make this a ‘sold-out’ evening. Further details and tickets are available from the School.
Diary of Engagements:
October 23rd Old Town Masons, ‘Battle of Britain’ evening meal. (Private event)
26th Wroughton Conservative’s Dinner at the Ellendune Hall. (Private event)
28th Palestine Police Old Comrades Association, Blunsdon House. (Private event)
November 9th Concert and Service of Remembrance at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm
10th Wroughton 100, Armistice Anniversary Concert. Wroughton Parish Church 7.30pm
11th Wroughton Parish Church Remembrance Service and Parade 10.00am
16th Remembrance Concert and Service at Ridgeway School 7pm
(with Ridgeway Dept. of Performing Arts and Wroughton Primary Federation)
My silly musical mis-quotes for this month are:
Con moto— I have a car
Allegro—a little car
Maestro—-a bigger car
The proper definitions are available on Google (or other reputable search engines) and details of all Wroughton Bands activities are at www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on twitter.
What a summer we’ve had. Clear blue skies and wall to wall sun. Occasionally dare I say possibly a little too warm and humid. There are down sides with the lack of rain, where my lawn used to be there is now a very neat dessert!
Summer sun always sets the scene for the Sunday afternoon concerts in our local parks. Wroughton Band was playing in the Town Gardens in Swindon on the 22nd of July. A glorious afternoon brought out the crowds, filling every available chair and bench. A rare chance for me to listen from the audience as I was unable to play. Whilst listening to the music I was also able to talk with other people and hear how much they enjoyed the Sunday afternoons in the park. The beginning of August saw us travelling a little further afield. Over the county boarder to Victoria Park in Newbury. A new engagement for us but one we will hope to repeat next year. Another glorious afternoon and another large audience enjoying this typically English afternoon out. Sitting in a deck chair, eating an ice cream whilst listening to a brass band.
There is a slight lull in out engagements until we get to September.
September 1st Prospect Fete
September 30th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service at Christ Church, Swindon.
November 9th Concert and Service of Remembrance at Malmesbury Abbey. 7.30pm
11th Wroughton Parish Church Remembrance Service and Parade 10.00am
16th Rembrance Concert and Service at Ridgeway School (Time TBC)
(with Ridgeway Dept. of Performing Arts and Wroughton Infants School)
Of course all details of our engagements can be found on our web-site www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us of facebook.
Last month I started with the fact that the summer sun had arrived. This month I can continue that sentiment with the fact that the summer heat has also arrived and looks like remaining for some time. It certainly made a glorious day for Wrougton carnival. It was unfortunate that the day clashed with an England World Cup game, although obviously the bands rendition of the ‘Match of the Day’ theme tune spurred the team on to their win!! Even with the match in full swing there was still a good crowd on the Wier Field enjoying the sun, stalls and sat around listening to the band. I don’t think we have ever played to an audience with such a high proportion of women.
Hopefully the fine weather will last a little longer as our next two summer engagements are outdoors. The Town Gardens in Swindon is a familiar summer engagement but Newbury Park on the 5th of August is a new one for us.
August 5th Victoria Park Newbury 3.00pm
September 30th Hilliers Bereavement Care Service, Christ Church, Swindon.
October 23rd Swindon Masons (Private event)
All our details are of course on our web-site, www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
A couple of joke musical terms from a poster I saw recently:
The Interval is- time to meet the players in the bar.
A perfect Interval is- when the drinks are on the house.
Summer sun has arrived with a vengeance, even for TWO bank holidays! Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t quite so settled in Yorkshire when the band attended the Whit Friday Marches once again. Damp rather than wet though and it certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm, fun and enjoyment. The band performed well with very encouraging remarks, once again, from the adjudicators. The band was dressed in varying levels of fancy dress themed to the arrangement of music from the Lion King that they were playing. It can’t be very often that you can see monkeys, giraffes and lions parading through Yorkshire villages.
The sun certainly shone on the Wroughton village cream teas at the beginning of June. I didn’t see much cream melting away, but to be fair cream teas don’t tend to stay around long enough to melt. It was good to see such a big crowd enjoying the afternoon. Chatting, eating and drinking and generally enjoying the sun and fellowship of the day.
We hope to be performing as part of the of the Wroughton Carnival celebrations, but we haven’t yet finalised the details. I’m sure it will, once again, be a great day with all the usual fun throughout the village. Our next few summer engagements are listed below. Please do come and have a chat with us and we are always glad to hear suggestions of what you’d like to hear us play.
July 15th Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm
July 22nd Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm
August 5th Newbury Park Bandstand. 3.00pm
All our up to date details are on our web site, por follow us on facebook. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk
The last time I wrote in Wroughton Monthly the band hadn’t played at any engagements this year. Since then we have had our first two engagements. Firstly, we gave our annual music evening at Swindon Stroke Support Club. They are always such an appreciative and responsive audience to play to which in turn makes it an enjoyable and rewarding evening for us too. Most years the evening manages to coincide with a birthday, either in the club or the band, so happy birthday is an added item to the programme. This year was no exception.
Towards the end of April, we headed to Bromham parish church. A new venue for us to play at and what a pleasure it was. The church itself has a lovely acoustic (as most traditional churches do) to play in and once again a really great audience. The ticket price of £10 included a glass of wine and refreshments at half time, great value. It proved a successful evening raising funds for the Church too. We played a wide selection of music including:
A Tenor Horn solo ‘Over the Rainbow’, a Flugel Horn and Bass duet ‘Under the Boardwalk’, a Cornet trio ‘Buglers Holiday’ and a Trombone quartet arrangement of ‘I will follow him. I don’t know what arrangements we have for five solo parts, but it must be the next in the sequence!
Our next engagement is about as far away as we go as a band. That of the Whit Friday marches in Saddleworth, Yorkshire on the 25th of May. This year the band is playing a march arrangement of music from the musical The Lion King which has been specially written for us by our great friend David Jennings. Many thanks David for another great piece for us.
Following on from that we return to our more regular local engagements:
June 2nd Wroughton Churches Together Cream Teas
July 7th Wroughton Carnival
July 15th Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm (not June as advertised last time)
June 22nd Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm
August 5th Newbury Park Bandstand. 3.00pm
For all our up to date details, engagements and news find us at www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk or follow us on facebook.
Wroughton Silver Band Chairman.
Just as spring seemed to have arrived and settled down, along came the snow. Like many other activities in and around Wroughton our Thursday evening rehearsal succumbed to the ‘Beast from the East’.
Towards the end of February, the band had its AGM. Twenty-six members attended the meeting where the accounts were approved, new committee for 2018 elected, chairman/secretary and treasurer’s reports were heard and the band awards for 2017 were presented. The awards were for the Bandsman of the year, performance, section, deportment, up and coming/ improved player, best attendance and Muppet moment (the biggest or funniest ‘mistake’ of the year). The social part of the evening then got under way with light refreshments which was followed by skittles. The numbers swelling with the arrival of family members and invited guests. With forty-two people playing skittles the time soon ran out but there was still time for the ‘killer’ round which was won this year by Chris Webb.
The bands diary of engagements is starting to fill up with both private and public events throughout the year.
April 12th Swindon Stroke Support Club
April 28th Bromham Church, Nr. Devizes. 7.30pm This is a new venue for the band and a chance to perform to a wider audience.
May 25th Whit Friday Marches – Saddleworth, Yorkshire.
June 15th Purton Memorial Hall 5.00pm
June 22nd Town Gardens, Swindon. 3.00pm
For all our news and engagements follow us on Facebook or check our website.
I’ll start by referring back to last year and a very unexpected occurrence. You may remember that the band participated in the Whit Friday marches at Saddleworth in Yorkshire. The band got a write up in one of the local papers after the performance at Greenfield. I’m not sure that the local paper actually knew where Wroughton is however! After our Remembrance concert in Malmesbury Abbey, in November, a gentleman came up to us and told us he was in fact from Greenfield. I’m not sure he had travelled all that way specially to hear us, but who knows! It was great that he came over for a chat, and remembered that he had heard the band before.
We had a really great start to the Christmas season with Old Town lights in Swindon – a cold afternoon, but dry. This was closely followed by Wroughton lights, again cold and dry, and it was great to see the Ellendune Hall full to capacity with all ages. The day after we were in the warmth at Alexandra Conference Centre for a great afternoon of Christmas music and a first mince pie!
We’re now all looking forward to another busy but enjoyable year ahead.
Keep up to date with our news and engagements on our web site or on facebook. www.wroughtonsilverband.co.uk
On behalf of all in Wroughton Silver Band, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy 2018.
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.