Since my last news update the summer has come and gone I’m afraid, however we have been very busy with different events.
The Church Music Festival, supported by a grant from Arts Council England, was a huge success and our guest artists, Gary Sieling (Organ), Jemima Phillips (Harp), Osian Griffiths and Wynne Evans, all thrilled the audience with their wonderful performances.
The Porthcawl Male Voice Choir, who performed at the Welsh Evening, was fantastic and really appreciated by the capacity audience.
The band had successful concerts at Stroud Subscription Rooms (on the hottest day of the summer) and at Malvern Bandstand where we dodged the storms!
The Training Band performed at Highnam Court at a fundraising event for the Great Oaks Hospice where more than £1,000 was raised during the afternoon. They also performed in Lydbrook for the Orchard Trust Summer Fayre, where over £3,000 was raised for the Trust.
Our own Garden Party at Lydbrook House (courtesy of Mrs. Ann Hayes) was enjoyed by everyone who attended on a lovely summer afternoon.
The Training Band were out again straight after the summer break, taking part in the play ‘Passing the Baton’ with Wyldwood Arts, which told the story of Lydbrook Band in fact and fiction. A great evening was had by all who came along to a packed village Memorial Hall.
We now move on to my 60th Anniversary Concert on 30th September at the Forest Theatre where the band will be joined by some brilliant soloists and conductors. We have Brett Baker on Trombone, Glyn Williams on Euphonium, Steve and Carlton Sykes on Tuba and Jarnfrid Gunnarson from Norway on Cornet. The conducting will be shared by Ian Holmes, Glyn Williams, Brian Howard, Remigijus Vilys and Tom Brevik.
Although the concert is now sold out it’s always worth a telephone call towards the end of the week to see if any tickets have been returned (telephone Barbara on 01594 860944).
We are then off to Torquay on Saturday 4th November to take part in the South West Brass Band Association Contest where we will be conducted by Glyn Williams (there are 13 bands entered in our section).
Our Christmas Concert this year is on Saturday 16th December when our guests will be the Blaenavon Male Voice Choir. Tickets at £9.00 each can be obtained from Barbara on 01594 860944 and are on sale now.
We are pleased to welcome a couple of new players to the band; Mark Gaisford joins on 1st Horn from City of Bristol Band, following Marie Pearse’s family move to Exeter and Ian Walshaw joins on 1st Baritone following a spell in Yorkshire with Carlton Main and Yorkshire Imperial bands.
We would like to wish Marie, Les, Thomas and Gemma all the best for their relocation and hope to see them soon at future brass band events.
More news as we move into the winter months.
To celebrate its corporate sponsorship of Lydbrook Band, Forest of Dean Stone Firms welcomed the band to Barnhill Quarry for a unique performance.
Kitted out in hard hats, hi-vis vests and wellies, all 27 members of the band took to the quarry bench to play the title music of The Flintstones; a suitable request from Forest of Dean Stone Firms’ managing director, Nick Horton. As the sun set on a scorching Wednesday evening in the Forest of Dean, Glos, the band completed the set with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (Land of Hope & Glory).
Commenting on the performance and the sponsorship agreement, Nick Horton said: “We’ve had lots of fun organising this. With such a unique alliance, we wanted to do something extraordinary to mark our association. A performance in our quarry seemed like the ideal way to marry the two together; natural stone with music; fortunately, all the band members were game. We thought the acoustics would be impressive but everyone was stunned by the sound, so much so, they want to come back to put on a full performance. Watch this space for Proms in the Quarry!
“Our stoneworks was established in 1902 and the band formed in 1923, this shared heritage, along with our common values of quality and professionalism make for an exciting and beneficial partnership. We’re looking forward to watching the band perform but nothing will beat the Barnhill Quarry sessions!”
Speaking on behalf of Lydbrook Band, secretary, Robert Morgan said “We are extremely grateful to Forest of Dean Stone Firms for their generous support. We have been well-supported by local businesses over the past 94 years but this is the first time that we have had major sponsorship for an extended period. This partnership will allow us to purchase new instruments for our thriving Training Band as well as refurbish a couple of our top of the range Besson Tubas.
“To perform in the quarry was an extraordinary experience. The natural acoustics were incredible and the recording sounds as good as any concert hall or studio.”
Summer is nearly with us and as always for Lydbrook Band and its Training Band, there’s plenty going on - you can see all the details by looking at our events
page, but I’m just going to mention a couple here.
From Friday 9th to Sunday 11th June we are hosting a Music Festival with Lydbrook Church at the Church of the Holy Jesus Lydbrook, supported by Arts Council England. On Friday evening there will be an Organ Recital and Harp solos from local artist Jemima Phillips (harp). Saturday is a Welsh Evening featuring special guests Wynne Evans, the famous opera star from the ‘Go Compare’ advert, Porthcawl Male Voice Choir and Osian Griffiths. Sunday 11th will feature Lydbrook Band and Lydbrook Training Band to include a performance of ‘Silver Rose’, specially commissioned for the band in 2014 to commemorate the anniversary of the outbreak of WW1. This was composed by the band’s Composer-in-Residence, Liz Lane and will be conducted by the band’s principal conductor, Ian Holmes.
Tickets can be obtained from Sue Williams on 860218, Rod George on 542566 or from band members. Parking is available on Lydbrook Recreation Ground with transport up to the Church if required.
Sunday 18th will see the band at Stroud Subscription Rooms for an afternoon concert starting at 3pm. Tickets can be obtained from the Subscription Rooms Box Office: 01453 760900.
The Training Band will be at Highnam Court on Sunday 21st May for an event in aid of the Great Oaks Hospice. It starts at 2pm and the band will be joined by Coleford Community Choir and a Ukulele Band. This is a fantastic venue so please come along and support the Training Band and the Great Oaks Hospice.
More news soon.
Christmas has come and gone and we are now well into the New Year. 2016 seemed to go by in a flash with the band being very busy all year round.
We started 2017 in fine fashion with the marriage of our band Chairman Trevor Moss to our Flugel Horn player Tracey King. They had a marvellous wedding evening and we were all very lucky to be able to join with them for their big day. We wish them a long and happy marriage.
Early in February we hosted the Cory Band in a concert at the Forest Theatre. The world’s No. 1 brass band didn’t disappoint, delivering a concert of sublime quality to a sold out hall. The band’s MD Philip Harper was in fine form too, entertaining the audience with his usual good humour. It was a great afternoon and we were pleased to join them on stage for a couple of massed band items at the beginning of the second half.
We are now working hard preparing for the Area Contest which takes place on Sunday 12th March in Torquay. The test piece is the wonderful ‘Pageantry’ written in 1935 by Lydney composer Herbert Howells. The Area Contest is very important for all bands nationwide as this is the measure used for promotion and relegation.
Following this contest the band will move on to rehearsals for the Spring Festival in Blackpool on May 13th where the test piece is Gilbert Vinter’s ‘Salute to Youth’. For both contests the band will be conducted by Glyn Williams, the principal euphonium of the Cory Band.
Summer bookings are already in place which will keep us busy in the months ahead and it will be a pleasure to welcome back our principal conductor Ian Holmes for the majority of these engagements. See our events list here.
Please note my 60th Anniversary Concert on Sunday 30th September at the Forest Theatre when many guest soloists and conductors will be in attendance. Barbara is now taking orders for tickets at £9.00 each on 01594 860944. It should be a great evening and I hope you are able to come along.
You may also be interested to read our Training Band update.
That’s all for now folks - more news soon.