December is always a busy year for the band, but often one of the most enjoyable too, especially when all the hard efforts pay off the following year due to the money the band has raised. In addition to the caroling in supermarkets, other festive performances such as light switch-on’s, carol concerts (both in the warmth and in the cold) and even performances for the BBC Radio Merseyside Carol Concert, have allowed us to keep improving the band and our facilities for the year ahead. This was all topped at the band’s Christmas Concert held at Garswood Labour Club, were band members and supporters alike celebrated the hard efforts the band has put in throughout 2017.
Our annual Solo Festival has just been held here at Valley Brass. Many members of the band took part in the festival playing a piece of their choice and it was throughly enjoyed by everyone. Congratulations to Christian Teasdale (Open) Kate Kilbane (15s & Us) and Jeanette Aindow (Senior Learners) for coming first place in their sections, in addition to the runners up. Well played everyone!
The band recently held a meal to celebrate our 25th anniversary. In addition to the buffet and hotpot, guest speaker, Sarah Gorak (known for her appearances on Emmerdale, as well as a well known brass adjudicator) delivered an entertaining and moving speech for the band. This was shortly followed by the ‘Valley Brass Awards’, presented by the wonderful Josh Jones (Principal Cornet), Michael Rollinson (Soprano Cornet) and Chris Whittle (Flugel Horn. Prizes consisted of ‘The Chatterbox Award’ and ‘The least likely to follow the conductor Award’. Overall this was an excellent night for the band to celebrate our many achievements over the past 25 years.
We have just held our fantastic 25th anniversary concert of the band at St. Helens Town Hall. Many families and supports of the band thoroughly enjoyed the concert, in addition to the parents of pupils at both St Cuthbert’s and Lyme Primary.
New year, new section. Valley Brass return to Blackpool yet again this year to compete it the Regional Championships; but this time in the 2nd section. We are playing the famous musical suite ‘Rhapsody in Brass’ composed by Dean Goffin. The contest is on Sunday 26th February and are currently working very hard to prepare for the day!
On Tuesday October 25th 2016, the band travelled to the twin town of St. Helens: Chalon Sur Saone.
The evening began with an intensive reherarsal followed by a pack down of all equipment and loading of the coach.
Leaving at 10pm we settled down to a long trip entertained by a constant stream of movie – can’t really say we had a good nights sleep…
At 3pm the next day our weary but excited group arrived at the Hotel St Jean in Chalon Sur Saone and after a brief time setting in, we walked a short distance to the Hotel De Ville (the Town Hall) to perform our first concert and to have a Mayoral Reception.
Gifts were exchanged and speeches given. Valley Brass presented gifts of glasses engraved with the Valley Brass Coat of Arms and embroidered shirts, while the biggest surprise was the speech given in French by our MD, Dave Chadwick.
Dave then surprised all by also presenting all our concerts in French.
Everyday consisted of a great deal of free time for every to explore the historic town and visit the wonderful museums, while the evenings were taken up by concert performances.
Our concerts received great support and good coverage in the local press. After every performance there was a receptions with local food offered, while both French and English musicians chatted long into the evening.
This is the third time the band have visited Chalon Sur Saone and the hospitality of the town never wavers. It was wonderful to renew old friendships and make new friends.
The band left Chalon in high spirits and with promises from our hosts to visit St. Helens in the near future.
On the 18th of September the band competed in the National Finals in Cheltenham. As well as giving a performance we were proud of, we secured 9th place! The months of hard effort paid off and a fantastic day was the result.
What a brilliant concert we had tonight with the Ferdinand Porsche Choir (Stuttgart) at the town hall! St. Helens was filled with music from both Valley Brass and our German friends. Thank you for everyone who came to listen to us; but if you missed it, you can watch it above!
Haydock and Stuttgart team up in two free concerts next week!
The first of the concerts is at Hope Academy on Wednesday 7th September at 7:30pm
The second concert is at St.Helens Town Hall on Thursday 8th September at 7:30pm. Tickets available from The Town Hall main reception, or from Valley Brass.
The band are currently practising very hard for the National Finals in Cheltenham on the 18th September! The piece we are playing is called ‘Lake of the Moon’ (can be found on YouTube). If you happen to be in Cheltenham that day why don’t you get tickets and come along into Cheltenham Racecourse and listen to us! (3rd section hall, we aren’t in the 2nd section until January 2017!)