The Blog

Whit Friday 2018

On Friday 25th may, the band yet again travelled to Tameside for the Whit Friday March Contest. Following tradition, the days leading up to the contest were warm and sunny: ‘Whit Friday will be great if the weather is like this!’.

Luckily, the rain held off whilst we were marching, albeit a bit colder than the days before the contest. We played at seven venues; Dukinfield, The Albion (Dukinfield), Upper Mossley, Carrbrook, Heyrod and both Stalybrdige Celtic and Stalybridge Labour Club, coming first place at the Heyrod contest.

Overall, it was another enjoyable night consisting of some great performances. An edited montage of our performances can be watched below.

Mayor’s Charity of the Year – St. Helen’s Mind

On Saturday 4th April the band performed at St. Helens Town Hall to support the Mayor’s Charity of the Year, St. Helens Mind. Supporters of both the band and Mind, in addition to the wonderful people of St. Helens, enjoyed a concert featuring a range of music from classics such as Glenn Miller, to modern Disney arrangements. All topped by tea and cake!

Banner made by St. Helens Mind

Part of the event was live streamed and published on the St. Helens Mind Facebook page, which can be watched here.

Overall, it was an enjoyable afternoon and thank you to all who turned up to support St. Helens Mind and their wonderful cause! We hope you enjoyed it.

North West Regional Championships 2018

The band travelled down to Blackpool yet again this year to participate in the Regional Brass Band Championships. We were playing ‘Ex Terra Lucem’, a piece originally commissioned for St Helens Youth Brass Band, but was used as this year’s 2nd section test piece. Overall the band played a good performance on the day but unfortunately no high positions or prizes were won. Maybe next time?

The afternoon was spent enjoying a carvery in The Gynn Pub, which has come our favourite post-regionals meal!

Christmas Festivities

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.

Valley Brass Solo Festival 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!

Valley Brass 25th Anniversary Meal

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.

North West Regional Championships 2017

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!

Chalon Sur Saone – France Tour 2016

 

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.

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