Olney Brass tops the Autumn 2012 SCABA 2nd Section
Olney Brass bring home more silverware in the 2nd Section Autumn 2012 SCABA contest, held in Crawley, West Sussex on the 30th September 2012 winning not just the 2nd section. Olney Brass's conductor, Ed Keeley also walked away with the Best Conductor prize and our Soprano Cornet player, Martin Mills took home the Best Instrumentalist prize.
Olney Brass brings home the silverware!
Olney Brass were outright winners of the second section of the West Midlands Brass Band Association annual contest, held in Pershore, Worcestershire, on Sunday 20th Nov, winning a marvellous trophy and £150.00.
The band performed Variations on Maccabeus, by Kevin Norbury, a technically demanding, yet highly musical piece and the adjudicators comments stated that it was the band’s musicality that won the day. In addition, in his first contest as solo cornet player, 16yr old Jack Wilson was awarded best soloist of the section, and was presented with a marvellous silver cup.
This is the first time that the band has competed as Olney Brass and their Musical Director, Ed Keeley said that he is looking forward to many more successes and trophies.
You can hear and see the band when they perform their annual Christmas concert, on Saturday 10th December, at St Peter St Paul church, Olney. Doors open at 18:45
The Band would like to welcome Ed Keeley as their new Musical Director.
Ed comes with a wealth of musical experience, he is presently the Director of Music of The Honourable Artillery Company [TA] and former Director of Music, The Royal Engineers Band and The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas. Ed works for Studio Music Company as Music Editor/composer/arrange and De Haske Music Publications as Arranger/composer/transcriber.
His first formal engagement will be the Bands Christmas concert at Olney church on the 11th December.
We are sadly losing three members this month as they leave for university. Many thanks to Daniel Morony, Euan Hobbs and Sam Scotney we wish them well in their careers and thank them for all their commitment to the band over the last few years.
On 17th March the band gave a joint concert with the newly formed MK Youth Brass in the splendour of the Chrysalis Theatre, playing some music which were favourites of Simon Palmer, as a tribute to a very much missed Stantonbury Brass player who died tragically at the end of 2008 aged 31. Proceeds from the concert went to the RSPB as Simon was an ecologist and fanatical bird-watcher.
At the London & Southern Counties Area Contest at Stevenage on 21st March, the band played "Kingdom of Dragons" by Philip Harper, and came a respectable 8th out of 17 bands to now establish itself competively in the 2nd section.
Proceeds from the Xmas carolling meant that we were able to donate almost £500 to the Headway Organisation and £194 to Willen Hospice from the carol concert in Middleton Hall.
Another sad occasion was the passing of one of the band's founder members, Andy Greig. Son of former founder of the band and former Head of the Music Service David Greig, Andy was 43 years of age and had suffered from cancer for two years. A memorial service took place at the City Church in which members of Stantonbury and MK Brass (Senior & Development) bands played, with Carol Jarvis (a supportive friend) playing "Autumn Leaves". Our condolences go to wife Sara and all the family.
We had the usual flurry of carolling in various venues in Milton Keynes with the highlight being the annual Christmas Celebration Concert in Olney Church on 12th December, with guests being The Music Service's Gospel Choir. Some 300 people attended.
Congratulations to George Bruce (Euphonium) for passing the audition for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.
We have been grateful to Jane Lloyd for helping us this term on Solo Horn and to Murray Picton joining our percussion team after returning from University.
The West Midlands BBA Contest at Leamington Spa at the end of November saw the band turn in a good all round performance on Peter Graham's "Renaissance" to gain a 4th place against seasoned 2nd section bands. Adjudicator John Berryman wrote of "a fine performance".
It was good to see two of the band's ex principals taking leading roles in the annual Remembrance Service from the Royal Albert Hall on 7th November in front of the Queen and other high profile dignitaries. Ben Godfrey played the trumpet solo "Tico Tico" with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, and Peter May was one of the State Trumpeters in the Last Post and Reveille.
We are losing two members to University in September, Tom Garry (Solo cornet) and Dominic Sheehy(Baritone). We wish them well in their careers and thank them for all their commitment to the band over the last few years. Fortunately they have been replaced by two talented players: Jack Wilson and Catherine Garry, both of whom have come through the music service structure.
As if the recent death of young Simon Palmer wasn't enough for the band to cope with, on the eve of the area contest Teresa May, wife of Flugel player Laurence, suffered a brain haemorrhage and very sadly passed away a week later. Tess was a French Horn specialist who had taught at the music service for over 20 years. We send our sincere condolences to Laurence and their two sons Peter and Tim, both of whom played with Stantonbury Brass whilst at school some years ago.
The band made a last minute decision to play at the area and we were very grateful to ex-player Stephen Kenny who travelled from York University and played the Flugel part with just 10 minutes' run through.
Although there was some excellent playing, the adjudicator Philip Sparke commented that "the performance had good moments but it needed more character and didn't really catch fire". Under the circumstances it is quite understandable why this was so.
The band now look forward to the Area Contest at Stevenage in March playing the colourful "New World Sketches" by Daniel Price. Based on American life in the 1930s, the scoring involves 4 percussionists who have to deal with no fewer than 18 percussion instruments.
We are extremely grateful to Jan Bower (Horn) and Laurence May (Flugel) who have helped us through a difficult time over the last few months and continue to do so.
We are delighted to announce that cornet player Chris Petty gave birth to baby Kim on 16th January. Many congratulations Chris & Trevor.
In memory of Flugel player Simon Palmer, who died in September, the band decided to donate the carol collections this year to the charity MIND. A wonderful sum of £800 was given to the charity. Many thanks to the parents and friends of the band who helped in all the collections.
An excellent concert was given as usual to a large gathering at Olney Church, with guests The Ousedale Olney Ensemble and the Spectrum Brass Quintet.
Many congratulations to Euphonium player George Bruce for passing his Grade 8 exam. with distinction.
The band took part for the first time in many years in the West Midlands Association Contest at Leamington Spa.
In preparation for the higher standard of playing in the 2nd section, the band played the musically challenging "Prometheus Unbound" by Granville Bantock and turned in an excellent performance. We came 6th out of 12 bands, with adjudicator Peter Parkes saying that the playing was so close that even the last placed band could have won on another day. It was good to hear so much excellent playing: well, it was an own choice contest!
Simon PalmerThe band have been devastated by the death of their Flugel Horn player Simon Palmer. Simon sadly took his own life on Sunday 28th September and was only 31 years of age. He came through the MK Music Service system and was a member of the band for 18 years, often being a featured soloist in many of our concerts. After gaining a 1st class honours degree in Ecology from University he worked for the MK Parks Trust, but Stantonbury Brass was his life and we will all miss him terribly.
He was one of the nicest young men one could wish to meet and only two weeks ago he said he was looking forward to the challenge of the 2nd section next year. Many of the band's ex-players, as well as current and former music service heads David Rose & David Greig, came from as far away as Scotland, Manchester & London to join the band for Simon's funeral service on Wednesday 8th October where the band played one of his favourite pieces "Swingtime Religion" and the march "Punchinello".
It is intended to hold a memorial concert for Simon sometime in the future. We all extend our condolences to his family at this very sad time.
Other NewsWe have recently said our farewells to David Gray, who has moved to Scotland. David has been with the band for many years and was formally Head of Music Technology at Wootton School in Bedford. Ewan Cairns (Luton University) and Alex Chapman (York University),Jenni Walmsley(Performing Arts Centre, Liverpool) have also left. We wish them all well in their future careers and thank them for all their commitment to the band over the years.
We warmly welcome two new members to the horn section: the very experienced Rosemary Brooks and Ewan Hobbs, who has progressed through the music centre system.
The recently formed 10 piece ensemble from the band made their debut appearance at a concert at the Chrysalis Theatre, MK on 18th May. The concert was in aid of the Parkinson's Disease Society and the ensemble was engaged by the organisers "No Strings", an A Cappella Choir from Milton Keynes. The ensemble played to a packed house and were very well received.
Promotion:Playing from a relatively early draw the band came an excellent 4th place out of 17 bands at the Area Contest in Stevenage playing "The Dark Side of the Moon" by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. They missed out on an appearance at the National Finals by just one point. However, because of the average of positions over the past three years the band have been promoted to the 2nd section from January 2009. This is good news for both the band and music service well deserved for all the hard work they put in, particularly since they have to compete against bands that rehearse twice a week for often fifty weeks of the year. Life will be tougher in this section but they seem very ready for the challenge.
The band were grateful for the input of Laurence May and Heather Britton, together with Richard Colson and Philip Wilson who have both now joined on a permanent basis. The band also welcomes Duncan Bruce from Towcester Band (joining father Alan and brother George), and were delighted when Keith Underwood (founder member) offered to take on the challenge of tuned percussion.
January saw the band competing at the Butlins Championships in Skegness on "Symphony for Brass". Due to work commitments the band had to engage some guests to compete, namely Pauline Richards (Hemel Hempstead Band), Chris Johnston (MD, Bradwell Band) and David Rose & Andrew Hughes (Broseley Brass Development Band). We were most grateful for their help. The band came a respectable 6th out of eleven bands, but generally felt that they were not at their best on this occasion. However they had a great weekend.
December was busy as usual with very successful concerts being given at Olney Parish Church and Lovatt Fields Care Home. One of the soloists at these concerts was Stephen Kenny, who played "Georgia on my Mind" and has now left to concentrate on his A level studies. We were also pleased to welcome back for a short while ex-member Andrew Rosier (Trombone) who is now experiencing life in South America. We wish them well.
Carol collections this year meant that the band could donate over £900.00 to Willen Hospice. Many thanks to parents, friends and Daphne Clifton who coordinated the collections, for all your help.
The band moved into new rehearsal premises at the new music service site in Simpson. After trials acoustically, it was agreed that the Hall at the site was going to be an improvement for rehearsal purposes, particularly since all the percussion was at hand.
Welcome to two new members, Sam Scotney and James Cosby, who have graduated through the music service ensemble structure.
Craig Greene joined Stantonbury Brass in 2001 and over the next seven years became a valuable solo cornet player, obtaining his Grade 8 (Distinction) when he was 13. In 2003, Craig won a music scholarship to Stowe School and in 2006 acquired the Diploma of the ABRSM with distinction, following the same distinction the previous year on piano. After A levels he was offered scholarships to study at the RAM, RCM and RNCM. He however accepted a place at Christ College, Oxford where he is now studying for his music degree.
We wish Craig well in his future career and thank him for his commitment and input over such a long time, even through his A level studies.
The band excelled themselves once again at the Music Service's annual concert in the MK Theatre. After Fanfare40 composed by Alan Jenkin to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Milton Keynes, the band played "Riverdance" and concluded with Elgar Howarth's arrangement of "Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.
The band would like to extend a very warm welcome to Paul Cartmell, Alex Chapman, Jonathan Dryer, Christine Petty, Jenni Walmsley and Jane Willmott who have recently joined us, and will undoubtedly strengthen the band even further for our forthcoming concerts and contests next season. We were sorry to lose Peter Eales due to pressure of work recently, as well as students Sarah Garry and Daniell Gray due to A-Level exams. Thank you for all the commitment you have given the band over the last few years.
Area Contest: The band gave gave a fine performance of Daryl Barry's Prelude & Jubilate to come 6th out of a field of 15 bands. Many thought our performance justified a higher placing including the 4barsrest correspondant who wrote the following:
"For our money Stantonbury Brass can count itself as the unluckiest band of the day. A relatively early draw (No.4) saw our pre-contest favourites turn in a performance of considerable style. The music flowed with ease and with some experienced players around the band, individual contributions in the Prelude, noteably from Soprano, came off well. The band's conductor shaped the music particularly well and all things considered we would have had Stantonbury in our top three"
Adjudicator Philip Harper thought otherwise and that is what counts. A pity since a higher placing would have seen promotion to the 2nd section.
With limited rehearsal time the band turned in an excellent performance of Keith Wardl's "Edwin of Northumbria" to take 4th prize out of a field of 14 bands at the Butlins Championships on January 20th. Everyone had a great weekend which included taking part in a "massed blow" of a march specially written for the event by Andrew Duncan, with some 1000+ players taking part. This culminated in a world record for the "largest brass band in the world". Proceeds organised by "Band Aid" all went to the Ethiopian Famine Relief.
The band now look forward to The Area contest in Stevenage on March 18th and a special lunchtime recital concert at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone on March 3rd. The band would like to thank those who have helped during events over the last 3 months - in particular Tina, Pat & Miles Kenny, Matthew Ball (Broseley Brass), David Rose, Jenny Walmsley, Jan Bower, Alex Chapman & Karen Boote (Woburn Sands Band).
The band decided this year to enter the Leicestershire Brass Band Contest on the 19th November and turned in a good performance of Gilbert Vinter's "Entertainments" to gain 3rd prize out of a field of 10 bands.
The Christmas period was busy as usual, the highlight being the annual Carol Concert at Olney Church where some 200 people heard the band in good form playing some new arrangements of Christmas music. Guests from the Music Service were Louise Maltby (Flute) and James Maltby (Clarinet), accompanied by Sam Dochree (Piano). They also played an arrangement of Silent Night with the band, which was most effective. Carols at Olney's "Dickens of a Chistmas", the MK Dons Christmas show and Milton Keynes Station realised a substantial sum of money for Willen Hospice.
Concert at the City Church on 17th June was a great success with guest artist Chris Jeans, ex-principal trombone with Black Dyke, Grimethorpe Colliery and Yorkshire Building Society, in fine form. Chris played Stardust and Thoughts of Love in the first half and followed with Londonderry Air and a blistering performance of Goedicke's Concert Etude (normally played on the cornet) in the second half. The band turned in what was probably their best concert performance ever with the Overtures to Magic Flute, Nabucodonosor and Sibelius' Finlandia in a new arrangement by Alan Jenkin. The concert ended with Howard Snell's arrangement of "Procession to the Minster". We were very grateful to Chris Jeans who provided fantastic entertainment and was very complimentary about the band's fine sound.
Welcome & ThanksWe extend a warm welcome to one of the band`s former principal cornet players, Tim Sell, who has recently returned from university. We have been grateful for the help over the past few months of Bob Stradling (Kibworth Band), Matthew Ball (Broseley Brass), Nicky Davy (Brackley Band), Janet Bower, Pat & Tina Kenny and Sam Goode.
We also said goodbye to Murray Picton who will enter Hertfordshire University in October, and Vicky Eales who has moved to Oxfordshire - many thanks for all your commitment over the last five years. Mark Green has also left to concentrate on the Intermediate Brass at the music service.
The band played at the annual Sausage Festival at the White Hart Hotel, Sherington where some 500 people came from far and wide to savour the delights of various sausage fillings and Stantonbury Brass.
An excellent weekend was had with Russell Gray in February. Russell took three rehearsals on Gilbert Vinter's "Entertainments" as well as working with students at the Saturday morning Music Centre School and masterclasses in the afternoon with senior students.
Many congratulations must go to Craig Greene on obtaining his Advanced Dip.ABRSM on Trumpet with distinction. Craig (Solo Cornet player with Stantonbury Brass) had to play a 35 minute recital at St.Hilda's College, Oxford before a panel of Associated Board Examiners.
The band came a creditable 7th at Stevenage on 18th March but were disappointed not to have achieved a higher placing since they felt they played very well on the difficult "Entertainments". However, the band continues to improve and that's what matters.
The band are looking forward to working with Russell Gray who this weekend (11th) notched up another win at the Norwegian Championships with Stavanger Brass.
We are also grateful for the help for the forthcoming Area Championships of Janet Bower (Horn), David Rose and Gianni Bruno (Cornets).
The band came a creditable 5th at the Butlins Championships and a great weekend was enjoyed by all. We were very grateful for the help of Janet Bower (Horn) and Jenni Walmsley (Timpani) for this Contest. The band are also very grateful for the commitment given by two members: David Wolfson and Kevin Greene, who recently left us after several years of loyal membership. We wish them well.
A warm welcome to Malcolm Nevin (Eb Bass), who now joins us on a full-time basis.