Very Sad News for Audley and for music-making across the UK
Audley Brass are very sad to report the sudden death of David Turner an accomplished and respected trombone player who has recently spent much time with the Band and become a friend to many. David was the elder brother of Ian. David was a super player who played for the band at the 2014 NEMBBA Contest, the Regional Championships in Bedworth and most recently at our annual Friends Concert in Audley at the beginning of April. David was a great bloke for whom nothing was too much trouble. He will be greatly missed and the thoughts of everyone connected with the band are with David's family. David lived in Worcestershire and has played on numerous occasions at Pershore Midsummer Brass. In July when Audley Brass play there, the Band will dedicate the performances to David.
Mick Rath comes to Audley!
Audley Brass were delighted to welcome Mick and Nikki Rath to their annual awards evening on Saturday 5 April. Following a bequest to the Band from a locally villager, the Band chose to purchase a new trombone for the Band which is currently being played by Patrick Marshall. Both Ian and his brother play trombones so took a keen interest in the purchase of this instrument on behalf of the Band which resulted in two personal purchases on top! Mick formally presented Patrick with trombone and was treated to a rendition of the trombone trio "I Will Follow Him" from the film Sister Act, featuring a trio of Rath Trombones! Photos to follow!
Audley Brass holds another successful Awards Evening and a Third Life Member joins the 'Elite Team'
Saturday 5 April saw the third Audley Brass Awards evening in the Band's long history. Five awards were made to well-deserving recipients. Visit the Awards page for details. We were delighted also the present the Band's 4th Life Membership Award. The recipient in 2014 was Lynn Harrison who has been associated with the band for over 30 years, initially when her children joined the Band, and then as a player herself, and more recently as our librarian. Lynn works effortlessly to sort through music and is also first to support with the 'behind the scenes' activites at our concerts. Lynn is supported by Brian Harrison who is the Band's Vice-President. As well an engraved salver for Lynn, both Lynn and Brian received a voucher for hanging baskets/flowers from our very own Terry Mountford who runs a successful nursery and livery business in the Village. Lynn joins the team of Ted Llewellyn, Peter Hawxwell and Mark Woodvine who received life memberships in 2013, 2012 and 2011 respectively.
Midlands Progress - onwards and most definitely upwards! Area Contest, 9 March 2014
What a result! We may not have made the official prizes but Audley Brass were delighted by a 5th place from a field of 20 at the Midlands Area Contest in Bedworth on Sunday 9 March. The Band were drawn to play number 19 and certainly rose the the occasion with an excellent performance and one which each and every member of the Band (and the MD) were proud off. 4BarsrRest.com were informally reviewing bands as they played and we were delighted to receive two 'tweets' from them: "Good start some lovely well balanced sounds. Classy stuff" and "Style and class in abundance, lovely sounds, romance blossoms. Dances merrily away like spring lambs". Provisional grading tables just published show us as now 10th in the 4th section table, a rise of some 13 places (who said 13 is unlucky!)
Silverware from Derby! Contest, 23 February 2014
What a result! Audley was delighted to receive 2nd place at the recent Derby (South Normanton) Contest run by the North East Midlands Brass Band Association (NEMBBA). The contest is staged as a 'run-out' for the area contest scheduled for 9 March in Bedworth and features the set test piece for the year. Three Spanish Impressions by Alan Fernie certainly suited Audley Brass as we made a great impression on that day! The NEMBBA 4th section attracted 5 entries (4 from Midlands region competitors, and one from the Yorkshire region). Neil is now busy creating plans for a trophy cabinet - although someone suggested we might be able to secure a discounted on from a local football club!
Staffordshire County Council Grant and Bequest - we really are a 'Brass' Band!
January 2014 started well for the Band, building on a very successful fundraising period during December 2013. We are delighted to report that a grant application to the Staffordshire County Council Local Community Fund was successful resulting in us being able to purchase 4 new bass cases to replace original ones which after over a decade's use have passed their best! The bass team are looking forward to having a new set of wheels each in the coming months!
We were also very surprised to receive a donation from the estate of the late Mrs Thorley Platt, a resident of Audley who owned a shop in the village famed for selling anything and everything! Mrs Platt's left a sum of money to the Band which has resulted in us purchasing a brand new Rathbone Tenor Trombone and a new set of stand banners for concerts. Mrs Platt's shop sold haberdashery items and the Band felt it would be a fitting tribute to have the stand banners made and a tribute to Mrs Platt sewn into each one by the manufacturers. With a new set of banners has to come a new set of stands! These too are on order and we plan to showcase all of these items during our Friends' and Awards concert on Saturday 5 April at the Audley Methodist Church Hall, Bignall End.
A Day Out in Loughborough
Audley Brass once again made the trip to Loughborough (via Shepshed for a morning rehearsal) to the Leicestershire Brass Band Association autumn contest. We played Philip Sparke's Saint-Saens Variations and were pleased with our performance. The main objective of the day was to settle nerves and accustom the Band to contesting (it is a relative new experience for many and can be quite daunting). We were a 'man down' as our Chairman and 2nd Trombone was taking ill the day before so this mean he was unable to travel to the Contest. We soldiered on and were proud to perform for him on stage in the name of Audley Brass. Onwards and upwards - here's to rehearsals in the New Year for the Midlands Area!
Audley Brass Remembers the Brave
Audley Brass were proud and privileged to be a part of the Festival of Remembrance which took place on Saturday 2 November at Kidsgrove Town Hall. The evening, hosted by the Goldenhill Branch of the Royal British Legion, featured not only Audley Brass, but Kidsgrove Community Choir, local schoolchildren from Dovebank Primary and the local branch of the Blackwatch. The assembled audience including members of a number of British Legion Branches, as well as local dignatories and representatives from the Chelsea Pensioners. Audience participation was encouraged with singing of verses from 10 wartime songs, including Its a Long Way to Tipperary, Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler, Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag, etc., accompanied by Audley Brass and the Community Choir. It is hoped that this will be annual event - more details will follow!
On Sunday 10 November we were also pleased to march through Audley village leading the Remembrance parade and then taking part in both the indoor and outdoor services to commemorate those who lost their lives in battle. Audley Brass played the Miner's hymn, Gresford, as wreaths were laid and accompanied the congregation in the singing of hymns. Glyn Jones played the Last Post in Audley Village, and Neil Johnson, at Alsagers Bank.
Audley Brass holds another successful Awards Evening and a Third Life Member joins the 'Elite Team'
Saturday 20 April brought the second Awards evening in the Band's long history. Five awards were made to well-deserving recipients. Visit the Awards page for details. The quote of the night must however go to Harry Lovatt who received the Young Player Award nominated by our MD - Harry described himself as "Well chuffed"! This Award followed a very successful rendition by Harry of Hank Marvin's famous hit Wandrin' Star. The Chairman of the Band was delighted to be able to present the Band's Third Life Member gift to Ted Llewellyn who was a former player with the Band, held the positions of secretary and treasurer in the past and who is now the Band's President. Ted was presented with a silver salver and his wife, who too used to play with the Band and is still active at fundraising and village events, received a bouquet of flowers. Ted joins the team of Peter Hawxwell and Mark Woodvine who received life membership in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
We are on the Up...
Audley Brass were delighted to receive an 11th place at the Midlands 4th Section Area Contest which took place on Sunday 10 March in Bedworth; this builds on a third place at the NEMBBA Contest in Derby in February 2013 and an 11th place at the Loughborough Contest in November 2012. We spent a significant amount of time developing players' confidence for contesting over recent months and were delighted to welcome Dave Lea from Jaguar Landrover (the 2013 Midlands Champions) to two practices to be put through our paces prior to Bedworth. The Band's attitude and approach to contesting is very positive and we are looking forward to translating improvements in our ensemble playing and consistent approaches to tempo through to our concert playing.
Audley Brass proud to lead the procession for Longton Armed Forces Day Celebrations on 1 July
Audley Brass stepped in at the last minute to support the Armed Forces and their families at the prestigious armed forces day celebrations on 1 July in Longton Park, Staffordshire. Leading the procession, Audley took the parade to the Band Stand playing Slaidburn. At the Band Stand, a short service took place with Audley Brass accompanying the hymns. The weather was not as kind as the time of year would suggest but did not deter attendees who made up an impressive crowd.
Pictures of the day available here: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/pictures/Longton-Armed-Forces-Day-celebrations/pictures-16475961-detail/pictures.html
Friends Concert provides occasion for inaugural Award Presentations Evening
At our Spring 'Friends' concert, Audley Brass presented the first set of their Annual Awards. The Awards have been designed to provide the opportunity for the players, the Committee and the MD to show their appreciation of specific players in five categories: Players' Player, Best Bandsman, Outstanding Contribution, Young Player, and MD's Awards. The criteria for the awards are as follows:
Players' Player - nominated by secret ballot by players of the Band and awarded to the player who the Band feels has put in the most dedication and effort in the past 12 months
Best Bandsman - nominated by secret ballot by players of the Band and awarded to the best all-rounder Bandsperson
Outstanding Contribution - awarded to the person (not necessarily player) who has made an outstanding contribution to the Band, beyond the call of duty (nominated by the Committee)
Young Player - awarded by the MD to a young player whom he deems to have shown the greatest commitment and improvement over the past 12 months
MD's Award - as the title suggests, awarded by the MD to recognise the contribution a single player has made to the Band either as a player or by showing flexibility in the best interests of the Band
Click here for Award Winners
In addition to the Band Awards, the evening marked the occasion of the retirement of John Breeze who has played with Audley for over 14 years, on Euphonium for much of that time, but finishing up on 1st Baritone during 2012. John was a stalwart of Audley Brass and very much involved in the rebuilding of the bandroom and its subsequent upkeep and painting. We hope that John will on occasions continue to come and have a blow with the Band and we anticipate seeing him at some of our concerts in the future, albeit audience-side!
Finally, Peter Hawxwell was presented with a Life Membership Award recognising his commitment and dedication to Audley Brass since he joined some 20 years ago. He is now in his 11th year as Chair of the Band and during all of these years he has invested much energy and enthusiasm both to this role and his playing.
Audley Brass featured on BBC "Chris Evans Breakfast Show" on Monday 19 December 2011...
Audley Brass recorded their rendition of Military Wives "Wherever You Are" at their Friends concert on Sunday 17 December 2011. This arrangement, by the Band's former MD, Ian Turner, featured Peter Moxon on Tenor Horn to open the piece and crescendo to a rousing finale with some superb percussion playing. A moving piece in its own right, made all the more special by the Chairman reading the words to the piece prior to the Band playing - not a dry eye in the audience as individuals reflected on the huge efforts our military make to secure us all and our Country. A donation box at the end of the evening raised £100 for the Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). What a success all round!