Our Last Night Of The Proms concert is a firm favourite. Every year in October we put on an epic show with larger-than-life pieces and flag-waving. The band wears their best dresses and suits, and the audience is invited to engage.
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This weekend saw us arrive at our annual trip to the SCABA entertainment contest in The Hawth, Crawley. This is a great opportunity for the band as we get another outing in a contest setting and the chance to get some new repertoire under our belts!
After last weekend’s successful concert we knew that our set was a force to be reckoned with, starting with Sykes’s Firedance to get our blood pumping. After that, our lovely flugel player, Amelia Young, took to the stage to melt the hearts of the audience and the adjudicator, Michael Fowles, by playing ‘Eyes of a Child’- off by heart! Her “quality flugel sound” (quote from our remarks!) not only blew everyone away but also earned Otterbourne the Best Soloist prize, a fantastic and well deserved achievement!
However, this was not the only prize we walked away with on Sunday. Our concert march, ‘Emblem of Unity’, was a fantastic choice from Melvin and meant that we could prove ourselves as a band- which led to us being awarded Best March as well!
If you didn’t think that was entertaining enough we took it up a notch by featuring two fantastic trombone players. Nick West and Susan White are an indomitable force and they certainly proved it with an arrangement of Herbert L Clarke’s duet, ‘Cousins’. Starting off their duet on tenor trombone they then moved to euphonium, over to alto trombone and back to tenor to finish. All in the space of 3 minutes! To quote Mr Fowles again, it was “impressive stuff!”. We are not a band that like to leave without a bang and so the finale to Dean Jones’s ‘Glorifico Aeternum’ became our ending to the set. It was a great way to finish off and left the band smiling from ear to ear.
Although we were pipped to the post for first place by Verwood band- who also played fantastically, we were very happy with our performance and it has put us in high spirits for the summer season! Another huge thank you to Melvin for bringing us a fantastic set, it pushed us to work even harder and play even better. SCABA was a great opportunity for us to show off our lovely soloists and the band had a fun day as well!
Make sure that you come and see us on June 12th or July 3rd in Otterbourne Village Hall for what is going to be another great performance!
Article by Sophie Hart
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Last Sunday saw Otterbourne Brass’s first concert appearance of 2016. With the first three months of the year dedicated to the two contests the band have competed in, it was nice to have a change of scene and put on a great concert. In addition, the concert saw a return to one of our favourite venues, Chandlers Ford Methodist Church, the first time we have played there under our new MD, Melvin White.
As well as the concert, the band is busy preparing for the SCABA Entertainment Contest at the end of the month, and as such the programme contained some of the music we will be playing at this competition. We opened with Steve Sykes’s exciting Firedance, before featuring our first soloist as Amelia Young played the gorgeous flugelhorn solo Eyes of a Child. We then continued with an American circus march, Emblem of Unity, before the rest of the programme was loosely held together by Melvin’s “song and dance” theme. This saw us play such popular favourites as Singing in the Rain, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, and selections from both Porgy & Bess and My Fair Lady.
There were also several other soloists throughout the afternoon. Bernie Ralph on tenor horn played an arrangement of Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka, and our principal cornet Sonja Charters played Ennio Morricone’s beautiful music from the film Cinema Paradiso. After the interval we featured some members of the lower band, as Ian Yardley gave an entertaining performance of Teddy Bear’s Picnic on tuba, before Nick West added a touch of sheer class with the trombone solo Stardust. The final soloist was principal euphonium Graham Jones, with a wonderful performance of Michelangelo. All the soloists were on top form and they were certainly the stars of a great concert.
The appreciative audience were as delighted with the concert as the band were, and we look forward to our future engagements. After the competition, our next concert appearance is in Otterbourne Village Hall on Sunday 12th June.
Article by Will Wilkins
This weekend saw all at Otterbourne Brass in high spirits and excited to set off on our annual trip to Torquay, where we were to compete at the West of England Brass Band Regional Contest held at the Riviera Centre.
After many weeks of hard work in the rehearsal room with planned sectional work and many hours practising just one set test piece, Essay by Edward Gregson, we had finally reached the main event.
Some of the band travelled down on the Friday and made a long weekend of it, others travelling on the Saturday and arriving just in time for our penultimate rehearsal which went really well and we were rewarded with an early finish.
We followed the rehearsal with a fantastic band meal at the Aztec Bistro where we could all relax with good food and great company. A good opportunity for us all to bond socially which of course helps our teamwork in the bandroom.
Sunday morning – and back to work. Our final rehearsal and just enough time for us to work on our tuning and mentally prepare before we found out our draw for the afternoons’ proceedings. We were drawn 5th out of 15 bands in our section which meant that we didn’t have to rush to the venue, but also didn’t have too much time to hang around before it was time for our last and most important performance of this great piece.
The band played really well on stage and we were pleased with the massive progress we had made over the last few months. We received lots of positive comments from the audience and now we just had to await the adjudicators decision.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed to come away with a 10th place, especially as the adjudicators reports were both very positive. However, this could not take away from the huge sense of achievement that the band felt and we will now return to the rehearsal room to prepare for our next engagement, our Spring Concert on the 8th May in Chandlers Ford, with renewed determination and refreshed motivation to continue our progress and ready to come back fighting for our next visit to Torquay in 2017.
Article by Sonja Charters