Otterbourne Brass Summer Concert – 3rd July 2016

So after thunderstorms and heavy rain on Saturday,  I was worried that we may not have a good turnout for our summer concert today, but the sun was shining for us and the village hall was …(almost?) full. Everyone seemed in good spirits as I arrived, having gone to pick up “Big H”, that’s Henry, who plays for Michelmersh Silver Band and was kindly helping us out in the bass section.

With the stage set and a few other deps helping out we got up on stage. As usual it’s hot up there, especially with the stage lighting. We did have a little more room today though as unfortunately we were without our percussionists.

It was a nice surprise to see Paul Kennett depping for us on 1st baritone as I played in the Hampshire Youth County Bands with him from age 9-18 & my Bach Stradivarius  trumpet I got for my 10th Christmas present was from his Dad’s music shop in Alton (many years ago!) Poor Fred (usually on 1st baritone) has had to duck out as his son has appendicitis and is recovering from surgery. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

The concert began with Intrada on Regent Square and The Magic Flute followed. Melvin seemed pleasantly surprised with our standard of playing and concentration.

The first half of the concert continued and included 2 wonderful solos. The first from our principal cornet player, Sonja who played a beautiful rendition of Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso, and Amelia who played Eyes of a Child, the beautiful solo she played at the SCABA contest recently – winning the prize for Best Soloist! Both solos captivated the audience.  I was thinking if I can do half as good I’ll be pleased (my solo was coming up in the 2nd half)!

We finished  the first half with highlights from Frozen … unfortunately for Melvin his young daughter wasn’t there to sing along “Let it Go! Let it Go!”. There are some tricky little bits in this piece but I think we played and listened really well today. I’m pleased to say that chatting to the audience during the interval – between cups of tea and delicious looking cakes (included in the ticket price) – the audience seemed to agree with me. They loved the programme so far and especially enjoyed the solos.

After the  tea and cake were consumed and our kind volunteers had helped in the kitchen and with the raffle draw, we were set for the second half. My solo was up after the first piece and I was determined not to let the nerves get the better of me!

We couldn’t really hear what Melvin was saying and I got quite relaxed in my chair, when suddenly it was my turn to stand up. As I took the stand from Jeremy, our dep soprano player, the music flew off the stand and down onto the village hall floor. A kind member of the audience retrieved my music and the band began. A lovely introduction to my solo, An Untold Story. I stood at the edge of the stage (don’t look down!) and I wanted to play well on my quite new, still very shiny, Yamaha Neo tenor horn (a lovely gift from my husband for our forthcoming silver wedding anniversary).  I was lucky enough to take part in a workshop recently with Arfon Owen, (ex-Black Dyke Solo Horn player and very talented musician) organised by Basingstoke Silver Band. During the break he allowed me to try his Yamaha Neo, and the rest is history, as they say! Up until a few years ago I was always a trumpet/cornet player, but I’m really enjoying the tenor horn and hope I continue to improve (and strengthen those lungs!). I had only been given this solo a few weeks’ prior to the concert and had never seen or heard it, so have been listening to it on YouTube a lot over the past few weeks.

Getting back to the concert, we then played The Wizard of Oz which I love as it’s a family tradition to watch this film every Christmas Day (it’s not Christmas without Dorothy & those munchkins!). This was followed by the entertaining Ian with Eb bass solo Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Remember the film Beaches? Well, our final solo was destined to be superb. Nick played The Wind Beneath my Wings on trombone. Nick always makes his playing look effortless. He is a great new addition to the band and I look forward to many more of his solos!

Unfortunately due to no percussion we had to make a few adjustments to the programme, but our audience were very understanding and enjoyed the addition of Yesterday.

All in all, despite a few regular players missing (for good reasons: One player on honeymoon – congratulations from us all – and our 1st horn player Dawn was racing a car at speeds of 120mph+ at Thruxton!) the atmosphere was great, and we are very grateful and thankful to all the deps that played today: Mark on soprano cornet, Elizabeth on 1st horn, Paul on 1st baritone and Henry on Bb bass.

Also thanks go to band members who brought along helpers to ensure everything ran smoothly and of course to those helpers and to the Otterbourne community for their support.

If you enjoyed the concert today, please tell your friends and bring them along to the next concert!

Article by Berni Ralph

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Otterbourne Village Fete – 26th June 2016

Sunday saw the band making its annual appearance at the Otterbourne Village Fete, an event which is enjoyed by band members young and old. The threatened rain fortuitously held off until we had finished playing and we were able to entertain visitors to the show with a varied selection of music from the Second Waltz of Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite to the sublime delights of Frozen.

The day started in its traditional way with a parade of home made jalopies (including a Dalek made entirely of lego!) driving through the village to the fete ground. Here, they were greeted in front of a large and enthusiastic audience by the band who played a couple of rousing marches by way of welcome.

Solo items included Stardust played by guest trombonist Sue, and An Untold Story performed by Berni on tenor horn. Both solos featured playing of the highest quality and we are fortunate that the band has such talented players.

Particular thanks have to go to euphonium player Will Wilkins, who stepped in at short notice to conduct the band for most of the first half. Melvin White, our musical director, was delayed on the M3 but managed to join us in time for the ice creams and cake during the break!

Thank you to our deps: Meg, Billy, Paddy, Mark, Ben, Sue and our regular guest Ken on bass trombone.

Our thanks are also sent to the organisers for another wonderful fete and we look forward to returning next year.

Article by Ian Austin

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Otterbourne Brass Summer Concert – 12th June 2016

With a win for Wales and a draw for England in the Euros the day before, the referendum a mere blip on the horizon and the sun holding out, all was set for Otterbourne Brass’s first summer concert.

Led by Paul Chapman, the band got off to a rousing start with Fame and Glory before settling into the Overture from The Magic Flute. The band then played the modern classics of My Fair Lady and Yesterday before Graham Jones’s mellow tones in the euphonium solo Michelangelo.

Cornet players Sonja, Steve and Becca then took to the stage to delight with the fast paced Bugler’s Holiday before the final piece of the first half, Let there be Praise.

During the interval, the full hall was served with home-made cakes and tea by the members of the band before being called back to action by Firedance, one of the pieces Otterbourne Brass played at the SCABA Entertainment Contest on 22nd May.

Given the wet month of June, the next two pieces weren’t out of place –  Laughter in the Rain (beautifully played by Berni on tenor horn) and Singing in the Rain. Our solo trombone player Nick gave us a wonderful rendition of Stardust, and extracts from Porgy and Bess were played before finishing off with Joyful Joyful and The Lord Bless you and Keep You.

Everyone stood for the National Anthem to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, before collecting their raffle prizes and stepping back out into the mildly sunny Sunday afternoon.

Article by Hari Cooney

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Last Night of the Proms

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.

To book tickets for this show, please print the booking form below and follow the instructions. When tickets are available we will send them out to you.

Thank you for supporting Otterbourne Brass!

Download LNOTP Booking Form Here



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SCABA Entertainment Contest 2016

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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