Otterbourne Christmas Carolling 2016

In addition to the Christmas Concerts, the band performed in several locations in order to collect funds. Without these carolling gigs, we would not be able to afford music, instruments and, more importantly, we wouldn’t have Melvin as our conductor.

This year we want to thank the following locations for graciously allowing us to play our Christmas carols and collect:

Sainsbury’s Badger Farm

Sainsbury’s Shirley

Sainsbury’s Hedge End

Marwell Zoo

Tesco Winnall and Brambridge Garden Centre, for whom we were due to play but which unfortunately fell through.

We also played at the Buttercross on Winchester High Street.

We’d also like to thank our annual engagements with Bitterne Conservative Club and Alton Masonic Centre, and a first-time carolling service with South Wonston WI.

Finally, thank you to the hard work and dedication of members of the band, a handful of which can boast having played at almost every session – of which there were a grand total of 19. Some had over 30 hours of carolling under their belt!

Thank you to everyone that donated during this period, and we look forward to carolling again next year.

OVH Christmas Concerts – 10/12/2016

Although somewhat belated, we love to keep our fans up-to-date with our activities, and Christmas is our busiest period. Read on for more!

The now traditional Otterbourne Christmas concert weekend was once again a highlight of the Band’s busy Christmas schedule.

Both the afternoon and evening concerts were very well supported and the audience enjoyed a varied programme of Christmas music, which included many different arrangements to traditional and well known Christmas tunes. One particular highlight was the The Huron Carol, a traditional Canadian Carol probably written in 1642, arranged as a Cornet Solo, and played superbly by Sonja Charters, the Band’s Principal Cornet.

For a little variety the concert programme also included some non-Festive pieces that were associated with “tunes from the Radio”, such as the theme tune from Desert Island Discs (“Sleepy Lagoon”), which proved to be very popular with the audience.

Another highlight was Goldcrest, a march the Band played at the recent Wessex Contest, which included a section requiring the Band to sing – a first….

At the end of the concerts the audience departed with smiles and “thank you’s”, confirmation that performances were much enjoyed and appreciated.

As always, the concerts could not have happened without the hard work of the Band, the Committee and everybody who helped to organise the events.

And not to be forgotten, Paul Chapman and Melvin White the MD’s for the concerts.

And especially not to be forgotten are Melvin’s Christmas Cracker quality jokes…

Article by Martyn Parsons

The Christmas Season 2015

December is notorious for being the busiest season for brass bands. For Otterbourne Brass, this is no exception. Sarah was hard at work in the early months of 2015 booking us into shops, garden centres and Christmas Markets to give us the opportunity to play for donations. This is essential for us, as we are a charity and in order to run the band, stock and maintain instruments and have a fresh supply of music for our concerts, we rely on donations from the public.

We were able to play at 7 different venues for donations, as well as 3 venues we were invited to play at for Christmas functions. Our thanks go to:

  • Alton Masonic Centre
  • Bitterne Conservative Club
  • Littleton Gardening Club
  • Arturi Garden Centre
  • Port Solent Christmas Market
  • Sainsbury’s Shirley
  • Sainsbury’s Broadcut
  • Sainsbury’s Badger Farm
  • Winchester Council

As usual we also donated a proportion of our collections to our Charity of the Year, NeST.

In addition, Otterbourne Village Hall hosts 2 Christmas Concerts back to back. On the 12th of December, Otterbourne Brass played Christmas music for 4 hours, to regular and new audience members at the hall. We love putting this showcase together for our local fans, and this gave us an opportunity to show Melvin, Paul and Roland off to our audience.

Finally, we could be as bold as to say we finished our year off in style. We were extremely pleased and proud to be playing for George (Soprano) and Sarah (Trombone) Arnold at their 25th anniversary wedding vow renewal service. With guest soloist Kevin Crockford, and soloists Sonja Charters, our principal cornet player, and Becca Charters, our repiano cornet player, there wasn’t an arm hair or goosebump left to raise after their beautiful playing. Congratulations George and Sarah, and here’s to the next 25 years

If you’d like to hear some of the playing from the wedding, please click here.

Article by Harriet Orchard

OVH Winter Concert – 17/02/2013

On Sunday 17th February, Otterbourne Brass performed their Winter Concert in front of a packed house. The band was in a privileged position of having not 1 but 2 Musical Directors in charge on the day. Dr Chris Davis, who conducted the 1st half, and Gareth Pritchard the second half.

The band played a varied programme which included 4 pieces from their CD, Valero, – ‘Feather Theme’ from the film Forest Gump, Chelsea Bridge, the hymn setting ‘Be Still’ and the tenor horn solo ‘An Untold Story’ by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, superbly played by our Solo horn player, Helen Davis. The programme also included a further 2 soloists – Hugh Cameron (Principal Cornet) played ‘M’Appari Tutt’Amor’ from Von Flotow’s ‘Martha’ and Graham Jones (Principal Euphonium) played ‘The Sunne Rising’ by Andrew Baker. Both of these solos were played with panache and were well received by the audience.

Otterbourne Brass were also delighted to have 2 representatives of the Winchester branch of Diabetes UK as their guests at the concert. Jean Barritt, Chair and David Wills, Treasurer, were invited to the concert to enable the band to present a cheque to them for £300. The presentation was made by Ian Austin, the band’s Chairman, and was a result of monies collected by the band while playing Christmas Carols at Hedge End during December. Diabetes UK was the bands chosen charity for 2012 as it is a charity which is very close to the hearts of many band members and their families.