National Finals – Cheltenham 2012

Otterbourne Brass played in the 2nd Section of the National Finals on Saturday 22nd of September, which were held at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse. The test piece was Brahm’s ‘Academic Festival Overture’ arranged for brass band by Denis Wright. Our conductor on the day was Gareth Pritchard.

The Band worked hard rehearsing the piece with Gareth travelling from his home in South Wales 2 or 3 times a week to take rehearsals. We enjoyed working with Gareth again and would like to thank him for all his hard work in preparing the Band for the contest.

The Band was drawn to play 14th out of 17 bands and we played to a fairly full and appreciative audience. The Band played well and Gareth was very pleased with our performance.

When the results were announced we were somewhat disappointed to have been placed 14th but we received many favourable comments regarding our performance from other bandsmen and eminent figures from the Brass Band world.

The Band were sad to say goodbye to 3 players during the weekend – Neil Brownless (Trombone) is moving back to Northampton after completing his degree at Portsmouth University, Patrick Coppins (Eb Bass) is concentrating on his studies and last but by no means least Linda Beck (Eb Bass) is retiring from playing. We wish them all well for the future and hope to see them again sometime soon.

We would also like to welcome Sarah Urch (cornet), Graham Jones (Euphonium) and Viv Jones (Trombone although he played percussion!) to the Band and hope they enjoyed their debut contest as members of the Band.

The Band is now hard at work rehearsing for their Proms concert on Sunday 21st October at Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford.

Click here to hear our live performance of Academic Festival Overture.

OVH Summer Concerts – 15 & 22/06/2012

On Sunday July 15th & 22nd, Otterbourne Brass performed their two Summer concerts at Otterbourne Village Hall. The Band conducted on both occasions by Chris Davis, who performed on violin in an arrangement of the “Ashokan Farewell”.

After a rousing Sousa march “Semper Fidelis, the band performed the overture “The Beautiful Galathea”.Our soloists were George Arnold (Soprano) playing Queen of the Night’s aria from The Magic Flute, Neil Brownless (Trombone) playing The Blue Bells of Scotland, Hugh Cameron (Cornet) playing Macushla and Nicky Robbins (Flugel) playing A Gaelic Blessing.

To reflect on the fact the Olympics is fast approaching, the band featured the John Williams piece “The Olympic Spirit” and as the Diamond Jubillee celebrations are still fresh in our minds, we concluded the concerts with William Walton’s “Crown Imperial”.

Concert at St. Mary’s Church – 16/06/2012

Otterbourne Brass played to a packed house on Saturday 16th June at St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke, conducted by Steve White. The programme consisting mainly of music from bygone days and ending with a “Last Night of the Proms” feel, certainly went down a treat with our audience, who were in fine voice.

The concert sprinkled with fine solo items. Helen Davis playing “Over the Rainbow”, Neil Brownless playing the Don Lusher arrangement of “Concert Variations”, Graham Jones showing us his technical skills with the air varie “Grandfathers Clock” and of course a fine rendition of “My Ain Folk” played by the band’s principal cornet, Hugh Cameron.

The whole evening was superbly arranged by Wendy Dale, who made the band feel so welcome and spoilt us with Strawberries and Cream during the interval!!

We were so pleased when Wendy announced that the church had reached the target they had hoped to raise from the Concert to go towards a new heating system for the church.

SCABA Entertainment Contest – 20/05/2012

On Sunday 20th May, Otterbourne Brass participated in the SCABA Entertainment Contest held at The Hawth, Crawley. The Band played in the ‘A’ section, competing against bands from higher sections Nationally. The adjudicator, Dr. Robert Childs, awarded the band 3rd place and also a tropy for the best march. The Band was once again conducted by Gareth Pritchard.

The programme began with the march ‘Semper Fidelis’, followed by our solo feature ‘Concert Variations’, which was superbly played on Trombone by Neil Brownless. ‘Out in Front’ by Goff Richards followed, before the pace slowed and we featured our Flugel player Nicky Robins in ‘A Gaelic Blessing’. The programme concluded with a Ray Farr arrangement of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and The Royal Hunt of the Sun by Martin Ellerby.

Concert at St. Andrew’s Church – 21/04/2012

On Saturday 21st April, Otterbourne Brass performed a concert at St Andrew’s Church, Eastleigh to an appreciative audience with a varied programme to suit all tastes both young and old. The band was conducted and compered for the first time by Gareth Pritchard.

Starting in traditional fashion with the march “The Black Knight”, followed by the classic overture “L’Italian’A in Algeri”. The featured solos on the night were “Shepherds Song” beautifully played by the band’s principal cornet Hugh Cameron and “Over the Rainbow” lyrically played by the band’s Solo Horn, Helen Davis, who was later joined by the rest of her section to perform “The Elvira Madigan Theme from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21”.

The second half solo was Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”. This was given a super rendition by Neil Brownless, who was playing his first solo with the band.

The Concert concluded with the 3rd movement of “Cross Patonce”, the piece which the band played at Torquay recently, earning them a place at the National finals in Cheltenham in September.

Concert with Bones Apart – 28/01/2012

Otterbourne Brass performed its first concert of the new year at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church on the 28th January.

We were very fortunate on this occasion to have as our special guests “Bones Apart“. Formed in 1999, the all-female trombone quartet has quickly established itself as one of the leading young chamber ensembles. They had a slot in each half of the concert, where they amazed us all by their technique and quality of sound. Our trombone section, led by Neil Brownless, joined them for a rendition of “I Will Follow Him” in the first half and “Earth Rites” in the second.

The band’s guest conductor was Lawrence Sale and the programme contained the usual variety that our audiences enjoy. We began with the rousing “Eve of War” and then on to our overture “L’Italiana in Algeri”. This was followed by the prelude “From Earth’s Confusion” and the then to complete the first half, music from the film world “A Disney Spectacular”.

“Olympic Spirit” started the second half; Very apt this year. We couldn’t perform without playing a march so ‘The Black Knight’ was our choice. We then played “Prelude on an Irish Folk Tune” and “You Raise Me Up”, before our grand finale “Farandole (L’Arlesienne)”.