WEBBA Regional Championships 2015

Well it’s that time of year again. Next weekend (14 & 15 March), 80 bands will be looking forward to competing in 5 sections over 2 days on the English Riviera. Otterbourne Brass will once again be led by Gareth Pritchard. The band will be competing in the 1st section and will play “A London Overture” by Philip Sparke.

The band is rehearsing hard and very much looking forward  to giving a good account of themselves.

Winter Concert – 21/01/2015

Otterbourne Brass performed its first concert of 2015 at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church.

A varied programme that had something for everyone’s taste was the general feedback from our enthusiastic audience. The marches “Mephistopheles” & “Praise” were played. David of the White Rock and Men of Harlech featured with it being so close to St David’s day!

The two solos on this occasion were performed by Sonja, who played “The Paragon”, and Graham who played “Song for Ina”.  Our overture was the “Jubilee Overture” by Philip Sparke. the same composer of The London Overture, whose test piece we will be playing at the West of England Regional Championships in March. With 4 movements from “Windows of the World, Blue Rondo a la Turk and Soul Bossa Nova also featuring, both audience and band members alike left the church in high spirits!

Spring Concert – 30/03/2014

On a beautifully sunny Mothering Sunday, 30 March 2014, Otterbourne brass, conducted by Gareth Pritchard, performed its Spring concert at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church.

Despite it being Mothering Sunday the band attracted a good audience who were treated to a varied programme of music.

The concert commenced in traditional fashion with a rousing performance of T J Powell’s “The Contestor” followed by music from the Broadway favourite Mack and Mabel.

The audience were further treated to four fine solo performances of Ae Fond Kiss (Helen Davis), La Belle Americaine (Graham Jones), Beneath the Willows (Nicky Robbins) and Londonderry Air (Chris Davies).  The concert was rounded off with Goff Richards’ “toe tapping” Songs of the Quay.

The band are very proud of the standard of playing at the concert, given that they only had two weeks to put together and rehearse the programme following the West of England Brass Band Championships competition in Torquay.  It was clear from the appreciative applause throughout that the band’s hard work over the past fortnight had paid off.

Next Concert is at St Andrew Methodist Church, Eastleigh on Saturday 26 April 2014 at 7.00pm.

Otterbourne Village Fete and Jalopies – 30/06/2013

On Sunday, the 30th June, Otterbourne Brass entertained the crowds at the Otterbourne village fete for the very first time.

In the blazing hot sunshine, the band played a variety of music, including traditional brass band favourites and music from the shows.

The band can next be heard in concert on Sunday 7th July at 2.30pm at Otterbourne Village hall. Tickets will be available on the door and there will be tea and cakes served in the interval.


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.

Wessex Winter Contest – 01/12/2012

On a sunny but chilly winter’s day, Otterbourne Brass travelled to Weymouth to compete in the Wessex winter contest. Under the baton of Chris Davies the band played Kaleidoscope by Philip Sparke, winning the 2nd section with it’s performance.

Special thanks must go to Neil Brownless, who has recently relocated to Northampton, Becky Cooper, one of our horn players, for helping out on tuned percussion and Ralph Johnson for agreeing to perform with us at the last moment.

The Band is now busy preparing for next weekend’s 3 Christmas concerts and looking forward to competing in the 1st section in 2013.

Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance – 04/11/2012

Otterbourne Brass along with the splendid steel band from Crestwood School, joined forces for the RBL festival of Remembrance, held at The Point in Eastleigh. The Standards kept in good order my Mr. Norman Brown MBE, who is also a Vice-President of the Band. In the first half of the concert the audience were entertained by the band in concert mood. They were treated to solos by Hugh Cameron, Graham Jones and our Trombone section, led for the first time by Viv Jones. Then in complete contrast, the Crestwood School steel band performed some classic and some original works, some of which were composed by members of the band.

The second half began with a chance for the audience to participate with ‘See the Conquering Hero Comes’, ‘Rule Britannia’ and an arrangement of ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

The RBL Standards returned for the Remembrance Ceremony. Hymns were  sung, Prayers said and Poems read, before the sounding of the Last Post and Reveille, played so movingly by Hugh Cameron.

The exit of the Standard Bearers to the rousing ‘Royal British Legion March’ brought the evening to a fine conclusion.

Last Night of the Proms – 21/10/2012

On Sunday 21st October 2012 Otterbourne Brass, conducted by Chris Davis, performed its ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert at the Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford. An audience of over 200, armed with flags and ready to raise the roof with their singing, were treated in the first half to a rendition of ‘Academic Festival Overture, the piece the band played at the National Finals.

The 3 fine soloists on the evening were Hugh Cameron, Principal Cornet, who played “Il Bacio”, Graham Jones, Principal Euphonium, who played “Macushla” and Ian Yardley, Eb Bass, who provided us with a very entertaining version of “The Bare Necessities”.The concert was bought to a rousing conclusion with the traditional Proms numbers – Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. Our special guest, Katherine Penn, sang Rule Britannia and led the singing in the other favourites.This was the first Proms concert given by Otterbourne Brass but we hope to make it a regular feature in our calendar.

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”.