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

Brain Tumour Research Fundraising Concert – 06/06/2015

On Saturday the 6th of June, we had the privilege of giving a concert at St Mary’s Church, Bishopstoke in aid of Brain Tumour Research. The concert was organised by Wendy Dale, in memory of her husband Malcolm, who sadly passed away last year due to this condition.

We started off in the traditional way by playing the march The Contestor, followed by the overture Nabucodonosor, which includes the wonderful Chorus of Hebrew slaves. Our soloists for the evening were George Arnold who played Queen of the Night’s Aria from the Magic Flute and Graham Jones, who played Phillip Sparke’s Song for Ina. Our musical songs included a selection from Cats and Somewhere, from West side story.

Two pieces of film music, Soul Bossa Nova from Austin Powers and dancing with Wolves were interspersed with traditional Brass band music.

We rounded of the concert, the band on this occasion conducted by Paul Chapman, with a tribute to those who have given their lives in the service of their country. In Flanders Fields, Hymn to the Fallen and The Greatest War themes provided a rousing end to the concert.

We are pleased to be able to announce that £1040.00 was raised for Brain Tumour Research.

The band look forward to playing at St Mary’s again in the future and we thank Wendy and her team for their kind hospitality.

Goodbye Gareth! Spring Concert – 10/05/2015

On Sunday 10th May, Otterbourne Brass gave a concert at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church. The Programme contained the usual mix of brass band favourites and music from other genres including Blue Rondo a la Turk, Mephistopheles, Soul Bossa Nova and David of the White Rock.

The Band also included items from the programme they will be performing at the SCABA Entertainments Contest on the 17th May in Crawley. The soloists on this occasion were Becca Charters, who played the cornet solo Willow Echoes and Graham Jones who played the Euphonium solo Song for Ina.

The Band’s principal cornet, Sonja Charters, also presented our MD, Gareth Pritchard, with a present on behalf of the band as this was Gareth’s last concert with us before he moves overseas. The band would like to wish Gareth, Sue, Gavin, Rachel and Stephanie all the best for their new life in the US.


Baby Proms – 02/04/2015

Next Thursday 2nd April at St Luke’s Church, Hedge End will be our Brilliant Brass concert – just the ticket to get us in the mood for Spring. With a programme including Floral Dance, Pie Jesu, Galliard Battaglia and Old MacDonald Had Some Brass.

For anyone with older children on inset days, they are welcome. There will even be some instruments for them to have a go on at the end.

Plus a quick CONGRATULATIONS to our star repiano Cornet Player, who just found out she was awarded a distinction in her Grade 8 Cornet exam… and before GCSEs, too! Well done, Becca Charters


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.