It is with great sadness that the band announce the death of our 2nd Baritone player, Mary Kelly. She first joined the band in 2004 and took a break from band 3 years ago due to ill health. Unfortunately she never made it back to band due to having a diagnosis of cancer.
Mary was a lovely lady who was fully committed to the band. She will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to her family at this sad time.
When it was announced that this year's Durham Miners' Gala was cancelled due to Covid 19, the brass banding world took a blow. One of the biggest events in our calendar was suddenly taken away from us. For our latest virtual video, we decided to remember one of our favourite days by playing something that we have got a reputation for marching to when we leave the Racecourse, Fame.
This project has been put together by our webmaster & 2nd Cornet player Richard who rose to the challenge of putting his first video together. We hope you enjoy!
On Friday (5th June), the band entered the "Online" Whit Friday Marches hosted by Foden's Band to replace the usual Whit Friday Marches. We entered the contest with our first virtual lockdown video performance of Goldcrest (which if you haven't already seen it - can be seen below).
Out of 86 competing bands from all over the world, the band are delighted that we were awarded 40th place overall and were the 3rd highest placed 2nd Section band.
Keep an eye out for some new lockdown performances and a very special dedication.
Today, the band have been celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe. To mark the celebration, we have put together a special performance to commemorate the event.
For our tomorrow they gave their today. We will remember them.
In 2010, the band visited Switzerland for our 60th Anniversary, and one of the highlights of the trip was playing at the Freddie Mercury memorial statue in Montreux. This year is our 70th Anniversary, and we were hoping to be celebrating with joint concerts and events - but, like other bands and musicians, we're locked down and fed up!
This is our second virtual video, dedicated to those carefree days, and shows the commitment that the show will go on! - Keep watching to find out just who is our very own Freddie Mercury.
Enjoy the Video!
Tonight has seen some of the band members complete our Solo Horn player, Lindsey's scavenger hunt on Zoom. It was great fun and just what was needed in these difficult times we're facing. We hope all our followers are staying safe. Keep an eye out for our next virtual project, it will be released very soon!
Over the last three weeks, the band has been in lock down and unable to rehearse together. However, it hasn't stopped our members from playing - as the band present our premiere of our virtual performance - from the comfort of all of our homes. The band hope all of our supporters are fit and well, and you are all staying safe. The band hope you enjoy the virtual performance.
Tonight would of normally been band practice so instead of a practice, the band met on Zoom for QuaranQuiz #1. We had 5 rounds with a mixture of questions from guess the logo, guess the piece of music, questions about the band, emojis and TV/Film. A big thank you goes to our quiz master Richard for putting it all together.
During these difficult times which we are facing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus, meaning that band rehearsals are currently cancelled until further notice, the band members all met tonight on Zoom to have a catch up. It was a great laugh and it was great to see everyone after nearly two weeks off. We will be doing this regularly each week during 'lock down' to help keep the moral of the band high during these hard times of social isolation.
After the recent advice from the government and other sources, the committee of the band has taken the very difficult decision to suspend all rehearsals for the near future.
The health and well being of our band family is paramount at this time of uncertainty. To our players and our supporters, stay safe. We hope we all come out the other side fit and healthy and ready to entertain you all very soon.
Today saw the band perform in the 2nd Section of the North of England Brass Band Championships at the Gala Theatre in Durham, performing "The Golden Sabre" by Kit Turnbull. Even though the result was not the one the band wanted, it was a credible performance in which the band gave their all. The Golden Sabre has tested each member of the band, with each member rising to the challenge. The band remain in the 2nd Section for another year so we can give next year another shot and continue to build as a band.
A big thank you goes to all of our supporters for your good luck wishes this past week and to our band members for putting a lot of time and dedication into rehearsals. Time to now look after each other in difficult times ahead and hopefully come out the other side fit and healthy.
Big congratulations goes to Cockerton (1st Place) and Durham Miners' Association (2nd Place) for qualifying to go and represent the North East at the National Finals in Cheltenham in September.
The full results:
2) Durham Miners Association
4) NASUWT Concert
5) Dunston Silver
6) Ashington Colliery
7) Barton Community
8) Ferryhill Town
9) Bearpark & Esh Colliery
Today has seen the band host a workshop style day as part of our preparation for the North of England Brass Band Championships in two weeks time. The band split into sections and worked with individual tutors before coming together for a full band rehearsal.
The band would like to say a massive thank you to Dan Thomas, Adam Reed & Garry Reed (Black Dyke), Tina Mortimer (NASUWT Riverside) & Ed Chapman (Reg Vardy) for being fabulous tutors and leading the sectionals. The band members got a lot out of their expertise and a lot of great work was done towards The Golden Sabre.
Also, a thank you goes to Pittington Primary for allowing us to use the school for the day.
Tonight has seen the girls of the band throw a surprise post baby shower for our Solo Horn player Lindsey. The impromptu arrival of baby Thomas meant Lindsey missed out on treats running up to his birth although the girls had it all planned prior. Christmas season and the contest got in the way buy eventually the girls pulled off the surprise after months and months of planning. Lindsey would like to thank the girls and the band for the wonderful presents and treats.
Today has seen the band perform in Section A of the Durham County Brass Band Association Festival of Brass. The band are delighted to have finished in 3rd Place, along with being the highest placed 2nd Section band. A superb start to the 2020 contesting season in the 2nd section. Well done to GT Group Peterlee & Houghton Brass on their placings today as well.
A big congratulations also goes to our youngest player Leila who competed in her first contest today on 3rd Cornet - You did amazing!.
A thank you goes to Mike, Dave & Philippa for helping us out today too, we really appreciate it.
The full result of Section A was:
1) GT Group Peterlee (John Roberts)
2) Houghton Brass (Brian Adams)
3) Bearpark & Esh Colliery Band (Phillip Tait)
4) Ashington Colliery Band (Nigel Stedman)
5) North Skelton Band (Gareth Sykes)
6) Ferryhill Town Band (Tom Maddison)
Best Soprano:- Houghton Brass
Best Principal Cornet:- Tina Mortimer (Ferryhill Town Band)
Best Percussion:- GT Group Peterlee
Best Middle of the Band:- Houghton Brass
Thank you goes to the Durham County Brass Band Association for hosting a fabulously ran contest and for the helpers who make the day go smoothly.
To see the images from the day, press read more below.
As 2019 & the 2010s draws to a close, there have been many highlights for the band over the last decade.
On the competition front, the band have also been quite successful:
It has been a unbelievable past decade. The band would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and look forward to entertaining you in 2020 and celebrating our 70th Anniversary.
The band would like to wish all of our supporters and followers a very happy Christmas. Your donations and support is extremely appreciated to ensure financially the band can survive another year.
We have had a very successful year on the competition front leading to represent the North East at the National Finals and becoming the 10th best 3rd section band in the country. The new year will see the band promoted into the dizzy heights of the 2nd section, and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead which comes with being in the 2nd section.
Have a very happy Christmas from us all!
This morning saw the band spreading its Christmas cheer inside TJ Hughes in Prince Bishops Shopping Centre. This was the last band job of the Christmas season, and of 2019.
The band would like to also take this opportunity to thank:
This weekend has seen the band perform at Beamish Museum and at the Festival of Light in Mowbray Park, Sunderland).
Friday night (13th December) saw the band perform at Beamish Museum for the second consecutive Friday night, for their 'Christmas at Beamish Museum' nights. The band played on the bandstand in the town and even had a solo from one of the museum staff. A thank you goes to Nicola who came to have a blow with us.
Saturday night (14th December) saw the band perform in Mowbray Park, Sunderland for the Festival of Light. It might have been cold and wet, but the general public seemed to enjoy it.
Sunday sees the band have a rest day before the final week of jobs in December and of 2019.
Tonight, the band performed in a joint festive concert with the wonderful Crook and Weardale Choral Society in Stanley Crook Parish Church. This has become a Christmas tradition with the band and we always enjoy working with the choir.
We would like to dedicate tonight's performance to the late Roger Kelly, who was a great friend to the band and a big instigator in starting a wonderful relationship between the band and the choir. His sense of humour and bad jokes were sorely missed tonight.
A big thank you goes to all of our deps tonight: Jim, Adam, Mike, Tonia and Mal. Also a massive thank you goes to the church for its hospitality and fantastic buffet.
The band has had quite a busy weekend spreading the Christmas cheer around the North East. Friday night (6th December) saw the band performing at Beamish Museum, as part of their 'Christmas at Beamish Museum nights'. Saturday (7th December) saw the band playing at the Langley Park Christmas Light Switch On during the afternoon, and then entertaining a very appreciative audience at Birtley Masonics.
It is safe to say that all our band members enjoyed a well earned day off on Sunday to spend with family or spending the day Christmas shopping.
This weekend has seen the band have had a busy weekend to finish November and start December. On Saturday (30th November), the band braved the cold morning and entertained the wonderful shoppers who were visiting Durham Christmas Festival. A big thank you to Durham Markets for having us and to everyone who helped put a little something in our buckets
On Sunday morning (1st December), the band performed for Pittington Primary School's Christmas Fayre.