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.
After a busy Christmas season we have finally found a little time to have our band post Christmas social night and spend some quality time with our banding family. Sometimes it's nice to have time to chat to each other without our instruments.
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:
Over the last two nights (Thursday 19th & Friday 20th), the band have been spreading Christmas cheer by playing Christmas carols at Sainsbury's in Durham.
Tonight has seen the band spread some Christmas cheer in Tesco Extra in Gilesgate, Durham. A big thank you goes to Joanne Reay Community Champion for organising and to the general public who donated generously in our collecting buckets.
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.
Today saw the band perform at a soggy Dalton Park with rain coming and going throughout the day. A big thank you goes to everybody who put something into our collecting buckets to help support the band.
Today has seen the band start the 2019 Christmas Season, performing in the town's bandstand in a damp Beamish Museum. If you would like to hear the band over the Christmas Period then please check the band's calendar on the website. Click here to go to the calendar to see where the band performs over the Christmas period.
Tonight saw the band hold its Annual General Meeting. At the end of the meeting, there were many awards presented to the band members. These awards were:
Congratulations goes to all of the award winners
It was an honour to lead part of the parade alongside the Royal Signals (Northern) Band today at Sunderland. The band have supported this parade for over 10 years now and it is always a privilege to be a part of one of the largest parades outside of London. A big thank you goes to Steady for joining us today.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Tonight saw the Esh Winning Banner Group organise a concert which showcased the band and all of the achievements and silverware which the band has achieved and won this year. A big thank you goes to the Esh Winning Banner Group and Councillor Jean Chaplow for their continued support throughout the year. Another thank you goes to Michael Fairless for helping us out tonight on Horn.
Tonight saw the band play at Bearpark Club to conclude the Bearpark & Esh Community Festival celebrations. We featured many soloists, Valerie on Principal Cornet, Jonathan on Euphonium and Michael on Flugel. A big thank you to our deps Katharine, Chloe, Helen, Michael and Steve. We really appreciate your help.
The band are delighted to announce the birth of our newest little member, Thomas Arthur Rowell. Solo horn player Lindsey and Dave on Percussion welcomed their son on the 23rd September weighing just 4lb 7oz. Mother and baby are doing really well. Coming a month early we were lucky he let Lindsey and Dave compete at the National Finals before his imminent arrival after. Congratulations from all the band and we look forward to meeting him soon.
This weekend saw the band compete in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in the 3rd Section at Cheltenham, this being the third time this decade (the other years being 2015 and 2016). After an early start with the first pickup at 7:00am, the band got down to the hotel at 3:00pm and got straight into the final rehearsal.
After a chilled Saturday afternoon of using the spa/swimming pool and a lovely evening meal, we headed to Cheltenham Racecourse and found out we were drawn 10th. After giving it our all, the band are pleased to be the 10th best 3rd Section band in the country and very proud to have represented the North East. We even got mentioned as having a real viking in the band (well done Iain, our bass trombone player - you made the big screen).
Well done to the winners Uppermill, and also to the other representative of the North of England, Trimdon Brass who were placed just below us in 11th place.
A massive thank you goes to all of our followers who have supported us this weekend and everyone who has donated financially to raise money to get us to the National Finals, we really appreciate it. Now it's time to resume playing normal music for our next concerts and embarking on the 2nd section in January.
To view the photos from the weekend, press read more.
Today the band played at the Sunderland Riverside Festival in a pop up bandstand with a great view of the river.
Today the band played to a very appreciative audience in St Emmanuel Church in Saltburn. We featured Lindsey and Catherine as our soloists today on horn and flugel. We also drew our National Finals Grand Prize Raffle during the interval. The list of winners can be found below the images of the day below. A big thank you goes to Adam, Connor, Lucy and Dave for helping out today.
To see the images from the day and the winners of the Grand Prize Raffle Draw, then select read more below.