The band has performed in some unusual places but this one topped the lot. They can now proudly proclaim that they've performed in the Devil's Arse!! Before you all rush to e-mail us, we should point out that this is the nickname given to the magnificent Peak Cavern in the picturesque village of Castleton in the heart of the Peak District. Quite appropriate, though, given the chicken curry that Chris Baldwin (Bass Trombone, Eb bass, solo cornet, etc.etc.etc...)and Jeffrey Shaw — percussion are reported to have tackled the night before. Billed as "The Devil's Arse Sings" the series of four carol concerts from inside the Peak Cavern was rounded off by Matlock Band on Sunday December 22nd. A combination of community carol singing — with prizes for the best (and worst) efforts at "O Come Let Us Adore Him..." and seasonal brass band favourites put everyone in the mood for the festive season. The four hundred strong audience sang traditional carols, with the band stopping occasionally to check that the people in the expensive seats were really singing and not just miming! The Band's version of Christmas Swingalong had 'em dancing in the aisles, and the finale, Derek Ashmore's arrangement of Jingle Bells, had the audience shouting for more. The Band duly obliged, sending everyone on their way with the Snow Waltz. Photos yet to be developed should appear shortly on their website — in the meantime, if you'd like to check out the Peak Cavern website, go to www.devilsarse.com
Melbourne Town Band
The Derbyshire based band’s Patrons Concert got everyone laughing and clapping, more so than usual as their conductor, Andrea Stretton, made a rather energetic debut! Also in attendance was former conductor Geoff Gossage. At the concert the annual awards went to the following people :- Most improved player—Peter Robinson (Drums), Most improved player (Junior Band) — Vanessa Cox (Cornet, recently moved to main band), President's Cup — Tim Robinson (Cornet), Bandsman of the Year — William Hopkins (Horn/ Young Person's representative/Website). Gerry Price also received a special mention for all of the hard work he put into the Junior band, from which he has sadly had to withdraw.
After an extensive period of recording the band's first CD is now available via the website. The track listing :-Death or Glory, March of the Peers, My Love is like a Red Red Rose, Mood Indigo, March of the Cobblers, Share My Yoke, The Great Escape, The Mission, Two Comrades, Great Little Army, Shepherds Song, The Acrobat, The Young Amadeus, Can Can, Barnard Castle, Choral and Rockout.
The band has appointed Miss Anna Minear as Junior/Youth Band leader after she contacted them following the advertisement on Philip Hunts BBC programme 'Sounds of Brass'. Anna, who has recently completed a Music degree with a 2:1 BA Hons, plays the cornet for the St Austell band and before going to University she assisted Jane Whitehead with the training of the beginners in at St Austell.
Unfortunately the band lost their Musical Director Graham Boag after the Torquay contest in November due to increasing work. As of the 10th of November they have had no permanent Musical Director so they need help. If you are interested in the position please contact the band on
Northop Silver Band
After successfully defended their North Wales title at Llandudno the band performed a most successful concert to an almost full house at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. This special Christmas Concert included the Liverpool Welsh Choral Union and the Bishop Eton School where the band performed Christmas carols as well as other titles such as 'Santaclaustrophobia', 'A Message of Christmas' and a rousing performance of Widor's 'Toccata'.
Norwich Citadel Band
Although a little delayed we can report that Ron Young, Bandmaster of the NCB for the last five years has moved to Normandy in Northern France and as a result they have announced that Douglas Beattie as their new Bandmaster. Douglas was a member of the solo cornet section of NCB for a number of years and has also been a member of the ISB solo cornet rank.
Just before Christmas the Band was invited to take part in an annual Twinning weekend hosted by the village of Aubergenville, located just west of Paris. Having taken the overnight ferry from Portsmouth, a voyage that consisted of much merriment and little sleep, the first stop was Paris to allow for some sightseeing and Xmas shopping. Next stop was the small village of Aubergenville where they met their hosts for the weekend. Having taken the opportunity for a moment's rest and relaxation the Band gave an evening concert, in conjunction with a local choir and wind band, as part of the twinning weekend's festivities. The evening concluded with a buffet. The following day provided an opportunity to visit the village's Xmas Fayre, and browse the stalls of the participants from the twinning villages from France, England, Germany and Poland. All too soon the weekend, considered a great success by all who took part was over, leaving everyone to look forward to another such event in the future.
Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band
After many years as Director of Music, Reg Beardon will be retiring as soon as a suitable replacement has been found. The band is a well-established fourth section band that regularly plays concerts and Carnivals all over Devon. If interested and you live within travelling distance of Okehampton and have conducting and teaching ability you can contact the band chairman Des Law via e-mail:
Oughterside & District Brass Band
The band report that the former mission hut, that was their home and did need replacing quite badly, has now become unusable. Priority now is the search for funds needed to try and buy a new venue and to look for help with providing a new bandroom. At the moment they are meeting in Prospect Village Hall for practices.