A Blue Plaque in John Henry's memory is being installed in Bristol
The City of Bristol Brass Band are to perform at the unveiling of a blue plaque in honour of one of the most significant figures in brass band history.
John Henry Iles was born in Bristol and the band will be playing at the ceremony outside his matrimonial home on Sunday 29th April. A colourful and diverse entrepreneur, Iles was one time owner of the British Bandsman, R. Smith & Co. and the founder of the National Brass Band Championships. He was also highly successful in the Amusement Park business and became owner of Belle Vue Gardens and Zoo, Manchester and also the British Open Brass Band Championships.
The event takes place on Sun, 29th April at 3pm in St Andrews Park, Sommerville Road, Bishopston.
More information about John Henry Iles can be found here:
Please get in touch through the contact page on this website
or through either of the various social media sites.
B flat Bass required!
Please be aware that there is a new phone number, should you wish to contact the band for any reason. Please call Pete on 07495 292667.
Soprano, Tenor Horn and BBb Bass Wanted!
Our B flat Bass player is looking for another player to keep him company. We rehearse every Friday night from 7.45pm in Bishopston, Bristol. We are a social band who compete in the second section.
Please contact us in strictest confidence here on our website or by phoning Pete on 07803 147603 or through Facebook or Twitter.
After an absence of 3 years, the City of Bristol Brass Band returned to the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association's Entertainment Contest yesterday. The challenge was to play a twenty minute programme to an open adjudication and this year trombone soloist Brett Baker was the man of power.
There were many prizes on offer and we were not disappointed with best soloist given to our soprano cornet player Andy Briggs (who played Live and Let Die), highest 2nd section band and third overall.
Overall results were: 1: Abergavenny; 2: Forest of Dean; 3: City of Bristol; 4: Cinderford; 5: Wotton Silver; 6: Stourport-on-Severn and 7: Pillowell.
City of Bristol headed for the hills last weekend, for the annual Whit Friday march contests. Every year since 1884 the sound of brass music has echoed through the foothills of the West Pennines on Whit Friday, and this year was no exception. The contests saw 133 brass bands and over 3,500 musicians gather from all over the world on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border for an evening of entertainment and music making.
The Band played at five Saddleworth villages to large crowds on a beautiful summer’s evening. Widely regarded as the "greatest free show on earth", thousands of locals and visitors poured onto the sun-filled streets to watch the bands march. The organisers of Greenfield contest, estimated a vast crowd of 4000 people - quite possibly the largest audience the band has ever played to.
Whist on the march, the Band performed the theme tune to Wallace & Gromit, in homage to their home city. The bass drum even featured a Gromit mascot, alongside Shaun the sheep, and Feather’s McGraw – who all came along as support.
The band played consistently well, and even won a prize at Greenfield for their performance of the march ‘Knight Templar’ by composer George Allan (1864 – 1930) written as a tribute to the fearless knights of the Crusades.
Bands from all over the world attend the Whit Friday contests, as there is £60,000 in prize money up for grabs. 2014’s event saw bands attend from Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and amazingly, Neo Brass, a band that had travelled from Japan to take part.
Principal Cornet Steve Ellis said: “Whit Friday is a not-to-be-missed event for any brass band musician, and is one of the biggest events in the brass band calendar. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was an honour to represent Bristol in front of such large crowds”.
2nd Horn Player, Emma Metcalfe who organised the trip said: “It was fantastic to take City of Bristol Brass Band to the Whit Friday contests. It is a unique event, and it was the band’s first time. To have come away with a prize shows the band can compete with some of the best brass bands in the country.”
The popular Weston-Super-Mare Own Choice Contest took place at the Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare on Sunday 18th May. The City of Bristol Brass Band were once again there to try for the Second Section title. Also competing in the same section were Avonbank Brass, A.W. Parker (Drybrook), Blaenavon Town, Ebbw Valley Brass and Swindon Pegasus. The adjudicators across all sections were Paul Cosh and Stan Lippeatt, with, for the first time in the contest's history, both in the box at the same time. The contest began at 10.30am with the Fourth Section (4 bands) and moved straight onto the Third Section (8 bands), after which they were presented with their results.
While that was happening, the Band had a rehearsal and final run through under Bryn James, our chosen testpiece being Royal Parks, by George Lloyd.
The Second Section started a little late and was followed by the joint First/Championship Section (5 bands) with our results at the end of the day.
National Brass Band Championships
The weekend of the 8th and 9th of March saw the annual contest commonly known as the Areas. This year as in the past (and for years to come) it was held in Torquay. Over 70 bands from around the region descended upon the English Riviera all hoping for a place in the National Brass Band Championship Finals later on this year. Saturday saw the 4th, 3rd and 1st Section bands compete, with wins for Corsham, Bratton and Filton, respectively. Sunday was our day, in the Second Section, followed by the Championship section bands eventually won by Flowers).
On Saturday evening the Band assembled to have a final practice before enjoying the spring-time evening. An early bed for most and an early breakfast the following morning gave time for an 8.30 warm-up and run through. During the session we were told that we had drawn the dreaded number one spot, so a quick rendition of the National Anthem ensued before getting changed and ready to go on stage.
Changing room - Registration (no problems there, thank goodness, after bands have been disqualified for late registrations!) - and then onto the stage. With a welcome speech by the MC we were into the National Anthem and then after welcoming the Adjudicators, Mike Kilroy and Steve Pritchard-Jones and making sure they were ready, we started our test-piece, Chaucer's Tunes by Michael Ball.
After an uncertain start, things improved a little in the middle, but went a little awry towards the end, with intonation and clarity getting lost in the excitement. With our performance over, we then had a long wait (in the bar!) before the results were announced:
1. Forest of Dean Brass
2. St. Keverne
3. Ocean Brass
4. Poole Borough
5. Wotton-under-Edge & District
6. A W Parker (Drybrook)
We finished a disappointing 14th out of 16. Not the result we had hoped for and certainly much worse than the Band is capable of achieving; but we will return next year to carry on the fight!
It's just as keen a battle in the sartorial elegance stakes here in Torquay this morning as it is with the music making. First we had Kevin Robbins looking dapper at the helm with City of Bristol in a tasty whistle and flute. (4BarsRest; live comments)
A trio of solid, musically intersecting and well led performances to kick off proceedings here in Torquay.