City of Bristol Brass Band, with our Learner Band, and conducted by Ian Holmes, gave the world premiere performance of Laura Shipsey's Of Far Flung Skies at St George's, Bristol in October, 2021. This is Laura's first composition for brass band and we all thoroughly enjoyed the journey from its inception to the final performance.
The piece is due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, on Wednesday, 19th January. Our recording will be broadcast after the Radio 3 in Concert programme, in which the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kazuki Yamada are joined by soprano Fatma Said for a concert of music by Mozart, Mahler and Strauss.
We very much hope that you enjoy listening to this piece as much as we enjoyed performing and recording it.
We are thrilled that the City of Bristol Brass Band has been chosen to participate in Making Music's "Adopt A Composer" scheme for 2019-2020, and welcome Laura Shipsey as our Composer-in-Residence for the year.
Since 1935, Making Music has supported and championed leisure-time music groups across the UK with practical services, artistic development opportunities and by providing a collective voice for its members. Representing over 3,600 groups of around 200,000 musicians of all types, genres and abilities, Making Music helps them with the practicalities of running their group so they can get on with making music.
The Adopt A Composer project brings together music groups and composers to collaborate on creating a brand new piece of music. The project pairs leisure-time music groups with a composer for a year, culminating in a premiere performance, a recording and a possible radio broadcast. The composer has the opportunity to get to know a performing group and write a piece especially for them, while the group has the chance to contribute to the creation of a new work by some of the UK's most promising composers. Visit Making Music to find out more.
Laura Shipsey's music draws on ideas of movement, line, and juxtaposition. Originally a violinist, she first studied composition at Durham University with Eric Egan and Sam Hayden and later completed her masters with distinction under the supervision of Arlene Sierra at Cardiff University. Laura is currently a Britten Pears Young Artist and a featured composer of the Illuminate Concert Series. Recent projects include orchestral pieces Samara (for Aldworth Philharmonic) and Hatch (for Cambridge Heidelberg Montpellier Youth Orchestra), Juggernaut Island (for the Ligeti Quartet), and Speak, Rose (a mezzo soprano solo for NewCELF, Cardiff).
City of Bristol Brass Band will be working with Laura during the 2019-2020 season, and we look forward to premiering her new work on Saturday June 27th at Bristol’s prestigious concert hall, St Georges, just off Park Street.
Adopt A Composer is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music, and is funded by the PRS Foundation and the Philip & Dorothy Green Music Trust.
This morning saw a few of the City of Bristol Brass Band show their support for the Bristol Half Marathon. With the roads closed very early, getting to the Lockside Cafe proved a little tricky, but most managed it on time! The race started at 9.30 for the elite runners and by 10am they were passing us just as we started playing. For the next 2 hours and more the runners kept coming, some in fancy dress, others in firefighting or military uniform. There were many who applauded us as they passed and also a few requests. We managed to play Happy Birthday and one guy ran on with a big smile as the Band managed an impromtu performance of Chariots of Fire!
Phew, What A Scorcher!
On Sunday the Band played at the Bandstand in Ross. It was their first time there and what an excellent afternoon it was! The grey rain clouds of the last few weeks had disappeared and the sun was beating down as the Band played to a large and enthusiastic audience.
It was good to see some familiar faces, too, both supporting and playing in the Band. Welcome back to Carole after her maternity leave!
The rains were still evident as the fields either side of the road were flooded. People took advantage of this and cooled themselves off by paddling and even cycling through the water!
Pictures courtesy of The Dragonfly, news and views from Ross-on-Wye.
Yesterday saw the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association's 75th Anniversary Celebration concert. Highnam Court was the fabulous venue for the event that saw 20 of the Association's member bands perform short sets to an ever increasing audience. At 10am Cheltenham Silver started with an entertaining programme; Pillowell Silver, Forest of Dean Brass and then Flowers Band were next on stage, followed by Gloucester Brass and Bream Silver. They were followed by were Portishead Town Band, ably assisted by members of the City of Bristol Brass Band. Their programme was Let's Face the Music and Dance, the Witches of Westmerland, Autumn Leaves, the Lincolnshire Poacher and the famous march Ravenswood.
Singing in the Rain
Well, actually, no it wasn't raining! In what turned out to be quite a pleasant afternoon, the crowds were out but not the umbrellas. For today's concert the Band played some old favourites alongside pieces new to the folder. Principal trombone Steve Rockey was featured, playing what he claims to be the shortest trombone solo ever written, Leigh Baker's arrangement of J.S. Bach's Badinerie.
The Band managed to have packed all of the equipment away before the skies opened.
Our next performance will be at Highnam Court, celebrating 75 years of the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association. There will be bands playing all day, culminating in a massed band finale. The event will raise money for The Pied-Piper Appeal and Great Oaks Hospice. For more details of this massive event, please visit the Association's website at www.gbba-online.org.uk.
And the Band Played On
Last night saw the Band play a concert in Downend, Bristol, in aid of Children's Hospice South West and Christ Church Missions. The programme included pieces such as The Muppets, Misty (featuring our flugel player) and David of the White Rock; the trombones got to feature in I Will Follow Him and the euphoniums got to show off their dancing skills in Another Fine Mess. The audience also called for an encore: That's A Plenty.
Another Fine Mess!
The City of Bristol Brass Band's annual outing to the Chipping Sodbury Town Hall last night was again a success with the audience. The concert included pieces featuring different instruments from around the band: Hey Jude (Lennon & McCartney) featured the horn section. The trombones finally got to play I Will Follow Him. The front row cornets played a beautiful rendition of Matt Kingston's arrangement of She Moved Through the Fair. The last section to feature were the euphoniums in their debut performance of the Laurel and Hardy duet Another Fine Mess! arranged by Sandy Smith; not only were they dressed up as the comic duo but they also managed a little choreography in the middle of the piece, too! Well done to all the players.
If you are a regular listener to Radio 2 in the mornings and listen to Chris Evans, you can't have failed to notice that he is backing the Military Wives' single "Wherever You Are". He has also asked every choir to submit their own version to be aired on his show. "But CoBBB is not a choir!" I hear you say. That is correct; but Mark Bodenham, ex-player and website guy, works for RAC and they submitted a version. However, because it was going up against the RAC's arch rival The Yellow Peril AA, they wanted it to be special and knowing that Mark is in a brass band, they called upon him to help.
The first of 3 invites to the National Trust, Tyntesfield, today saw two groups from our band perform. It was cold, but when you have been doing Christmas Carolling as long as some of us then you know how to keep warm. Spot the guy with tights on!!!
We are there again next weekend so make sure you come along and listen to the band and browse the Christmas Market.