Kevin Robbins to lead the Band
Kevin Robbins (MD of Yeovil Town Band) has agreed to take the City of Bristol Brass Band in the short term, primarily for the South West Brass Band Association's Annual Contest and the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association's Own Choice Contest.
Kevin began playing at the age of 9 and after only a year won his first solo award at the Cheltenham Music Festival. This was the first of many awards, including the title ‘Junior Champion of Great Britain under 14 yrs', the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Champion at Junior and Senior levels, also the Bath, Peterborough and London and Home Counties Festivals by the time he was 16. It was at this time Kevin was invited to play Assistant Principal Cornet for the famous Stanshawe (Bristol) Band under the direction of Prof. Walter Hargreaves. On leaving college Kevin moved to Yorkshire and became Principal Cornet of the Brodsworth Colliery Band under the direction of the late John Childs. In 1980 he received an invitation to come back to Bristol to lead the Sun Life Band as Principal Cornet. It was this period that proved to be the best playing time of his career with numerous recordings for the BBC and appearances on the BBC2 series 'Best of Brass' and the 'Granada TV Band of the Year' to mention but a few. If this wasn’t enough in 2000 Kevin became Principal Cornet of the Flowers Band, a position he held for five years.
Over the years Kevin has lead bands to National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall and British Open Championships at Belle Vue and Free Trade Halls in Manchester and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Kevin still appears as guest soloist from time to time especially with the Dursley Male Voice Choir with whom he has toured Canada in 1998 and 2003, and recently a tour of Austria. It was in Vienna at the St Stephens Cathedral that Kevin made history by becoming the first brass soloist invited to play at midday mass.
The City of Bristol Brass Band are looking forward to working with Kevin and hope he can bring the Band's potential to fruition in next month's contests.
The City of Bristol Brass Band Learners competed this morning in Ross-on-Wye at the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Entertainments contest. The Band played really well from the number 2 spot against Abergavenny Borough Training Band, Lydney Training Band and Lydbrook Training Band. MD Steve Ellis was full of praise for everyone.
Here is what the adjudicator, Dr. Graham Jones MBE wrote:
After weeks of rehearsals, the time had come to put our hard work on stage. Our eminent leader had chosen a piece to push us to our limits, with Bruce Broughton's California Legend, written in 1986 and used in the Area Finals that year.
At 11am on Sunday, 18th the Band met for the morning warm up and final run-through. The draw, at 12 noon, gave us the number three slot (out of 8 bands) and, after a slight delay and a confusion over uniform, our contest was under way.
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.
Waiting to perform
On the 20th November 2011 the City of Bristol Brass Band made their way over the River Severn to Coleford for probably the last time. Don't worry: the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association contest is still going strong but next year it will be held in Ross!
The Band chose to play The New Colonial by R.B. Hall as their March and the test piece was the same as they chose for Torquay 2 weeks earlier: the fantastic Suite Gothic by Leon Boellmann.
After a reasonable result at Torquay 2 weeks ago (6th November) where the band was placed 2nd playing Philip Sparke's Kaleidoscope, the Band travelled a little closer to home to the Forest of Dean's Five Acres Theatre. This was the GBBA's annual March and Testpiece contest.
Rehersals went well with a few slips but nothing too bad, even the percussionists were banging the right things in the right places! (Thanks to Bream band for letting us use their bandroom for a final blow before the contest.) So after a tale or two from the MD, we set off for the Theatre.
The band was drawn 3 out of 4 bands in section 'B' and duely waited their turn. Once on stage the band started their march, Mephistopheles and then onto the Testpiece, Kaleidoscope.