OK so i have been a bit lazy with the band updates this past 12 months, (too busy practicing is my excuse) so i am going to give you a great big update on the bands success over the past 12 months
What a year its been for the band, we have achieved so much in 2016 its hard to believe, but we are still looking forward to bigger and better things in 2017!
Lets take a look back and see what we have been up to: –
January 2016 – Preston Brass at the Guild Contest – OK not the best result for us, a first run out for the Northwest area test piece, Phillias Fogg, found us in the lower half of the rankings, but, from adversity comes strength, Stephen Craig our conductor, used the remarks, the recordings and his own superb skill to hone the band ready for the next outing at the Northwest area’s in the Winter Gardens Blackpool. Lets hope we do better
February 2016 – Northwest Area Contest at Blackpool Winter Gardens. This saw the band put on a very strong performance and try to rid ourselves of any disappointment from earlier in the year, we certainly did that, we only went and won it, that saw Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band as Northwest Area Champions for the first time in the bands history – Cheltenham National Finals here we come!
The winning band at the North West Area Finals in Blackpool 2016
Much hard work fundraising and playing later we will be off to the National Finals in Cheltenham. This is the first time in the bands history they have been invited to compete at the National Finals, time to measure up against the best bands in our section from across the country.
September 6th 2016 – Yesterday we were extremely saddened to hear that one of our member Keith Grills had passed away. Keith had been suffering ill-health for a little while and was missing his banding very much. He can now join the big brass band in the sky.
Keith had been a member of the band for around 10 years, but has always been a well known member of the local banding community. RIP Keith
September 2016 – Plenty of hard work summer 2016 raising the required funds (thank you to our fabulous supporters and sponsors) we reached the target required and headed off to Cheltenham racecourse for the big weekend. Many many hours were spent practicing together and individually to produce an excellent performance of Music for Kantara, this performance gained us a 4th place in the National Finals, 4th from 18 bands (the best in section bands from their Area’s) was a spectacularly good performance from a debut band, definitely a top notch performance.
Members of the Thornton Cleveleys Band at the National Finals 2016 – 4th Section 4th Place.
A busy season of winter concerts and Christmas caroling brought 2016 to and end, what a year its been for all involved.
January 2017 – Straight back in to the hardwork with Brass at the Guild in Preston at the end of the month, this year sees the band rehearsing St Andrew’s Variations, a piece popular with the band. Fast forward to the end of January and on a cold Sunday morning we all assemble in the practice room to have our pre-contest warm up, then drawn first in the order of play we have the dash to the Guild Hall to get ready for registration, whilst we wait to be called there is news the adjudicator is stuck on the motorway and is going to be late, can you imagine the nerves are jangling as you build yourself up to play to be told to stand down for 20 minutes. Once on the stage its the usual blur of concentration and the piece is over in what seems like seconds, all there is to do now is wait for the results.
Move on to later in the day when all the bands have played and we are listening to the adjudicators feedback, then the prizes are announced, 1st place for Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band, (clear winners the adjudicator says), not only that, we also won Best Basses, Best Euphonium and Winning MD (Sorry about the pic boss, its the only one of you on the day i could find!)
February 2017 – The big day is finally here, well nearly, after our success at Preston (did i mention it at all?) we have a lot to live upto, winners of the Brass at the Guild in January and returning area Champions, this year we are the band to beat as all the other area bands set their sights on us. Things are getting serious, lockdown rehearsals so no one can gets to hear our interpretation and no recordings or videos to go online without the bosses permission (exciting stuff!). The band meet up for their early Sunday morning rehearsal (joys of the fourth section) and wait on the outcome of the draw.
Its in!, 4th band on, a good draw for us, get to play early and not let the nerves build waiting through the day, straight over to the Winter Gardens Blackpool and into registration, its all moving very smoothly.
Before we know we it we are sat on the stage of the Opera House waiting for the Adjudicators whistle, this is it, all the hard work and practice going into 10 minutes, and a good performance, no slips or splits, everyone happy with their efforts, now just to wait and see what the two adjudicators think.
A few hours later listening to the other bands and watching the predictions for 4barsrest and British Bandsman and it looks like were are near the top in the predictions, but you can never tell.
Results are in and WE WON! yes, another 1st place for the band, not only that our percussion section west Best Percussion and Stephen Craig won a well deserved Best Conductor. This also means we get invited back to the National Finals at Cheltenham in September.
This now means another round of fund raising for the band to get us to the National finals but we had plenty of fun last year doing so we are all looking forward to it this year, so keep your eyes peeled for the band this spring and summer when we will be running, swimming, cycling, Raffling, mystic meg (ing), walking, baking and even playing to raise money.
Please come along to support your local Brass Band and enjoy some fantastic music, see our Events page for more info of where we can be found.