It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by since our “Christmas Crackers” concert and our work on the Dickensian Preview with the BBC last December. And what a fantastic and varied year it’s been for the Band.
Early in the New Year we “switched sides” to entertain the crowds on the red carpet for the Liverpool auditions for Britain’s Got Talent, complete with guest Trombone virtuoso David Walliams – much to Simon Cowell’s annoyance!
Then it was back to the BBC to run an event – a Saturday afternoon Open Rehearsal/ Taster Session – for the BBC’s Get Creative Day.
Later in the year we moved over to radio when we joined Johnny Vaughan and Radio X at Hannah’s Bar in the city centre to perform a live “Friday Horn” when the team were doing a UK-wide promotional tour.
In addition to this we have kept up our usual concert performances which included our very successful “Swing, Swing, Swing” show at our favourite Capstone Theatre in the Spring, an appearance at Liverpool One’s “Party In The Park” to help celebrate the Queen’s birthday, a concert at the Inland Waterways Association Festival at the Eldonian Village and of course a number of summer afternoons in parks around the region.
On the competitive front we had another successful trip to the world famous Whit Friday March Contests in Tameside and Saddleworth. But the highlight was undoubtedly our first ever full Band Contest at the end of October – the North West Area Brass Band Association Championships in Rochdale – where we were delighted to be placed first in our Division against a strong line up of competitors from both sides of the Pennines.
All this before we reached our third birthday in November.
Our Christmas Season saw us perform at The Elephant in Woolton, Widnes Town Centre & Victoria Park, Bishop Eton Church (twice!). Our main event, at Capstone Theatre, was our fabulous concert “The Wonder Of Christmas” (featuring the Choir of Sudley Junior School) led by our wonderful guest MD and great friend of the Band, Paul Andrews.
So now we are having a week or so off before we get competitive again in the New Year under the direction of new MD Adam Taylor who has agreed to take us to Brass At The Guild and the NW Regional Championships. A prospect we are all very excited about and really looking forward to.
We are delighted to announce that we have secured the services of Adam Taylor to take us to both Brass at the Guild Contest in Preston and the NW Regional Championships in Blackpool in the New Year.
Adam studied for his degree in London, and has a wealth of musical experience. He is currently Solo Trombone with Wingates Band and has also played for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Halle.
Adam has enjoyed some success as a conductor having taken Uppermill Band to the Whit Friday marches a couple of years ago, and more recently working with Haydock Band. He is also the Assistant Conductor at Wingates Band.
Adam is a successful composer and arranger, and has already written a number of test pieces for Brass Band, amongst other commissioned work.
The band are very much looking forward to our partnership over the next couple of months and have thoroughly enjoyed our time together in the rehearsals we have had so far.
Allerton Brass Band Manager,
So, that’s our 2016 Christmas season off to a flying (or is that freezing!) start.
Saturday 26th November was the day the Christmas lights were switched on in Woolton Village and an ensemble from the Band were on hand to support The Elephant as they got into the Christmas Spirit with our musical tribute accompanied by fireworks and even a snow machine!
A great time was had by all as we entertained the crowds with a well chosen selection of Seasonal and other musical favourites.
It is with regret that we have to announce our MD Pete Smith has left the Band. Pete took over as MD at the start of 2015 and has overseen the Band’s development over the last couple of years culminating in our recent success at the NWABBA Championships in Rochdale.
Recently, however, following a promotion at work and with the growing volume of commitments the Band are taking on, Pete has found it increasingly difficult to maintain a satisfactory balance between his family, work and Band and has very reluctantly decided to step down.
Pete has done a great job for the Band during his time with us both as a player and certainly since he assumed the role of MD and we all wish him well for the future.
The Band are absolutely delighted that our good friend and Wingates Band’s MD Paul Andrews has very kindly agreed to step in and lead us in “The Wonder of Christmas” at the Capstone Theatre on Friday 9th December 2016 while we look for a permanent replacement for Pete.
On Sunday 23rd October 2016, the band entered its first ever Band Contest since its formation just under 3 years ago. Up against some tough competition, it was with great delight that the band went and won the Fourth Section! There were 7 Bands in total in our Section and we had a very early start. We were on the road around at 6:30am (6am for some!) to drive to a very Autumnal looking Victorian venue that most of us have never been to before; Rochdale Town Hall. The organisers were quite surprised with how keen we seemed to be, arriving at least 20 minutes before they were there to open up!
This is a great achievement for the band, not only being so newly formed, but there were many players who have never contested before. From what started as a pipe dream, all the hard work that has gone into the band paid off on Sunday, and we hope this will stand us in great stead for the contests at the beginning of the New Year.
We would like to give special thanks to all those who gave their time to help and give us guidance in rehearsals since we started preparing for the contest in August, including Mike Jackson, Brian Taylor, Jill Aspray, Paul Andrews and Nicola Shaw.
Preparations are now under way for our Annual Christmas Concert at The Capstone Theatre on Friday 9th December, this year joined by Sudley Junior School Choir. We will also be performing at The Elephant Pub as part of the Woolton Village Christmas Lights “Switch On” on Saturday 26th November, and in Bishop Eton Church for the Nugent Care Concert on Saturday 10th December.
Allerton Brass Chairman,