Archive for Uncategorized

Malta Day 2017

Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band did a wonderful job entertaining the Maltese and guests at this years Malta Day cultural festival at Westminster Cathedral in London.

Malta day conducted by Band Master Block

Malta day conducted by Band Master Block

Under the direction of our wonderful Band Master, Steve Block, who has been doing a great job conducting the band while the process for a permanent MD continues, the band played throughout the day entertaining the audience with a varied programme including a variety of traditional Maltese tunes.

Our Awesome cornet section!

Our Awesome cornet section!

Despite being a very early morning as the band board the bus at 7.15am to get into London, this is one of their favourite gigs during the year! Playing from 9.50am – 5pm, the band play briefly outside in the morning, followed by three main sets in the hall and ending with a gathering in the Piazza and a firework display.

Baritones and Trombones having a great day

  Baritones and Trombones having a great day

Obligatory Horn selfie

Obligatory Horn selfie

We are fortunate to have many friends willing to help us out and due to some gaps, being the holiday season, we welcomed guests to play with us. Speaking to some of them afterwards, they all had a great day and said that they would always be happy to help out on Malta day if needed.

Brilliant Basses

Brilliant Basses

Paul on drums

Paul on drums

Thanks to everyone for making this years Malta Day a success and such fun!

Musical Director required for Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band

Saint Sebastian are looking for a new Musical Director

We are looking for a new Musical Director

Final preperations for scaba Entertainment Contest in Crawley on 22nd May

The band have been working really hard over the past couple of weeks in preparation for the Crawley Entertainment Contest which is being held this Sunday 22nd May.

Located at The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, West Sussex; Saints will be competing in the B section against seven other bands and unlike previous contests, which tend to have a set test piece, each band has 24 minutes (including applause and addresses) to perform a program of own choice music to ‘entertain’ the audience.

Adjudicated by Michael Fowles, the band will be marked on Musical Performance, Entertainment, Presentation and Deportment.

The whole band is ready to put on a great show this year, especially the Trombones who are defending the ‘Best Trombone Section’ award that they won last year. No Pressure guys!

Saints theme this year is ‘A Welsh Celebration’ and features:

Castell Coch
It’s Not Unusual (trombone feature)
Benedictus (Euphonium Solo – Rosie Saxton)
Ballad & Triumph (from Day of the Dragon)

And The Band Played On

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/heavy-rain-dampens-spirit-armed-7370143

armed_forces_day

The Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band which had expected to play in Market Place found a spot under cover at Erfstadt Court but the mayor braved the rain to deliver his message from the balcony at the Town Hall.

The band was forced to beat a hasty retreat as the rain hammered down on Wokingham on Armed Forces Day.

The Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band which had expected to play in Market Place found a spot under cover at Erfstadt Court but the mayor braved the rain to deliver his message from the balcony at the Town Hall on Saturday.

armed_forces_day_2

The Armed Forces Day Union flag was raised and Councillor Martin Bishop, wearing his official robes and chain of office, reaffirmed the town’s commitment to and support of the nation’s Armed Forces.

In his address, the mayor said: “Today is to recognise the contribution made to our country by those who currently serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and to provide an opportunity for the nation to show its appreciation.

armed_forces_day_3

“I would like us to remember all the men and women members of the Armed Forces for the work that they do as part of the NATO force in Afghanistan and previous conflicts.

“I would like us to remember all the losses and casualties that have been suffered as a result.”

The mayor ended by saying that Wokingham fully supported the Armed Forces in all their tasks.

Speaking after the ceremony, Cllr Bishop, who was accompanied by the mayoress Yvonne Bishop, said: “It was a bit of a washout but I think the band had some audience although in the Market Place we did not have much of a crowd as the rain was so heavy.”

armed_forces_day_4

Musical Director

The band are thrilled to announce that Lee Woodward, our Musical Director, will not be leaving us as planned this summer. Lee is leaving the army but staying in the local area to allow his children to complete their education without changing schools. Here’s to many more years of success!

Saints Annual Gala Concert And Awards Evening

The Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band recently held their annual Gala Concert, which also saw the presentation of their annual player awards.

Following the rousing march ‘Ravenswood’ the band continued in usual style with the overture from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. Following an earlier panic where repiano cornet Maria Lacey had to go back home to pick up her forgotten music and returning literally as the band were taking the stage, Maria along with identical twin Sally, flawlessly performed ‘the Flower Duet’ from Lakme.

Continuing with opera but this time form Italy, the band played Alan Fernie’s ‘Italian Fantasy’ a selection of popular themes including Funiculì, Funiculà, Nessun Dorma, O’ Sole Mio and Grand march from Aida. Concluding the first half, was the descriptive music from Karl Jenkin’s ‘The Armed Man’.

Following a short interval, the band started the second half with Hogarth Lear whirlwind of ‘Pel Mel’. In memory of the recent passing of Graham Woodward who was avid follower and close friend of the band not to mention Father of our MD Lee, the Band played Elgar’s Nimrod. Resetting the mood, the band played the Ray Woodfield portrait of circus life ‘Russian Circus Music’ with sections depicting the tumbling acrobats, scary bears and elephants and not forgetting the clowns.

Awards

Providing a short rest for the band, it was time to announce this year’s players awards.

The Bandsman of the year award is given for an individual’s service towards the running of the band, and this year was presented to the Band’s Chairman Paul MacNeill.

The next was for the light hearted ‘Facebook player of the Year’. Following all rehearsals, MD Lee Woodward votes for the player or section he believes to have played the best throughout the rehearsal. This year, Solo horn Jen Butchers was the worthy winner of this coveted award.

Finally, the Musician of the year. This year was presented to Wayne Filer on soprano cornet because of his “consistently high standard of playing at rehearsals, concerts and at contests”

Demonstrating one the reasons why he was voted Musician of the year and under extreme pressure, Wayne took the stage and performed Paul Duffy’s jazzy ‘Oh When the Saints’.

The Band then continued with the ever popular Last Night of the Proms including Fantasia on British Sea Songs, the hymn ‘Jerusalem’ and ending in style with Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1.

“I’m so Proud of Saint’s. It’s been a good year contest-wise, a respectful result at the Areas and a win at the SCABA entertainment contest. All of our concerts have been great; I purposely put out challenging music but the band take it in their stride and play it to a high standard. I’m blessed to have a committed band with great players all around the stand. Thank you to everyone and keep up the good work.” MD Lee Woodward.

Saints Success at Crawley

Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band are thrilled to announce success in the ‘B’ section of the SCABA Entertainment Contest at Crawley.

lee_crawley_trophy

Under the baton of Lee Woodward, Saints put on a lively and engaging programme with the theme of “Heroes”. The opening number was the fanfare from the motion picture Rocky. This was followed by the haunting, lyrical theme from Born On The Fourth Of July, soloist Damon Emes. Switching to modern times, the band played theme from the recent James Bond film SkyFall. Next was the most challenging work in the programme, the original brass band piece Walking With Heroes by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. Once the band had got their breath back, the final number was the theme from the television series Hawaii 5-0, complete with floral leis and Mexican waves!

The band awaited the results with nervous anticipation, hoping to improve on our fourth place finish last year. Adjudicator Paul Holland, while robust in pointing out the inconsistencies of the band’s performance, still saw enough he liked to award Saints the top prize for the first time since 2004.

Charity Concert

St Sebastian Wokingham Brass band Mayors Charity Concert in aid of Wokingham & District Association for the Elderly

Following a respectable result at the L&SC areas, the St. Sebastian Wokingham band got their concert chops back to to raise money for the Mayor of Wokingham’s chosen charity, Wokingham & District Association for the Elderly (WADE).

Themed on stage and screen, the concert begun with Bill Conti’s heavyweight ‘Fanfare for Rocky’, which made way for the more traditional overture ‘The Magic Flute’.

First of the band’s soloist for the night was Repiano Cornet, Damon Emes playing the theme from the 1981 film ‘Born on the 4th of July’. Not being a feel good film, Damon encapsulates the haunting mood and raises the bar for the soloists to follow.

Stephen Roberts whimsical arrangement of ‘Putting on the Ritz’ provided a light relief for the audience and band alike before euphonium soloists Humphrey Haynes and James Kelloway performed Bizet’s Deep Inside the Sacred Temple from the opera “The Pearl Fishers”. Both soloists blessed with rich beautiful tones complimented each other perfectly and the luscious harmonies just sang as if Domingo and Pavarotti were there in person.

Leading the the way into the interval was the atmospheric epic ‘Barbarian Horde’ from the film Gladiator. Describing the build up to and including the gladiatorial battles of the victorious Roman wars, Hans Zimmer’s score can but make you feel a part of the action.

Following the interval, Kenneth Alford’s ‘Colonel Bogey’ featured in the film ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ provided a rousing beginning to the second half. It was now back to the operatic stage with Soprano soloist Wayne Filer performing the emotional “Vesti La Guibba” from” I Pagliacci otherwise known as ‘On With the Motley’.

Allowing the audience to compose themselves after Wayne’s pulling of the heart-strings, the band let rip with Goff Richards’ energetic ‘Breezin’ Down Broadway’. Following this tour de force it was time to remember the recent passing of the local hero to many, trumpeter Derek Watkins. Throughout his lengthy career, Derek was the only person to be a part of every James Bond movie, so it was fitting to play a bond theme with Philip Sparke’s new arrangement of the blockbuster ‘Skyfall’.

Final soloist of the evening was trombonist and band chairman Paul MacNeill performing the most recorded song of the 20th century at over 1500 recordings, Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘Stardust’. A somewhat tenuous link to stage & screen, the song featured in the background on a radio in the film ‘The Battle of Britain’. MD Lee Woodward certainly did his homework, or did he make it up? (answers on a five pound note please!)

Time for the finale, and back to the opera. Wagner’s ‘Elsa’s Procession to the Minster’ being a favourite of the band, was the perfect close to the concert. Following a lengthy applause and standing ovation, the Mayor of Wokingham thanked the band for all their hard work and support throughout his tenure as Mayor.

All that was left was to once again let rip with Philip Harper’s arrangement of the TV theme ‘Hawaii 5-0’, complete with mexican waves, a fantastic, entertaining finale if there ever was one.

It was a great performance, especially given limited rehearsal time. The band continues to grow and the soloists are fantastic. Thanks to all members for all your hard work, I’m really proud of you all.
MD Lee Woodward.

A special mention has to go to our deps for the evening, thank you for being a part of the evening and being so brilliant, we wouldn’t have been able to do it with out you.

We have also been told that through the concert and the generous audience, we managed to raise £968. A massive thanks to all who came and ‘dug deep’.

Saintly recognition

The St Sebastian Wokingham Band recently handed out their annual awards at a highly entertaining presentation evening.

Awards

The “Musician of the Year” award voted by MD Lee Woodward, went to principal euphonium player Humphrey Haynes in recognition of his outstanding performances, whilst the “Bandsman of the Year” award, voted on by all members, went to solo trombonist Paul MacNeill for his faultless running of the band over the last 12 months.

Long Service

Long Service awards were presented to principal cornet Kevin Raines and percussionist Lisa Hubble, for notching up 10 years of commitment, whilst baritone player Cameron Lake received a presentation pocket watch for his amazing 65 years of stalwart service.

Farewells

Sadly, the band had to say goodbye to two members, with Lisa Hubble leaving due to work commitments and Graham McKillop seeking a new championship challenge with Sandhurst Silver.

MD, Lee Woodward told 4BR: “Both members will be sorely missed and I thank them for what they have done for the band in the past. Everyone in the band wish you the best of luck for the future.”

Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to our brand new website! Here you can find contacts, a calendar view of our upcoming engagements and more information as we add it!