Archive for Concert Announcement

Reading Festival of Brass 2019

Following on from the success of last year’s Reading Festival of Brass, Saints were delighted to be invited once again by the Reading Spring Gardens Band to perform at this year’s event. Not resting on its laurels, the event had also grown in size from last year, with the addition of the Tadley Concert Brass band. This year’s concert moved to a new venue at the Michael Malnick Centre Theatre at Leighton Park School Reading, in order to accommodate both more musicians and spectators!

The concert itself was tinged with some sadness, due to the passing of Reading Spring Gardens’ conductor David Ruel in the days leading up to it. David was well-known and a friend to many in the brass-banding community across the country. We hope that the concert served as a fitting tribute to his memory and we were proud to be able to have been a part of this.

As with last year’s Reading Festival of Brass, this was a concert with a twist. While the purpose as always was to present an entertaining programme of music, the concert also had a slight contesting element to it. While no prizes were on offer, editor of 4BarsRest Iwan Fox was in attendance, marking each band on their performance, which had to fulfil a certain number of criteria. Each band was required to perform an overture, a march, a solo, and hymn, and then a final item of each band’s own choosing.

Performing first, Saints opened the concert with the overture Henry the Fifth by Ralph Vaughn Williams. As our solo item, Saints’ Flugel player Michael Bird performed Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s One Day, described by the composer as music which follows in the footsteps of Pat Methany’s music, who is famous for his easy listening jazz styles. Our march number came from the catalogue of Salvation Army music, Star Lake by Eric Ball, as did our hymn requirement, which was fulfilled by Darren Shaw’s Guardian of My Soul – an arrangement which combines the composer’s own song I Worship You with the well-known hymn O Jesus, I have Promised, both of which contain the lyric Guardian of my Soul. Our own-choice finale returned to the pen of Paul Lovatt-Cooper, with standing ranks of cornet and trombone players performing Horizons.

After being entertained by both Tadley Concert Brass and Reading Spring Gardens, we returned to the stage for a massed band finale of all three bands together performing Roy Newsome’s march Belmont and The Lost Chord.

The Festival was once again a great success and we were delighted to be a part of it. We look forward to similar success at the Reading Festival of Brass 2020!

Christmas with Saints!

It has been another successful Christmas season for Saints, with concerts and carols being performed both locally and live via satellite to as far as Australia!

On 27th November 2018, the band again led the Christmas parade around the town at the Wokingham Winter Carnival. The town centre was packed with people as the procession weaved its way around the town before concluding in the centre. This year we were also extremely excited to support the young musicians of the Berkshire Maestros Bracknell and Wokingham Music Centre, who led the crowds in the lead up to the turning-on of the town’s Christmas lights. The musical future of the town is very much in safe hands!

On 1st December 2018, the band performed as Day 1 of the Wokingham Living Advent Calendar at Wokingham Town Hall. Supporting the Thames Valley Hospice, the advent calendar showcases local artists each day leading up to Christmas. This year our performance was broadcast live via Facebook to a number of viewers down under, making it a truly international event!

Finally, in-between numerous carolling appearances at local supermarkets, housing estates and shopping centres, we performed our own Christmas concert on 14th December 2018 at Wokingham Town Hall. Playing to another packed house, the band performed a varied concert of carols (as selected by followers of the band’s Facebook and Twitter pages in the lead-up to the concert), well-known Christmas numbers, as well as some non-Christmas music also.

The highlight for many was the band’s performance of Philip Harper’s The Greatest Storyteller, a piece of work arranged for the Cory Band’s Brass in Concert entertainment programme in 2017 to commemorate the life of Roald Dahl. The piece comprises three tunes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, and gave a number of soloists from the band a chance to shine. Soprano Cornet Llewellyn Wells featured in the title number from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, while our euphonium duo of Rosie Saxton and Mark Lowe performed together during Pure Imagination. Finally, Principle Cornet George Sandford led the finale of When I Grow Up.

Finally, our Christmas concert gave us the chance to reward particular members of the band for their hard work and contribution to Saints over the course of the previous year. This year, 2nd Baritone player and Contest Secretary Leighton Cornelius was voted Bandsman of the Year by the rest of the band, while Bb Bass Josh Moorhouse was awarded the MD’s Musician of the Year award, with both being richly deserved.

Malta Day 2018

On 8 September 2018, Malta Day was once again celebrated in London. This event, in its 14th year, has become the leading feature in the calendar of Maltese communities and individuals in the UK. Saints have now been privileged to provide musical entertainment to the large number of Maltese and their families and friends who have travelled from all over the UK to attend the national festival for the last few years.

The day began with a Maltese Fair held in the Westminster Cathedral Hall, at which Saints provided music of all genres, including a number of very traditional Maltese marches and folk songs. After having the opportunity to sample some of the various Maltese food and drink on offer at the Fair, we were privileged to accompany the Gaulitanus Choir with psalms and hymns during the celebration of Solemn Mass inside Westminster Cathedral itself.

The event marked another great success for Malta Day and the Maltese community within the UK. It is an event which we are proud to support and look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.

A Conquest of Paradise

On 16 June 2018, Saints performed our ‘Conquest of Paradise’ concert to a packed Wokingham Town Hall. The concert provided a great opportunity for the band to perform its American-themed entertainment programme, originally conceived for the SCABA Entertainment contest but the same being very well received during the ‘Reading Festival of Brass’, together with some newer items which had been prepared by the band specifically for the concert.

The concert also provided the ideal setting for one final outing of the 2018 Regional Test Piece, Jonathan Bates’ Ex Terra Lucem, following Saints’ second-place performance of the piece at this year’s regional contest, enough to secure a place in the National Finals in Cheltenham later this year.

The concert was a massive success and we thank everyone who came and contributed to what was a great evening for the band. For the band, attention now turns to this year’s National Finals piece, Stephen Bulla’s Firestorm.

Reading Festival of Brass 2018

On Sunday 20th May 2018, Saints were proud to join together with the Reading Spring Gardens Band for the first ‘Reading Festival of Brass’ event at Christ Church in Woodley. The band had been working hard in preparation for the annual SCABA Entertainment contest in Crawley, but unfortunately this was cancelled at fairly short notice. Eager not to waste the time spent preparing our American-based entertainment programme, we were delighted to get the opportunity to perform with Spring Gardens, who found themselves in exactly the same situation as ourselves. The event also offered the opportunity to raise some funds for the Christian disability charity ‘CBM’.

After Spring Gardens entertained the crowd with their programme, Saints opened our contribution with Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’, which saw the band enter section by section during the piece until the full band was united together onstage. Karl King’s march ‘The Trombone King’ followed, with contrast provided thereafter with Alan Fernie’s arrangement of ‘Deep River’ (the second movement of his ‘Southern Gospel Suite’). The band’s solo item featured Damon Emes on flugel performing ‘Under the Boardwalk’, as arranged by Philip Harper for the Cory Band’s ‘Brass in Concert’ programme 2017. The finale to our programme featured a number of well known American pieces contained within Dan Price’s ‘An American Tale’.

Following the conclusion of our programme, Saints and Spring Gardens joined forces for the conclusion of the concert, performing the march ‘Imperial Echos’, the Bandsman’s Hymn ‘Deep Harmony’ and the National Anthem.

The event was a great success and raised just under £200 for a good charitable cause. We look forward to joining together with Spring Gardens again in the future.

Saints next concert with Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band Sunday the 20th of May

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Saints had their last rehearsal, preparing for Sunday’s concert with Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band.

If you want to know what Saints are up to for this concert, then you’ll have to come along and see what all the photo’s below are about. It poses to be a wonderful afternoon of music and we are excited to be joining the wonderful players of Reading Spring Gardens.

The concert starts at 2.30Pm at Christ Church, Woodley. This is a FREE event, but there is a retiring collection for the Church at the end.

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A Night at the Movies with Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band on 14th October 2017

Saints’ next gig will take you on a journey through the cinematic universe, with music from Jurassic Park, The wizard of Oz and James Bond to name a few.

Playing at the Whitty Theatre, Luckley House School, Wokingham, Saints will be joined by the ever-popular singing group, Masterclef.

Tickets are only £10 and you can buy these on the door, or to make sure you get one go directly to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/sswb  or phone 0333 666 3366.

 

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First Concert of the Year!

Saints are back with our first concert of the year at All Saints Church, Wokingham on Saturday the 25th of February.

We are privileged to be sharing the concert with A440 Choir; an exciting mixed-voice choir of 40 singers based in Berkshire. Together we will perform the best of Brass and Choral music.

With a varied and exciting evening of music planned, Saints and A440 Choir know the church is the perfect location to showcase our first joint concert!

The concert starts at 7.30pm with doors opening at 7pm.

Tickets are £10 with under 18s free, and can be bought on the door or via the website https://allsaintswokingham.yapsody.com/

 

February Concert Poster

Saints Christmas Concert on 15 December

Saint Sebastian Wokingham Band will be holding our Christmas Concert at Wokingham Theatre on Thursday the 15th of December, featuring a wide selection of brass band music and a few surprises.

The evening will most certainly be a celebration of music and festive cheer, and this year Saints will be accompanied by Masterclef who are singers from Woodley-based barbershop chorus, Thames Valley Chorus. Having competed at the Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival in July, they won the Barbershop Quartet & Small Ensemble class. They love close harmony singing and will be singing a selection from their repertoire of show songs, love ballads and pop classics, as well as a sprinkling of seasonal favourites at the Concert.

The concert starts at 7.30pm on the 15th of December and you can purchase tickets online at www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk

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Saints Support the Mayor in 10th Annual Concert

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Saints present the Mayor with the Wokingham March for the 10th anniversary.

St. Sebastian Wokingham Band’s annual concert in aid of the Mayor of Wokingham’s charity took place this year at the newly-opened Whitty Theatre at Luckley School. The evening, which was the 10th anniversary of the annual concert, was a little different than usual, as this year it was organised by the Town Mayor, Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson, and we shared the concert with some of her chosen local acts.

Saints opened our set with the premiere of a brand new composition commissioned in honour of the town – The Wokingham March. This was composed by our cornet player and bandmaster, Steve Block, and is based on The Wokingham Song by Roy Lillington. The piece went down extremely well with the audience and afterwards The Mayor was presented with a special memento in honour of the premiere of the piece and the 10th anniversary of the concert, which is now displayed in the Town Hall!

After this presentation, the Bandsman of the Year was announced, which is voted for by band members and given to the member that has contributed the most to the running of the band in the past year. The very-deserving winner this year was our band librarian, and part-time quartermaster, Siân Moorhouse. Siân also received a long-term service award for her 5 years with the band, and a special award was given to Bill Martyn for his amazing 45 years’ service with the band.

Following the awards, our MD, Nigel Howard gave the audience a brief introduction to the film Brassed Off, which had been requested by the Mayor as a theme for the concert, before the band played several pieces from the film. The first piece we played was a Flugel Horn solo, featuring Damon Emes; Rodrigo’s Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez (famously referred to as Concierto d’Orange Juice in the film). This was followed by Clog Dance and Danny Boy, before finishing with a breathtaking rendition of the William Tell Overture.

The concert was a huge success, and some fantastic feedback has been received. Of course the night was not just ours, and the success is shared with our fellow performers the Wokingham Choral Society, Jaxannah, When We Speak and The Hula Monkeys.

Saints are now looking forward to our next public engagements – our annual marches in Wargrave and Wokingham for Remembrance Sunday on 13 November. We are also busy in December with carolling, and our Christmas Concert this year is on Thursday 15 December at the Wokingham Theatre, in aid of the Wokingham Cancer Care Trust.