On Saturday 10th December the band held their Christmas concert to a sell-out audience at the Longridge Civic Hall. Emergency chairs were pulled from backstage to ensure enough seating for all the audience!
Highlights of the concert included our three soloists; James Kenny, our Eb tuba player who performed Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, complete with Rudolph outfit. Tim Dines, our solo euphonium player was on fine form in the traditional Christmas song, O Holy Night and last but not least Bethany Moore, who gave a heartfelt rendition of Rocking Carol.
Our fantastic Junior Band closed the first half. Around two years ago the band started with two members, and this Christmas, twenty-six children performed on stage. Expertly led by Matthew Balson, they performed a selection of Christmas carols and classical repertoire.
Two presentations were made on the evening. The first was the Bill Bigley award. The band members vote for a player who they feel has gone above and beyond to make the band a success over the past year. This year it was awarded to Janet Clegg. Janet is the librarian, committee member and also helps with the organisation of the Junior Band.
The second presentation was made to David Sewell who is sadly leaving the band. Dave has been a valuable and committed member and has played many instruments including euphonium, baritone and tuba!
The band now only has a few engagements remaining before Christmas (see the events page). The Mayor Rupert Swarbrick, reminded everyone that the band will be performing around the crib in Longridge at 7pm on Christmas Eve.
The band would like to thank all of our corporate, business and personal patrons. Your support has helped to make 2016 one of our most successful years in recent times. We would also like to wish all of our friends and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The Longridge Band have recently made a number of significant signings in readiness for its promotion to the Championship Section in January 2017. These signings mean the band can now boast no vacancies, and end the year on a high after our recent contest success.
The vacant principal cornet seat has been filled by Bethany Moore, who has joined from Hepworth Band. Mark Peacock, Longridge’s Musical Director said:
“I have been aware of Beth’s talent and potential for many years, due to my family connections with Uppermill Band where Beth first played. Whilst with Hepworth she did a wonderful job at solo cornet and latterly on repiano. We are delighted now to welcome her as Principal Cornet with Longridge Band. She will lead the cornet section with style and energy.”
The key seat of Solo Euphonium has been taken by experienced player Tim Dines. Tim has played with many Championship bands, including Fairey, Yorkshire Imps, Carlton Main and Timperley. He joins Longridge fresh from a break from playing, and he is excited by the challenge and prospects that the Longridge Band offers.
James Kenny is an excellent addition to the band on EEb Bass. He brings huge potential, proven ability and not inconsiderable experience to the bass section. Finally, on the playing side, we welcome Grace Newby on First Horn. Grace’s recruitment brings to three the number of “Newbys” playing with Longridge Band; her mum and dad are already members.
On the commercial side of the band, we are delighted to announce that Chris Dawson has agreed to bring his proven financial and organisational abilities to Longridge. Chris joins us from Hepworth Band where his contribution in recent years has been more than significant.
Jim Rogerson, Chairman of the Band, said:
“The addition of these five quality people has given the band a massive boost as we prepare for the Christmas period and more importantly the challenge we face at the highest level in banding from January 2017. We have a full compliment of players; a healthy balance of concert and contest engagements, and a fabulously well run and organised band. We are all looking forward to 2017 with optimism and anticipation.”
On Sunday 23rd October the band competed in the first section of the NWABBA Rochdale Festival of Brass, which is held in the stunning surroundings of the Town Hall. Drawn to play last in a field of seven strong bands, the band was awarded first place by adjudicator Alan Morrison. The band have been working hard over the last few weeks on a challenging piece, 'The Year of the Dragon' by Philip Sparke, which featured a fine trombone solo in the second movement played by Robert Conlon.
This ends a highly successful year in competitions for the band, with only one result outside of the top three. Rochdale was also our last competition in this section, before promotion to the Championship section in January.
1. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
2. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
4. Llanrug (Paul Hughes)
5. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)
6. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
7. Poulton-Le-Fylde (Matthew Ryan)
Highest Placed NWABBA member band: Longridge
Best Instrumentalist: Solo Cornet Pemberton Old Wigan DW
We are now looking forward to our next concert on Saturday 12th November where we will share the stage with the fantastic Houghton Weavers. Please see the events page for more details.