Christmas Concert 2017 Review

A sellout audience packed into the Stroud Subscription Rooms for an evening’s entertainment as Chalford Band marked the end of a successful 2017 with an eclectic mix of new and old music, along with Sebastian Tubb’s “directorial debut”.

Compere Pete Hendy introduced the combined Youth and Academy bands for their opening set, starting with concert opener “Starlight” by Alan Fernie – an enterprising composition that had several Senior Band players wishing that they could have played it!  The concert then got fully into the Christmas mood, with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Christmas Swing” and “Ding Dong Christmas”

One of the reasons that all Chalford bands maintain such a high standard is the influx of new young players into the organisation, and so the Junior Band got an outing in their “Stars of Tomorrow” slot, conducted by Bev Godwin. Their set of Christmas standards rightly received probably the loudest applause of the night.

After a quick seating change it was the turn of the Senior Band, opening with Ray Farr’s arrangement of Prokofiev’s “Troika”, before the lights dimmed for John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol”.  The concert then took a more serious turn – the senior band are due to compete at the Butlin’s Mineworkers’ Festival in early January, with the test piece “Renaissance” by Peter Graham, and the band took the opportunity to have an early public performance.  It was well received, with huge applause at the end.  “Fly Me to the Moon” lightened the mood, before a medley of songs dedicated to Roald Dahl called “The World’s Greatest Storyteller”, featuring a classy solo from new Principal Euphonium Stephen Parker.

The second half started with Steve Tubb’s alter ego Sebastian Tubb introducing an extract from “The Murder at Haversham Hall” – there then followed several farcical scenes which kept the audience well amused.

After another seating rejig (by the “band’s highly paid roadies”) the combined Chalford bands were on stage, starting with a creative arrangement of the “The Holly and The Ivy” by Douglas Court, followed by “Last Christmas” arranged by Darrol Barry, and the ever popular “Fairy Tale of New York”, arranged by Steve Tubb himself.

Before the final item it was time for the awards.  Steve Tubb wholeheartedly thanked the audience for their support, then surprised the young players by first presenting Tuba player Liam with a refurbished instrument, then announcing Sam Williams as young player of the year.  The bandman of the year award (selected by the senior band players) was presented to Derrick Witts, Chairman of the band.

Following a stirring “Christmas Finale” by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, an encore was demanded, so the band performed Derek Broadbent’s arrangement of “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree”, with Steve giving the baton to a more than enthusiastic audience member.

SWBBA 2017 Report and Results

Chalford more than held their own in a very strong Open section at the 71st SWBBA annual championships.  They were placed 5th, beating several championship bands in a section with “12 good performances”

The day began with a rehearsal at the band room, with a performance that at one point had Steve Tubb almost in tears.  The challenge was simple: produce a performance on stage that matched the one in the band room, and despite a few jitters, some new players and the unnerving acoustic of the Riviera Centre stage, they did just that.

1st Cambourne Town Band
2nd Aldbourne
3rd Sidmouth Town Band
4th Lydbrook
5th Chalford
6th Roche brass
7th Southwest Comms
8th Michelmersh Silver Band
9th Verwood Concert Brass
10th Mid Rhondda (Thomas Coaches)
11th AW Parker (Drybrook)
12th St. Austell Town Band

A good confident opening. I like the drive and energy in this opening section [61] I think the ensemble can enjoy the phrases throughout this romance [80] Good balance and technical playing [120] well played Solo cornet I like your tone and phrasing here [170] Well played flugel and horns, Nice shape here [198] Well played basses. This is building nicely, good shape and balance [229] Nice control and shape. I can hear the expression here [257] good balance and technique throughout. Nice change of tempo at [289] [300] Building well, keep the lines clean by not pushing the quavers
Overall I enjoyed the performance which had drive, energy and, when required, some lovely delicate playing. Well played.

Good start – well organised sounds. I note good contrasts. Nothing overdone [61] Needs more space/expression. Good transition into [80] Now and again the semis rush and lack clarity [120] Musical lines flow and are well shaped [147] could be lighter in style [159] Appropriate ‘leggerio’ some untidy playing [207] cornets untidy – not always together [229] good control – effective playing [257] Not always rhythmically convincing [278] good contrast. Plenty of shape and style [300] This is good [341] Effective percussion [349] Well done euphs [360] Music flows
Overall a controlled performance with some fine musical touches. Well done soloists

Aviva Community Fund – Update

STOP PRESS: The Aviva website has closed voting for our project, because we were one of the first to reach 1000 votes – we are automatically finalists – thank you again!!!

Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone that voted for us in the Aviva Community Fund – we’ve reached the first target of 1000 votes, but don’t know yet if we were one of the first 200 to get there.

Keep encouraging all your friends, relatives & colleagues to vote for us, as there are grants available for the next 180 projects with the most votes. Voting closes on 21st November

Special thanks from the band to Sarah Meakings for getting the project registered.

Aviva Community Fund

We have been shortlisted for a £1000 Aviva Community Fund award, to buy some good quality portable music stands for the band.

Organisations win the money by rallying supporters, who vote for their project.


Anyone with an email address can vote. This is all you have to do

  • Register on the Aviva Community Fund Website
  • Find the project for Chalford Band
  • Vote for us!!! Everyone has ten votes (you can allocate all ten votes to one project)
  • Ask familty, friend, colleagues and other supporters to register and vote for us too!

Voting opens at 9am on Tuesday 24th October.  The first 200 projects in each category to reach 1000 votes will automatically win.

This is a great opportunity to secure some much needed equipment for the band. If we can all pull together and vote in a timely manner, we have a very good chance of winning an award.

Eric Williams, Vice President

Eric Williams, Vice President

It is with great sadness that the band received the recent news of Eric’s passing.  Eric was a Vice President but more than this he was an avid and much appreciated supporter of the band over many years.

The band extend their heart felt condolences to Adrienne, Denise, Lucille, Elaine, ‘Spud’ and Dave and their families.

He will be missed.