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Tuesday 28th Feb, evening time
A press release was sent recently to our local papers relating to the City of Chester Band travelling to Blackpool on Sunday 26 February to compete in the NW Regional Championships of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The Band were placed sixth out of eighteen bands in the Third Section. Commenting on the outcome Musical Director Ewan Easton MBE said he was proud of the Band's performance, a good team effort. The journey of improvement continues and Ewan looks forward to working further with the Band.
Other bands in mid- and south Cheshire enjoyed varying degrees of success. The famous Foden Band, from Elworth, Sandbach will be playing in the Royal Albert Hall, London in October after winning the Championship Section at Blackpool, The Crewe-based Co-operative Funeral Care Band were placed fourth, narrowly missing out on also qualifying to play in the finals while Roberts Bakery Band, from Northwich, were placed 11th. In the Second Section the Winsford-based Cheshire Constabulary Band qualified for the National Finals to be held in Cheltenham in September, being placed second. In the same section Crewe Brass came fifth.
Tuesday 31st Jan, evening time
City of Chester Band (a registered charity)
In 2000 the City of Chester Band formed a training band which has gone from strength to strength, with a number progressing to playing in the main band and one on to study music at university.All who have played in the Training Band have benefitted from developing their life skills.
The City of Chester Band is now developing a new opportunity for children who want to take up music.It has teamed up with the Musical Routes Music Education Hub, which is the music education hub for Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Councils, to form a Junior Band.The partnership will enhance the music services aimed at children aged 7 to 11 (Key Stage 2).
A key driver of this initiative has been Ewan Easton MBE, the City of Chester Band’s Musical Director, who is passing on his extensive experience of teaching the playing of brass instruments to people of all ages and levels of ability.Raw beginners begin learning in a fun environment such matters as the importance of maintaining a relaxed but upright posture, one which supports deep breaths being taken which enable players to play fluently.Ewan is being assisted by a number of players from the main band.DBS checks are being carried out on all involved with the Junior Band.
The Junior Band meets on Mondays in term time between 6:00 and 7:00 at St Luke’s Church, Chester Road, Huntington, CH3 6BT.Tuition is free but there is a small charge to offset the cost of room hire.Children on reaching 11 will be invited to progress to the Training Band which comprises young people aged up to 80!
Parents/guardians who think their children would like to learn to play a brass instrument should contact Tony Blain ([email protected] or tel: 07913109951).
Monday 21st Nov, mid-afternoon
The crowds were out on Saturday night in Hoole for the Christmas Lights switch. on It may have been 2 degrees but the band played on and what a show they put on for the public , the band along with Dee 106.3 kept the crowds entertained until the fireworks went of and the lights came on. Well done to all the members you played really well.
Tuesday 15th Nov, early morning
What is it about Swiss people and their interest in brass bands?Over the years the City of Chester Band has welcomed a number of men and women who have travelled to Chester in order to improve their English at a local language college and who also play a brass instrument.Currently playing with the Band is Hervé Parisod, from Lausanne.He joined the Band in August and has proved to be a constant, missing few rehearsals and engagements.Hervé played a leading part with the Band when it performed in the NW Brass Bands Association Championships, held in Rochdale in October.
Back home, Hervé plays cornet with La Fanfare de Crissier (http://www.fanfare-crissier.ch/?page=accueil) , a British-style brass band playing in the second tier of competing brass bands in Switzerland (approximately 115 at all levels).Hervé, 25, who has a degree in electronics engineering, has been playing cornet for 11 years.His grandfather played brass instruments, too, and brother plays percussion, also in the Crissier band.
Chester’s language college was Hervé’s choice as he preferred to live in a small, quiet city close to the north of England which he wanted to see more of.During his stay Hervé has paid visits to Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Peak District.Cities visited include Liverpool, Manchester, York and Edinburgh, London having been visited on an earlier visit to southern England.Also during his stay in Chester Hervé has developed an appreciation of local and regional real ales!
For two senior members of Chester’s band, Philip Mottershead and Les Platt, there is a link with Lausanne for they were part of the City of Chester Band when it toured Switzerland in 1982.A memorable concert was given in the gardens of the casino in Lausanne against the backdrop of Lake Geneva and the French Alps.
While Hervé’s favourite top brass bands are the world-famous Black Dyke Band from Yorkshire and the Cory Band from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, we hope that he will always keep a place in his heart for the City of Chester.Band members have certainly enjoyed his company and support and we will be sorry to see him return to Switzerland in December.Bon voyage Hervé!
Tuesday 11th Oct, mid-afternoon
Aldford Village Hall was the scene on Sunday afternoon (9 October) for the City of Chester Training Band’s annual solo competition.Ten members, whose ages range from 10 to 77, played a piece of music of their own choice before an adjudication panel comprising Peter Dalton, a long-standing personal tutor to many Training Band members, and Paul Donoghue, Chairman of the City of Chester Band and Soprano Cornet player within the main band.
The adjudicators commented on the high standard of playing throughout the afternoon awarding the Margaret Blythin shield to Deborah Roberts (the winner’s shield is dedicated to a former player).Deborah, who joined the Training Band earlier this year, started playing on the Eb Tenor Horn six years ago and is currently preparing to take her Grade 6 music exam.
Before the adjudication started, all ten entrants to the competition warmed up their lips and instruments by playing a short band concert under the direction of their conductor, Chris. Hardy.The concert resumed after the competition during which the adjudicators gathered their thoughts before commenting on each competitor’s performance and announcing the winner.
All entrants were praised by the adjudicators for entering the competition and for their determination in playing solo before an audience, never an easy matter.Tips were given on preparation, presentation, style, technique and posture.
The afternoon concluded with the presentation of medallions and certificates to all the competitors, a buffet and raffle.
Pictures show the winner Deborah Roberts, all the competitors with Chris Hardy and Tony Blain, Training Band Co-ordinator, who organised the event.