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Monday 24th Jul, mid-afternoon

The City of Chester Band (a registered charity) has vacancies for front row cornet players (including Principal) and tuba players (Eb/BBb).With our Musical Director, Ewan Easton MBE (Principal Tuba, Hallé Orchestra), we work hard on getting the basics right in music and instrumental technique, with the objective of playing and enjoying more interesting music.It is not an objective achieved overnight, but with Ewan’s help (e.g. one-to-one tutorials) we are heading in the right direction.Rehearsals are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 to 10 pm.Our band room is close to the city centre.

If you would like to join us on our journey of improvement please contact Kirsty Blain on 07816457017 or Matthew McCleary on 07779957711.

We also have Training (11-70+) and Junior (7-11) Bands which meet weekly during term times.From September a conductor is needed for the Training Band, to work with Ewan in developing players for the future.Contact Tony Blain (07913109951) if you are interested.

City of Chester Training Band - Press release

Tuesday 11th Jul, early afternoon

City of Chester Training Band – Press release

The City of Chester Training Band is about to take a break over the summer holidays after a momentous first half of the year.In the spring a new training ensemble aimed specifically at children aged 7 – 11 was established under the direction of the Hallé Orchestra’s tuba player Ewan Easton MBE: the City of Chester Junior Band.Gradually the Junior Band is developing and membership is rising following a series of short promotional concerts in local primary schools given by members of the main City of Chester and Training Bands.[Attached is a picture taken at a recent taster session where children (and their teachers!) got chance to play a brass instrument.]

Aldford Village Hall was again the scene on Sunday afternoon on Sunday 2 July for the City of Chester Training Band’s annual solo competition.Eight members played a piece of music of their own choice before the adjudicator, Robert MacDonald who plays Flugel Horn with the main Band.

The winner was 15-year old Robert Tarver from Llay, playing a lyrical melody of his own composition on the cornet.Robert joins Kirsty Blain in having won the competition twice in its 17 years and he has also gone on to follow Kirsty into playing with the City of Chester Band (a registered charity).

Before the adjudication started, all entrants to the competition warmed up by playing a short band concert under the direction of conductor, Paul Donoghue.Paul has stepped in to conduct the Training Band after Chris Hardy had to step down due to ill health; a replacement for Chris is being sought for September onwards.The concert resumed after the competition whilst adjudicator Robert MacDonald gathered his thoughts together before commenting on each competitor’s performance and announcing the winner. [Robert Tarver is pictured receiving the winner’s Margaret Blythin Memorial Trophy from Robert MacDonald.]

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.

Chris Hardy’s efforts with the Training Band and his overall dedication to rehearsing and playing led City of Chester Band’s Musical Director (MD) Ewan Easton MBE to award the MD’s Player of the Year award to Chris. at the recent annual general meeting of the City of Chester Band. [Pictured is Chris Hardy receiving his award from Ewan Easton.]

Anyone interested in joining the City of Chester Training Band should contact Tony Blain on 07913109951.

Our Swiss friends

Wednesday 21st Jun, lunch time

The City of Chester Band is always pleased to welcome players visiting Chester, none more so than when they're students at English in Chester, Chester's language school.For many years, the City of Chester Band has had young players from Europe (Switzerland, mainly) join for the duration of their course.Friendships are made and it's always sad when the time comes for their return.

The latest temporary recruits to the Band have been two Swiss: Julian Burkhard (euphonium) from Beromonster in the canton of Lucerne and Andrin Buehler (Tenor Trombone) from Hohenrain, also of the same canton.Julian plays in Musikgesellschaft Eich, while Andrin is a member of Musikgesellschaft Hohenrain.

Both come from musical families.During their time with the City of Chester Band they have enjoyed working under the Band’s Musical Director, Ewan Easton MBE.

For both the musical highlight was taking part in the Whit Friday March Contests with City of Chester.These competitions have been held since 1884 and originally concluded religious celebrations when workers were given the day off.On a balmy summer evening on 9 June Julian and Andrin rubbed shoulders with musicians from all over the UK and Europe as bands moved around villages (travelling in coaches) in the Saddleworth and Tameside districts playing their chosen quick-step march. Competitions usually start around 4 pm and close around 11.

City of Chester played in six of the nine competitions in Saddleworth; the number of competing bands in each contest ranged from 48 to 81 with City of Chester getting placed roughly in the middle of the pack comprising bands of all standards, it being a third section band.

In Uppermill there was a brief opportunity for Julian and Andrin to see one of the three visiting Swiss brass bands which featured in the prizes.The evening was topped off in Denshaw where City of Chester played their last contest.It was 10:30 and band members were relaxing over their favourite cup of Darjeeling (!) before boarding the coach home but the return was delayed when the famous Black Dyke Band drove into town to play in the competition, enabling members to listen to, and appreciate, their performance and where Dyke earned the 1st prize of 1,000.

On return to Switzerland Andrin will transfer to a school where he will work on a farm for 4 days with 1 day spent in the classroom.Julian is to begin a course studying economics.The City of Chester Band wish to place on record their appreciation of Andrin and Julian's playing and friendship over the past few months and wish them every success in the future.Attached are photos of Julian Burkhard (euphonium) and Andrin Buehler (tenor trombone) in City of Chester band uniforms on the evening of the Whit Friday march contests in Uppermill.

April Player of the Month

Monday 8th May, late morning

The april 2017 Player of the Month has been given to John Pattison for his hard work and always ready to help out and even when he "messes up" he always has a smile on his face.

A good day at Blackpool

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.

©Copyright 1998-2017 Philip Clowes and Chester Band. All Rights Reserved. Registered charity 508473.