The Euphonium Collective
Life With The Euphonium
Charley Brighton, 5 / 5 / 1955
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On November 3rd. 2004, I signed a contract with Willi Kurath, Director of Willson Band Instruments in Flums, Switzerland,
to promote their Euphoniums, and have a top-of-the-range 2900 model to perform on!
In addition, Joe Miserendino from the U.S.A. composed"A Willson Concertante" to celebrate the new partnership.
It is in 3 movements, Con Bravura, Nocturne & Con Brio,
Listen to them here.
Now available; the Wind Band & Orchestra version
and the Piano version (catalogue number 50103).
4 valve compensating large bore model, 1990.
Euphonium, Guest Conductor, B.B.C. Elstree Concert Band,
Deputy Bandmaster, The Staines Band of The Salvation Army
Main euphonium, Willson 2950
Second euphonium, Willson 2900 4 valve compensating large bore model, December 2004.
Besson Enharmonic> 3v Euphonium, circa 1922.
Boosey Solbron 3v circa 1921.
Highams Clearbore 5 valve euphonium circa 1891.
French Besson Prototype, 3 valve, non compensating Euphonium circa 1915.
Hawkes 4 valve Dictor Euphonium circa 1918.
Highams 5 valve Euphonium circa 1902.
Highams 'Contesting' 4 valve, non compensating Euphonium, circa 1914.
Besson 'Enharmonic' 4 valve Euphonium.
F.E. Olds 2 valve Marching Baritone pitched in G.
Listen to these Euphoniums.
Mouthpiece; Doug Elliott ( U.S.A. ) screw rim, cup & shank combination;
LB W116 rim, LB M cup & LB M 2004 shank.
RIP Composer Joe Miserendino 1932-2010
On returning from holiday in France, I heard the sad news that my dear friend Joe Miserendino passed away on Friday, August 6th. after a long fight with cancer.
I stumbled across Joe’s music quite by accident on his Sibelius music page in 2001, a little duet called Canzona di Donna, that I adapted as a duet for Sue & I to play on Baritone & Euphonium.
I sent him a recording following the performance and he was hooked on low brass!
That little piece was later rearranged as a solo for Sue’s 40th. birthday ‘Serenade for Susan’ and last year Joe arranged it for a brass quintet to play at our wedding.
I got to meet Joe twice in person. He flew over for the premiere of his 3 movement concerto ‘The Willson Concertante’ with the City of London Winds. In rehearsal everybody loved him!
That was later premiered in its orchestral version with the Southampton University Sinfonietta
He stayed the week with us and we toured the London sights, later, when I visited the US Army Tuba/Euph conference, I got to visit him and his wife Dottie Lee at their home in PA,
with Tommy Yandle and Mark Hill. That was very special. Working with Joe on his major Euphonium works was a joy. He never considered them anything special, and would often ask me if it should ‘go in his recycle bin’.
Yet anyone who has played his music can’t help but be moved by his writing, with emotion and often lots of wry humour.
After waiting way too long, his music finally got into print, long may it be enjoyed.
Joe's music on acidplanet
Composer Joe Miserendino, after the premiere of his Willson Concertante, with the City of London Winds at Covent Garden.
Composer Joe Miserendino, me and conductor John Andrews after the City of London Winds concert at Covent Garden.
After some 15 years, I met up with Terry Treherne, who I had previously played under when he was Musical Director to the
Alder Valley (Aldershot) Brass Band. Our last performance together was as runners-up in the London regional qualifying rounds of the National Brass Band Championships at Watford Town Hall in 1990, playing Eric Ball's Journey Into Freedom.
The photograph was taken at Maida Vale Studio 1 after a live concert recording of his new
euphonium solo 'Recollections' with the B.B.C. Elstree Concert Band.
Amazing works for low brass from the U.S.A., featuring Euphonium / Tuba and Quartet music;
The most lyrical of works for Euphonium & Tuba from North of the border;
A Personal History, The Short Version.
Click on the lighter coloured text for photographs, then 'F11' on the top line off your keyboard for a full screen picture, and 'F11' again to return to thumbnail.
Commenced playing at the age of 11.
On leaving school joined the Richmond (Watney) Band, then in 1974, the Hanwell Band.
1980 joined the Sun Life Stanshawe Band in Bristol on solo euphonium.
Returned to Hanwell on B flat bass tuba in late 1982, winning the Southern Counties Solo Championships.
1984 joined Alder Valley Aldershot Brass on solo euphonium.
Joined Hendon Band in 1987 on E flat, then B flat bass tuba. Appointed Music Director to the Genet Group (Chertsey) Band.
Joined Staines Band on solo euphonium in 1993 - 97. Winning the John Luckett Memorial Trophy for the Most Outstanding Euphonium, in the Championship section of the regional qualifying rounds for the National Brass Band Championships.
Started wind band career in 1994 with the Burnham Concert Band and the New River Wind Orchestra, appointed musical director of both.
Joined the Linden Wind Orchestra in February 1998, then B.B.C. Elstree Concert Band in November 1999.
Guest soloist with L' Orchestra D' Harmonie de Lezay in France, April 2000.
Formed the Celebration Brass Ensemble, October 2000.
Appointed musical director to the Vale Symphonic Wind Band in February 2001.
June 2001, gave the U.K. & European premier of 'Twilight Shadows' for euphonium, clarinet & piano by American composer, Steven Barton.
December 2001, gave the U.K. & European premier of 'Twilight Shadows' for euphonium & wind band by Steven Barton.
Formed the Capricccioso Low Brass Quartet, December 2001.
Formed Ebony, Ivory & Brass (classical trio), February 2002.
Awarded sponsorship by Willson Band Instruments of Switzerland, November 2004.
A Personal History. (Click on the lighter text for photographs).
I Began playing at the age of 11, on baritone with the Longford School Brass Band in Feltham, Middlesex. The instrument was a Salvation Army Triumphonic made in the St.Albans factory,
I remember it was silver plated with a small bore but a large bell flare. I really did not take to this at all, then our teacher, Richard Scholar (a fine euphoniumist himself with the Camborne Town Band from Cornwall) gave me a Hawkes Class A Excelsior 3 valve euphonium, complete with a large Kosicup no.3 mouthpiece.
That was it ! I was hooked. It was the sound I had been looking for on the baritone. We regularly practised with the full band and quartets as well as solos with the piano. We were entered into music festival competitions regularly.
I had also joined the local Boys Brigade Company (2nd.Feltham) where I declined from learning the bugle, and played the bass drum on marches and parades instead. Captain Eddie Menday did allow us (Charlie Dean & I) to take our band instruments to camp at Herne Bay in Kent.
My first Music Festival entry was in Hounslow in October of 1967 when I came 2nd. playing Edelweiss The following year I came 1st. playing John Hartmann's variations on Wiederkehr. In November of that year I entered the Staines solo contest and came 5th. playing Liddle's song Abide With Me.
In October of that year, 3 band members were asked to perform with the Hatton Operatic Society in their production of the White Horse Inn. So, Geoffrey Randall (trombone), Charlie Dean (bass drum) and myself became the village band for a weeks run.
The school band was always in demand locally, and many concerts were given at other schools, and for Senior Citizens. There was one special concert where we performed at Chiswick Town Hall with Leslie Crowther in a charity show special.
The music we played in those days included;
marches; Slaidburn (Rimmer), Jamboree (Ord Hume), Kenilworth (Firth), Steadfast & True
(Tieke), On The Quarter Deck (Alford) & The Great Little Army (Alford).
Solos; Cornet, The Holy City (Adam), Marching Trumpets (trio), Bless This House
Euphonium; Long, Long, Ago (Boddington), Edelweiss & Grandfather's Clock (Doughty).
Tuba; In Cellar Cool.
Light Music & Selections; Poem (Fibich), Cossack Patrol (Ball), Boom Bang-A-Bang
(arr. Sharpe), All In The April Evening (Roberton), Puppet On A String (arr. Siebert), Comrades In Arms (Adam), Judex (Gounod), Serenade (Heykens), Amparito Roca (Texidor), Mary Poppins (arr. Wright), Spanish Gypsy Dance (Marquina), Square Dance (Parker), Leaps & Bounds (Brianne), Lily The Pink (arr. Siebert), Four Little Maids (Carr) & Three Blind Mice, (Douglas).
Hymns, manuscript; Deep Harmony, Elsie, Ratchie & Abide With Me (with fanfares).
Quartets, 2 cornets, horn & euphonium ; Clouds & Sunshine (Round), My Little Native Vale (Hollingworth), Bohemian Girl (Balfe), Echoes of the Past & Concordia (Rimmer).
In March of 1969 I repeated the same music for the Southall Festival and came 3rd. Later in October it was back to the Hounslow Festival where I played Boddington's Long, Long Ago variations and came 4th. In October of that year, the school band played a concert with the Hatton Operatic Society, titled A Concert of Contrasts
1970 was to see my first two big wins with Doughty's Grandfather's Clock variations at Southall and in October, Fantasia on Jenny Jones (Rimmer) at Hounslow. All prize winners at the end of the festival were required to repeat their performances at special Prizewinners Concerts as well.
The February of 1971 will always stay in my mind as I came 1st. playing Herbert L.Clarke's Showers Of Gold , adjudicated by Harry Mortimer at Ealing. All these were in addition to our quartet prizes as well. Also in October of 1971, I entered the Winston solo competition at the Alexandra Palace but failed to get in the first six in the slow melody (Intermezzo, Cavaliera Rusticana) and air varie sections (Jenny Jones).
One month later at Featherstone School in Southall, it was another attempt on Rimmer's Jenny Jones, this time coming second to David Allison of the Hanwell Band (which I was later to join).
For my school exams in music (tutored by Janice Hurrell) I had to take grades 5 & 6 at the Trinity College of Music in London, getting Honours in both in May and July of 1972.
During our school days we were extremely lucky to have part time tuition from Gilbert Hall, a former player with many top brass and professional bands, including playing tenor horn with the Hanwell Band Quartet that won the Championships of Great Britain. He could also boast 4 sons with outstanding musicianship, Henry (R.A.F.) Alan (dance bands) Cliff (keyboards with the Shadows and Cliff Richard) and Albert (trumpeter with Teddy Foster, Joe Loss & Ted Heath !).
We travelled far and wide with him performing at solo contests and festivals. The quartet and I actually played at the very first concert given by the B.E.A. Band (now British Airways) in Egham
We were also lucky in that Richard Scholar was a keen bandsman and offered to take us then young lads, to major contests all over the country. My early visits to Belle Vue, Manchester, for the British Open, the Royal Albert Hall for the National Finals and the De Montford Hall in Leicester (for the Midland region Championship qualifier) and many others will always be remembered. Hearing all the elite bands playing music like Sovereign Heritage (Beaver), Festival Music & High Peak (Ball).
The Midland contest was were I first saw the famous G.U.S. Footwear Band conducted by Stanley Boddington, fighting it out with City of Coventry, ( Albert Chappell ), Ransome & Marles (Dennis Masters) and Kibworth (Walter Hargreaves), on great set test pieces such as the Corsair Overture
(Berlioz) and Diadem of Gold (Bailey). All this in addition to hearing the latest L.P. records as they came out really gave us a marvellous start to banding.
Some playing members of the school band in those days were;
Cornets, Christopher Clarke (later with the Coldstream Guards), Charles Dean (now my brother in law), Tony Hutchinson, Christine Cox (who went on to play flugel horn with Hanwell, then to trumpet with Ivy Benson), my twin sister Ann, Valerie Kimber, Pamela Allistone, Karen Weaver, Sonia & Susan Blandford, Ronald Clarke, the Burrel twins (Graham and ?) and Colin Stacey.
Horns, David Howells, Howard & Linda Prince-Wright, John Wharton.
Trombones, Ken Davies, Jim Lovett, Vincent Long & Geoffrey Randall (G bass trombone).
Baritones, Barry Wellington, Chris Axton, Kevin Smith.
E flat bass David Nichols & Steven Batten.
Playing in a school band down the road in Isleworth (also taught by Gilbert Hall) was Steven Riddler, who went onto play principal cornet for Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, solo cornet at Leyland Vehicles and Flugel Horn at Brighouse & Rastrick. He now lives and teaches in Australia. If any of those listed see this, please get in touch.
As the lads in the band got older, it was decided to form an adult band outside of school hours, this became the Feltham Band which actually had been in existence some 30 years earlier. For many years it provided an outlet for players looking beyond the school boundaries.
The first rehearsal was held on Friday February 23rd. with 17 players. We played at quite a few functions, and entered the Slough own choice contest playing John Carr's Four Little Maids, being placed 6th. by adjudicator Colonel Douglas Pope.
Early in 1973 I joined the Richmond (Watney) Band that was conducted by Albert Meek, and led by principal cornet Gwynne Price. Albert & Gwynne had previously had great success with the Watney Band, and after the brewery withdrew it's sponsorship, transferred to Richmond.
This gave a marvellous link to the highly successful Richmond Schools Band. I remember sitting next to Brian Cook on euphonium in the senior band and being amazed at his sound, filling every inch of the tubing. Brian had won many solo prizes years ago and his father George Cook had conducted both Hayes & Harlington Band and the Hanwell Band. Gwynne Price played virtually all the cornet parts as required, both on contests and concerts as well as doing solos !
Albert's fine arrangements were always a joy to play. I particularly remember Rossini's William Tell for brass quartet and Dvorak's Roguish Peasant Overture for brass septet.
We entered the then W.D. & H.O. Wills qualifying championships on the 27th.January 1973 playing the set piece, Prometheus Unbound by Bantock, being placed 5th. by adjudicator Ernest Woodhouse.
A few weeks later at Watford Town Hall we were placed 6th. in the London regional contest, this time judged by Rodney Bashford on Gregson's The Plantagenets.
At a concert in Twickenham, the combined youth & senior bands were conducted by Sir F. Vivian Dunn, who included The Force of Destiny Overture (Verdi), Pineapple Poll, (Sullivan) and Crown Imperial (Walton) in his part of the programme. Gwynne & I played solos (Napoli & Jenny Jones) to a packed hall in honour of Eric Griffiths, the School's Music Adviser.
The youth band (which made up a large percentage of the senior band !) appeared at the Royal Festival Hall on March 30th. in the Youth Makes Music Concert promoted by the Schools Music Association.
(It had already won the Music For Youth Festivals the previous two years, judged by Dennis Wick & Geoffrey Brand.) Other ensembles were the Newham Junior Choir & Orchestra and the Staffordshire Youth Orchestra & Choir.
The band played the first performance of A Fanfare For Europe, by Andrzej Panufnik, written by the Richmond based composer especially for the concert and based on the notes EEC, Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite no.1, Eric Ball's Indian Summer (though Purcell's Music for Queen Mary was listed in the programme) and the march Folk Songs From Somerset by Vaughan Williams.
April 1st. was no fools day at the Hammersmith Open contest where we battled it out with Aldershot Brass (George Prior) who put us into 2nd. place with High Peak (Ball). Eric Bravington decided our performance of the Plantagents (Gregson) should be a runner - up prize, but did give Gwynne to award for best principal cornet.
By September of that year, Albert had left us and Gwynne took us to a first at the Folkestone Contest in the Open Championship. Adjudicator Bert Sullivan awarded us 1st.prize after a performance of Gregson's Essay For Brass.
On Saturday May 12th. 1973, Gwynne and I (and the quartet) entered the Oxford Championships where I drew number 50 (playing Jenny Jones) out of 60 entrants ! Surrounded on either side by players from Brighouse & Rastrick ( including principal cornet Tony Whitaker ) I failed to make an impression, as did the quartet, up against 3 teams from B & R and one from Stanshawe. Judge Albert Coupe from the Luton Band said Gwynne (playing Napoli) just failed by 1 point to miss the solo play-off.
October saw the full band at the Reading Championships where we were awarded 5th. place out of 11 bands by adjudicator George Thompson of Grimethorpe Colliery Band playing Edward Gregson's Essay For Brass.
February 17th. was the date for the Hammersmith contest once again, where the band gained a remarkable victory over rivals Hanwell (Brian Birchall), both bands playing Triumphant Rhapsody (Vinter). William Skelton awarded us 1st. prize and the grand sum of £50 ! The youth band played Gregson's Voices Of Youth suite and won their title for the fifth successive year ! The London area qualifying rounds that year were a disaster for both bands.
The Watford Contest saw us bottom in the Championship section on Variations On A Ninth
(Vinter) judged by James Langley, and the youth band 7th. in their section on Ceramic City Festival (Johnson) judged by Geoffrey Brand.
Both bands had remarkable characters and it really was an enjoyable group to be with. Those I remember well were some old school band colleagues, Ken Davies on trombone and David Howells who had moved from tenor horn to E flat bass. Ken Kendall (now with R.Smith & Co.), David Frampton (now with Broseley Brass) and David Austin on cornets, Peter 'Dodger' Green on E flat bass and Louis Meyerowitz on B flat bass.
In May of 1974, I joined the Hanwell Band just after they had finished auditioning for a new conductor and Bramwell Tovey had just been appointed. It was here of course that I was to sit next to a 'London legend' John Luckett who was a real inspiration. His sound was unique, his style exquisite and he never played out of tune ! The next years were to be a real lesson in euphonium playing for me. The band were busy giving concerts at Dovercourt, the Hanwell Festival and the Battle of Britain Club in R.A.F. Uxbridge.
It was at this time I purchased my new Yamaha YEP 321 euphonium.
In October I entered the Winston contest once more at Alexandra Palace. In the under 21 Slow Melody section, adjudicator Bob Howard placed me 3rd. on Softly Awakes My Heart (Saint-Seans) and in the open air varie, F.J.Beckingham placed me 4th. on Jenny Jones once again. Our quartet of Fred Croft, Steven Riddler, Brian Birchall and me came 4th. Playing Elegy & Rondo (Vinter), being beaten by Richmond on William Tell !
Other soloists competing that day were Robert Childs ( then with the Rogerstone band), Eric Capron
(soprano, Luton), John Noall (soprano Morris Motors) and Kevin Robbins (then with Cinderford, but who was to play opposite me on principal cornet at Sun-Life later on).
Bram's first win with us was the Watford Own Choice contest in November of that year. George Thompson of Grimethorpe (who had conducted Hanwell back in the 1940's) gave us 1st.prize on Le Carnival Romain Overture (Berlioz). Two weeks later Arthur Kenny of Cory's placed us almost last on the same piece, set for the Reading Contest !
Another week on and we were placed 2nd. By William Relton at the Leicester Contest on Rhapsody In Brass (Goffin) to the William Davis Band.
That year started with a wedding, that of Fred Croft (soprano) and Margaret Chapman (cornet) at Greenford Baptist Church. The band provided the ensemble conducted by Bram with David Allison playing the Mozart Alleluja. Our first Area Contest at Watford under Bram earned us 4th. place judged by William Relton once again, this time on Journey Into Freedom ( Ball ).
The band were frequent broadcasters and recorded no less than 5 Friday Night Is Music Night programmes that year, broadcast live from Golders Green. In June, cornet player Christopher Joynes came to Hanwell from Quaker Sutherland Sheffield band and also Southampton. He was winner of the Alex Owen Scholarship in 1973. By September he was appointed principal cornet and was featured in the solo Valse Brilliante (Windsor).
The last contest of the year was Reading once again with Le Roi Dy's (Lalo) as the set piece. Adjudicators Kenneth Dennison and Captain R. Ridings placed us 2nd. to Burton Construction Newhall on the day.
Bram Tovey had left us at the end of 1975 and the first contest of 1976 was to be one of those that brought gasps of surprise on the announcement of results, nothing new in band contests I'm sure you will agree. We entered the Milton Keynes Entertainment contest on February 15th. and were conducted by George Prior from Aldershot Brass.
Eric Bravington was 'in the box' and Walter Hargreaves was conducting Luton ! Neither were to end up in the prizes as Eric gave the first three places to Tadley (then 2nd.section), Oxford Concert and City of Oxford. At the end of the day that's contesting but the whole experience was worth while to rehearse and perform under George Prior, a true gentleman and fine musician.
With the area qualifying contest approaching (and not having won since 1970) Alan Wilson, a fine cornet player, was appointed resident conductor and Ifor James (French Horn virtuoso) Musical Director. Vinter's Spectrum was the set piece and adjudicator
Arthur Kenny this time found favour with the bands performance, giving us 1st. over Hendon with Don Morrison, Luton and Walter Hargreaves and Aldershot with George Prior. His remarks said that we had won the contest on the slow movement (titled, green, and where John soared effortlessly up to the top notes.) Ifor's professional style won him many fans both in and out of the band.
I remember Brian Birchall congratulating me on my playing at the end of the performance, praise indeed as Brian was usually quite reserved with compliments. Having played with C.W.S. Manchester under Alex Mortimer and just appointed bandmaster to the G.U.S. band, you can understand why. Incidentally, on the day, there was no finer principal cornet than Alan Wilson.
Alan took the band through the summer and for broadcasts such as Among Your Souvenirs. Then came a concert with Ifor in the Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in London on June 3rd. with guest soloist Phillip Eastop (French Horn). The programme was Spectrum (Vinter), Chromascope (Patterson) Chanson De Matin (Elgar) and the Concerto for Horn (Gregson).
The second half continued with Ifor's arrangement of the Elizabethan Suite, then the Jazz Intermezzo (Sievewright), two items by Ifor and ended with Variations for Brass Band (Vaughan Williams).
A similar programme was given in another concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Music For Children series, normally given by orchestras. It included Elgar Howarth's Fireworks complete with narration in the presence of the composer.
Hanwell was probably one of the most recorded bands in the 'pop' industry at that time. In addition to the Peter Skellern hit You're A Lady, a vast amount of singles tracks had been recorded as well as film and television soundtracks to Esther Rantzen's That's Life programme. The next recording was booked at the Lansdowne Studios in Holland Park where 4 sides were recorded on the E.M.I. label under record producer Dave Clark (drummer of the 1960's group the Dave Clark Five).
The first 2 sides were with John Christie, Here's To Love and For The Peace of all Mankind, the second 2 sides were with John Clive, Hollywood Hero and Windows of Paris. Of the 4 tracks, Here's to Love was the only chart record and one which still gets heard each Christmas with it's backing tune of Auld Lang Syne.
Other records were made under the title of The New World Brass Band including "Theme From A New World " and "Love In The Park", both arranged and conducted by Andrew Pryce - Jackman, and produced by Jeff Jarratt and Don Reedman, through Carlin Music Ltd. And Pye Records. Our other famous record was of course, The Floral Dance with Terry Wogan on vocals. Side 2 was a ballad entitled "Old Rockin' Chair". Both were once again arranged and conducted by Andrew and produced by Mike Redway of Redrock Music. Released on the Philips label, it reached number 3 in the charts.
More moves within the band came as Alan Wilson departed and Brian Birchall returned, conducting another 'Souvenirs' broadcast from Maida Vale Studio 1 on September 26th. The Hanwell Festival concert took place the next evening with soloists Barbara Mealin (cornet) George Nicklin (tenor horn) Stan Willis (trombone) and myself.
The National Finals loomed in October and as Ifor James was unavailable the band booked the services of Tony Randall, another Horn player and friend of Ifor. The test piece was the Wayfarer (Ball) but the relationship never cemented and a poor 17th. out of 21 entries was the adjudicator's (Eric Bravington, Rodney Bashford & Noel Cox) results. Placed below us were the bands of C.W.S. Manchester, AMOCO, Whitburn & Dalmellington.
The following November saw us back at Watford Own Choice contest, this time with Don Morrison conducting and a win on the Wayfarer, this time judged by Harry Mortimer. Don was another fine musician and someone who was really well liked at Hanwell despite the obvious allegiance to neighbours Hendon. Yet another broadcast, this time playing the theme music to the B.B.C. television programme Panorama with a feature on Welsh Steel Mills.
By the Winter of that year the band had appointed Barbara Stone as musical director, previously conductor of the British Rail Swindon Band and solo cornet of Hanwell under Eric Bravington.
In addition, David Allison returned on principal as Barbara Mealin rejoined Tilbury Band.
A return to Hammersmith Own Choice contest saw Barbara's first contest with us on Spectrum (Vinter), ending with a joint 5th. with Croydon Band as a result of David Read's adjudication.
A few weeks later and a group of parties set out for Horsham Quartet and Septet contest where we fielded 3 quartets and 1 septet.
Quartet A was Keith Spears and Mick Blake (cornets), Dave Young (horn) and myself, playing Quartet for Brass by American Arthur Frackenpohl, and conducted by Alan Bray.
Quartet B was Stuart Kirk and Eileen O'Sullivan (cornets), Philip Cleave (horn) and Alan Bray (euphonium), playing Vinter's Elegy & Rondo and conducted by myself.
Quartet C were the basses, Len Bryant & Greg Hayes (E flat) with Len Newstead and Roy Beesley (B flat) playing Introdution & Rondino by Kenneth Cook, conducted by Alan once again.
For the septet contest we borrowed Bruce Gentry's arrangement of Russlan & Ludmilla, beating Aldershot on it ! The septet consisted of Keith Spears, Stuart Kirk (cornets), Dave Young (horn), Alan Bray (baritone), myself on euphonium, Paul Applegarth (bass trombone) and Len Bryant (E flat bass), conducted by Greg Hayes. Adjudicator Walter Reese gave the A quartet 3rd. prize and the septet 1st.
Once again the London Area Contest came around, this time on Pageantry (Howells) and a chance for two in a row for the band, and Barbara's first win. Adjudicators Kenneth Dennison & Jon Hall placed us 1st. ahead of Oxford Concert Brass.
Also at this time, David Smith, a good friend of the band formed the Original Brass using players mostly from Hanwell & Enfield bands but did include Phil Humphries, trombonist with the Andy Ross Big Band. Several concerts were given using David's fine arrangements.
One in particular was with saxophonist Betty Smith and band leader and arranger Jack Peberdey with the Tony Lee Trio. A recording was made featuring Bobby Orr on drums (Ex Ted Heath) and included the track Pete Kelly's Blues.
Another contest beckoned, this time at Grays in Essex with the band choosing Variations On A Ninth (Vinter) and being placed 2nd. by adjudicator Eric Ball behind Aveley Band. One week later and we play it for him again at the now defunct Lansing Bagnall Contest in Basingstoke. This time we were awarded 3rd. prize behind Burton Construction and Rochdale bands.
The band once again entered the Reg Bravington Solo, Quartet & Ensemble contest held in Tilbury.
I have no record or remarks on what I played here, I know I did not win anything but the quartet were 3rd. and the ensemble 1st. The summer park engagements always kept us busy and there were appearances in Hyde Park and at Sandown Racecourse on the Bank Holiday weekend in May.
Being the Queen's Silver Jubilee Year, the band were invited to take part in a massed bands concert at the Royal Albert Hall on June 11th. conducted by Harry Mortimer and Walter Susskind. The other bands were Black Dyke Mills, Cory, Fairey, Foden's and Morris Motors and the soloist was Phillip Mc.Cann. We were particularly proud of Eric Bravington receiving the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal at this time. A concert in Bournemouth Town Hall on July 10th. featured amongst the soloists, Graham Dutton on trombone playing Melody & Caprice ( Hespe ).
Another broadcast for the B.B.C. was undertaken as a live programme featured the band for Friday Night Is Music Night on June 17th.
Once again Summer months were really busy on the bandstands. As bandmaster I was able to help with concerts including those in all the Royal Parks.
Autumn came and yet another recording for the pop world, this time with Annie Haslam and if my memory serves me right, it was the theme from the New World on one of the tracks.
The producer was none other than Roy Wood of Wizard and the arranger for the session was Louis Clarke. We recorded it at Delaney Studios in Engineers Way, Wembley on September 14th. At one of the rehearsals I remember we played host to a visiting party from Japan, the Tokyo Brass Society and also Peter Donaghue, a marching bands expert from the U.S.A.
Then the Winter contests returned, first with another appearance at the National Finals, this time on Connotations (Gregson). We drew no.8 following Yorkshire Imperial Metals. No prize that day but a cornet & trombone fanfare team from the band played for the Spotlight on Service Ceremony once again honouring Eric Bravington.
At the Winston Festival back at the Alexandra Palace, we entered 3 soloists, 2 quartets and an ensemble. This contest always drew good players and this years line up included Gareth Pritchard (cornet, Stanshawe), Linda Nicholson (cornet, Oxted) and Eric Capron (soprano, Luton). Adjudicator David Read placed me 2nd. in the slow melody section (Lento, Horovitz Concerto) but I have no record of the air varie entry.
The two quartets we entered were the A team; Keith Spiers & Mick Blake on cornets, Karen Williams on horn and myself, conducted by Barbara and playing Quartet for Brass by Arthur Frackenpohl. The B team was Stuart Kirk & Eileen O' Sullivan on cornets, Phil Cleave on horn and Alan Bray on euphonium playing Fancy's Knell (Vinter), conducted by myself. The results were the B team placed 3rd. with the A team 8 points behind ! The ensemble won 1st. prize playing Bruce Gentry's arrangement of the Russlan & Ludmilla overture conducted by Barbara.
We close the contest season with another win at Watford in the Own Choice contest. Playing Connotations once again we are placed 1st. by adjudicator Dennis Masters over Towcester and Kibworth bands. More concerts leading up to and including Christmas are given and yet another broadcast, this time for the B.B.C. Listen To The Band programme. Recorded on 30th. November it included soprano cornet Robin Lock playing Paris Le Soir (Hogarth Lear).
Early February was the usual date for the Yeovil Entertainment's Contest in which we competed. Again no prize here but considering the first 3 places went to Stanshawe, City of Coventry & Cory, that's not surprising. 6 days later we are recording again on Friday Night Is Music Night with the B.B.C. Concert Orchestra.
2 days on and its a concert with the Ealing Citadel Army Songsters, compared by Robert Alexander in aid of the Seoul (Korea) Boys Band. 7 days later its another Horsham contest for quartets & ensembles. Our friend Don Morrison kindly gave the B team 5th. ( Euryanthe ) the A team 1st. (Fancy's Knell) and the ensemble 1st. (Russlan & Ludmilla).
The Area contest was a resounding success as Josef Horovitz & George Thompson award the band another 1st. making it 3 in a row on the Belmont Variations (Bliss). April 15th. was yet another performance of Belmont Variations, this time for the Lansing Bagnall contest in Basingstoke. Not in the top 5 here though. The top 2 places were taken by William Davies & Carlton Main bands as preferred by Harry Mortimer.
The Easter weekend was spent at Pontin's Holiday Camp for the qualifying contest on Kenilworth (Bliss) where James Scott & Derek Broadbent gave us a disappointing 7th. place.
Wednesday May 17th. was an enjoyable event as the band gave a concert at Hatch End High School on behalf of Harrow Young Musicians, with trombonist Michael Hext, winner of the Young Musician of the Year competition. Michael played Bolivar (Cook) and the 1st. movement of the Trombone Concerto (Jacob) with Marion Hext on piano, and in the second half played the Rhapsody (Langford) with the band.
I was also featured here playing Varied Mood (Woodfield). This was quite a stage piece for the band as, during the extended cadenza, Barbara would leave the stage, the members would read newspapers, play cards, serve drinks etc. until a bored bass player came up and ripped up my music !
The 1st. prize at the Area contest gave us an automatic entry to the new Best of Brass television contest. So on Friday June 9th. at the Assembly Rooms in Derby, we recorded our first programme against what was then the Fairey Engineering Band (Walter Hargreaves). Obviously, they went on and we went out.
Our programme was Jesus Christ Superstar arranged by Bruce Gentry of Aldershot. Summertime (Gershwin) featuring David Allison and arranged by David Smith and Themes from a Wild West Movie (Pryce Jackman). This was specially written for us by Andrew who was arranger for the recording with Peter Skellern, You're A Lady. Along comes another broadcast live on Music Night on June 23rd. featuring two of Dave Smith's arrangements, Moonliner March and the trombone solo I Wish You Love.
Then another recording on July 3rd. for Bandstand on Radio 3 with the 1st. performance of Concerto for Brass Band (Kenneth Platts). This featured a cadenza duet for David Allison and myself with the cornet starting and euphonium joining on a unison top D, before a downward scale of semiquavers.
It was at this time we learnt of the tragic death of Russell Price, 12 year old son of Gwynne whilst riding his bicycle on holiday in Somerset. Russell was a cornet player with the Richmond Youth Band.
After a full schedule of Summer park engagements we are booked for another B.B.C. recording, this time with the bands of Aveley & Newham (two separate bands in those days) and guest conductor Roy Newsome and soloist Philip Mc.Cann. It was a Listen To The Band special and was recorded on Sunday, September 10th. for future broadcast. Hanwell were the band chosen to accompany Philip in between massed band items, his solos being Carnival De Venice, Alpine Echoes and Russalka's Song To The Moon.
Rehearsals had been going well on the National Finals test piece Checkmate (Bliss) and we were really confident of getting into the top 10 this year. Drawing last at number 20 meant a long wait but it was worth it as adjudicators Cedric Thorpe Davie, Alec Evans and George Evans placed us equal 7th. with Cory. Our highest placing since the runner up prize on Pageantry (Howells) back in 1950.
Two weeks later and we are back at Alexandra Palace and I am placed 2nd. in the open slow melody (Lento, Horovitz Concerto) by Peter Wilson and unplaced in the air varie section. Bob Stradling one of our cornet players was 3rd. in the slow melody though Martin Harvey on trombone was unplaced. The ensemble won their section conducted by me and playing my own arrangement of Corsair (Berlioz) judged by F.J. Beckingham.
The 6th. November was spent at Prestatyn Sands when we took part in the Pontin's final on The Judges of the Secret Court Overture (Berlioz). We were 6th. out of 13 bands as decided by Sir Vivian Dunn & Arthur Butterworth. We spent the weekend there, giving a concert in Northop the previous evening.
On return home the ensemble gave a concert for the Prize Giving at Cranford Community School (our rehearsal base) where awards were presented by Lord & Lady Soper. This lead to an invitation to appear in a Christmas concert with The Scholars, a renowned vocal group on the lines of the King's Singers. The Scholars were Shelagh Molyneux, soprano, Nigel Dixon, counter tenor, Robin Doveton, tenor, Michael Leighton Jones, baritone and David van Asch, bass.
The concert was in St. John's Smith Square, London and included readings by Prunella Scales and Moray Watson. This was to be the last appearance under the name of Hanwell for the next few years !
From the Middlesex Chronicle, Saturday 26th. January. "Many concerts claim to be 'firsts', few are singled out as 'lasts'. Yet the concert at Cranford Hall on Friday was an important 'last' as from next week the name Hanwell will cease to exist."
After 88 years as a subscription band, Hanwell had accepted an offer from the Roneo Vickers Office Equipment Group and as from February 1st, will be renamed the Roneo Vickers Band.
The decision to change the name took some heart searching as Hanwell is very proud of the fact that as a subscription band they had maintained a consistently high standard. Bill Freeman, Roneo's publicity manager was highly delighted and the first appearance in the new livery was scheduled for February 16th. in the Friday Night is Music Night programme for Radio 2. This was from the Fairfield Halls Croydon, home of Roneo's headquarters.
The sponsorship deal was indeed generous, with a 6 year contract starting at £4000 in year 1, and ending on £6000 in year 6. This was in addition to a £1000 already donated to new uniforms. The corporate colour for Roneo was a certain shade of purple. This however took on a rather pink-ish tint when the jackets finally arrived ! The walking - out uniforms were rather more conservative, with a dark maroon blazer over grey bottoms.
The first contest of the season was at the Wembley Conference Centre on February 25th. where Sinfonietta (Leidzen) was the set piece. Being placed 8th. out of 16 entries was not too bad as all the top bands took top awards, Cory, G.U.S. & William Davies according to judges Roy Newsome & George Evans.
That years Area contest saw Variations for Brass Band (Vaughan Williams) as the set test piece. Once again, shock headlines in the British Bandsman echoed the days results, "David Read provided the biggest shock by guiding Cambridge Band into 1st. place at Watford. Equally surprising was the placing of Solent Concert as runners - up." We were placed 3rd, Morris Motors 4th. and Newham (Ray Farr) 5th. by adjudicators James Scott & Colonel George Evans. The only thing that made it worse that weekend was walking through the bar area after changing into our uniforms wearing pink jackets !
Once again the test piece was repeated for the Lansing Bagnall event which had really grown in stature, hence the top places taken by Sun Life, Desford, Carlton Main & Cory. In addition we were invited to enter the Concert Contest alongside Cory (1st.) Carlton Main (2nd.) Yorkley, William Davies, & Newhall bands. Friday Night is Music Night came around again and we recorded the march Simmoraine (Barraclough), We've Only Just Begun & Superman (Ray Farr) at Golders Green on Tuesday June 12th.for future broadcast.
Friday July 6th. saw us board BA flight 614 to Zurich for our return tour if Switzerland. The band had previously toured here in 1975 with Bram Tovey and concerts were scheduled for Interlaken, Solothurn, & Basel & Stein, in addition to the numerous concerts in the festival tent (seating 3000) in Rutti itself throughout the week. Highlight of the week was the march into the village by 10 bands, each sporting its own colourful uniform complete with young ladies in traditional costume.
It was on return from this trip that Barbara Stone resigned as Musical Director It was decided to appoint a Resident Conductor (Brian Birchall) who took concerts at Norwich and Dovercourt and who would work with various appointed M.D's.
Frank Renton was booked to take us to the Reading Contest on Connotations (Gregson) though no prize here as Desford stormed the day with Howard Snell. Ray Farr took us for a gala concert in Addlestone in December and the Scholars invited the ensemble back for their Christmas Concert in St. John's Smith Square on 16th. December. For this return visit, we used the name The Hanwell Brass Ensemble.
Early February and we were contesting again with Frank Renton at the helm, this time at the Wembley Conference Centre playing Beatrice & Benedict (Berlioz) as the set piece. Adjudicators Eric Bravington and Albert Chappell placed G.U.S. 1st with William Davies 2nd. and Every Ready 3rd. We were a very disappointing 14th. out of 16 entries !
Then it was on to Hammersmith Own Choice Contest a week later where we played Journey Into Freedom (Ball). Here Ernest Woodhouse placed us 3rd. to winners Hendon (choosing the same work) and runners - up, Leicester Foresters (Corsair Overture, Berlioz).
The Area Contest in March was to prove equally disastrous when Jon Hall & Roy Newsome placed the two favourites (us and Hendon) 10th. & 11th. once again on the Berlioz overture. One month later and we play the same piece again for the Lansing Bagnall contest and fair a little better getting 12th. out of 21 with the top prizes going to Leyland Vehicles, Desford, Sun Life and Ever Ready Bands.
Another month on and we enter the Brighton Contest held in Hove Town Hall where we choose to play Knight Templar (Allen) for the own choice march and Symphony of Marches (Vinter) for the own choice test piece. Sir Vivian Dunn decided on placing Solent Concert 1st. Aldershot 2nd. and us 3rd. with Aldershot winning the march prize as well.
This was to be my last contest with the band and during my time I recall many great friends (in no special order) with affection;
Cornets; David Allison, Mick & John Blake, Stuart Kirk, Robin & Eileen Lock, Steve Riddler, Barbara Mealin (now King), Linda Nicholson, Elaine Wolff, Charlie Quantrill, David Rose, Karen Shackleton, Janine Tunks, Ray Munday, Nicola Vaughan, Laurie Vaughan, Tina Seale, Clive Calver, Fred Croft, John Noall, Chris Joynes, Bob Stradling, Maggie Chapman, Alan Wilson, Sandy Pollack, Geoffrey Webb, Keith Spiers, Grainger Rock, Richard Davies, Richard Moakes, Laurie & Nicola Vaughan.
Flugel Horns; David Southern, Phil Embling & Terry Williams.
Tenor Horns; Brian Birchall, Dave Young, George Nicklin, Ian Lester, Marilyn Wolff, Frank Bing, Roy Beesley, Alan Mann, Lynda Vel, John Edmunds, Beverley Vaughan, Richard Hughes, Phil Cleeve, Karen Williams, Graham Chivers & Steve Cutting.
Baritones & Euphoniums; Cecil Davies, John Luckett, Mario Tagliaferro, Phil Thrift, Susan Vel, Paul Miller, Alan George and Alan Bray.
Trombones; Stan Willis, Alois Muller, Nigel Allery, Martin Harvey, Graham Dutton, Ken Davies, George Groom, Ray Norton, Darren Muir, Ewan Mc.Morris, Paul Applegarth & Phil Mc.Nulty.
Basses; Len Bryant, Len Newstead, Linda Hobbs, Paul Ellison, Dennis Goddard, Barry Childs, Charles Kirk, Bryn Howells & Gregg Hayes.
Percussion; Richard White, Brian Tibbels, Vivien Childs, Jeff Worrell, Mark Rogers, George Lock & Andrew Cummine.
It was at the Lansing Bagnall contest I met up with an old friend from the Richmond Band, Ralph Rowden playing cornet with Sun Life. He invited me to audition as they were looking for a principal euphonium. I arranged to attend a rehearsal in Bristol for an audition, was accepted and spent 2 happy years with this great band.
Well that's the story so far. As soon as time allows, I will bring you up to date.
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DS Al Fine