Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band thrilled listeners at their Autumn Concert in Wells.
The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band held their Autumn concert at St Thomas’s Church in Wells on Saturday 6th October. After a very busy summer season St Thomas’ is an exciting new venue for the band in 2018. Musical Director, Joanne Sykes conducted a varied programme centred around the theme of ‘Reflect and Celebrate’ to commemorate not only the centenary year of the end of the Great War but also of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Blockbusters included 633 Squadron, Dambusters March and a thrilling performance of Peter Graham’s epic work ‘Cry of the Celts’ each movement featuring the bands talented soloists.
Compere for this special evening concert was none other than BBC Radio Somerset’s Claire Carter, no stranger to the Brass concert circuit in Wells. Perhaps more surprising on the night was the appearance a of BBC television cameraman recording for the Monday’s Points West bulletin. No pressure for the band then!
Guest soloists featured highly in the cleverly crafted programme. Stephen Sykes masterfully performed his feature solo of the night ‘Stardust’ in front of a spellbound audience. Less than two years ago Stephen was critically ill with late stage Hodgkins Lymphoma and barely able to lift his trombone let alone play it. A rallying cry was put out to the world wide brass band community and vital funds were raised to pay for the special treatment needed to save his life. Saturday’s concert was a milestone occasion, his first public performance since his illness struck and it did not disappoint.
The musical variety did not stop there. Siona Stockel, Soprano together with Nicola Bracey, Piano both professional musicians resident in Wells brought a touch of nostalgia to the evening with a selection of songs made famous by Forces Sweetheart, the legendary Vera Lynn. The concert was rounded off in fine style with an encore that raised the roof. Finlay Bradley, the band’s talented percussionist literally blew a stunned audience to the evening’s close with his virtuosic drum solo in Louis Prima’s ‘Sing Sing Sing’. What a finish by this fine ensemble, The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band.
Special mention should be made of the evenings venue and the support given by our hosts at St Thomas Church. This is a magical place to hold a concert and with first class facilities to match the band hope to perform there on a regular basis in future. A ‘must’ date for your diary in the run up to Christmas is Saturday 8th December. The band will again perform in St Thomas Church, with their own take on popular seasonal favourites. One not to miss!
For more information about the bands forthcoming events check their website: msnrsb.org.uk
The band have had a busy start to 2018 attending a variety of events.
In April the band were invited to play at the Man Engine event in Radstock, we were thrilled to be part of such an usual local event and we were very lucky to have ring-side seats to watch the show once we had played. Later in April we marched through Wells with the Somerset County Federation of WIs to celebrate their Centenary, we processed from Wells Cathedral to St Cuthbert’s Church where we played Jerusalem whilst the WI members sang.
May opened with Priston May Day where we played our summer programme for the first time on a lovely sunny afternoon. We played at Hampset Cricket Club the following weekend for a fundraising event organised by Andrew Stammers. A highlight in May was being invited to play at the Radstock Co-op 150th Anniversary celebration evening at the Bath Pavilion. A couple of our members were able to stay and enjoy the celebrations after we had played together with many members of other local organisations.
At the beginning of June The Natural Theatre Company asked us to perform at an arts event in Radstock. A couple of band members had to join in the acting, I think we were all agreed that they should stick to playing! We played at the opening of Westfield Funday and we were lucky enough to get our photo taken with Michael Eavis. We finished June with a Sunday afternoon concert in Keynsham Bandstand which is always fun as it is very well supported by the local residents.
We played in Parade Gardens in Bath at the beginning of July on a scorching hot afternoon, which required the consumption of many ice creams in the interval. A couple of week ago we performed at M Fest in Midsomer Norton, it is always a pleasure to be able to play for our local community.
We will be spending August working on our concert programme for our autumn concert at St Thomas’ Church in Wells on 6th October. Our next engagement will be at Double Hills in Paulton at the beginning of September.
The Band recently played in the Wells Band Stand and after an enjoyable afternoon we were really pleased to receive the following comments from members of the audience:
Comments from Phil Wilby, Musical Associate,
Black Dyke Brass Band:
“I had the occasion to visit Wells Cathedral two weekends ago and walked with the organist Matthew Owens and his family down towards the bandstand.
We were delighted to hear some of the band’s concert (Matthew is an ex cornet player from Stockport!) and I wanted to write and thank you all for the great work that the band do to keep the flame alive in the South West…… in particular, we were delighted to hear a solo from Aidan aged 10 …… great sound and splendid self assurance. Mathew’s two boys were entranced to hear someone of their own age play so beautifully……. so let’s hope that Aidan has lit a flame for the future.
Every Good Wish to MN and Radstock and best wishes for Cheltenham”
Comments from Sue Bibby a professional musician and teacher
“Just wanted to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed your performance on Sunday July 16th in Wells Recreation ground.
I was visiting the area that weekend. I studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and in my schooldays played with Skelmersdale Brass Band who were 2nd section back then.
Congratulations and well done on such a fantastic listening experience. I loved it!
God bless you all and keep up the good work”.
Jubilation reigned amongst the members of the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band after the band were awarded third place at the West of England National Brass Band Third Section qualifier at Torquay on Sunday 12th March 2017. With the top three bands qualifying for the finals, the band earned the right to compete at the National Brass Band Championship finals for the second successive year at Cheltenham in September.
Competing against eighteen bands from across the West of England, the bands performance of the Test Piece ‘Darkwood’ received excellent remarks from both adjudicators and was just reward for the hard work and dedication put in by the bands musical director Joanne Sykes and band members leading up to the contest.
The day was further celebrated with the news that the band had accrued the league table points required to earn promotion to the Second Section and achieve the highest national ranking in the bands history. This is a significant achievement for the band and shows how much the band has progressed.
Looking forward, the band will be preparing a new repertoire of concert music for the coming season with summer concerts featuring both Senior and Brass Academy bands.
Jubilant members of Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band celebrate their success
Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band have achieved another milestone in the bands history by qualifying for the Third Section finals of the National Brass Band championships of Great Britain.
With eighteen bands competing in the third section, the band’s rendition of the test piece ‘A Cambrian Suite’ by composer Michael Ball earned positive comments from the two adjudicators and third place at the West of England Brass Band regional qualifier held at the Riviera Centre in Torquay on the 12th March 2016. Qualification for the national finals will see the band competing against other third section bands from across Great Britain at Cheltenham in September. Having achieved a credible fifth place at the third section regional qualifier in 2015, the Musical Director, Joanne Sykes and the band members were overjoyed with this years result.
Since winning the fourth section regional qualifier in 2012, the band has been making excellent progress under the baton of their current musical director and with contest results improving year on year, this years success is a testament to the hard work that Joanne has put in with the band.
Looking forward, the band has a strong commitment to training and developing up and coming brass players and it was encouraging to see two members of the training band making their contesting debuts with the senior band line up at Torquay.
The Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band is a local, friendly and ambitious band and would welcome established brass players or anyone wishing to learn a brass instrument. The band practices on Tuesday and Friday nights at the Trinity Church Hall in Radstock starting at 7.30pm.
Launceston Solo and Quartet Contest 2015
Launceston is here again and the Brass Academy is eager to come back with medals and trophies. Everyone has been practicing hard!
2nd: Tabby & Finlay
3rd: Edmund & Arthur
2nd: Finlay, Tabby, Edmund & Arthur
3rd: Aidan, Luke and Arthur
2nd: MSN Ensemble
Best Trombone (Under 16): Arthur
Best Trombone (Over 16): Thomas
Most Entertaining Player/Group: MSN Ensemble
Thank you everyone who has practised hard! We hope you come again next year!
The Band are holding a 35th Anniversary Concert on Saturday 3rd October, commencing at 7.30 pm at the Midsomer Norton Methodist Church, with Guest Soloist Carlton Sykes
Tickets can be purchased from the Church, Band members or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and cost £5.50 in advance or £7.50 on the door
2nd – Izzie
3rd – Aidan
2nd – Arthur
Most promising player – Arthur
2nd – Finlay
3rd – Tabby
1st – Thomas
1st – Thomas
3rd – Tabby
1st – Finlay & Tabby
3rd – Edmund & Arthur
3rd – Mark & Tabby
1st – Finlay, Tabby, Edmund & Arthur
Thank you to all members of the band who participated in the competition and we hope you come again next year!
On the 24th June, a group of youngsters and adults set out on a trip to take part in the Annual Bideford Solo and Ensemble contest.
We’re proud to say that we entered no less than 45 classes within Bideford, with a group of around 25 people doing a mixture of solos, duets and quartets.
Continue reading Bideford – June 2014
On Saturday 22nd February 2014 the band held their annual dinner and awards evening. This was well attended by members of all bands, all the members of the main band voted for who they thought should be acknowledged as the ‘player’s player’. This was proudly presented by Jo to Finlay, also presented on the night was the madam secretary’s cup, awarded by Heather to Thomas. The final award was awarded by Mark to Louise.