• Brighton and Hove City Brass
    Welcome to our website! Read on to find out more about us, our members and where you can see us perform
  • Brighton and Hove City Brass
    We are a friendly brass band based in Brighton and Hove in Sussex, UK
  • Brighton and Hove City Brass
    We perform at a wide variety of venues and events in Brighton, Sussex and beyond
  • Brighton and Hove City Brass
    We take part in several contests and competitions each year. We currently compete in the Third Section
  • Brighton and Hove City Brass
    New members are always welcome - a list of current vacancies can be found on our 'join us' page
  • Brighton and Hove City Brass
    We also play in smaller groups for events such Christmas carolling and Octoberfest oompah!


Brighton supports the Martletts

On Saturday 15 September two of Brighton's premier brass bands joined forces with friends from one of the top choirs in the UK to celebrate the life of Elizabeth Slaney who was a member of all three groups at some time before being tragically taken from us in February this year.

The concert, held at St Johns Church in Brighton, was given in aid of The Martlets Hospice who were responsible for the wonderful care afforded to Elizabeth.

Performing to a nearly full hall the audience were treated to a feast of music accompanied along the way by a striking slideshow on a big screen next to the stage. MC Andy Taylor kept the evening flowing with his informative and relaxed style of introductions.

The Hangleton Band was first on stage under the command of Musical Director Richard Baker. Starting the proceedings with a rousing rendition of Hubert Bath's Out of the Blue which everybody recognised as the theme tune to Sports Report. This was followed by Darrol Barry's arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen whilst on the big screen was the iconic image of the band in the now famous pose of Freddie and his mates. Hangleton followed this with a solo - but not played by the soloist they had in mind at the beginning of the day. Unfortunately their first baritone player was unable to attend at the last minute for personal reasons so principal euphonium player, Rachel Taylor, stepped in to the breach to give a wonderful rendition of Stephen Roberts' beautiful Carrickfergus. The piece was chosen as a tribute to Elizabeth's time spent playing baritone with the band.

The band wanted to include a rendition of the Largo from Dvorak's 9th Symphony and so chose Gordon Langford's New World Fantasy as their next piece. With an interwoven collection of stirring American tunes right in the middle of it all was the Largo which was beautifully played by flugel horn player Jennifer Ireland. To finish off, the band performed Steven Sykes' arrangement of the Duke Ellington classic Caravan.

Before giving way to the choir completely they joined forces to perform a rugby song! The theme tune television used for the Rugby World Cup was Gustav Holst's I Vow to Thee My Country and the band accompanied the choir in the arrangement by Philip Sparke.

The stage was then the choirs. Usually 150 strong it was a privilege to have 35 members taking part to remember Elizabeth who had been a member for many years. Under the direction for the very first time of Sally Tatterall the choir were in outstanding form beginning with Rachmaninov's Bogoroditsye Dyevo. Showing astounding dynamic contrast and control the piece brought more than a tear to the eye of the audience. The same can be said of their second piece the exquisite Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner and their final piece Sleep by Eric Whitacre. With the audience totally captivated and straining to hear the closing bars the choir had made their own very special tribute to Elizabeth.

Before the interval Clem Hunnisett from The Martlets Hospice was invited to say a few words. Explaining that Martlets offer a free service and that it costs in excess of £3.5 million a year to run brought home just how important fund raising is to keep this invaluable organisation going.

Following the interval it was the turn of Brighton & Hove City Brass to take to the stage under the guidance of Musical Director Matthew Hackett. Starting with Slaidburn, a classic brass band march by William Rimmer, they followed this with Brassed Off by Darrol Barry. With no connection to the film of the same name it featured the band's drummer Jon Ireland. Next came a piece written by bass guitar legend Herbie Flowers. His simple yet beautiful Carillon seemed just right in the church surroundings. Next up, with images of John Travolta strutting his stuff, was Manhattan Skyline by David Shire - written as a musical interlude from the film Saturday Night Fever.

Elizabeth played horn with Brighton & Hove City Brass and the next piece was the band's tribute to her. The second movement of Cry of the Celts by Ronan Hardiman is entitled Suil a Ruin and featured the band's solo horn player Jennifer Ireland, playing in her real position with her own band this time. The band then played the last movement of the suite arranged by Peter Graham. Entitled Victory, it uses the famous Lord of the Dance tune, otherwise known as Simple Gifts.

The band's final piece was Goff Richard's Breezin' Down Broadway which takes you through a multitude of tunes you are likely to hear to this day playing at a number of theatres in America and beyond.

To close the concert the bands and choir joined together to perform The Irish Blessing by JE Bacak. A moment of true reflection to remember precisely why we were all here tonight. The bands then performed the closing moments of Windows of the World by Peter Graham with excellent "Mambo's" provided by the choir. To finish the night of celebration the audience were invited to join in for a stirring rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, even inciting an encore with their enthusiastic appreciation.

So, the concert celebrating the life of Elizabeth Slaney had come to an end. It was a stirring occasion with bands and choir giving their all and one which Elizabeth would have appreciated and been truly proud. The performers and audience should be equally as proud as their combined efforts mean that a cheque for over £1000 will be winging its way to the Martlets. A grand effort from everybody concerned.

All change in 2012!

After a couple of challenging years filling seats, this year the band is concentrating on recruitment and rebuilding to get us back to where we want to be.

With four new players joining us already and one ex-member returning, we are making great progress. Now that the contest season is over for a few months we are having a little reshuffle and using the summer concerts to build on the progress we have made so far to go into the autumn contests in a much stronger position. So, a big welcome to John on flugel, Christian and Andy on Euphonium, and Gareth on Trombone. Also, welcome back to Wendy on 2nd baritone. The players pages have been updated with the changes that have been made in the horn, baritone, euphonium and trombone sections meaning we now have every part in the band covered, and our remaining vacancies are for boosting the back row cornets and the bass section.

Elizabeth Slaney - tribute

On February 7th 2012 our 2nd horn player Elizabeth Slaney passed away in the Martlets Hospice in Hove after a 4 month battle with cancer. In October last year she was due to play with the band at SCABA's Autumn contest in Folkestone, but 3 days beforehand she was taken into hospital. A few days later she was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour.

Throughout Liz’s illness she was very brave, never once complained, blamed it on anyone or anything, she just accepted it and got on with things. She showed solid determination in making sure her family had the best Christmas ever, and she continued to attend band socials & musical concerts.

Liz was very talented and had a long history with local brass bands. She joined Hangleton Band on 1st baritone when she was just 10 and stayed with the band for 20 years. She later joined Patcham band and then eventually Brighton in 1991. She left Brighton in 1998 when her son Richard was born, but had recently rejoined in the autumn of 2010. She was also a talented singer, joining the Brighton Festival Chorus 10 years ago, singing at The Brighton Dome, Royal Albert Hall and concerts abroad.

Liz met her husband Charles (Bb bass) when he rejoined Brighton after he moved back to the area from London, and they were married for 13 years. She also leaves behind her daughter Hannah (22) and son Richard (13).

Liz was always a charming, kind and considerate person, wanting to help or advise you on anything. Nothing was ever a problem. She was always dedicated, immaculately prepared and dressed. She will be deeply missed by her fellow musicians and every one who knew her.

British Sea Power - Brighton  3rd February 2012

In a repeat of an engagement from 2008 we were asked to perform a support act set for the popular Indie group British Sea Power. The article below was written for the band by Colin our press officer for the night!

Last Friday evening Brighton and Hove City Brass swapped their usual sedate surroundings of bandstand, hall or competition stage for the packed and rocking arena of The Haunt nightclub in Brighton city centre. In an exciting link up with popular Indie group British Sea Power (BSP) party goers were treated to a rich and rewarding musical experience. As slightly nervous band members started to gather Musical Director Matthew Hackett said 'this is a really exciting evening for the band and is certainly something different'. He added 'we will be opening the evening with a medley of popular tunes starting with Thunderbirds, then later some of the band will be playing Waving Flags with British Sea Power.’ Trombone player and Chairman of the Band David Hush who has been with the band for 12 years said 'this will be completely different from normal, it will be interesting to gauge the reaction!’

BSP UK manager Dave Taylor said 'we did this with Brighton Brass some while ago and it went down very well but this time around both bands will be playing together. The people in here tonight will be in for a few surprises.' BSP guitarist Marton Nobel said 'everyone loves a brass band, when our two sounds come together it should be very exciting!'

The Haunt is an amazing arena for live concerts, its cosy and everyone is really close to the action. By around 8.00pm the place was packed as the Band dressed in blue waistcoats and black bow ties took their place on stage. With a 17 piece on show they looked fantastic. The show started with Thunderbirds, then Sweet Gingerbread Man, The Floral Dance, Calon Lan, good old Sussex by the Sea, The A Team and finished with a BSP request of All Creatures Great and Small. The crowd loved it and were cheering and applauding enthusiastically throughout. John Hodkinson (16) cornet said afterwards 'that was good fun and it was nice to be appreciated.' The youngster revealed 'playing in the band is a great hobby and you never know where it might take me.’ Euphonium player Gareth Amison revealed he was a Stoke City fan which is amazing given that the temporary press officer supports Crawley Town. Both teams will be battling out an FA cup tie on 19th February at the Broadfield.

By 11.30pm band members Jen Ranger, Jen Martin, Amy Richardson, Hilary Lowe, Martin Shelley, John Skinner, Will Lindley and Stefan Sommer, decked out in vivid Red and Gold, were back on stage ready for their big number with BSP. A wonderful rich sound was created as Waving Flags was played. The brass band really added to what is already a great number. The crowd really went wild and everyone was dancing away. It was a magical moment during what was an amazing evening. Young Daniel Raphael (18) of Sussex Uni raved 'that was an amazing sound which could go down in history!’

Well, we'll have to see!


SCABA Spring Contest - Hove 17 April 2011

After our success at Skegness with Hungerford Town, the band decided to enter the (very) local SCABA spring contest held this year for the first time at Blatchington Mill school in Hove.

The contest is an own choice march and test piece and we chose to play Slaidburn for the march. We came off stage once again pleased with our performance and had only a short wait until the results. Results started off with a fantastic result of 1st prize for the march, and continued with 2nd prize for the test piece and the best trombone section prize.
Celebrations moved to the nearby Hangleton manor pub garden and it's probably fair to say that quite a few of us regretted having to go to work in the morning!

Butlins Contest, Skegness - 22 January 2011

This year the band decided to make it's first appearance at the popular Butlins contest in Skegness. Armed with thermals and a barrel of beer we set off on the coach journey north on the Friday afternoon and after a mystery tour of parts of East Anglia we arrived just in time for a pizza dinner and a couple of pre contest drinks before an early night.

We were drawn to play 3rd in the third section afternoon contest on the Saturday and around 1.30pm took our place in the King Arthur suite to play Hungerford Town. We came off stage pleased with our performance and settled in for the afternoon in the Sun and Moon waiting for the results at 8pm. The band was very pleased with our result of 7th out of 15 and the celebrations continued into the early hours. The weekend was enjoyed by all and we hope to be able to make this a regular fixture in the band diary. Many thanks again to Helen, Rachel, Andy T, Andy W, Sue, Chris and Mike for playing with us, to our supporters group who came along for the weekend and to Jonnie for driving us all there safely in the coach.


Brighton and Hove City Brass says farewell and thanks!

Brighton & Hove City Brass announce the departure of two of its longest serving members.

Husband and wife team Martin and Sian Buss, who met through the band, have decided to call time on their long association with the Sussex based group.

Both joined as youngsters more than 30 years ago and have been through some tough times as well as experiencing some happy and highly successful times.

Martin held the principal cornet position for most of his years of service, winning plenty of accolades and a number of solo prizes along the way and in his position as bandmaster conducted in the absence of the MD - including many concerts and a couple of contests.

Sian made the Secretary role her own, willingly taking on the 1001 jobs this entailed for more years than most of the band members can remember. Her flexibility as a player was second to none as she occupied practically every seat within the band at one time or another without a hint of protest.

The band would like to thank Martin and Sian for the service they have given over the years and sincerely wish them both all the very best for their future ventures.


Folkestone Contest -  11 October 2009

After a busy summer, it was time for the last contest of the year - the SCABA Autumn contest held at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone. This contest is normally held over two days, but this year had an impressive 34 bands playing a hymn and test piece all on one day. Several members of the band were very pleased that this meant the usual early start was avoided !

After our success at Hove earlier in the year, our MD chose another piece from the pen of Philip Sparke - The Land of the Long White Cloud along with the hymn tune Colne. We met at lunchtime for a rehearsal and then waited to see when we would be playing, drawn 11th out of 13 bands we were in for a long wait ! We came off stage feeling disappointed that it hadn't gone as well as we had hoped, and that was borne out in the results - 12th out of 13 in the hymn and 13th out of 13th for the test piece.

Adjudicator Philip Harper made the following comments about our performance:
Hymn – slightly bumpy to start and tuning issues immediate(sic) obvious. The sound is warm however, dynamics are well attempted but add to the tuning issues. 178 points
Test piece – Has impact to begin, but out of tune on C chord and not always together in big middle group. Rhythm inaccurate two before A, and tuning very wayward at A. Much happier at B but could blend better. Flug and troms rhythm is also rather approximate at C. Top D’s tuning is so (underlined 3 times) sharp – ouch !
D has good life but is scrappy. G needs a little more discipline. Technical patches (e.g. before J) are not accurate enough.
L Sop is fine, but doesn’t really connect with ‘express’. Good cornet. Flugel on the other hand is a pure nugget of gold – terrific solo ! It starts to get rather edgy again at ff – any sense of quality goes.
P isn’t ‘ppp’ side drum !!
Effective fugato from R but back to untidy again afterwards. Big problems at Maestoso. Prestissimo is exciting, but out of tune to end. A good effort, but this piece got the better of you today ! 178 points

Shame about the result but congratulations to Rich (Flugel) for the excellent comments - and well deserved !


2009 and Brighton Bandstand is finally open!

At last the Brighton & Hove Seafront Bandstand has re-opened. The last band performed on the bandstand in 1974. After an extensive restoration that has used some 80% of the original fabric of the structure and seen some 40 layers of paint stripped from the intricate metal work.

Patcham, Hangleton and Brighton Bands all joined forces to perform at the official opening on Friday 24th July. The crowds enjoyed the performance by the three bands, even though it was rather breezy! Look out for concerts throughout the year and keep an eye on the diary page for our turn, on what is now considered one of the finest 'Victorian Birdcage' Bandstands in the country.


Crawley Entertainment Contest -  17 May 2009

This is probably the bands favourite contest where we have to perform a 24 minute concert and be marked on music, entertainment and deportment. It is definitely more nerve racking than the closed adjudication contests we normally attend during the year. Everything ran smoothly but we did wonder whether it was worth all the effort of our 'special effects' when the adjudicator hardly looked up from his notes. Dave Hush performed a wonderful rendition of Bare Necessities which involved other players trying to 'steal' his solo from him. Unfortunately we didn't come in the prizes this year but it was good fun.

Adjudicator David Read made the following comments about our performance:
Ravenswood - The notes could be measured a little better it all sounds rather hurried. accompaniment drowns the tune in the 3rd strain. A good choice of march but the playing must be equal to it.
The Bare Necessities - Eb Bass (Dave Hush soloist). Smooth playing to open and all goes well. Bass plays with confidence and loyally supported by band - good rhythmic pulse, helped by good Side Drum. Playing is not sacrificed for humour. Nice cornet touch continued by the section. A good choice for the contest.
A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square - Good start, excellent cornet cadenza. Mood captured. The music is shaped well by conductor. Well done, an enjoyable number.
Fat bottomed girls - Not a good balance to open but secure. Be careful of tuning on held notes. All just a little to square and not enough contrast in the piece.
Doyen - Uncertain to open and there are intonation problems within the ensemble. I like your dynamic contrast as you proceed. Excellent solo cornet at K. It all gets a little dull in character. Good close.

Some interesting choices but the playing not always equal to it.

Musical performance 48/60
Entertainment value 25/30
Deportment 8/10


SCABA Spring Contest - 5 April 2009

Despite following only 3 weeks after the area contest, MD Matthew Hackett set the band a stern challenge when he decided on Castell Coch (T J Powell) and Endeavour (Philip Sparke) as the test pieces for Hove. The band were all for it as they are pieces that we really enjoy playing – and it must have showed !

After a long day, the band members brave enough to go into the hall for the results were delighted to hear that we had achieved quite a haul. We were awarded 1st prize for the test piece and our bass section obviously caught adjudicator Colin Hardy's ear as he named them as the best bass section and our Musical Director Matthew Hackett won the cup for the Best Interpretation by a Conductor.

After some speedy texting a cheer went up in the bar where the rest of the band were waiting anxiously for news.

Colin Hardy made the following comments on our performances:
Castell Coch - Solid start but why rush quavers each time. Nice Solo Cornet and good bass solo. Well Balanced. Again super solo cornet and good horn a/c (Ed: accompaniment!) and all flows along to close. 185 points. 5th place.
Endeavour - Good detailed start and flows.
A+ though has some intonation in intervals. Take care but a good build up from B with good dynamic contrasts. C Well controlled.
New Challenge – lots of detail here and so effective. F+6 well done solo horn and flugel. H is so well balanced and all is heard. Lento – super contrast and lovely flugel solo and Euph joins well. K+ - all well done.
L+ - super lead to Celebration and lots of good well executed playing here. N + P+ all detail noted and all soloists are playing there part and balance is so good you can hear all parts.
I feel that I am on a journey to a super close. A classy performance of a little used piece.
Many thanks, Colin Hardy

Whilst presenting our cups, adjudicator Colin Hardy mentioned that he had adjudicated this piece just once before and ‘it was dreadful’ so wasn’t sure what to expect when he saw Endeavour on the list of pieces to be played. But continued that ‘from the very start he knew he was listening to something special. The interpretation was absolutely spot on and our neat, tidy, tight and musical performance brought the piece to life. It was a delight to listen to and he thoroughly enjoyed it.’

MD Matthew Hackett commented to the band that the overall effect was a fantastic performance and he is proud of everyone. An excellent team effort.
Certain players were later spotted struggling down the road to the nearby Albion pub laden with cups for a celebratory drink or two!


L&SC Qualifying Contest - 21 March 2009

After our trip to the National Finals in 2008, we were promoted back to the 2nd section for the first time since 2006 and the test piece selected was a new piece composed by Dan Price called New World Sketches. Some player shuffling was required to cover the 4 percussion needed, with front row cornet player Heather Hush kindly agreeing to play the tricky tuned percussion part – and a great job she did too.

Unfortunately despite a lot of pre-contest rehearsal, the band didn’t play to the best of our ability and were placed 15th.

Adjudicator Philip Sparke made the following comments on our performance:
1st movement - Confident start. 7 – dim trombone?? Please grade your dynamics a little more carefully – mp/mf contrasts not always clear. 59 – Careful cornet 78 – a little straight-faced 79 – careful trombone. Not a good end
2nd movement - 106-115 tuning worries a little. 138 Cb? B Trom – sounds more like a C natural !! J+ limps a little - I don’t feel a regular pulse. 183+ is very nice and you end well.
3rd movement - Not quite together to start. Good tempo chosen but it needs to be tighter – It lacks rhythmic and musical conviction. O – has nice humour. 294 – cornets not balanced. 302+ sounding a little tired. 326 Cornet rhythm not exact.

As you near the end it starts to show you are not quite on top of this technically and ensemble is not your best. There is more for you to do on this piece.
Philip Sparke.

MD Matthew Hackett praised the band for their efforts leading up to Stevenage, with particular thanks going to Helen Woolley for helping out at short notice and also to Heather for doing such a sterling job on tuned percussion. He felt that unfortunately it just didn’t come off for us on the day and we simply had a bad day at the office saying these things happen and we shouldn’t be too down hearted about it but look forward to the next contest at Hove.

The CD is finally ready!

It was a long wait but worth it. Our CD finally arrived, all 1000 copies of it!!

A lot of good comments received from the listeners. They will be available at all our engagements and of course we can send then by post to anyone requesting one via our website. £7 each or two for £10.


New arrival - June 2010

Congratulations from everyone at B&HCB to Heather (front row cornet) and Dave (Eb bass) on the safe arrival of baby Charlotte Hush on 6th June!

L&SC Qualifying Contest - Stevenage, 21 March 2010

With a 9am rehearsal booked, we set off bright and early on a sunny March morning for Stevenage. As there were 17 bands playing Kingdom of Dragons by Philip Harper in our section we were hoping for an early draw and felt buoyed when Band Secretary Jon's famous 'feeling in his water' predicted us drawing 3rd. We actually drew 11th and unfortunately that wasn't the only disappointment of the day.

Once again some player shuffling was required and we were really grateful to have former member Helen Woolley and regular helper Andy Wooler on board as well as Dom Hackett covering the tricky timpani part.
At 1pm we went on stage and both the band and MD came off feeling we had done our best, so even though we were competing against some excellent bands we were very disappointed to be placed 16th.

Adjudicator Simone Rebello made the following comments on our performance:

Watch opening few bars are secure.
A - Better ensemble here
B – Keep brilliance of colour here
C to D – watch intonation
D – Keep rhythm and tight and exact
Keep sound focused to F.
G – well managed.
H – Keep watching conductor to ensure tempo is stable
J – excellent contrast here – good.
K – Better ensemble here. Keep at piano dynamic.
Watch tuning before L
Keep triplet rhythm accurate
Watch tuning before Q
Keep Q at a steady speed and allow all long phrases to sing through
R – Confident work from soloist – Keep sound balanced and supported.
Again some tuning and intonation concerns here in exposed sections e.g. before S) to address.
Use as wide a range of dynamics as possible.
Watch ensemble before T.
T – keep lantano effect and watch articulation is clean.
Keep controlled at V.
W hold tempo in the fugue. Better use of dynamics here.
Y – watch 7/8 does not rush at the end of the bar.
BB – warm full sound from the band here – good.
Keep excitement building through CC to the finale.

A good performance. There are some general tuning and intonation concerns to watch out for. Watch that band follow conductors tempo exactly which will make the start of each entry more secure and watch tempo is established don’t allow rhythms to rush. Soloists play with confidence and good commitment from the band. Thank you.
Simone Rebello.


CD recording weekend - Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th November 2008

For the first time in their history Brighton & Hove City Brass have recorded a CD ! We don't think Simon Cowell and his X-Factor hopefuls need to worry too much though. Over a long weekend in November the band laid down over a dozen tracks covering some old brass band favourites and regular items from the band's summer repertoire. KMJ Recordings were the professionals who had the task of turning the band into the next "big thing."

Music recorded over the weekend included Armenian Fire Dance, It's Not Unusual, Fat Bottomed Girls, Born free, Breezing Down Broadway, and the band's anthem Sussex by the Sea. There were occasional breaks for the odd smoker, cup of tea, and those who had to cross their legs during the red light times of silence. Some faces were a picture!

Nerves played a part in some of the solos and odd slips did creep in during silent pieces. But KMJ and the band personnel felt that everyone was very friendly and prepared to "give it a go" if it meant the recording would be improved. A lot of hard work was put into the weekend and good feedback was received from Keith and Rob of KMJ who have both mastered CDs for many brass bands in the UK.

Overall KMJ felt that the sessions on both days ran smoothly due to the preparation that the band had undertaken prior to the recording weekend. The band proved to be consistent not only in their performance, but also in their self-discipline whilst the red light was on. With patience and good humour KMJ felt that they were able to capture the sound and spirit of the band's performance.

Rob Collinson of the KMJ Production team commented that for a band relatively new to recording the sessions went quite quickly, which was largely due to the chemistry between KMJ and the band. "It never felt like 'them and us'”. It was obvious that they (the band) had a great deal of respect for their MD who knew what he wanted. It was great to find that we were all "singing from the same hymn sheet".

The CD is available to purchase at our performances and if you are really keen, why not fill in the contact form and we will send you one out.

The cost of the CD is £7.00 or two for £10.00 don't miss out there are only a limited number available.


SCABA Entertainment Contest - Sunday 18th May 2008

The band once again travelled up the A23 to compete in SCABA's annual Entertainment contest at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley. The band has a reputation for putting on a good show and this year our MD Matthew Hackett chose a varied selection of pieces themed around the Whit Friday marches to highlight the band's musical ability.

The day started with the usual rehearsal at the Handcross Social Club at 12 noon. The band headed off to the Hawth in double quick time for the draw, and were very happy to be drawn 1st to play ! The band plays in the 'A' section at this contest, which combines championship and 1st section bands. We took the stage a lot earlier than normal at 3pm, and gave a really good performance. The overall results for our section are as follows.

Position - Band - Points - (Section, Music + Content + Deportment)

1st - Friary Guildford - 95 - (Champ, 58 + 28 + 9)
2nd - Welwyn Garden City - 90 - (Champ, 56 + 26 + 8)
3rd - Brighton & Hove City Brass - 89 - (1st Section, 56 + 25 + 8)
4th - Chichester City - 86 - (1st Section, 55 + 24 + 7)
5th - Regent Brass- 85 - (Champ, 54 + 23 + 8)
6th - Ocean Brass - 84 - (1st Section, 54 + 23 + 7)
7th - Horsham Borough - 82 - (1st Section, 53 + 21 + 8)
8th - Northfleet - 80 - (1st Section, 51 + 22 + 7)
Highest Unplaced 1st Section Band – Chichester City
Best Soloist – Martin Buss, Brighton & Hove City Brass
Best Performed March – Friary Guildford

Remarks as follows:

Castell Coch - Well presented opening march with some precise playing in the march-on. The bass solo shows a well balanced ensemble with good ‘p’ in the trio, and neat cornet solo. Good tempo throughout. A good opener.
El Cumbanchero - Good samba style and cornet soloist plays with flair and excellent tonguing technique. A masterful performance by soloist and band; great percussion also.

Hine e Hine - A little anxiety in the opening but Flugel soloist displays a great relaxed and flowing style. A great contrast here with tasteful accompts. E – effective style and balanced sounds. Bravo Sop. Only occasional blemish towards the close.

12th Street Rag - Stylish treatment at a nice easy tempo. D – F a little insecurity at times. Well balanced trio throughout.

Armenian Fire Dance - Exciting sounds with attention to detail, and the intensity builds towards the close although I feel the last two pages weren’t really ‘ff’

Sussex by the Sea - A little insecurity in the opening section but the programme closes on a bright note and I like your ‘theme’ for the programme; a most enjoyable experience; thank you.

The band were very pleased to come in the top 3, and were especially chuffed for Martin when he collected his soloist prize. Many thanks goes to our helpers for the contest, being Dougie Blackford on soprano, Richard Slyman on flugal horn, Sue Hollick on 2nd horn, and Jon Ireland as compere.

Well done to everyone, especially Martin!


SCABA Spring Contest - Sunday 6th April 2008

For the first time since 2002 the band entered their local contest, being the SCABA Spring contest held in the Hove Town Hall. After the thrilling success at the London & Southern Counties Regional Qualifying Contest, the band were hoping to reproduce some of that form locally. As the contests were so close date wise there was only 3 full weeks for rehearsals.

The band met up for an extra Sunday lunchtime rehearsal at their normal rehearsal church, mainly to fine tune some parts of the test piece. It was then an easy walk / drive / bus trip down the road to Hove Town Hall. Unfortunately the draw meant the band had to hang around for 3 hours, but that allowed some to pop home for a bit of daytime TV!

With such a short rehearsal time since the National Qualifiers Mathew stressed that "we weren’t going to set the place on fire but we can be proud of the performance we put together and delivered on the day". This was indeed true as the band came 6th in the test piece and 4th in the march. There is still a lot to look forward to though. As well as the National Finals in September the band contest next at Crawley with renewed excitement and enthusiasm.

Here are the adjudicator's remarks from the day.

March - NFB
Good start, well balanced and rhythmic. Ensemble doesn’t always move together and it would be beneficial to expand your dynamic contrast/range. Be careful with balance make sure all parts are heard in the final section.
Test Piece - Symphony of Marches
Good start but I hear slips. Appropriate style evident. C – Melody could sing out more. In the loud sections cornets tend to overcook. F – Not balanced. G – Could be lighter in style. L – Not all parts heard and some untuneful playing evident
Grave: Good ‘pp’ but not balanced. Troms/Euph/bass not together 4 before C. C – This is effective. Well done sop. Tuning not good troms before E. F – This is persuasive. H – Pleasing sounds heard, balanced and together with nice contrast at end.
Brioso: Too loud but very good style, rhythmic and dainty. C – controlled and rhythmic. F – don’t rush the quaver/2 semi-quaver rhythm and make more of the expression. J – Could be more ‘pesante’. L – Too loud. Well done euph. N – Tuning suffers here. O – doesn’t knit together well. Q – Lacks rhythm/pulse. R – Some very good sounds here. U – Lacks clarity rhythmically and at times overblown but leads to a fairly convincing conclusion

The final placings:

BAND, ORDER OF PLAY, MARCH Points & Position, TEST PIECE Points & Position
BAE Systems, 3, 184, 8, 190, 2
Betteshanger Welfare, 1, 185, 7, 184, 8
Brackley & District, 8, 190, 2, 187, 5
Brighton & Hove City, 4, 188, 4, 186, 6
Chichester City, W, W, W, W, W
Crystal Palace, 7, 191, 1, 185, 7
Fairlop Brass, 5, 187, 5, 191, 1
Friary Guildford, W, W, W, W, W
Thundersley Brass, 2, 186, 6, 189, 3
Uckfield Concert Brass, 6, 189, 3, 188, 4
Best Bass Section: Thundersley
Best Horn Section: BAE Systems
Best Tenor Trombone: Thundersley
Best Bass Trombone: BAE Systems
Conductor’s Prize: Kevin Jordan (Fairlop)

Mathew was pleased with the performance, thanking everybody with a drink at the bar. He especially thanked Dougie Blackford for covering soprano cornet, and gave a special well done to our 15-year-old percussionist Sam on surviving his first contest.


National Qualifying Contest - Sunday 16th March 2008

Another year, another trip to Stevenage for the London & Southern Counties Regional Qualifying Contest. But this year was to be slightly different! Although the night before no one was expecting to be so thrilled by the days proceedings! This is the contest where this year the top 3 bands are invited to play at the National Brass Band Finals in Harrogate during September.

Most of the band had an early morning Saturday, although some stayed at the nearby Holiday Inn Express to make sure they were bushy eyed for the 8.30am rehearsal. The band were drawn 12th out of 17 to play, and took to the stage at about 3pm. Fifteen minutes later we came off the stage feeling quite satisfied with our performance. Matthew thought it had been our best ever performance of the piece.

After a quick drink in the bar the band congregated in the hall for the results. We were in jubilant mood after it was announced that we had come 3rd. HARROGATE HERE WE COME ! After so much rehearsal and effort, that every player had put in over the last few months, it was a great pleasure to celebrate a marvellous achievement. A few more drinks (including a champagne laden trophy) was then consumed, with some members of the band staying for a second night in Stevenage (planned & unplanned !). The adjudicator's remarks were as follows.

The Dark Side of the Moon - Paul Lovatt-Cooper

Good start but intonation issues in melodic line. (A) Tempo is always steady & heading into (B). (B) at times the accomp lose the light rhythmic feel, troms generally do well apart from the occasional slip with intonation. (E) Good sounds evident, the music has rhythm. (H) Well done sop. (I) Not always rhythmically secure.
(J) Some untuneful playing. (K) This is not secure. The music needs to be peaceful in style / very legato. (N) Sololist plays welland band accompany well with a sense of balance. (O) Bass does not always play in time or together. Generally the cornet pattern is well handled. (P) Sololists do well but not without slips , lovely cres into (R). (R) Great sounds heard, so well balanced and well shaped . (S) Good contrast in dynamic. Effective percussion into 'fff'.
(T) Tentative at times. Excellent cornet dynamic. Not secure tempo rise into (V). (W) Cornets are forcing the sound but the music moves along well. (Z) Could be more broad, cornets / trom / bass. (BB) Not always rhythmically secure. (CC) Some harsh sounds evident. Good final sound.
A good performance with many fine points but spoiled by points noted above. Letter (R) was really good. Some over blowing heard today. Sololists do well as do percussion.

Full Results

1. Littleport Brass, N. Bramley, 14, 183 (Q)
2. Hangleton, M. Pollard, 4, 182 (Q)
3. Brighton & Hove City Brass, M. Hackett, 12, 181 (Q)
4. Stantonbury Brass, A. Jenkin, 7, 180
5. St. Sebastian Wokingham, A. Porter, 13, 179
6. Uckfield Concert Brass, S. McIntyre, 5, 178
7. Waterbeach Brass, J. Utting, 1, 177
8. Woodbridge Excelsior, A. Duguid, 2, 176
9. Hitchin Town, M. Hurrell, 11, 175
10. Fulham, S. Jones, 16, 174
11. Croydon Brass, P. Martin, 3, 173
12. Hungerford Town, T. Crouter, 8, 172
13. Chalgrove, M. Pegram, 10, 171
14. BAE Systems, K. Woodger, 6, 170
15. L.G.B. Brass, I. Stewart, 9, 169
16. Great Yarmouth Brass, S. Philpot, 15, 168
17. E.P.B., I. Mitchell, 17, 167

This result means that we will be playing at the National Finals in Harrogate at the end of September. Our congratulations also extend to Hangleton band who have also qualified in 2nd place. This means that (as far as I can remember !) for the first time there will be 2 bands from Brighton at the national finals!

We are now lying 1st in the provisional grading tables for next year's contest, with Hangleton and Uckfield joint 2nd. Therefore with a good result (or a first at the finals) we could be back up in the 2nd section again. We must thank Jon Ireland for helping us out on percussion (especially happy as he and Dave got a mention in the adjudicator's comments !), Graeme Cornish on Soprano Cornet, and to Helen Cleall for signing up with us & playing 3rd Cornet on the day.

Latest tweet