Sunday, 18 December 2011

Xmas 2011

Cracking gig at Bamburgh Castle on Sat 17/12/2011.
Freezing night, and a chilly windy walk up to the castle.
Full house, band played well.

Superb mulled wine and mince pies at half time.

Not much feedback from the Audience to A's jokes, nor could I hear much singing, but they seemed to enjoy it.

Last gig of the year, so nice to finish with a good one.

Other outside gigs were Alnwick Lights Switch On 25/11/2011.....freezing night
Alnwick Xmas Mkt!! freezing day again

Ellington School Carol Concert...inside this time....appallingly bad jokes from the head!!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Ray's arrangement

I have today been accepted by an online publisher Safe Music
My brass quintet arrangement of Cat's Fugue by Scarlatti

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Three Rivers Fantasy on Sound Cloud

Mp3 of Three Rivers Fantasy (Tyne Tees TV opening music for many years) by Arthur Wilkinson rearranged for concert band.
Contains a medley of  many North Eastern tunes, including Bobby Shaftoe and Blaydon Races

Three Rivers Fantasy on Sound Cloud

Mp3 of Three Rivers Fantasy (Tyne Tees TV opening music for many years) by Arthur Wilkinson rearranged for concert band.
Contains a medley of  many North Eastern tunes, including Bobby Shaftoe and Blaydon Races

Monday, 10 October 2011

Busy Weekend 7 and 9 October 2011

Cracking concert on Saturday at Belford.

George conducting. me playing horn.

By gum, those trumpets are loud to sit in front of!!

Monday 9 Oct,smallish band  (15 player) played for Alnwick Playhouse fund raising played well and it seemed to go down well with the punters.

Enjoyed the glass (placky cup) of wine afterwards!!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Rehearsal 26/09/2011

Great fun playing horn last night.

George conducting, rehearsing the band for Belford Gig on 08/10/2011.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blog Views

Considering that the band and blog are based in the UK it is quite interesting that the number of blog views last week were:

United States
United Kingdom

and the total views so far since the blog started are:

United Kingdom
United States

The amazing power of the interweb!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Alnwick Symphonic Wind Ensemble 20/09/2011

Had a rehearsal in St Michaels Church,Alnwick.
Great acoustics!!

Started off with Mendelssohn Overture ..really impressive for a first play through.
Sounded good with the trumpet and euph/tbn and tuba.

Another rehearsal should crack it....if the woodwind practise the tricky middle bit.

R Strauss Serenade sounded really good..just about performance ready....but does need more horns to give it a fuller sound.

Wagner Siegfried Idyll....tried a little bit...not good...may put that one on the back boiler until we have cracked the other 4.(it will take more work)

Finished off with some Mozart and Dvorak....both desperately missing the double bass.

BUT in total, a good nights rehearsal.

Mostly sounded very good.

Well done guys/gals!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rehearsal 19/09/2011

Back to band after a week off.
Tried out some new stuff...

Carole King....sounded good on the first play through.

Dug out Barnum which we last tried about 5 years ago...
last time we couldn't play it, this time it sounded reasonable and we got through it...the standard has improved....despite the fact it's a rubbish print from a Holland numbers on parts don't tie up, 1st/2nd time bars missed off etc.etc.

Porgy and Bess much better this second time through.

Gilbert and Sullivan medley....getting there, but I couldn't stand rehearsing it for too long!!

Decided to ask George to take the band next week as i'm away the week after, and  I will be back late for the gig.George will take the gig.

Played hn at the end in Malaguena...couldn't see George's beat from where I was sitting, so a bit of a nightmare...still I enjoyed it.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Band Members: a Milestone

Just spoken to Lorena.

We now have 40 members in the band, which is a figure we haven't been at for a long time.

Think we achieved that in the early years of the band, when we had a mixture of 50/50 adults/students.

We had students from both local schools and Newcastle schools--the students lived in the Alnwick area.

Who knows-we may get some more.

I feel the alto sax section is now complete,so we will have to start a waiting list for any one else who plays alto.

All other sections can absorb more members at the mo.

BTW there is still an alto clarinet sitting in the cupboard---any volunteers gratefully recd.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rehearsal 05/09/11

Good turnout for tonights rehearsal.

3 new band members : 1 adult and 2 girls from local school.
Good to get some young blood in the 4 young people.
Tried some of the new seemed to go well .

Pleasantly surprised with Porgy and Bess...tried this out a while ago...we couldn't get away with it...but tonight..we played through it and it was recognisable....good bit of music....we'll get there.

Tried out Big Fun in the Sun.....amazing how many people knew the words to Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!!!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

2010/2011 Review

Can't believe we're starting a new season next Monday, seems like we've never stopped.
Last 3 months have been really busy..
June 22--The big one. We played for her Maj.
3 Gigs in July including the 2 classical gigs
5 Gigs in August (+ trumpet fanfare)....good going

Classical ones were well received despite some peoples' misgivings, and I believe playing the classical stuff has improved the standard of musicianship in the band.
We certainly have improved and keep on improving...we are now sight reading stuff we couldn't have a while back.
So well done all of you for your hard work.
I know I don't always say that was brill...usually "that's not bad" but that's just me.(it often is pretty good)
I do appreciate your hard work.

We've had as usual some band changes: newbies, leavers and babies.(and a guest appearance Helen Carey)

Special thanks to:

Ron,George,Derek, for stepping in when needed, to cover any vacancies in varying sections of the band,and for anyone else who has played different music at gigs when we are short of people.

George for keeping the band going throughout August.

George and Ron for occasional depping for me.

The band exec for all their help and support both to me and to band stuff, behind the scenes.

Paul P for his photographic skills and web site management.

A special thanks to Lorena for her excellent sec skills in organising all the gigs we've does take an awful lot of work to get to that one page link on the band diary with all the stuff you need to know!!

Family and friends for their support.

and finally anybody else I may have missed out.


NB Your aims for this season....
I say it every year......

Expression Marks!!!!

Alnmouth Gig Bank Hol Monday Review

Brilliant not bad.even some sunshine.
Band played well..we all fitted under the tent!(there was only about twenty of us.)
Thanks to Ron for depping on tbn and Miranda for sight reading 3rd clart..well done.
Even Mama Mia was a sucess.

Tea and scones/cakes at half time..very tasty.

Nobody in the band won anything in the raffle...must be a first.

Paul P took a vid of Bandology which is now on you tube and also on the blog video page.

The organisers seemed to like us and want us back a good result.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Alnmouth Gig Bank Hol Monday

Looking forward to today's gig at St John the Baptist Church, Alnmouth at 1.45pm.

Weather looks Ok ish.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Alnmouth Gig Bank Hol Monday

Just building up nicely for a cool wet bank holiday Monday.

Just the job, playing outside....chilly today (Sat), round about 13 degrees it really August or mid November?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Queen's Visit 2011

The Official Video from the Royal Channel on you tube, showing the band playing as the Queen enters our area has been linked from our Band Video pages .

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Warkworth Show 20/08/11

Another cracking performance.

Gorgeous day, the sun shone.....our first gig in ages in Sunshine.
Mr Hogg's first appearance at a summer gig this year.

Bit blowy, so the magnets were put to full use.(and even some clothes pegs!!)
Miss Alice Paul mislaid her magnets, so a fine will be levied !!!

Sarah Elliot, on Alto (a newish band member), enters the hall of fame at no 10....for forgetting her magnets at the start of the second set.(not as bad as having to go off for music, but still worth a lowish entry on the chart)
Currently :

1. Glen Hogg: Music in Lagny Cathedral
2. Allan Jones: Music in Bedlington
10. Sarah Elliot: Magnets in Warkworth
25. Alice Paul: Magnets in Warkworth

Entry to the chart is arbitrary and entirely at my discretion!!

Any band member is eligible!

Biggest crowd in a long time, think they liked our choice of music.

First set started on time..followed by tea and carrot cake in the tent..Yummy!!

Magic Myrtle didn't turn up on time, so she started late...

Then we seemed to have hours and hours of kid's fancy dress.

Then loads and loads of highland and clog dancing...all looked the same to me!!

Eventually we started second set later than scheduled, and we were told off for overrunning....because Magic Myrtle was ready to start........... (no comment necessary)

Finished with Instant Conc...

We had a varied selection of hats from ....George,Sheila and Paul.....maybe we need to adapt an official band hat!!
Any ideas?

Wilkinson's Shop Opening

Here is the full video of the opening ceremony.

Video once again by PedalBikerUK

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Alnwick Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Getting a good response for this.
Gig on 26/11/11

It's looking like a goer!!

At the mo we have 1.5 flutes,3 clarinets,1 oboe, 2 hns,bass,2 tpts,2 euphs and 1 tbn.

Still waiting for some replies.

Wilkinson's Shop Opening

4 of our trumpets: Glen,Ron,Richard and Kyla played a fanfare today at 9.00am for the opening of the new store in Alnwick (opposite Morrisons).

It went very well and sounded fantastic.
They did the band proud.

Some band members were there in support.

Video herewith:

and some photos of the event:

Thanks to Quentin F-B for the video and photos.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Alnwick Symphonic Winds

Decided to try and get together a classical concert with all the offshoot groups form the  band.

Aiming for 26/11/2011 in St Michaels Church Alnwick.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Chillingham Castle

Not a good day today.
We didn't play as well as have done in recent gigs....don't know why
Some errors in 1st half, gave the guys a pep talk ....improved.
2nd half..outside ..think we were too spread out.
Sounded thin.....haven't played outside as much this year..didn't have our usual oomph!!
Finished with Pirates...probably our worst ever performance of it.

Weather a bit iffy so did the first half inside and then decided to do 2nd half outside.
Rain kept off.

No food at half time, only tea and coffee.

Not much of an audience for us , or the stall holders either.
Don't know how well it was advertised.

3 photos taken on my mob uploaded.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Will this rain ever stop?

Hope it's going to clear up for our gig on Saturday at Chillingham..the forecast isn't very clever.

We haven't used the magnets properly yet...we need to test them out.

Watch this space.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cooncillorr Todd's Bash or "Who ate all the sarnies?"

Played at County Hall,Morpeth,Northumberland last night for chairman's dinner and guests.(Other council chairmen)

Another good night.

Nearly as many in the band as there were guests!
Bit of a squash, but we got there.
Thanks to Dekka and Ron for depping on Tuba and Tbn.

7.15 start....we can play quietly (well quietish!!)

First half we def kept the volume down...still need to get pp sounding pp.

Stopped at 8 whilst dinner was served and shown to an upstairs room full of council chauffeurs sitting round the one table eating our sarnies,and drinking our tea and coffee!
Not enough seats either.
Some muttering went on, A and I had words with the chairman's PA,the result being we got given some mini ice cream tubs...just the job.

It  was too hot. and we didn't get called back to play till 9.20...a long wait.

So we gave it some welly!!

Started quiet with H Potter, then hit them with Light Cav, Chicago,.Jersey Boys,Spam.

Played Instant as encore (following one request for more!!)

Got home 10.40, got out the Southern Comfort and watched the results of America's Got Talent.

Best part of the evening! :-)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

St Michaels Church:Alnwick Flower Festival 03/08/2011

Cracking gig last night.The band played well(once the chairs had been sorted out!!)
Slight mishap in the Floral Dance, which we played for the first time.I started it in 4/4 stopped it, and started it again in 4/4. Started too slow, eventually got it up to speed!!
Thanks to Dek for playing Euph.
Good to have adaptable players who can turn their hands to other instruments.

Good feedback from the punters.Well appreciated by the organisers

Strange unprepared speech from Alnwick's Town Mayor.

Mel's mum was delighted we'd played floral dance.

Apparently she had heard only good reports and feed back and they were all very pleased how the evening went.  The band made the evening go so well.
Mel's mum flower arrangement featuring the band Banner was excellent.Paul has taken some photos which should be on the web site soon.

A regular customer(who was on the door last night) of Pat's (the boss) came into her shop today and said it was the best thing she'd ever heard, and she felt moved to tears at two of the numbers.Very kind of her to come and say that.

Claire and I had a go at one guy who apparently runs the Music Festival web site.
He said it was the first he'd heard of us.
He is on their committee and we asked him to mention/remind them of our name at any future meetings.

We are the local band!!

I said we appear to have dropped out of the picture and explained that we had for many years opened the Music Festival's opening concert.(as well as playing outside at a weekend)
I was too late to catch the Mayor who is also Chairman of the Festival.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

New Page:Band Music

This will be a collection of links to stuff we have played or are currently playing, so that people can listen to a polished piece of music.

They are mostly you tube vids of other bands or Ray's music played on Sibelius software.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Vince Leaving Playhouse

Gave Vince a surprise leaving pressie or two,yesterday, inc band fleece, music stand and banner, so he's got no excuse now not to come and play.....apart from learning another note than G!!

Eight of us turned up and did the biz...caught him on the web site..

Band Web site

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Concert Band

Decided today I would have a break and take August off from rehearsals.

May make a guest appearance as a hornist from time to time, but no more conducting rehearsals for me in August.

Will still conduct for the gigs tho.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Monday, 18 July 2011

Band Rehearsal 18/07/11

Big Chris back on Euph tonight..

Tried some new stuff tonight (as well as old stuff)
Southfield...we like it!

Tried floral dance for the first time...eventually got the hang of it

Struggled with Children's March.....just a play through.....will try it September......

Think it'll be OK once people know it, and give it a chance.

Dvorak new world last movt...not a bad attempt the first time through...better the 2nd time, when I tried it a bit faster.....bit tricky and fast for the clarts!! Will work at it in September as well

Band Venues

According to Glen, we HAVE been to Rothbury and Wooler in the past.

The memory must be failing I guess,old age!!!

Venue page/map updated.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Bedlington Gig: my thoughts.......

Cracking played pretty really well despite being much reduced in numbers.
2 flutes,5clts,3 saxes,2 tpts,3hns,R on tbn,1 euph,bass and drums.

Really good audience...about 50 I think..they seemed to appreciate the mix of classical and modern
Despite the p...d down all afternoon.

Nice venue...good acoustics....would be good to play there again sometime.

4 o'clock start....maybe an idea for the future,if we're playing to an older audience?
Something to think about??

Many thanks to Katherine for stepping in to do the flute duet with Claire...very nice.
Pam had sunburn...
Thanks to Alice who got in touch with K for me and Claire for sorting it.

George did a good job as compere!!

The naughty step for Alison who had to go and fetch her baby clarinet for Hall of the Rocking King
and for big Al who didn't have any music for Instant Concert.

Well done the Horns....must be the first gig they've all got to.
P the band photographer took a snap to confirm it.

Food....tea and bikkies.....Ok for a wet afternoon

Today's Gig

Just in after a hectic studio jazz evening at the Playhouse.
Quick drink to relax, then tomorrow,no it's now today,we're off to Bedlington...our first ever visit.
Looking forward to it....even though it's a 4.00 o'clock kick off.
Def a first for us.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Looking at the map, we haven't ever been over to Rothbury or Wooler.(We have done Thropton a few times and Alwinton last year)
We must try and rectify that in the future.

Band Venues

Updated with new page and more venues on it.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Why aren't I in any photos, i'm not that small

Page view per country as of today

United Kingdom
United States

Quite amazing how many views so far.

Band Videos

I have now set up links to all the band videos I know about (mostly courtesy of Q F-B )and the one of mine, so they are all available in one place, on a new blog video page.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Rehearsal 11/07/11

Good rehearsal despite low numbers...19 in total.

Dropped some stuff as they didn'twork, but the ones that did were pretty good.

Worked on Southfield a bit more.....light and shade....sounding good.

R on tbn....think I'll leave him there...less bother...and sack all the other tbns!! :-0
(just joking guys)
K only bottom ender....
Still sounding good

We couldn't have done that, and sounded so good, a few years back.

Looking forward to Bedlington's gig on Saturday.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lesbury Garden Party

Another cracking performance by the band.

Due to the weather we played in the church....superb acoustics.
Guest appearance of HC on trombone.

Played Solitaire at mp and mf......the first time ever. v good
(maybe all my bollocking has paid off)

Thought Grease was ex as well.

Half way through the first set the lights went out.....but the band played on......what a team.
I was proud of them all.

Once again, super grub...egg sarnies,cheese scones, a cup of tea and cream scones!!

We were a happy bunch!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Magnets arrived from Germany today.... so we'll have them for Lesbury's wet and windy gig!!
Only took Three days..ordered on Monday came on Wed.
Thomann..... excellent customer service.

Percy Grainger

Just discovered some of Percy Grainger's band arrangements.
seem to be pretty good...will have to get some.

Monday, 4 July 2011


Good crack tonight....

Tried Colonel Bogey... we can play quietly sometimes.

Must find the score for Tyne side Songs and rehash it...there's still bits I'm not happy with.

Horns  were a bit naughty tonight.....makes a change from the trombone section.


The stand magnets are on their way from Germany.....we might get them before Saturday's outside gig at Lesbury.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Horn Quartet

Just had our third get together.

Good stuff, especially the coffee, bikkies and jam tarts.

We love our grub ,in this band

Alnmouth St Johns Church 01/07/11

Our first ever classical gig....went really well.
Very pleased.....all our hard work paid off.

They seemed well chuffed with us and def want us for Aug Bank Hol fete.