On Friday, we set off at 8am from Sandbach Common. This was the start of tour 2017!
The coach was filled with excitement as we started our trip to North Wales.
When we arrived, some of the boys decided to play football. However, this didn’t turn out to be the best idea ever! Yes, just an hour after we arrived Jakob fell over and broke his wrist. Despite this the boys decided to carry on playing anyway.
After the eventful game of football, Nigel called us through for a rehearsal in the main room. At the end of the rehearsal Emily, our Flugel Horn player, was surprised with not one, not two, but three birthday cakes.
As we packed the kit away Jakob returned from the hospital with his arm in a plaster cast.
Then the nightmare of setting up the bedding kicked in! Like a giant jigsaw we crammed 41 band members, plus adults, into the room. Nigel, Brian and Derek were spoilt with five star luxury (aka a bed) in their own wing of the building.
Later on we had our opening concert at Llandudno Town Hall. Emily was surprised again by the band playing Happy Birthday!
We presented Martin from Llandudno Lions with one of our commemorative bannerette to round of day one of Lions Youth Brass on tour!
– Craig & Bethany
Tour 2017: Day 1
Lions Beginner Band are delighted to announce the appointment of three Youth Band members to the position of Mentors within the Beginners.
These new roles will see Hannah Taylor (cornet), Abbie Webb (horn) and Daya Gill (euphonium) (all former LBB members) perform with the Beginners in all their concert engagements throughout the year.
We are looking forward to seeing them work with the band and are sure that their enthusiasm, drive and ability will play a key role in helping to boost the confidence of our youngest members when they are on stage.
Creoso (that’s welcome in Welsh), Lions Youth Band will embark on a tour of north Wales next week (21st – 27th July) and full details of the concert schedule has been released.
The details are:
Friday, 21st July
Llandudno Town Hall
Concert starts: 8pm
Saturday, 22nd July
Fron Goch Garden Centre
Saturday, 22nd July
Trelawyn Memorial Hall
Concert Starts: 7.30pm
Sunday, 23rd July
Sunday, 23rd July
Mold Church Hall, CH7 1LH
Monday, 24th July
Tuesday, 25th July
Wednesday, 26th July
Bodnant Welsh Food Centre
Start: Late morning
Wednesday, 26th July
Gloddeath Church Llandudno
Thursday, 27th July
St Oswald’s Church, Oswestry
Thursday, 27th July
End of Tour Concert, Sandbach High School
The audience was blown away on Saturday (15th July) as all three bands played at the 27th annual Macclesfield and District Lions Club musical concert.
As well as some fine performances for the bands a number of the young players picked up awards, including an eight-year award for a 13-year-old!
The evening started with a dance as Chris and the Beginner Band started with the toe-tapping Tango Time before featuring the young trombone section in Slippin’ ‘N’ Slidin’.
The next to feature was the horn section in Country Rock before the Beginners completed their set with Highland Cathedral. The audience wanted more and were duly rewarded with The Mickey Mouse Club March, which was debuted at the Awards Concert the week before.
Chris gave out one award, to Dominic McLaren, who won “Cool Crotchet” meaning he took Jeff, the Beginners’ mascot home for the summer.
Up next were the Juniors who started with a True and Trusty performance before playing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida and the Latin Fiesta. Then followed a more traditional Cornish Pastyche and the fab four’s Hey Jude.
Tom gave out two five-year awards, to Thomas Bishop and Nancy Fletcher, as well as a Most Improved Player accolade to Adam Dinnis.
Rounding off the evening it was time for Nigel and the Youth Band, who started with Music Man before Til There Was You, a solo from principal cornet Tash.
The evening then took a pop twist with Singin’ in the Rain, Make You Feel my Love, and Sway – one for the Michael Buble fans!
The Youth Band finished with I Will Follow Him, which featured the trombone section, followed by The Conquest of Paradise.
Nigel gave out a number of awards, including a five-year to cornet player Bethany Harby, and eight-years to Melissa Goodchild, Leanne Smith, Rosie Daracott-Grey, Cerys Smedley (who joined the band aged five!). Trombonist Emma Drew picked up a Most Improved Player award.
The next day a depleted Youth Band, which had 14 players missing, performed at the incredibly sunny Chester bandstand.
Included in the pieces was Make You Feel My Love, which traditionally features eight back-row cornets. Due to a number of absences there were only three able to make the Chester trip but nonetheless they did a fantastic job.
Other pieces included Til There Was You, a solo by principal cornet Tash, I Wanna Be Like You, by bass trombonist Callum Seddon, and I Will Follow Him, featuring the trombone section. In true tour spirit – which is less than a week away – the band ended with the Can Can, a Lions favourite!
And, of course, a sunny trip to Chester would have never been complete without stopping for an ice-cream!
Kings School, Macclesfield – 15 July 2017
Forget about the Brits, or the Grammy’s, it was time for the most important awards night of the year on Tuesday night – the prestigious Lions Youth Brass Awards.
The judges had scratched their heads, deliberated, and managed to whittle down their shortlists before announcing the final winners at Ruskin Community High School, in Crewe.
Each band gave out awards to players they thought were showing potential, or going above and beyond what was expected of them.
Chris and the Beginners flew straight into things with the Batman theme tune before debuting two pieces; Slipping N’ Sliding featuring the magnificent Trombone section followed by a trip to Disney’s magical kingdom with The Mickey Mouse Club March.
But the main event is the awards presentation, and Chris gave out five accolades (and didn’t leave empty handed himself!), three of which are chosen with the help of Matt, Charlotte and Derek, one selected by secret ballot from the players, and one he chooses on his own.
The winners were:
- Bandsperson of the Year: Paddy Bloor
- Player of the Year: Oliver Livsey
- Pride Award: Verity Morris
- Players’ Player of the Year: Poppy McLaren
- Most Improved Player: Charlotte Shaw
After he had announced the award winners Chris was surprised by Nigel and members of the band, who had prepared a special gift for him as he is due to get married during the summer break. Congratulations Chris and Amy!
It was then time for Tom and the Junior Band to take to the stage. Their pieces included Cornish Pastiche, Fascinating Drums, and one of their favourites – La Bamba.
And onto the awards! Tom gave out five awards, of which three were chosen with the help of Steve, one was the band’s choice, and one he chose on his own.
The winners were:
- Bandsperson of the Year: Joe Marmont
- Player of the Year: Eliza Dakin
- Players’ Player of the Year: Leon Gill
- Most Improved Player: Lilly-Mae McLaren
- Most Improved Player: Ryan Snelson
And last but not least it was time for Nigel and the Youth band, as they prepare for their upcoming tour of North Wales. Pieces performed included Til There was You, Singing in the Rain, and Conquest of Paradise.
Nigel had six awards to give out while the Bandsperson of the Year will be announced at the End of Tour Concert, on Thursday, 28th July, at Sandbach High School.
The Youth band winners were:
- Player of the Year: Natasha Brett
- Most Improved Player: Rhys Woollam
- Most Improved Player: Abbie Webb
- Most Improved Player: Hannah Taylor
- Showing Promise: Emily Savage
- Showing Promise: Alana Scott
Two dedicated Lions, Andrew Beattie and Emily Gibson, received eight-year awards having committed more than half of their lives to the organisation.
While Will Brooks, Natasha Brett, Hannah Mills (Y), Craig Shaw, Ryan Snelson, Oliver Shervington, Eleanor Simpson, Adele Jones, Hannah Mills (J), and Maddie Dean were recognised for having committed five years to the band.
The next Lions concert is at The King’s School, Macclesfield, on Saturday (15th July), 7.30pm. The concert is a ticketed event but entry is free.
Awards Concert – 11 July 2017
Lions Youth Band struck a chord with the audience as the sun shone over the Costa del Congleton (as Chris elegantly put it).
The afternoon, courtesy of Congleton Lions Club, started with a strong performance from the Youth Band, with highlights including Crazy Little Thing Called Love, popularised by Queen, The Music Man from Sandy Smith, Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, and Velocity by Jonny Bates.
For three of Chris’s players, Harry, Max, and Dominic, Congleton was their first Lions concert and it definitely started with a ZAP! BANG! and POW! as the band belted out the Batman theme tune.
After a touch of the caped crusader, it was onto pieces including Monday Blues, Madrigal, Highland Cathedral, Tango Time, and Sand Between Your Toes. A big shout-out had to go to the young horn section, who were featured on a performance of Country Rock.
After the Beginners it was on to Tom and the Junior Band, who were playing their first performance since coming second at the Whiston Festival of Brass the week before.
The band’s performance included Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, the fab four’s Hey Jude, Scarborough Fair, and Daydream Believer.
Soloists included the principal cornet, Tash, who played Til There Was You and bass trombonist Callum, who took a trip to the jungle with I Wanna Be Like You.
The band ended with the Can Can, a real Lions favourite, but more of that will be revealed at the End of Tour Concert, on 27th July, 7pm, at Sandbach High School!
All three bands will next be in action at the Awards Concert, on Tuesday (11th July), at Ruskin High School, Crewe. The concert starts at 7pm
Congleton Park 2017
At 12pm on Saturday 1st July, our Junior band set off for Whiston!
Having arrived at approximately 2pm, the band made their way to the village hall for a quick rehearsal ready to blow the judges away, at the 6th Annual Whiston Festival of Brass.
After a strong performance from Shirland Training Band it was time for Lions to take to the stage – a stage that looked quite compact thanks to how many players turned up.
Their first piece struck a chord with the the audience as, in brass band tradition, they played the famous march True and Trusty.
The Juniors then managed to get the audience singing along with Viva La Vida, featuring the Lions Junior Brass choir, this got great comments from our judge! Scarborough Fair came next, arranged by our one and only Steve Barwick. This was performed with clarity and maturity, which was very hard with such an open stage.
Next it was time for our percussion section to step into the limelight with the very exciting, yet incredibly noisy, Fascinating Drums – you just couldn’t beat that performance!
The Juniors finished on a high note, featuring our very talented Horn section! This left the audience with a smile on their face and a spring in their step.
After all of the performances were finished we were delighted to hear that the Juniors had been awarded…
As we were all in such high spirits it was time for ice cream – thanks to Matt and Charlotte’s brilliant bartering the band scooped a great deal.
With full tummies and some very hyper youngsters, it was time to get the coach home.
I’d love to tell you that’s where our story ends…
Unfortunately, having not been on the road for 1 minute our trusty coach broke down.
All of the children stayed very calm, which made the adults job a lot easier. Our favourite quote of the day came from the back of the bus “Isn’t our driver nice, letting all of these cars past!”
After Jose had spent a good while trying to fix the coach, we quickly learnt that we were going to be here for some time.
The entire organisation would like the thank Rob, from the festival committee, for providing us with a fantastic room, food and drink, free of charge!
Seeing as we had a few hours to spare it was time for a spontaneous rehearsal! This involved using tables as music stands as well as a drum kit.
After a long four and a half hours had passed we received the call from Jose that our saviour had arrived!
Thankfully, despite the delays, the band were in good voice on the way home and we arrived in time to get up bright and early to play at The Weaver Stadium the following day.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us on Saturday, parents and committee members, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Whiston Festival Of Brass
Preparations for are our summer tour to North Wales are now in full swing!
Jane, Brian and Katie did their first food shop at the weekend, where I believe there were no Parma Violets harmed this year. The meat has been ordered ready for our roast dinner on Friday night, courtesy of Katie and Charlotte (that should be interesting.) And the tuck shop stock is filling up nicely, don’t forget your pennies!
All that’s left to do now is dust off those Can Can hats and put the final programmes together!
Now, where did I put my suitcase…?
Here are some pictures from last year to get you in the tour mood
There is lots of hard work going on in the Beginner band room at the moment as the band prepare for the summer concert season. New items are being prepared, to be performed alongside concert favourites such as ‘Batman’ when the band perform in several venues across Cheshire East in July.
Our ‘Cool Crotchet’ award is, as ever, hot contested, with several children having taken Jeff, the band mascot home for the week. Jeff always returns to band the following Tuesday having had a great time!