Rochdale Brass Band Championships held on Sunday 21st October was a Five Section, Own Choice Contest.
Our chosen contest piece was Portrait of a City by Philip Sparke.
After weeks of rehearsal, the band left very early from the bandroom on the coach towards Rochdale.
It was a great day and a good performance.
Taking advantage of the coach, several members of the band stayed on in Rochdale for a bite to eat.
The contest at Kirkby Lonsdale was a new experience for some of our players, a return for other players and a regular event for the majority of players. The programme was appreciated by the audience and luckily the rain held off for us! This contest is always a favourite of the band.
The band always have an extremely busy summer with various local galas and community events. This year was no different. We saw an extreme in weather from melting in the heat at Preesall to getting soaked wet through at Fleetwood. This year we had a rather happy hurdle to overcome with local gala organisers in that England performed extremely well in the world cup. Thsi brough about last minute procession start time changes to ensure people had the chance to attend the gala AND watch England play.
We took part in the following communtiy events; Scorton Gala, Childrens Festival Gala, Catterall Gala, Caldervale Gala, Fleetwood Gala, Pilling Patronal, Eagland Hill Gala, Preesall Gala, Pilling Coffee Feast.
Described as 'the greatest free show on earth'. It is an event for every player regardless of ability or age. In our band we have a 16 year old and this will be his 2nd Whit March and we have a dep who has played for nearly 50 years and this will be his 1st Whit March and was delighted to have been asked to play.
It was an enjoyable event for the whole band. Our prepared contest march 'Cornish Cavalier' sounded good and was enjoyed by many.
Steve Hartley, MD, worked hard over the weeks leading up to the contest to get the band ready for the Whit Marches. We managed 6 venues so now with great results. As the contest starts in the afternoon, not all our players were able to get the time off work to take part. As is the case with many other bands across the country, we had the help and support of players from other local bands who were not entering the competition. Thank you to our deps who made it possible for us to be part of this event. All the bands in the area are always happy to help each other out and it’s great to have that support #teamwork #bandfam. We look forward to next year!
This is the first of our two visits to Happy Mount Park in Morecombe this summer. Steve Hartley, our MD, kept the audience involved and entertained, even though he had no sound system! It was a great concert and the comments from the audience were very positive.
The first Gala march of the season is Scorton. It was a beautiful day and great to see so many people supporting a community event. The procession of the Gala queens forms part of the Bikes and Barrows Festival and it makes for a very colourful display. After the crowning of the Rose Queen the band played a selection of pieces for the audience. There may well have been some sunburned faces by the end!
We had an excellent spring concert with almost £800 raised to be shared 50/50 with the band and Pilling Methodist Church. The audience really appreciated the programme that Steve Hartley had chosen and there were many lovely comments about the band and some of the individual players.
We played a variety of music including and arrangement of 'Hey Jude' which featured the horns and was very well received by the appreciative audience. In addition, it is not often that a bass player gets to feature in a solo but at our concert Steve had chosen 'Bass in the Ballroom' to showcase Morgan's talent. The audience loved it! Well done and congratulations to Morgan. The band always appreciate the community supporting is in our own fundraising events at concerts such as this.
The band played at a concert to raise funds for St John's Hospice. It was the first full concert under the baton of Steve Hartley and the programme he chose was varied and very much appreciated by the audience. There were some very positive comments afterwards and the organisers hope to book the band for future events.
Spring sees 2 important contests in our diaries; that of Brass at the Guild in Preston, this year on 28th January and Blackpool for the North West Areas on 25th February.. These were the first contests with Steve Hartley taking the leadley A great deal of work was put in band every single band member with Steve spending so many extra hours preparing the band. We performed very well and although we didn't bring home any trophies this time, it is obvious to us that we are at the start of a successfull journey with Steve Hartley as our MD.
I seem to have known Mike Hallett forever, but it was my brother Tom who, along with many other young players taught Mike to play a brass instrument on a Monday night learners class. Almost everyone Tom taught
began on cornet, it was soon obvious that young master Hallett was never going to play a small instrument, however in our archives we have a photograph of a very young Mike playing cornet @ Garstang Whit Monday. From those early days he played Tuba, Bass Trombone, Baritone and he served the Band as Treasurer for over 40 years. Mike & I shared a love of playing and also we had so many happy memories of building a new bandroom in 1985/87 and building a new road in 2016. He was "always there" saying "we have no spare money in the Bank" but he always had a safety net which seemed to appear on a regular basis.
Every Brass Band needs a Mike Hallett, Pilling Band have lost one of the best servants they will ever have.
Rest in Peace Mike, nothing will ever be quite the same without you,
Pilling Band are sad to report the death of one of its longest serving members, Mike Hallett. Mike joined the band in 1958 and has been a loyal servant ever since, being one of its most familiar faces, ever present at all engagements, irrespective of size or importance. He particularly enjoyed being part of an organisation that linked so strongly to community activities throughout the year, from the galas and park engagements in the summer to the street carols and carol services in the winter.
But Mike was far more than just a playing member of the band, he was instrumental (pun intended) to its success through the amount of work he put in behind the scenes as long-serving treasurer, and more recently, president, to keep things ticking over, and to improve the bands facilities as and when opportunities arose. Some of these things are obvious, and a lasting legacy to his work, such as his involvement in the building of the ‘new’ band room in 1987 or the application to the National Lottery for funding to resurface the car park and purchase some new instruments. Others are less obvious, such as the relationship he built up with Jigsaw Playgroup, who went on to share our facilities with us for many years, to the mutual benefit of both organisations. Mike’s favourite phrase was ‘leave it with me’, and with that, things inevitably got done!
My fondest memory of Mike relates to the annual Kirkby Lonsdale contest in which each band is adjudicated on a march down the main street and a concert performance in the village square. As any brass bander will tell you, the most important person on a march job is the person who stands front left, since they control the pace of the band. Go too fast or too slow and you will soon hear about it from your disgruntled colleagues as they reach for their inhalers or trip over their shoe laces! At Kirkby Lonsdale we always strike up with Death of Glory (which featured in the film Brassed Off) as we head off down the main street towards the village square. To this day, I don’t know how he did it, but Mike always used to get the pace just right, so we would arrive in the village square just as we played the last few notes of this piece of music, an impressive achievement few other bands could match. I sense this made him very proud…
Past and present members of Pilling Band, plus friends from Morecambe, Thornton, Poulton and Blackpool played at Mike’s funeral last month. It was an emotional experience. One of our former conductors present in the congregation later commented ‘why do brass bands always raise their game at funerals?’. The band certainly did play well, giving Mike the send-off that he truly deserved from an organisation to which he has given so much over the years.
Chairman, Pilling Band
Following a series of rehearsals and two Christmas Concerts, Steve Hartley has been appointed as Musical Director to the Pilling Jubilee Silver Band.
Speaking about the appointment during a recent interview, ‘I’m delighted to accept the band's invitation to take up the Baton as Conductor and Musical Director. I have worked with the band preparing the programme for the Christmas concerts, and I have been impressed with the commitment and work rate. I am looking forward to a happy and successful association.’
The band have recently competed at Brass at the Guild and the North West Area contests.
December was a particularly busy time for the band with a total of 13 engagements in addition to our usual rehearsals. We enjoy this time of the year covering as many local festive events as possible, Our engagements included several tree lighting events, various church carol services, a very special event at a local hospice, our annual Christmas concert and concluding our busy month with a heart warming visit to a number of local care homes.
We had an excellent concert at Great Eccleston WI.
The hall was full and everyone enjoyed the selection of music, with lots of foot tapping and plenty of smiles. Our guest conductor, Steve Simpson, kept everyone entertained with his stories and repartee so a big thank you to him. It was a very enjoyable evening!
Pilling Hymns ‘n’ Things - We are thrilled to tell you that we made a profit of £1,400 at the Hymns 'n' Things concert. This is a fantastic amount for a concert and we wish to thank everyone who helped in any way.
Kirkby Lonsdale Contest - We had a great day at Kirkby Lonsdale Contest yesterday. A lovely setting and fantastic weather. Good results too- Best Deportment (3 years running), Best Soloist, Best Hymn and 2nd overall (only 3 points between 1st and 2nd). Another grand day out!
Earlier June contesting took the band to one of our favourite contests circuits in the annual Whit Friday marches.
We won Best 3rd Section at Heyrod, Highest 3rd Section at Hurst, Best 3rd section at Mossley and Prize Draw at Denton. Great results! Congratulations to all bands who took part and a massive thank you to all the players who helped us out on the night.
Pilling - It was a cold summer proms evening but despite this it was a good turn out for the celebration of all things Pilling. It was an excellent concert by the band with the help of some very generous deps who along with band members all gave up their time to entertain. Our music was appreciated by all and we had some very positive comments walking back to the cars. I believe the raffle has made the band a substantial amount of funds through the generosity of local people, band members, friends and family. Well done to all who organised, attended and listened. (Thoughts of Lynn Preston, one of our players)
What a great time we had at Pilling Celebration Day. It was lovely to see families enjoying all the events, including our evening concert. Thanks to Joe for the bbq he did for band members and supporters, thanks to our deps who helped with the concert and thanks to the organisers for the event and all those who were there to help celebrate what is good about being part of a small community. It's not often we get to play in a curtainsider!
We had a have-a-go session at the Pilling Celebration day and it went very well. We were joined by adults and children, some who wanted to try brass and some who tried percussion. We had a lot of interest and are pleased with the response
Goosnargh Church - Our welcome at Goosnargh Church was just as warm on a Spring evening as it is on a cold, Winter one. The audience enjoyed the selection of pieces for a Last Night of the Proms programme and the refreshments were as good and varied as they always are. A great night was had by all! Thanks to our deps and supporters too!
Friday Night is Music - Our 'Friday Night is Music Night' was a great success. Thanks to The Elswick Singers for being our guests and for providing such an entertaining programme of songs. Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters for helping us to raise over £1600 to refurbish the band room. The audience gave generously to the collection for Macmillan Cancer Care and £525 was raised. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously of time, efforts and money. It is very much appreciated.
The band played 'Swing when you're winning' at last night's concert. A new piece for the band's repertoire and a winner with the audience.
Knott-End-On-Sea - Some of the band played at the Coffee Morning at St Bernard's on Saturday and had a very pleasant time playing to passers-by and to those who attended a very successful morning. Thanks to everyone involved for supporting the band.
Preston Guild - After a lot of hard work and several ups and downs, all Len Charnock's efforts with us paid off today and we were awarded 3rd place in the brass contest at the Guild in Preston. This is a good result and gives us a basis for moving forward to the next contest at Blackpool. Well done to everyone who took part.
Band Belated Xmas Social - December is always a busy time for the band so we have our Christmas meal and social evening in January. Last night the band members celebrated with friends and family at The Golden Ball in Pilling- we like to have our social here as, apart from the good food, we like to give our support to a local business in the community which gives us so much help. Thanks to Jen Ormerod for organising the evening and for the excellent quiz- it certainly got us thinking. It was great to relax and enjoy the company of our friends and fellow band members.