The Youth Band attended the South West Brass Band Association Championships held at Torquay on Saturday November 5th. Well they certainly set off a few musical fireworks!! This had been the first out off county “bus trip” contest for the Youth Band since it was reformed in 2010 and the young musicians, ranging in ages from 6 to 15 were certainly excited to say the least!! Some of the under 20’s from the Senior Band also played with them to lend a bit of experience along with the allowed 2 adult players Luke Bazeley on BBb Bass and Colin Whitford on Bass Trombone. They played an “own choice” test piece “English Folk Songs Suite” by Ralph Vaughn Williams and arranged by Frank Wright. There was some truly fantastic playing by the young players, and the outstanding performance earned them an excellent 2nd place, just being pipped by the youngsters of St. Keverne.
However, our Youth Band’s Principal Cornet, Holly Sargent, came away with the best instrumentalist prize for the second contest in a row this year!! Some maid!!
Not only did they play well but their conduct and behavior was absolutely exemplary, they are a credit to St. Dennis and we are so very proud of them and their trainer Rachael Sargent. We would also like to thank all of the parent helpers, tutors and committee members who worked hard to make the day run so smoothly.
Read more about it, see the pictures, and “like” the band at www.facebook.com/stdennisband
The Band were honoured to perform in Poundbury (Dorset) on Thursday for an appointment with Her Majesty the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Having received this special invitation a few weeks ago to perform the National Anthem for the unveiling of a new iconic statue of the late Queen Mother, the band members had been very excited in the weeks leading up to the event, with no fewer than 35 concert works to prepare.
The Band and Musical Director Darren Hawken entertaining the crowds in Poundbury
Starting shortly after 9am, the band performed in the Queen Mother Square entertaining the thousands of people who lined the streets for the momentous occasion whilst they awaited the Royals to arrive. A number of items were then performed whilst Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh completed their guided tour of Prince Charles’ latest phase of development.
The highlight of the day had to be performing the National Anthem whilst Her Majesty unveiled the bronze statue of her late mother. The performance really showed how proud the band were to have played a part in this historic event. One that will certainly be remembered by our musicians.
The St.Dennis Band are delighted to announce the signing of two cornet players.
Firstly, Amy Davenport joins us from St.Austell Band and Becki Richards signs from Mount Charles Band thus completing the much strengthened cornet section. Both key additions to the band are hugely welcomed whilst bringing with them a huge wealth of experience and talent. Following on from a memorable and outstanding year on the concert and contest platforms, this is yet another real boost to the band going into 2017. Musical Director Darren Hawken commented,
I’m thrilled and delighted that both players are on board and have in turn bought in to the direction, tradition and the philosophy of this fine band. I see both core signings as fundamental to the continued success going forward in order for us to compete strongly back in the Championship Section from January 2017. The band are ready, I’m more than ready and everyone is relishing the opportunity to progress and develop together even further.
The 2016 St Dennis Band Solo and Quartet Contest takes place at St Dennis Primary Academy on 26th November 2016.
Our adjudicator this year will be John Maines (BA Hons).
To download an entry form, please click here
To view the class list and details, please click here
The band were delighted to be crowned First Section Champions at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain which were held at The Centaur (Cheltenham Racecourse) over the weekend. The band gave an extremely musical and precise performance of the set test piece “Ballet for Band” by Joseph Horovitz.
Adjudicators John Maines and Alan Morrison remarked that it was a fine performance and masterful reading that captured the spirit of the music and painted so many pictures.
This victory also sees the band return to the Championship section from January 2017.
A big thank you must go to our Musical Director, Darren Hawken, for the countless hours spent working up this fine test piece. Darren commented “This victory has capped off a great contesting year, one that will be remembered for a long time.”
This hard work coupled with a weekend workshop with Philip Harper played a big part in the bands success.
It has been an extremely successful year for St Dennis. Out of the 4 contests entered this year, the band have come away with 3 wins and also a top 10 placing at the Spring Festival contest in Blackpool.
Test Piece: Ballet for Band (Joseph Horovitz)
Adjudicators: John Maines & Alan Morrison
1. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
2. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel)
3. Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)
4. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
5. Ebbw Valley (Gareth Ritter)
6. Jackfield Elcock Reisen (Simon Platford)
7. Bedworth (David Maplestone)
8. Brunel (John Winterflood)
9. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
10. Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)
11. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Nigel Seaman)
12. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
13. Bo’ness & Carriden (Charlie Farren)
14. Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Davies)
15. Tullis Russell Mills (Paul Kiernan)
16. Ripon City (Martin Hall)
17. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
Posted in Contests
Tagged with: National Finals
St Dennis Band took top honours last weekend at the 92nd West of England Bandsmens Festival with a performance described by adjudicator Michael Fowles as an incredibly musical performance which grasped the composers intentions of the piece.
The set test piece was the extremely popular “Variations on a Ninth” by Gilbert Vinter which showcased the bands rounded sound and slylistic soloists whilst allowing Musical Director Darren Hawken to musically shape the piece to provide the required character of each variation. The Band were awarded 1st place in the Championship section, receiving the Royal Trophy. This victory marked the 30th Royal Trophy win for the band since 1920.
The band also won the onstage march performance of O.R.B which was full of clarity and swagger! Kimberly Bazeley (Solo Euphonium) and Sarah Whitehead (Solo Horn) received individual soloist awards for their fine contributions to the performances, whilst Solo Baritone Terry Sleeman was awarded Best Player following his elegant and effortless cadenza.
As winners of the contest, St Dennis Band brought the 2016 contest to a close at 8pm in “The Square” performing Cornish Hymn “Great Soul”, “Deep Harmony” and March “Park Head” which was composed for the band by former Musical Director John Brush who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Musical Director Darren Hawken commented “I’m very proud of the players for playing so well, both musically and with a mature understanding of Vinter. It really was an authentic and classic Vinter performance and our determination and hard work paid off. The sharp and exquisite playing of the march ORB really set us on our way leaving no one in doubt that the band was playing magnificently well from the outset. Detailed, shaped and meticulous musicality adopting a full rich band tone really rewarded us on Saturday. 2016 has so far been a hugely successful contesting season with the band in golden form. We will do all we can to continue this trend at the National Finals representing Cornwall and I’m quietly optimistic that a big result there can cap a memorable year for us all at St Dennis Band.”
The St Dennis Youth Band gave an excellent performance of test piece “English Folk Songs Suite” by Ralph Vaughan Williams showing huge progression over the last 12 months under the Baton of Youth Band Musical Director Rachael Sargent. Principal Cornet Holly Sargent was awarded the prize for Best Cornet Player in the section. The Youth Band marched down to the contest field playing their signature march “Our Junior Band” which was composed for them by John Brush.
The St.Dennis Band are delighted to announce the signing of young cornet star Lia Teague. A member of the Cornwall Youth Brass Band for the past three years and a new addition to the National Children’s Band of Great Britain this coming July, Lia’s talent is shining through in abundance. Winning no less that 27 prizes at solo contests and music festivals last winter, a wonderful singer and an all round musician, Lia’s future looks incredibly bright. Her teachers have been Jeremy Wilcock, Darren Hendy and presently, Jane Whitehead.
Musical Director Darren Hawken commented, ‘I’m thrilled that Lia is joining the band. Personally, I consider Lia the most up and coming cornet player in the South West of England and her addition to the band will be most welcomed. I know the countless hours of devoted practice she does and indeed the weekly lessons she has signalling her drive, ambition and commitment to her music making. My ethos has always been to support the development of such promising young players as they are indeed, the future of the brass band movement. St.Dennis Band has the perfect balance of blend between talented youth and sheer experience and her development will be enhanced further by playing amongst such fine players with a band of this magnitude week in week out. I wish Lia the most happy of times with St.Dennis Band and hope she has many successful years with the band along the way’.
Lia will be joining the band on second cornet making her first contest appearance at the West of England Bandsmen’s Festival (Bugle) in June.
The band are currently working hard on ‘Music for Battle Creek’ in preparation for the British Open Spring Festival later this month before launching an attack on Bugle Contest playing ‘Variations on a Ninth’ in June. A very busy summer season is then upon the band before representing Cornwall at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in September.
Posted in Signings
Tagged with: Cornet
The St.Dennis Band (West of England First Section Champions 2016) would like to invite applications for a first class permanent tutti Solo Cornet player with effect from July 2016. This opportunity has arisen to complete our full line up in preparation for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in September. All expressions of interest are to be made to the Musical Director, Mr Darren Hawken. (07817504036 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
St Dennis Band are hosting a combined Reunion and Archive event at the Bandroom on the 23rd April, starting at 4pm.
Come along and reminisce with old friends about your old St Dennis Band days whilst exploring the vast amount of archive content that will be on show.
It is with great sadness that the band announces the passing of our much loved former Musical Director and Vice President John Brush. He was a great friend to us all and will be sadly missed.
The funeral will be held at the Penmount Crematorium on Thursday 31st March at 3.00pm. The Band and Committee extends its sincere condolences to all John’s family