Report: Patrons Concert and Awards Evening

On Sunday 2nd April the band held its annual “Patrons Concert”. This is our free annual concert for the supporters of the band and the people of the St. Dennis area. This year the concert programme consisted of many works performed by both the Junior and Senior Bands. It is at this concert every year that the band gives its annual awards, and this year they were presented by the Chairman, Rodney Richards, as follows:

Most improved Junior Band Player (awarded by Rachael Sargent) – Jodie Bragg, Soprano.

Player of the Year, Youth Band (awarded by Rachael Sargent) – Holly Sargent, Cornet.

Player of the Year, Senior Band (awarded by Darren Hawken) – Nigel Chadd, Percussion.

Young Player of the Year, Senior Band (awarded by Darren Hawken) – Becca Whitford, Horn. 

Player’s Player of the Year (voted for by the band members) – Becca Whitford, Horn

The Jenny Richards Memorial Trophy and Bursary Award, for a young player showing all-round achievement and contribution to the whole organisation was this year awarded by Darren Hawken to Senior Band Cornet Player, Lia Teague, who is also an active member of the Cornwall Youth and National Children’s Brass Bands!

The Chairman’s Special Award – this is an award donated by Rodney & Ann Richards for someone giving an outstanding contribution, in any way, to the organisation. The recipient of this special award this year was the band’s longstanding “Bar Steward”, Mike Hancock. Mike works tirelessly for the band putting in many hours behind the scenes, not just behind the bar or looking after the bandroom but in countless other invaluable ways – never complaining and always ready to help everybody. It is for these reasons that the chairman, Rodney Richards, chose him for the award – a very popular and deserved winner.

The evening was extra special because Sally & Kevin Julian, the parents of our Soprano Cornet Player Andrew, were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary – congratulations to them both!

We are also very proud of our Junior Band members Eva, Rachael and Violet Margetts who had entered their respective brass classes of the recent County Music Festival and won them all!! – Well done to them!

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Young talent added to Percussion team

Further to the recent addition of John Mitchell to the percussion team. St Dennis Band are pleased to announce the signing of Joseph Broughton.

Joseph began playing the drums aged 5 in January 2009 and shortly after relocating to Cornwall, Joseph joined St Austell Youth Band in January 2014 under the Direction of Mark Arnold. Mark taught Joseph to play the timps and be an all round percussionist. At the end of his first year with St Austell Youth he won The Most Promising Player award. Joseph’s highlight with St Austell Youth Band was winning the Youth Section at Bugle in June 2015.

In May 2015 Joseph joined Indian Queens, again under Musical Director Mark Arnold and rose to the challenge of playing in a senior band. Within his first few months at Indian Queens, Joseph played in his first competition at Exmouth where Indian Queens won the best percussion section on the day – across all section bands who played at the competition. This was a great highlight of Joseph’s time at Indian Queens.

Joseph has been a member of the Cornwall Youth Wind Orchestra (CYWO) percussion section since September 2015. He throughly enjoys the monthly rehearsals and a highlight of his first year with CYWO was the trip to the Isles of Scilly to take part in a performance and workshops with school children.

Since joining Penrice Academy in 2015 Joseph has joined the school orchestra playing in school productions and local events and has recently chosen Music an an option to take on to GCSE and in March 2017 passed his London College of Music grade 6 drum kit exam with distinction.

Joseph is looking forward to the busy year ahead with St Dennis Band.

Mitchell joins the St Dennis Percussion Team

The St.Dennis Band are delighted to announce the immediate signing of Mr John Mitchell. An outstanding, vastly experienced and hugely talented percussionist, John will be a massive addition to the band. Professional Musical Director Mr Darren R. Hawken commented:

I’m absolutely thrilled that John is signing in time for the West of England Regionals. I’ve known John for some time and he is without doubt one of the finest percussionists not just here in the South West of England but throughout the UK. With many contests and high profile concerts diarised for 2017 and beyond, his addition will now allow us to explore different contemporary repertoire for the brass band idiom and thus, continuing the development of this fine band.

John studied Percussion and Timpani at Trinity College of Music whilst performing with the Aveley and Newham, Britannia Building Society and Black Dyke Mills brass bands.  After graduating from TCM, John performed professionally with the English National Ballet & Opera Orchestra, Royal National Theatre, Bournemouth Sinfionetta, London West End musicals (Miss Saigon, Blood Brothers), the pop artist Bjork and the band Faithless. Whilst performing within London, John also held teaching positions with the Kent Music School and Kent College Canterbury.

In 2008, John was appointed by the London College of Music to work as a specialist Drum Kit and Orchestral Percussion examiner for LCM graded music examinations and diplomas.  His compositions for percussion have been selected and published by the London College of Music for their 2009 percussion and drum kit syllabus as well as the new LCM drum kit diploma syllabus being released in 2017.

Since returning to Cornwall to live John divides his full time teaching commitments between teaching Drums and Percussion within county secondary schools and classroom music teaching at Redruth School and Sixth Form.

John still performs regularly as a professional percussionist throughout the UK, he currently plays full time with the 1940’s American jump jive band Company B and regularly works on resident and touring shows at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Hall for Cornwall.

His qualifications in percussion performance and teaching include: GTCL, ALCM, LLCM, FLCM, PGCE.

I am extremely pleased and excited to have been asked by Darren to play for St Dennis Band, its a Brass Band with an incredible heritage and to be part of that is a great honour indeed – John Mitchell

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St Dennis Band 2017 Annual General Meeting – January 24th

St Dennis Band invites you to attend its Annual General Meeting which will be held at St Dennis Bandroom, Park Head, Hendra Rd, St Dennis on Tuesday 24th January starting at 7:30pm

4BR 2016 Awards – Double nomination for St Dennis

Online Brass Band Magazine 4BarsRest have today announced nominations for their annual awards.

The Band are delighted to have been nominated by 4bBarsRest for two categories. Firstly a nomination for “Lower section band of the year” and secondly for “Contest performance of the year”. The bands’ winning performance of “Essay” by Edward Gregson back in March is up against 9 other “Stand out” performances from other top Brass Bands worldwide. It was a performance that was cited as being an outstanding top-drawer rendition which led the band on to win the National Finals title in Cheltenham later in 2016.

Contest Performance of the Year:

Brass Band Buizingen (Belgian National Championship — ‘Raveling, Unraveling’)
Brass Band Schoonhoven (Dutch National Championship — ‘The Triumph of Time’)
Cory (European Championship — ‘Fraternity’)
Cory (British Open — ‘The Triumph of Time’)
Cory (Brass in Concert)
Eikanger Bjorsvik (Norwegian National Championship — ‘Searching for Light’)
St Dennis (West of England Regional Championship — ‘Essay’)
Tredegar (Welsh Regional Championship — ‘Cambridge Variations’)
Valaisia (Swiss National Championship — ‘Goldberg 2012’)
Valaisia (European Championship Own Choice — ‘Trance’)

The 10 ‘stand out’ contest performances of the year — the ones that set the bench mark. ~ 4BarsRest

Lower Section Band of the Year:

Brass Band Sachsen (Germany)
De Spijkerpakkenband (Netherlands)
European Youth Band
Fountain City Youth Band (USA)
Morawa District High School Brass Band (Australia)
St Dennis (England)
Tertnes Skoles Musikkorps (Norway)
Wardle Junior Blast (England)
Youth Brass 2000 (England)
Young Brass Band Willebroek (Belgium)

As with the Band of the Year category, these are the 10 bands have been chosen not just for their contest achievements during the past year, but also for their artistic ones — from concert performances and tours to recordings, projects, and even simply being an inspiration to others. ~ 4Barsrest

The nominations will now be considered by a panel of 11 Judges, with the winners being announced on Christmas Day.

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St Dennis Band Solo & Quartet Contest 2016 Results

The St Dennis Band’s Solo & Quartet Contest took place on Saturday 26th November 2016.  First time Venue in the St Dennis Working’s Men’s Club was a resounding success.  The Committee and Band would like to thank the Club for their assistance and last minute acceptance as the Venue for this year, it was very much appreciated.  The Adjudicator was Mr John Maines who said it was a very musical day with excellent playing from the Young People and the older classes.  He also mentioned it was very important to keep the solo and quartet contest’s taking place each year to help the youngsters to progress and help the Brass Band’s  players for the future generation.  Thank you to the Accompanist’s Mrs Ann Fleet and Miss Hannah Hawkin who are there for the Competitors year after year.  Thank you goes to the hard work of arranging food, raffles and advertisements from members of the St Dennis Band Committee.

The results were as follows:-

Results 2016

Learners Class

1st –   Lewis Griffin – St Dennis Youth

2nd  – Eva Margetts

Class 1 – 9 years and under

1st – Jasmine Njoh – St Dennis Youth

2nd – Lily Njoh -St Dennis Youth

Joint 3rd – Aime Anderston – Indian Queens &  Freya Yelland – St Dennis Youth

Class 2 – 12 years and under

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

2nd – Sowenna Trethewey – St Dennis Youth

3rd  – Violet Margetts – St Dennis Youth

Class 3 – 15 years and under

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

2nd – Ellie Joy – St Dennis Band

3rd – Grace Thomas – St Austell Band

Class 4 – 18 years and under

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

2nd Grace Thomas – St Austell Band

3rd – Ellie Joy – St Dennis Band

Class 5 – Junior Aire Varie – 18 years and under

1st – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

2nd – Becca Whitford – St Dennis Band

Class 6 – Junior Duet – 18 years and under

1st – Ellie Joy & Becca Whitford – St Dennis Band

Class 8 – Open Slow Melody

1st – Ben Stratford – Flowers Band

2nd – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

3rd – Grace Thomas – St Austell Band

Class 9 – Open Aire Varie

1st – Ben Stratford – Flowers Band

2nd  – Lia Teague – St Dennis Band

3rd – George Stratford – Forest of Dean

Class 10 – Open Duet

1st – Terry Sleeman – St Dennis Band & Ben Stratford – Flowers Band

2nd – Ellie Joy & Andrew Hammett – St Dennis Band

Class 11 – Open Quartet

1st – St Dennis Quartet

2nd – St Dennis Trombones

Class 12 – Ensemble

Volunteer  Players of the day for combined Ensemble


Youngest Player – Learner Class – Eva Margetts – St Dennis Youth

Youngest Player – Class 1 – Rachel Margetts – St Dennis Youth

Most Promising Player – Classes 1 to 5 – Ben Tucker – Soundhouse Brass

Best Cornet/Soprano – Lia Teague

Best Euphonium/Baritone – Ben Stratford – Flowers

Best Flugel/Horn – Ellie Joy – St Dennis Band

Best Bass – George Stratford – Forest of Dean

Best Trombone – Andrew Hammett – St Dennis Band

Most Entertaining Performance – Terry Sleeman & Ben Stratford

Most Outstanding Performance of the Day – Ben Stratford – Flowers


Veterans Cup – Terry Sleeman – St Dennis Band

(In memory of Denzil Boundy – Indian Queens Band –   Bass Player – who attended the contest over the years to encourage the Young Players)

Visiting Band with the most entries – St Austell Band

SWBBA Contest Report – St Dennis Youth Band

The Youth Band attended the South W14925586_710931782397739_7975403122909059813_nest 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

St Dennis Band perform for Royal event in Poundbury Dorset

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.

Poundbury Dorset Queen Mother Square

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.


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New Cornet signings

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.

St Dennis Band Solo & Quartet Contest 2016

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

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