What a month, indeed! I have had exam successes, band contest succeses and new pupils. City of Bristol Brass Band have been preparing for two contests held last month, one in Ross, for the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association, and the other in Loughborough, for the Leicestershire Brass Band Association. The piece chosen for both own-choice contests was Bruce Broughton's California Legend, a challenging piece from the start! Both contests were well-fought against some decent bands but in the end City of Bristol were successful in both contest, being placed first by two different adjudicators.
The Band's Christmas concert was a great success, too with pieces from our Wychavon programme to James Bond to the odd Christmas piece or two! The Learner Band performed very well too and the final item with the combined bands was superb!
I have just received news that my 3 candidates who sat their ABRSM exams last week have all passed, two with a merit! This is really pleasing for everyone, especially as one was not feeling so well and indeed was off school the previous day!
And finallly I look forward to seeing some new pupils next term, both in schools and privately.
So, it's half term here in Gloucestershire... but not anywhere else, apparently. Good for those here - all holidays are "low season"; except I have to work. The independent schools where I'm employed are with the rest of the country with their half term next week, so tomorrow I will be back at work!
I thoroughly enjoyed the concert last Friday. Wotton Training Band's first concert without the main band was a huge success. The band played really well under Diane's baton and the audience (hopefully) learned a thing or two about some of the pieces and their composers.
The concert did lead to an invitation to help out at the main band's Poppy Proms concert on Saturday, held in Lister's Hall, Dursley (for details see their website).
I am really looking forward to next month's contests with the City of Bristol Band. We have signed some new players and only need a cornet player now. With really good odds for the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association and reasonable odds for the Leicestershire Brass Band Association (looking at the competing bands, I hagree that one will be some contest!), I am thoroughly enjoying our testpiece (and the march for the GBBA) and can't wait to put it on stage.
It was great to meet Angus and Flora last week. They came along for their first lesson with me and seemed to enjoy themselves. They are both established players and could be very fine musicians. At least Angus came back today! (Flora was on a school trip, so I'll let her off this week!)
I have also had an email today with the potential of a new school. I hope to hear back from them this week to see if we can work together, but I really hope this will be a success.
I have been invited to help out with Wotton Training Band next week (as a player). It so great to see a thriving training band, giving access to music making for children and even better to know that most of the band are my students! They are performing at St. James the Great Church, Dursley, on Friday, 19th October. Details can be found on Wotton Band's website.
I finally have the bulk of my exam results through and I am really pleased to see that everyone has passed, with one pass, three merits and two distinctions! It is really encouraging to see so many students who want to do exams and succeed. I am still waiting to hear the results from 3 exams, but I would hope not to have to wait too long.
As for my ears, well, they are not entirely recovered but at least I can hear out of both of them, even if I have to pop them every now and again!
I had a very successful day last Saturday: July 7th saw the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association's 75th Anniversary Celebrations at Highnam Court, Gloucester, and I was fortunate enough to play with 3 of the 20 bands performing that day. All on trombone! I have never been to Highnam Court and played euphonium yet, in 3 visits and with 4 bands! I am really looking forard to hearing the CD of the day which is being produced at the moment.
I may yet have another opportunity to play trombone with Portishead Band in the Pershore Midsummer Brass event on 21st July. I am actually really enjoying it at the moment and I think if ever the opportunity arises in City of Bristol, I might make it a permanent thing.
I have been to visit a school in Cirencester in which I will start teaching from September. Having finished teaching at two schools (where the pupils have moved on to secondary school), it is really comforting to know that there are other opportunities for me.
After a really successful concert on Saturday with the City of Bristol Brass Band, I went back to work on Monday with a bit of a bump. I have been coughing for a couple of weeks but then yesterday I suffered hearing loss in my left ear. I visited my GP this morning: it turns out I have both chest and ear infections! I now (temporarily) have an inhaler and some antibiotics to take. I hope this is gone before the end of the week.
I have been asked to take City of Bristol's Learner Band at a Jubilee celebration at the weekend. I have worked with them before as a performer, playing in a contest and have I have taken a rehearsal too, but this will be my first outing with them with me behind the stick. We are playing on Sunday, 27th May, at St. Bonaventure's School (where the bandroom is: details on the Band's website). Let's hope I can breathe and hear by then!