Our first Christmas Concert under the baton of Shaun Humphries opened with Cossack Sleigh Ride and was followed by a gorgeous arrangement by Barrie Gott of Silent Night, performed by our solo baritone player Nick Wilson. The Community Carols on the piazza yesterday acted as a great warm up for the people of Brackley who were in fine voice for the first of a number of audience carols. Stop the Cavalry and The Christmas Song were next before Christmas Bolero which showcased one of our guest players Katie Gardner on side drum. This is a clever arrangement which interweaves ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ with the well-known classical piece of music which will now forever be associated with Torville and Dean’s famous gold medal performance at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.

In the beautiful St Peter’s Church in Brackley the Band kicked off the evening’s concert and their first under the baton of Shaun Humphries with a rousing march, Castell Coch. This was followed by a jazzed-up arrangement of Here, There and Everywhere performed by our first soloist Steve Utley, who can also be heard performing with The Great Central Big Band, based at the Band Club in Brackley. Jesus Christ Superstar was next, a medley of songs from the musical and a challenging blow for the Band.

Brackley & District Band and the Stowe Brass Musicians were delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Steven Mead, a world-famous euphonium soloist and tutor at the wonderful Stowe School during our Masterclass and evening concert on Saturday. The opportunity came about since our Musical Director Micah Parsons once studied under Steven as a young euphonium player.

Members of the Band together with Stowe School brass students will enjoy an afternoon workshop with Steven during which we will work on some challenging new repertoire as well as putting the final touches to the programme ahead of the evening concert. This workshop offers a fantastic opportunity for us all to draw upon Steven’s wealth of experience and talent.

A big well done to the Majors & Minors, our development group, on their fab performance tonight at the Band Club. A great breadth of repertoire was demonstrated, a particular highlight being 'Under the Boardwalk', amongst others such as 'Summer Holiday', 'The Muppet Show' and 'Pavane'. Keep blowing and have a great break!

Rehearsals will start back up in September. If you are a beginner brass musician or would like to pick up that instrument you have tucked away in the loft again then give Floss a call at the Band Club on 01280 703934 for more details.