Christmas All Wrapped-Up

The band’s busy season is almost at an end for this year culminating in our sell-out Christmas Concert at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham last weekend. The band and junior band enjoyed playing, and hope the audience liked it too! Thanks to Bob Gemmell for compering the concert for us and all the helpers who did great work behind the scenes to make it a success.

The band have been out carolling on the streets of Freckleton and will be out again on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day with the final carol and jingle bells at Ponkies in the afternoon.

As the year draws to a close, the band would like to thank Margaret Mason for loaning us a van to transport our equipment to the engagements, all those in and around the village who have given us raffle prizes and donations, everyone who has supported us on social media and everyone who has come to see us play.

Have a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

A Special Anniversary

 

25 years ago today my beautiful daughter got married. We had changed the date due to the band qualifying for the National finals but to change it again for Pontins was a step too far. Richard Robinson agreed to play for me and Stan Kay agreed to drive the bus back to Freckleton so the band could play the music at the service and then drive back to Prestatyn. Thanks to all of them for making that trip.

Mark Rossall

 

Sixty Not-Out!

Mark Rossall 1977

After rehearsal on Monday night, the band arranged for a surprise celebration for Mark Rossall in the Ship Inn at Freckleton to mark his 60th year as a bandsman. Many of the band, former players, friends and family gathered for sandwiches and chips and a couple of drinks to toast this outstanding milestone. Congratulations Mark, and thank you for the many years of service to Freckleton Band and the village, so far…

National Finals – Cheltenham 2015

This weekend saw the band travel to Cheltenham to represent the North West in the 1st Section National  Brass Band Championships. Having rehearsed in Evesham at lunchtime the band had to wait until nearly nine o’clock to play having drawn 17th and last – twenty bands had actually qualified, but three had withdrawn from the competition. The band’s performance had some fine playing, but the judges noted that the performance was inconsistent and as a result the band were placed a disappointing tenth. Paul and the band will learn from the experience as the band prepare for next season in the Championship Section.

The band had a great weekend nonetheless staying at the quirky Evesham Hotel where the band enjoyed a friendly welcome and a pie supper after the rehearsal on Saturday night. The band would like to thank the hotel, and also the Avonbank (Evesham) Band for the use of their bandroom and nice brews. Thanks also to everyone who helped to organise the trip, especially Ian Threlfall our contest secretary and logistics expert! Thanks also to the friends and family who came to support us and for the overwhelming good wishes the band received via social media etc.

 

 

National Finals Weekend

The hard work has been done in the bandroom over the last few weeks on Kenneth Hesketh’s Alchymist’s Journal and the coach is booked for Saturday lunchtime to transport the band and supporters to Cheltenham Racecourse to compete in the National Championships 1st Section Final representing the North West of England.

The band will be playing after 4pm in the Centaur Arena on Sunday depending on the draw out of a field of 17 bands.

An American Salute

On a sweltering July 4th evening, Freckleton Band put on a special American themed concert in a packed Freckleton Memorial Hall to raise funds for their National Finals appearance in Cheltenham in September. Every item on the programme had been chosen by the musical director to have a direct link to the United States to celebrate Independence Day. From Sousa marches, Civil War traditional themes, broadway numbers, Brubeck jazz, Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow, there was something for everyone in the appreciative audience.

Making his solo debut, Robert Richardson gave a commanding performance of a Dixieland arrangement of When the Saints, with Patrick Howard playing the air-varie La Belle Americaine with dexterity and aplomb. In the second half, Pat was joined by Anthony Roocroft for their hilarious rendition of the Laurel and Hardy Another Fine Mess. The evening concluded with An American Trilogy as made famous by Elvis with possibly the most famous American march The Stars and Stripes of America  by Sousa as encore.

The band would like to thank all those who worked hard to make the event a huge success and the audience for supporting us in such numbers.

Photos by Gail Howard and Carla Gardiner

Programme

  • Quality Plus
  • An American Tale
  • La Belle Americaine – Soloist Patrick Howard (euphonium)
  • Marching with Sousa
  • When the Saints – Soloist Robert Richardson (soprano cornet)
  • Putting on the Ritz
  • Let’s Face the Music and Dance
  • Salute to Sinatra

Interval

  • Marching Through Georgia
  • Another Fine Mess – Duettists Patrick Howard and Anthony Roocroft (euphoniums)
  • Breezin’ Down Broadway
  • Blue Rondo a la Turk
  • America / Love on the Rocks
  • Manilow Magic
  • An American Trilogy
  • Stars and Stripes Forever

America-Poster---B-compressed

A Special Concert with BBC Young Musician of the Year, Elliott Gaston-Ross

The band will be performing a special concert with the extraordinary young percussionist Elliott Gaston-Ross on 2nd May 2015 at Kirkham Grammar School. You may have seen him performing on TV in 2014 throughout the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. He went on to win the percussion final and appeared in the live concerto final performing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under award-winning conductor Kirill Karabits in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

KGS Eliot 2015 Concert

Elliott will be performing solo works and also pieces with the band in the concert.

Elliott is currently studying at Kirkham Grammar School where the band’s conductor Paul Dalton teaches music, and the school hall is an ideal venue to showcase both Elliott and the band.

ElliottGastonRoss