Band News

Read the latest news and press releases from the band.

Mandy Hamer receives Life Membership / 03 April 17

The A.W. Parker (Drybrook) Band were pleased to award Life Membership to our Solo Euphonium player, Mandy Hamer at the recent Annual General Meeting.

Having given 20 years of service to the band as a player, committee member and a tutor to junior members during her tenure, the Trustees of the band were delighted to be able to mark this significant milestone.

Congratulations Mandy - here's to the next 20 years!

Spring Contests / 13 March 17

In February 2017, the band made their way to Burford for the ODBBA Own Choice Contest, where they ran out the Regional Finals test piece, "Land of the Long White Cloud" in front of adjudicator Paul Norley, who would also be in Torquay two weeks later. Their rendition earned a third place finish and an excellent set of adjudicator remarks which could be taken back to work on in the run-up to Torquay.

Full Results from the ODBBA First Section :

  1. Kidlington Concert Brass (191pts)
  2. Oddfellows Brass (189pts)
  3. A. W. Parker (Drybrook) (188pts)
  4. Hyde (187pts)
  5. Epsom & Ewell Silver (186pts)
  • Best Instrumentalist: Euphonium (Kidlington Concert Brass)
  • Best Percussion: Kidlington Concert Brass
  • Best Bass Section: Oddfellows Brass
  • Best Cornet: Soprano (Kidlington Concert Brass)

Two weeks on and the band took to the Torquay stage for their second performance of Philip Sparke's piece. Playing 9th from 11 at about 6pm in the evening, the band came off stage feeling they could have done better and knowing that a poor result could see them relegated. However, as the results came in, the band were placed 8th ensuring safety in the First Section for another year. The adjudicators' comments are available to read and an audio recording will be available shortly.

Full Results from the Regional Finals First Section :

  1. SW Comms (Chris Spreadbury)
  2. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Matthew Brown)
  3. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps)
  4. Chalford (Steve Tubb)
  5. Sherborne Town (Ian Lowes)
  6. Wotton-under-Edge & District (Ian Dickinson)
  7. St Keverne (Gareth Churcher)
  8. A. W. Parker (Drybrook) (Josh Ruck)
  9. Michelmersh Silver (Wayne Landon)
  10. Sidmouth Town (Adrian Harvey)
  11. Forest of Dean Brass (Chris Howley)

Drybrook Return to GBBA Own Choice / 25 November 16

Following a few years away from the contest, the band made a welcome return to the local GBBA Own Choice contest, held at All Saints Academy in Cheltenham on Sunday 20th November.

Competing against three other first section bands, Drybrook opened their performance with Kenneth Alford's "Army of the Nile", followed by "Vivat!" composed by Tom Davoren.

Adjudicator David Thornton (read his comments here) placed us second for our march performance and third in the test piece contest although the higlight of the day was winning the prize for Best Percussion in All Sections - well done David, Jenny, Heather and Nabil! Our thanks go once more to John Butson, Heather License and Beth Millar for their continued support and also to Iestyn Davies for performing with us.

Full Results from the First Section (March):

  1. Forest of Dean Brass (90pts)
  2. A. W. Parker (Drybrook) (89pts)
  3. Wantage B (88pts)
  4. Chalford (87pts)

Full Results from the First Section (Test Piece):

  1. Forest of Dean Brass (92pts)
  2. Wantage B (90pts)
  3. A. W. Parker (Drybrook) (89pts)
  4. Chalford (88pts)

Strong performance at Wychavon Festival of Brass / 31 October 16

On Saturday 29th October, the band travelled to De Montfort School in Evesham to compete at the 2016 Wychavon Festival of Brass. The first section had a strong field of 11 competitors in total, with the band playing 5th.

Our programme began with "Madrigalum", followed by "An Untold Story" featuring our soloist of the day - Solo Horn player Andrew Jones. "Liszteria", an entertaining xylophone duet performed by David Crowe and Heather License preceded "A Gaelic Blessing" before we finished with "Nightingale Dances".

The band and Musical Director were pleased with the performance and were delighted with our 6th place finish, with some positive comments from adjudicator Duncan Beckley. Our thanks go to John Butson, Ross Salvage, Heather License and Beth Millar for their time spent rehearsing and performing with us. Congratulations also go to Ross for his highly successful conducting debut with Nailsworth Silver, who took 3rd Prize in the Fourth Section.

Audio recordings of our performance will be able shortly in the Media section of the website.

Full Results from the First Section:

  1. Eccles Borough (also won Championship Section)
  2. City of Cardiff (won Soloist Trophy)
  3. B.T.M
  4. Johnstone (won Entertainment Trophy)
  5. Langley
  6. A.W. Parker (Drybrook)
  7. Aveley & Newham (won Percussion Trophy)
  8. Bedworth Town
  9. Foresters Brass
  10. Lewis Merthyr
  11. Ocean Brass

Roger Harris / 30 July 16

Early this month the band heard the sad news of the passing of local bandsman, Roger Harris, who with his wife Mary played for the band for many years (shown to the right together in band uniform at the National Finals).

Roger joined Drybrook in 2003 on Bb Bass during a period of transition for the band and for the next six years remained a welcome and ever-present figure on the Bass line. In his time the band started contesting seriously once more and, due to the hard work of people like Roger, gained promotion to the third section in 2006.

Roger was also part of the group who visited Dresden in 2006 for the wedding of former player Hermann Wenger. This was a very memorable trip for all involved and several people have reminded us of Roger's part in recent weeks.

His funeral was held on the 15th July and all donations are going toward the planting of cider apple trees in a local orchard - typical Roger! He was a great character and valued player and will be missed.

Bailey Lane End Music Festival 2016 - Retrospective / 19 June 16

On Saturday 18th June 2016, the A.W.Parker (Drybrook) Band once again hosted the annual Bailey Lane End Music Festival. The contest was held at Lakers School and this year, our adjudicator for the day was David Hayward who inspired both competitors and audience alike with his vast experience and expertise.

This year, 47 competitors representing Bream Silver; Lydney Town; Lydbrook Silver; Pillowell Silver; private instrumental teachers from the area and of course some of our own members competed in a day of enjoyable music making.

In Class 1, 'Junior Brass Solo under 11 years' Sophie Danks from Lydbrook Training Band took first prize after kicking the competition off with a spirited performance of Philip Sparke's 'Rondino'. In Class 2, 'Junior Brass Solo 11 to 12 Years', first prize went to Rupert Morris, a student of our musical director, Joshua Ruck and a member of Pillowell Band, who gave a vibrant and dynamic performance of Clarke's 'Prince of Denmark's March'. In the final class of junior solos, Class 3, 'Junior Brass Solo 13 to 16 years', a commanding and musical performance of 'An Untold Story' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper gave Jack Lythaby of Lydbrook Silver Band who took home his first of three 1st prizes.

The afternoon classes were for duets, quartets and open solos. Starting with Class 4, 'Brass Duet 16 years and under' an energetic performance of 'Rock School' by brother and sister, Zach and Lily Mountford of Lydney gave them the victory. This was followed by Class 5, 'Junior Brass Quartet 16 years and under' where Pillowell Training Band under the direction of Rhiannon Symonds gave a lively rendition of 'I Would Walk 500 Miles' to take home 1st prize. Class 6, 'Brass Solo Open 11 years and under 21' saw a keenly fought contest between Jack Lythaby and Hayley Myhan both playing ' Variations on a Welsh Theme'. In the end, 1st prize went to Jack Lythaby who once again showed maturity in style, allied to commanding technique. Class 7, 'Duet - Adult and child under 16 years' only saw one entry this year but none the less, the quality of playing by Zara Fewtrell and Tracey Gwynne in their rendition of 'Amazing Grace' gave them a very well deserved award. Class 8, 'Open Brass Solo' saw another victory for Jack Lythaby who chose in this class to play the traditional 'Grandfathers' Clock'.

The penultimate class of the day, Class 9 - 'Open Brass Quarter/Quintet' saw three great performances from representatives of Crypt School, Pillowell Band and the Crowe Family (who are all members of Drybrook Band). In the end, a terrific performance of 'That's Crowe Business!' by David Crowe gave the honours to the Crowe Family (Neil; Sarah; David; Matthew and Daniel). The final class of the day was new for this year. Class 10, 'Open Percussion' saw Daniel Crowe of Drybrook Band swap cornet for timpani as he closed an excellent day of music making with his performance of 'Rondo Vivace'. Congratulations also to Rebecca Griffiths of Bream Band who took part in this class.

David Hayward was very impressed with the standard of playing on show. He said, "It has been a great joy to adjudicate today and I am pleased to report that brass playing is very much alive in the Forest of Dean. I thank the teachers, parents and staff for their time and congratulate the A.W.Parker (Drybrook) Band for hosting such a wonderful event".

Our thanks must go to Lakers School for providing us with a venue that will allow us to develop the festival over the coming years and thank you also to Forest of Dean Wind Band for sharing the site with us today.

We hope to see as many competitors at next year's event which will take place on Saturday 17th June 2017.

The Drybrook & District Silver Band is a Registered Charity (No. 1154033) and performs under the name of the 'A. W. Parker (Drybrook) Band' in recognition of our long-standing sponsorship deal.

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