21st Oct - Guest conductor for 2015 by Colin Sleath
We are delighted to confirm that our guest conductor for 2015 is John Hammonds. John visited J25 a couple of weeks ago to get to grips with concertinas, and put us through one of his pieces from sight. We also play one of his collections. Here is John's potted biography:
"John studied at The Royal College of Music with Richard Walton. After leaving in 1972 he joined the Royal Ballet as principal trumpet. He later spent 7 years as principal with Sir Roger Norrington’s Kent Opera, at the same time freelancing in London, and playing with most of the London and Provincial orchestras and Opera houses. He was a regular deputy in several West End shows, and has recorded for films, pop groups and advertising.
John moved to Somerset for a quieter life with his family in 1996. He plays, teaches, repairs instruments and is currently engaged in his fifth collection of arrangements for Brass Wind Publications. "
28th Jul - Banding Together 2014 by Colin Sleath
24 eager concertinists plus conductor Bob Spiller had a great time tackling a varied repertoire, which included Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite, Gershwin's swing piece Fascinating Rhythm, and three pieces by Claire Wren, Langley March, The Ringwood Tree, and Spanopedie.
This year we were accommodated in The Refectory at Dame Hannah's, a spacious and airy building in which we spent all our playing time, including coffe, lunch and tea.
The meals were even better this year, and we enjoyed relaxing with a bit of musical fun in the common room at the end of the day.
Recordings and slide shows to follow!
29th Apr - Are you tempted? by Colin Sleath
As the date for the residential weekend at Seale-Hayne draws ever closer, the
BANDING TOGETHER team is getting very excited, no-one more so than yours truly.
I’ve been totally immersed in preparing the main attraction of the weekend repertoire:
THE ENGLISH FOLK SONGS SUITE by RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS.
The brass band arrangement has been set for 4th
Section Brass Band Competition in previous years. Here is a contest performance: http://youtu.be/4WShWxhUDYY
If you have already booked for the weekend, a big thank you to you. If not, I hope I can tempt you with this unique opportunity to be part of the first concertina band to tackle this fantastic work.
If you know of any other concertina players who might be up for this sort of challenge please forward these details to them.
29th Apr - Guest conductor wows J25! by Colin Sleath
In preparation for the Banding Together weekend on 13-15th June this year, Bob Spiller, the Guest Conductor, met up with J25 Concertina Band yesterday to find out how concertinas sound.
Bob put J25 through their paces playing that classic swing piece “Fascinating Rhythm”, a musical style that Bob specialises in. Members of the band enjoyed being directed by Bob, finding his easy and jovial manner putting them quickly at their ease, even though Bob insisted on getting the finer points right.
The band ended its session feeling much more confident in tackling swing-style numbers and is looking forward to the piece Bob is preparing for June. Other pieces planned for the weekend include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Songs Suite” and Claire Wren’s “Langley March” and “The Ringwood Tree”.
See the photo of Bob with J25 in our photo gallery (Bob is in the check shirt on the back row!).
25th Jan - Bookings for 2014 by Colin Sleath
Bookings are rolling in for 2014, so please take this chance to book up if you have not already done so. Numbers are restricted, so the sooner the better. We have been able to hold the fee at the same level as for last year. Please find a booking form further on on the site, and read the piece: Is this weekend for me?
If you would like to hear what was achieved in previous years, please Search on Youtube for Banding Together Concertina Band.
15th Nov - J25 gets a Distinction! by Colin Sleath
J25, who organise Banding Together, entered the Free Reed Band class at the Taunton Festival of Music, Dance and Drama to display the sound of the Concertina Band. They played 'Jamie's Patrol' and 'The Boat on the Clear Sea', and were awarded a Distinction. Since it was the last class of a very long day for the Adjudicator, Colin Touchin, there were not many in the audience at 9pm, but Colin nevertheless gave a thorough and enthusiastic appraisal of the performance. For a photo of the band with Colin please go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/concertinaband
8th Sep - Guest conductor for 2014 by Colin Sleath
We are delighted to announce that our Guest Conductor for 2014 will be Bob Spiller.
As a trumpet teacher, Bob has over thirty years’ experience ?of teaching brass instruments from beginners to advanced students of all ages.
He is a professional musician with a wide range of teaching and playing ability from Rhythm and Blues, Big Bands, Jazz Bands, Brass Bands, Concert Bands, Orchestra’s, Brass ensembles and solo playing.
Bob is an experienced conductor of different types of bands, including Concert Band, Big Bands, Brass Bands and Brass Ensembles and is currently Musical Director of Berties Big Band in Yeovil.
Bob's manner is cheery and jolly, good-humoured but exacting!
8th Sep - Banding Together 2013 recordings by Colin Sleath
Most of this year's recordings are now live on Youtube, as follows:
My Grandfather's clock - http://youtu.be/N9Lkb08RE9Q
Jamie's Patrol - http://youtu.be/XYVUkTS0Y5c
The boat - http://youtu.be/ngbYz7p2Pls
Barnard Castle: http://youtu.be/rEou7Es4FTc
19th Jun - Banding Together 2013 by Colin Sleath
We had a brilliant time together under the baton of Martin Wills, fresh from a busy week in London playing for HM Queen Elizabeth in army bands. Martin was relaxed in his approach to these concertina-things he hadn't encountered before, and managed not to call them accordions. As a multi-instrumentalist himself he was well aware of the little quirks various instruments have that players have to learn to cope with. (Not that that is much of a problem for concertina players!)
Martin was kind to us in not forcing us to play our two marches, Barnard Castle and Jamie's Patrol, at his customary military pace; patient in taking us through the complexities of Claire's arrangement of the Overture to the Mikado; and supported us as we grappled with the 7/8 rhythm of Claire's The Search. Claire directed us masterfully through her lyrical impressionist piece The Boat on a clear sea.
As an added bonus, Pete Pascoe and Claire starred on their tenor horns in an arrangement of My Grandfather's Clock for tenor horns and concertina band.
Great company, good food, beautiful surrounding, fantastic music. Well done, the organising team, and grateful thanks to Dame Hannahs for their hospitality. Roll on next year!
21st Aug - More on Youtube by Colin Sleath
"Moonlight on Cadgwith" is at http://youtube/wogrRXQmXgo, and "Simkhes Toyre" is at http://youtube/RPpDHEl3SRM
If you Like them, please share them with your friends.
15th Aug - Banding Together video by Colin Sleath
"Hallelujah" by Frank Bernaerts, arranged under licence by Claire Wren, performed at Banding Together 2012
22nd Jun - What a great weekend! by Colin Sleath
25 players spent some 13 hours working through a variety of pieces including a march, a descriptive piece, some swing, a G & S overture, a paso doble and a hit song tune, under the baton of our professional conductor. We ended up recording three pieces with the help of the Seale-Hayne sound engineer.
See us at work at http://youtu.be/4rpN0KcU9S0