Uckfield Concert Brass wows a packed house at The Uckfield Civic Centre
11 May 2014
Uckfield Concert Brass presented an evening of period music to help Uckfield & Buxted Branches of The Royal British Legion commemorate the centenary of World War 1 in style with a superbly crafted & narrated concert in which Musical Director, Nick Morris, took the audience back in time in a programme which included Imperial Echoes, Pack Up Your Troubles, Oh! What a Lovely War & Lili Marlene.
As well as the music, there were extracts from letters sent by local people from the battle front to family back home which may have bought a tear to the eye of the families concerned, some of whom were in the audience. Together with narration as if it were 1914 again, the stage was set for a perfect evening of music.
The band were also pleased to be accompanying International mezzo-soprano Sophie Gopsill for Abide With Me, Jerusalem and Rule Britannia.
Uckfield Concert Brass Success at SCABA Spring Contest
6 May 2014
Once again, the band had a successful visit to Crawley’s Hawth Theatre for the 2014 SCABA Spring Contest!
Winning both the Hymn Tune prize and the Best Trombone Section award were the icing on the cake as the band collected the 2nd place trophy for their performance of “Dimensions” by Peter Graham.
First concert of 2014 – “Music from the movies and shows” in aid of The Martlets Hospice
15 January 2014
What a great way to start 2014! The first concert of the year will be a movie and show tune extravaganza at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Dyke Road,Brighton, organised by The Rotary Clubs of Brighton & Brighton & Hove Soiree, the concert will be raising funds for the Martlets Hospice.
The band will be joined on this occasion by the Rotary’s own “Loose Cannons” a cappella group! Put the date in your diary: Wednesday 19th February – starting at 7:30.
Uckfield Concert Brass & The Uckfield Singers sell out the Uckfield Civic Centre!
16 December 2013
What a great night we had on Sunday 15th at the Uckfield Civic Centre! The combined talents of Uckfield Concert Brass and The Uckfield Singers played to a sold out house for a concert that was broadcast live by Uckfield FM.
As well as the musical feast. we are delighted to tell you that we raised a massive £885 for The Sussex Cancer Fund during the evening so a huge thank you to all who bought raffle tickets and donated prizes!.
Opening with the fanfare “A Sussex Symphony Christmas”, written by a former Musical Director of the band, Nigel Simmons & played on fanfare trumpets, the evening started at a cracking pace and didn’t stop until the encore of “Twelve Days of Christmas”!
The Uckfield Singers has grown in size since our last concert and under the able direction of Wendy Wasels, performed both traditional and more modern carols including The Candlelight Carol & Shepherd’s Pipe Carol from the pen of John Rutter.
Uckfield Concert Brass join forces with The Uckfield Singers for a Christmas Extravaganza!
28 November 2013
Our concert will feature many Christmas favourites such as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” & “The Little Drummer Boy” together with an opportunity for the audience to sing traditional carols including “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
The concert will be raising much needed funds for The Sussex Cancer Fund For Treatment & Research in Brighton.
Uckfield Concert Brass take a stroll around Lewes!
5 November 2013
A stroll around Lewes? After the long ,march at Newick on the 2nd, Lewes seemed much easier! Once again, we were marching with Cliffe Bonfire Society around a crowded Lewes town centre on the 5th November.
As has now become a tradition, we joined forces at the end for a final march with our good friends at Heathfield Silver Band. Huge thanks to Cliffe for once again looking after us so well – this event is proof of the well oiled machine that runs it year on year. Long may it continue!
Uckfield Concert Brass return to Newick Bonfire
3 November 2013
For the first time in many years, Uckfield Concert Brass took part in the annual Newick Bonfire celebrations on Saturday night. This is a much smaller and more intimate event than our next appearance on the 5th itself at Lewes but we were guided around by the familiar face of Roger Meyer, normally Captain of Bands at Cliffe Bonfire Society in Lewes, but the band marshall for this event. https://youtu.be/03PWhbUfvew
Music from the Movies delights Civic Centre Audience!
6 October 2013
Playing to a packed house last night, Uckfield Concert Brass together with Olly Muxworthy and Manor Primary School Choir performed a programme of music from the movies.
From the opening 20th Century Fox theme, the band sequed straight into the theme from “Star Wars”, the first of many John Williams film scores to be heard!
The Manor Primary School Choir, delighted the audience with a variety of songs including “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Catch a Falling Star” and “The Candyman” – with just a few short weeks since the start of a new term, they did a wonderful job and caused I suspect a few tears in parents eyes!
Local pianist, Olly Muxworthy, currently studying Composition and Piano at Trinity College, treated us to a variety of movie related tunes including “Chopin’s Nocturne in C# Minor, from “The Pianist”, through to “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca”!
More John Williams from the band, this time the haunting theme from “Schindlers List”. The second half opened with yet more Williams- this time it was the theme from “Superman”.
The grand finale was something rarely heard: George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” in an arrangement for Brass Band and Piano. Superbly performed by both the band and Olly Muxworthy, this was a brilliant finish to a superb evening of music making.
Rhapsody in Blue – Uckfield Concert Brass and Pianist Olly Muxworthy
5 October 2013
Tonight’s concert at The Uckfield Civic Centre, organised by The United Reformed Church, is a first for both the band and we suspect, the audience as well!
One of the highlights of the programme is a rare performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, arranged for Piano and Brass Band by Dr.Keith Wilkinson and performed by Olly Muxworthy. Not to be missed!
The concert starts at 7:30pm and also on the bill are the Choir of Manor Primary School. Some tickets still left at Uckfield Volunteer Centre or on the door.
Uckfield Concert Brass lead the Uckfield Carnival Procession
7 September 2013
You know it is heading for Autumn as the first of the Bonfire Society events takes place! Uckfield Concert Brass today led the Uckfield Carnival Parade through the town accompanied by the burning torches of our hosts, Uckfield Carnival and Bonfire Society.
As is now becoming a tradition, we joined forces with our good friends from Heathfield Silver Band for the final march down the high street.
Fans of the Bonfire tradition will be able to see the band again on 2nd November at Newick Bonfire and of course at Lewes on 5th November when we will once again be marching with the famous Cliffe Bonfire Society. See you there!
Uckfield Concert Brass 1812 Night at Eastbourne
30 August 2013
Uckfield Concert Brass finished their series of concerts on Eastbourne Bandstand with a bang! Literally, as it was of course, 1812 with Fireworks night!
With both a large crowd inside the arena and lots watching from the promenade, the band hit the ground running with a fine rendition of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare and Star Wars theme. Bass soloist, Robert Brown, was our joker in the pack with his humorous rendition of “The Bare Necessities”. Here’s a couple of clips of the band playing the ever popular “Floral Dance” and “At The Sign of the Swinging Cymbal”.
Uckfield Festival 2013
21 July 2013
Uckfield Concert Brass took part in a recreation of the Summer of 1913 as part of the annual Uckfield Festival. Playing a programme of music which had to pre-date 1914 was a challenge in itself but also, getting the band dressed to match the period. As you can see, the band’s Musical Director, Nick Morris, entered fully into the spirit!
Having premiered a new modern dance sequence at the festival last year, we had another first this year too! As part of a Music Hall themed concert in the evening, the band performed “The Lost Chord” together with a “Magic Lantern” show! If you’ve never seen one, check out this wikipedia page! At one point, our afternoon concert was even disrupted by a crowd of suffragettes!
Uckfield Concert Brass French tour 2013
2 June 2013
The band have just returned from a hugely successful trip to France as guests of Just Brass 79 where we spent 4 days based in the town of Chef Boutonne. Our “home” for the tour was once again Camping Moulin where we performed an informal concert on the final day of the tour to the delight of the many British holiday home owners at the site.
It was a pleasure to work once again with Just Brass 79 and our thanks must go to Neville James, George and Kathy Ball and Fabrice Michelet for organising 2 great joint concerts in Chef Boutonne and Maire L Evescault. Here’s some brief video from our outdoor concert in the market at Melle featuring our fabulous trombone section of Ann Zeal-Bland, Peter Cowlett and Mick Horscroft in “Frolic for Trombones”: https://youtu.be/rQcryr1b5rw
This was not only a great opportunity for George Ball, a former member of Uckfield Concert Brass, to once again play with the band but also a unique photo opportunity to have 6 former Band Chairmen (and Chairlady of course!) together too!
Despite the somewhat inclement weather, this was a really great trip – made more special because of the number of former members who joined us! The band are already talking about our next visit!
Uckfield gain 3rd prize at the SCABA Spring Contest
8 May 2013
Uckfield Concert Brass maintained their winning ways at the recent Crawley Contest organised by The Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association.
With a performance of Philip Sparke’s “Music for a Festival”, the band won the 3rd prize in the second section of this contest and were also very pleased that our performance of the march “Punchinello” came 2nd in the march competition.
The band are now busy preparing for another trip to Chef Boutonne in France at the end of May. Watch this space for a post tour review!
Uckfield Concert Brass march with Cliffe Bonfire Society
6 November 2012
Once again, the band took part in the fabulous Lewes Bonfire parades marching once again with the Cliffe Bonfire Society. The weather was kind to us and a great time was had by all as can bee seen in this short video taken as we set off for the first march of the night.
Uckfield Bandstand Marathon 2012 & Uckfield Carnival
12 September 2012
Uckfield Concert Brass were one of many local acts who took part in Uckfield’s “Bandstand Marathon” – a national event to mark the end of the ParaOlympics. Our short performance was conducted by our deputy Musical Director, Steve Walkley and ranged from the overture “Lustspiel” to “Bohemian Rhapsody”! https://youtu.be/o1YfyFswIzs and https://youtu.be/FIAD7tMFdvo. Videos by Ray Whiteway-Roberts
The finale of the event saw the band combine with the Uckfield Singers in a rousing “Land of Hope & Glory” , “Jerusalem” and of course, our own “Sussex By The Sea”.
Uckfield Concert Brass introduce contemporary innovation at Uckfield Festival
23 July 2012
Uckfield Concert Brass really pushed the boundaries on Saturday night at
the Uckfield Festival! It is not often you will see a brass band with
dancers – even less often, mixing brass and contemporary dance!
The band performed Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances
to accompany specially commissioned choreography performed by stunning
contemporary dancers, Catalina Zuliani and Kornelia Bieniek as part of
the Last Night festivities.
In addition to scaring half the band with
electronic Canon in the 1812, we also took the opportunity for a photo
of the band with the Olympic Torch that was carried by local resident
The band’s performance of 1812 complete with the canon was captured on Video:
More pictures from this event are in the UCB Photo Gallery
Uckfield Concert Brass at Eastbourne
24th June 2012
Whilst many of you were watching England lose yet another penalty shoot-out, Uckfield Concert Brass played to a good crowd on Eastbourne Bandstand for a “Last Night of the Proms” extravaganza!
One of the highlights of the night Hannah Labus, also a member of the National Youth Brass Band, performing “I Dream of Jeanie” – well, rather than describe it – watch for yourself!
Another highlight was Steve Walkley performing Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”:
Uckfield Concert Brass return to Eastbourne on Sunday 24th June
Uckfield Concert Brass are returning to Eastbourne for a “Last Night of the Proms” concert on Sunday June 24th at 8pm. The programme features all the proms favourites including “Jerusalem”, “Pomp & Circumstance” and “Fantaisa on British Seasongs”.
We are also pleased to be back on the main bandstand which has been undergoing repairs of late.
Here’s a small taster from our last concert at Eastbourne earlier this month:
March: Ravenswood performed on the temporary bandstand at Eastbourne
Uckfield Concert Brass celebrate the Jubillee!
Uckfield Concert Brass helped celebrate the Jubilee in style at Victoria Pleasure Ground with a rousing set of “Last Night of the Proms” favourites together with the Uckfield Singers & Mezzo Soprano Lucy Williams on Monday 4th June as the Jubilee Beacon was lit by the Mayor of Uckfield.
The Band’s short program included “Land of Hope & Glory”, “Rule Brittania” and “Jerusalem”
Uckfield Concert Brass gain 2nd prize at the Scaba Spring Contest
29 April 2012
Hot news from Crawley! Uckfield Concert Brass were today competing at the Spring Contest hosted by SCABA at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley. Their performance of Edward Gregson’s “Variations on Laudate Dominum” earned the band a well deserved 2nd Prize in the Second Section at this annual event.
Musical Director, Nick Morris, was delighted with the band’s performance which was an improvement on last years 3rd place.
Nick commented “Gregson’s piece is a challenge for any band so it is a great achievement more so as it is the first time we’ve contested this year.
Of course, nothing happens without hard work so we have set ourselves a good benchmark for the rest of 2012. Well done to all the players”
And if you want to see more of Nick, tune in to “Maestro at the Opera” , BBC2 on Friday 4th May – this time on the other side of the baton though! (Nick plays Trombone with Chelsea Opera who feature in early rehearsals with the budding conductors).
More vintage video discovered!
18 March 2012
We have discovered a clip from a Hyde Park Concert featuring “A Disney Fantasy” under the band’s Musical Adviser, Ken Dennison from 1996!
Uckfield Concert Brass Celebrate “Rotary Day” in style
24 February 2012
An evening of Light Music and “Last Night of the Proms”
style extravaganza was how last night’s concert was billed – and what a great
night it proved to be!
Performing in The Church of The Good Shepherd in Brighton
for The Rotary Club of Brighton, Uckfield Concert Brass, together with Mezzo
Soprano Lucy Williams, left the crowd wanting more by the end of this
wonderful evening of music!
Uckfield Concert Brass Celebrate “Rotary Day” in style
24 February 2012
An evening of Light Music and “Last Night of the Proms” style extravaganza was how last night’s concert was billed – and what a great night it proved to be!
Performing in The Church of The Good Shepherd in Brighton for The Rotary Club of Brighton, Uckfield Concert Brass, together with Mezzo Soprano Lucy Williams, left the crowd wanting more by the end of this wonderful evening of music!
A varied programme including music from Irving Berlin, Cole Porter alongside Massenet and Elgar! For Lucy, this was a welcome return following her performance last year with the band and she delighted the audience with her renditions of “The Last Rose of Summer”, “You Raise Me Up”, “Summertime” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”
before leading the newly formed “Rotary Choir of Brighton” in the traditional
“Last Night of the Proms” favourites.
The concert also featured our principal Euphonium, Paul Labus in Senaille’s “Allegro Spiritoso” – he was then joined by his daughter Hannah for Massenet’s wonderful melody, “Elegie”. On a lighter note, Andy Bamford became Crystal Gayle as he performed a delightful “Don’t it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” – a song which earned a Grammy as Country Song of the Year for its writer, Richard Leigh.
The concert, celebrating “Rotary Day”, was supporting the Sussex Macmillan Cancer Support Centre.
Happy New Year to you all from Uckfield Concert Brass!
Having just about recovered from the band’s Christmas Dinner, it is now time to look forwards!
Our events section has now been updated with the concerts so far for 2012 – with hopefully more to come including a possible trip to Uckfield’s new twin town of Arques-la-Bataille in France.
But whilst you have to wait until later in the year to hear the band, we recently came across some old video footage of the band which was taken in 1998 during a concert in St. James’s Park – more will be posted in the video section shortly!
Uckfield Concert Brass visit to Chef Boutonne, France
19 July 2011
When Uckfield Concert Brass tenor horn player George Ball decided to retire to Chef Boutonne in the Deux Sevres region of south west France he probably thought that his brass band playing days were over. However George met with Neville James, a bass trombone player, and together with other like minded French and British brass players formed a group called Just Brass 79 in 2007, a group which has now grown to 18 players.
A meeting between George and Andy Wooler, ( Chairman of Uckfield Concert Brass ) in Uckfield in December 2010 gave Andy the chance to enquire the chances of Uckfield Concert Brass and Just Brass 79, coming together to give joint concerts in the Chef Boutonne area of France. So with the help of the small Just Brass 79 committee, the very good fortune of having the local Mayor as one of your playing members, lots of hard work and research, the possibility became a reality.
The whole trip began with the long trip through France to Limalonges, the home of Just Brass 79. Here Uckfield were met in the band room by some members of the Just Brass 79 committee, and the Mayor of Limalonges and, after a short speech of welcome everyone joined in taking a Kir Royal, as a welcoming drink.
Friday morning 1st July saw an early start for the band’s visit to the ancient town of Cognac . Here the band took a chance to do some sightseeing before visiting the Otard Cognac Chateau, where, following their visit ,they performed a short concert in appreciation of the hospitality. The first joint concert took place that evening in Limalonges, the home of Just Brass 79. Just Brass 79 were under the direction of Geoffrey Edwards for the week-end, and Uckfield under the direction of their MD Nick Morris. For many of the Just Brass 79 players this would be the first time that they has played in a ‘full brass band’ The real treat for the Uckfield players was to hear such fine playing from the Just Brass MD, who performed a sublime version arranged by Denzil Stephens, of MYFANWY, but of course what else would you expect from former Cory principle Euphonium player, Robert Burnett.
Uckfield went on to play a concert on Saturday morning in the market square of Chef Boutonne, and again in the evening the two band’s came together to give both separate, and joint performances in the open air ‘Theatre de Verdure’ at the rear of the local Marie.
The whole trip has forged what we all hope will be a lasting relationship between the two bands with thoughts already of a return visit. Old friendships were renewed, new ones created. With Just Brass 79 being a relatively new band with no sponsorship, if you are ever visiting the area, or would like to know more about them then contact through Neville James on www.justbrass79.fr or if your band have any duplicate music then they would be really pleased to receive it through their librarian George Ball on firstname.lastname@example.org
Uckfield Concert Brass visit to Chef Boutonne, France
29 June 2011
When George Ball, a long standing member of the band retired to the South of France, I don’t believe he thought much about playing in a brass group again! However, it didn’t take long for him to find Just Brass 79 from the town of Limalonges!
And from 1st – 3rd July, the band will be guests of Just Brass as we visit the town of Chef Boutonne. Our concert schedule is:
Friday 1st July – “Otard” Chateau de Cognac – at approx. 4pm the band will perfrom a short concert following their tour and tasting! We then go to Limalonges for a joint concert with Just Brass 79 which takes place in the Foyer Rural at 9pm
Saturday 2nd July – A short concert from 11-1145 am in the Market Square, Chef Boutonne with another joint concert in the evening at the Open Air Theatre, commencing at 9pm
Sunday 3rd July – join us at Le Moulin campsite for a barbecue and informal concert starting at 7.00pm.
Uckfield Concert Brass announce exciting new additions to the “Last Night of the Proms” Concert, 17th July 2011
19 March 2011
Uckfield Concert Brass are pleased to announce that we will now be performing with leading Soprano Jo Appleby and Surrey Harmony in a “Last Night of the Proms” concert as part of Uckfield Festival on 17th July.
Jo hails from Thornton, Lancashire. She studied at the Royal Northern College of Music graduating with Bmus hons. Joanne then gained a scholarship from the D’Oyly Carte opera company for further postgraduate studies at the RNCM.
Jo spent four years with the Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Chorus where she understudied the role of Jano in “Jenufa”. During this time she performed in many recitals, oratorio and master classes. She has also sung with Carl Rosa opera (Phyllis,”Iolanthe”), Diva Opera (Ida,”Die Fledemaus”), London voices and for Raymond Gubbay productions.
Jo was signed by Sony BMG as an original member of the opera band “Amici Forever”. With Amici she has sung to huge audiences worldwide in prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, Windsor Castle, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Stadium, Cardiff Millennium Stadium and the state Opera House in Kiev. She has toured extensively promoting the multi platinum selling albums “Defined” and “The Opera Band” and has performed live on radio and television in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe and the USA. Jo also features on the debut album of Sony BMG artist Joseph Mc Manners.
Since her departure from Amici Jo has toured widely as a soloist including Australia, Dubai and New Zealand.
Mention “Barbershop” to most people and the first image that comes to mind is 4 dapper chaps in straw boaters and natty candy-striped, blazers.
That’s where barbershop started, but as you’ve probably spotted by now, it’s come a long way since then. Barbershop is a style of close harmony singing, sung in 4 parts: Tenor, Lead, Baritone and Bass. It is sung in single sex groups and formed in either a quartet or a chorus. Barbershop differs from normal choral singing, not only by the use of very close harmony, but also by the choreography involved, from the emotive movements in a ballad, to the more complex dance choreography in an up-beat tune. The singers also perform without the safety net of music sheets or piano accompaniment.
Surrey Harmony was started by Jenny Lawson in March 1990.
In 2008, Surrey Harmony became the first UK chorus to win a wildcard place at the International Competition, entitling them to compete in Nashville once again in 2009. During their second visit to Nashville, they surprised even themselves by coming 15th in the world, from a highly competitive field…the highest ever place for a UK chorus and just a few points away from a place in the finals. https://youtu.be/D17i1zMNYlc
Uckfield Concert Brass Finish Summer Season in Style
4 October 2010
Uckfield Concert Brass really rounded off the 2010 Concert Season in Style during September with a magical 1812 Night with fireworks on Eastbourne Bandstand followed on the 25th September by a sell out concert at Uckfield Civic Centre!
“It’s been many years since we had such a large crowd in our home town” said Chairman, Robert Brown! The audience enjoyed a programme packed with quality soloists and Proms favourites ncluding Jerusalem & Pomp & Circumstance Marches 1 & 4. Steve Walkley left the audience in no doubt what it’s all about with his fine rendition of “Alfie” whilst Andy Bamford and Paul Labus performed 2 contrasting solos – “Concerto de Aranjuez” for the Flugel and the traditional air varie “Facilita” for the Euphonium.
The standing ovation at the end was a very welcome sight for the band and it’snew Musical Director, Nick Morris, in his first Civic Centre appearance.
Next up for the band are rehearsals for the SCABA Folkestone Contest where the band will be looking to add to their contest success earlier in the year.
Uckfield Concert Brass perform at Eastbourne Bandstand
30 June 2010
Uckfield Concert Brass made their first appearance of the 2010 season at The Central Bandstand, Eastbourne on 27th June – this was also the first Eastbourne appearance of the band’s new Musical Director, Nick Morris.
From the moment the band stepped on stage, Nick had the audience well and truly with him as he guided the band through a great programme of music, culminating in the now traditional Eastbourne “Last Night of the Proms”
The programme included Neal Bland in a very tasteful performance of “Marriane”, a Flugelhorn solo originally written for the National Youth Jazz Orchetra plus the band’s Soprano Cornet, Andy Wooler in a moving arrangement of “On with the Motley” from Pagliacci.
The big surprise of the evening though was the inclusion of that icon of the world cup, the Vuvuzela in Henry Wood’s “Fantasia on British Sea Songs”. It was as if the Hornpipe was written specially for it! The band will return to Eastbourne on 17th July with a Broadway themed programme.
Uckfield Concert Brass perform at the South of England Show
13 June 2010
The band have just completed a 2 day engagement performing for visitors to the annual South of England Show at the Ardingly Showground.
Despite the inclement weather, the band played 3 sessions each day to an appreciative audience. The next opportunity to see the band will be at Eastbourne Bandstand on 27th June at 8.00pm.
Uckfield Success at SCABA Entertainment Contest
16 May 2010
Uckfield Concert Brass returned to Crawley today for the SCABA Entertainment Contest looking to once again be in the prizes.
And they were! The band took home the 2nd Prize and also, the soloist award for solo trombone, Steve Walkley.
The Band were also very pleased that on our new Musical Director, Nick Morris, received the Best MD/Compere award from adjudicator Roy Sparkes.
The contest was also the debut for 2 new cornet players who have recently joined the band; Steve Bull & Lizzie Killick plus the return of Simon Green to the Baritone ranks.
This is a great start for Nick and the band who are looking forward to many years of success together!
11 May 2010
The band are currently preparing for their first appearance under new MD, Nick Morris at the SCABA Entertainment Contest being held at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley on Sunday 16th May in addition to preparing programmes for our 2 day appearance at the South of England show in Ardingly – check the events section for more details.