Wealden Brass

News & Events

First Event of the Season – Nutley Fete, 26th June!!

Today we held our first concert of the year and what a day it was. The weather was perfect and the public attended in good numbers. Probably as relieved as we were of a return to some semblance of normality, albeit with the social distancing and sanitising that has now become a normal part of daily life for everyone. Many thanks to the organisers and our band members for making this such a memorable event.

A New Year Message to Our Members, Their Families & Our Supporters

Well, what a strange year 2020 turned out to be, certainly not like any other in my 60 years of banding! With no musical engagements at all especially in December which is usually the busiest month of our year, it seemed very strange not having anything to prepare for. It seemed very unlike Christmas without our usual carol concerts and it took me some time to feel at all Christmassy!

However, there was some music making during the year with our trombonist Simon very cleverly putting together two virtual performances with each of us playing at home. Also, thanks to our flugel player, Sue and her husband Dave, some of us were able to rehearse outside during the summer when permitted by the regulations at their paddock near Horam.

When the lockdown regulations eased again in October, we returned to Union Corner Hall for several weeks thanks to our secretary, Caroline who completed the risk assessments as required to ensure band members’ safety and it was good to get almost the whole band back together again with some excellent music making.

Hopefully, with the rollout of vaccines, things will look much better in the new year with a full programme of concerts and fetes to look forward to. The band is in very a very good position with strong membership and an excellent programme of music to perform.

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

David Padget, Musical Director

VIRTUAL BLOW

Musicians throughout the UK have been affected by the lockdown regulations and the requirement for social distancing with rehearsals and concerts cancelled or postponed since March.

For our second virtual performance we have chosen “Paloma Blanca” (white dove in Spanish), composed by J Bouwens arranged Edrich Siebert, to remind everyone of Spanish holidays that they may have enjoyed in the past or may be able to have this summer.

It was a hit throughout Europe for the George Baker Selection in 1975 and the tune was also used by the Wurzels for their hit “I Am a Cider Drinker” the following year. Our video, expertly edited again by our trombonist, Simon Rudge, features the premier performance of the Wealden Brass formation dance team. Not quite strictly standard yet but who knows!

David Padget (Musical Director)

Thanks to Simon Rudge, one of our trombonists, Hailsham based Wealden Brass have put together this video with each musician playing their part at home in isolation with just a metronome beating time to keep the band together.

I hope you enjoy this piece by ABBA composed by Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus and arranged by Steve Cortland.

David Padget (Musical Director)

Following the release of the music Simon was also interviewed by local radio station, BBC Radio Sussex. Listen to the interview

Covid 19 Update

Along with the rest of the world, our year has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following Government advice, group practices along with concerts have been cancelled until further notice, although we are still taking bookings for 2021.

As soon as the situation changes, please rest assured that we will advise you.

In the mean time, we wish all our members and the wider public good health.

For a full list of events for 2020 (or what’s left after the inevitable Covid-19 cancellations) please follow this link. Upcoming Events

Presentation of the John Walters Cup 2019

The John Walter Cup was donated to the band in 2001 by the band President John Walter and is presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year to the player that has shown the most improvement or made the most effort to improve their playing over the proceeding year.

This year the award has been presented to Caleb Scott who is currently rehearsing a solo piece which we hope will be showcased later this year.


The band President, John Walter presents the Player of the Year Cup to Caleb at the AGM, March 2019

NEW Wealden Brass CD – Released 

Following hot on the heels of our first very successful CD, ‘Wealden Brass At The Movies’, we have now completed our second, “Wealden Brass – Unforgettable Brass Band Favourites” which is now available for sale. Tracks comprise well known themes and tunes including “Breezin’ Down Broadway”, “Unforgettable”, “Zambezi”, “Frolic for Trombones”, the ever popular “Sussex by the Sea” and many more. – For full details, click on the CD cover opposite.

 

 

 

The History….

The band was formed in February 1979 and held its first practice at Vines Cross church on 6th March 1979. Starting with just six playing members, they were collectively known as Vines Cross Modern Brass.

In 1980 the band moved to Hailsham and began rehearsing at Marshland School. During that year, the band membership increased four-fold to twenty four members and the name was changed to Hailsham and Vines Cross Modern Brass.

In October 1982, the band moved to Union Corner Hall in Hawks Road, Hailsham and has rehearsed there ever since.

In 1997 the band changed its name to Wealden Brass and now regularly performs throughout East Sussex including Eastbourne Bandstand.  The band has built up an enviable reputation for entertaining concerts under the musical directorship of Mr David Padget, who was elected into the post in 1998. The band continues to grow from strength to strength thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of each and every member (and the loyal support of the public of course) and looks forward to providing another season of entertainment.

Charity Work

The band carries out a great deal of charity work in helping to raise money for good causes.

Some of the beneficiaries include:

  • Hailsham RAFA Association
  • St Mary’s Church (Hailsham)
  • Anthony Nolan
  • Demelza 

Membership

We have regular attendance at our practices in the Union Corner Hall, with approximately 26-30 members.  Three of these are founder members.

Even though our membership is strong, we have vacancies that we would like to fill and we are always on the lookout for talented musicians to join us.

National Lottery

In 2008 we received some Lottery funding in the Awards for All programme, which was used to buy four instruments.  We have a selection of spare instruments available to lend to get new players started.  We have a junior group that meets every Tuesday at 7.15 pm, to prepare beginners for the main band.

In 2004 the band celebrated its silver anniversary with a concert in the Hailsham Community Hall, followed by a reception for the friends, supporters, former members and other alumni, including the long-suffering family and friends who do so much to support and assist the musicians.

The band has a very friendly atmosphere and every excuse is taken to have cake and drinks after a rehearsal to celebrate.

In fact, you don’t even need to be able to play to join our group.  One of our members is a qualified music teacher and will help you to get started.

Celebrations

In 2004 the band celebrated its silver anniversary with a concert in the Hailsham Community Hall, followed by a reception for the friends, supporters, former members and other alumni, including the long-suffering family and friends who do so much to support and assist the musicians.

The band has a very friendly atmosphere and every excuse is taken to have cake and drinks after a rehearsal to celebrate.

Come and join us

If you are interested in joining Wealden Brass, please contact our secretary Caroline Haylor on (01323) 843753.  You can also call or E mail Caroline if you would like Wealden Brass to play at your event/concert.   You can also email us for more information by contacting any of the following committee members:

Secretary:  Caroline Haylor:                secretary@wealdenbrass.co.uk

Treasurer:  Trevor Rood:                     treasurer@wealdenbrass.co.uk

Musical Director: David Padget:         md@wealdenbrass.co.uk

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