We Will Remember Them (November 2017)

 

Test Valley Brass were once again honoured to be part of Andover's Remembrance events at St Marys Church. On Remembrance Sunday Senior Band provided the musical accompaniment for the hymns during the service, plus also providing quiet, reflective music during the laying of the wreaths.  Last Post and Reveille was played by Principal Cornet, Louise Porter, having also taken part in the Armistice Day Service at St Mary's the previous day.


Meanwhile, TVB Senior Academy and Youth Band combined forces to provide the musical accompaniment to the Remembrance Service at Overton.


Senior Academy & Youth Band

Summer Fetes (May-Sept 2017)

 

TVB performed at 8 local fetes over the summer months, providing an entertaining selection of popular tunes.


Upper Clatford May Fayre, Broughton Village Fete, Barton Stacey Fayre, Over Wallop Church Fete, Monxton & Amport Village Fete, St Mary Bourne Flower Festival, Abbotts Ann Fete and Weyhill Church Fete.


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Youth Band welcome in new Musical Director (March 2017)


Test Valley Brass (TVB) is delighted to announce the appointment of Kiri Sheppard as its new Youth Band Musical Director. Kiri has a wealth of musical experience including a degree in Music, qualifications in trumpet, piano, cello and music theory, and is also a Northumbrian piper. In addition, Kiri is a qualified Secondary School Music Teacher. Kiri was Principal Flugel of the Hampshire County Youth Band for 6 years under Leighton Rich (during which time they won the BBC Youth Band competition) and also held a range of positions in other brass bands, including Principal Cornet of TVB Concert Band.

 

Kiri has a real passion for music and her enthusiastic approach to learning is infectious: “I love helping children to develop a passion for music and I have already greatly enjoyed my time so far working with the Youth Band. They have so much potential to continue developing and progressing as musicians and hopefully I can help them to achieve this. Thank you for choosing me to become the Youth Band Conductor and I hope to support the children and pass on my passion for music. I say 'Pass on the Passion'!!!”

 

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The "Massed Training Bands" of TVB perform in the Chantry Centre (June 2016)

Senior Academy, Youth Band and Frosty's


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Senior Band perform at the Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations in Vigo Park (June 2016)


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New Musical Director Appointed for Frosty's (May 2016)


Test Valley Brass is delighted to announce the appointment of Tracy Newlands as Musical Director of its Frosty’s Band. Tracy has wealth of experience in the brass world, playing Horn and Cornet in small village bands right up to Championship Section Bands. Outside of the brass band world, the musical experience continues, having played French Horn and Trumpet with various amateur and semi-professional orchestras, not to mention her career as an Army Musician. In addition, Tracy has worked hard to achieve a range of musical qualifications on several instruments. TVB are very much looking forward to welcoming Tracy into the group.

 

Commenting on her appointment, Tracy said “This will be my first venture into the world of conducting and I am delighted to be a part of Frosty's. I am looking forward to learning along with the young musicians and providing them with an environment which will help them develop as musicians whilst having fun. I look forward to watching them progress through their musical journey”.

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Palm Sunday Procession at Winchester Cathedral (March 2016)


Senior Band were delighted to take part once again in the Palm Sunday Procession through Winchester to the Cathedral.


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Basingstoke Music Festival (March 2016)


Saturday 19th March saw the Senior Academy, Youth Band and Frosty's compete in the Basingstoke Music Festival, with each band coming top in their respective classes. In addition the Youth Band was awarded the Hannington Silver Band Cup and Frosty’s was awarded the Basingstoke Lions Cup. The adjudicator described the Senior Academy’s performance as “most enjoyable”, whilst the Youth Band and Frosty's were both congratulated on their attention to detail. Well done to everyone that took part!!


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National Brass Band Championships - West of England Regional Qualifiers (March 2016)


The Senior Band have had a great weekend down in Torquay for the 2016 National Brass Band Championships West of England Regional Qualifiers. This was the band's first time back on the contest scene after a 2 year break. TVB's performance was described by 4barsrest.com as "spirited and stylish" resulting in TVB coming a creditable 14th out of the 21 bands in the 4th section - a excellent achievement, especially considering 9 members of the band had never contested at the regional level before.

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We are seeking a Musical Director for our Frosty's Band (March 2016)


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Good Luck Ann! (Jan 2016)


It was a sad day at TVB as we said goodbye to one of our most talented and committed players, Ann Wilfort.


Ann - you have been a huge asset to the band, both musically and personality wise - your enthusiasm and smile just brightens up the room, and your commitment to Senior Band and Senior Academy has been exceptional. Musically you've grown significantly in confidence and ability - mainly down to your hard working attitude towards practising. You are an example to us all! From all at TVB we'd just like to say a massive thank you and good luck in your new life in Scotland!


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Happy New Year from all at Test Valley Brass! (Jan 2016)


We've all recovered from the busy carol season and now rehearsals are well underway for our contesting adventures in March. Senior Band will once again be competing at the National Brass Band Regional Qualifiers in Torquay on 12th March, whilst Youth Band, Frosty's, Senior Academy and HATS will each be showcasing their talent at the annual Basingstoke Music Festival on 19th March.



Christmas in the Community (Dec 2015)


TVB enjoyed supporting and entertaining the Test Valley community at over 20 engagements this Christmas, ranging from TVBs Christmas Concert at The Lights, to Romsey and Andover Lantern Parades, various carol and christingle services, Christmas Fayres, holiday parks, local care homes and two spectacular evenings of "carols and owls by Moonlight" at The Hawk Conservancy. TVB feels honoured to have been such a big part of the community in the build up to Christmas.


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Senior Academy's 2nd Anniversary (Nov 2015)


TVB Senior Academy celebrated its 2nd Anniversary with an Open Evening last Monday, 2nd November. 21 members played in front of guests as they showed what happens in an Academy rehearsal.


The Academy has the objective of teaching adults to play brass instruments and percussion, and started two years ago with just nine players who couldn't play at all. Now there are 26 members of varying abilities, and the Academy band regularly performs in public, and six of its members now play with the Senior Band.


Awards were presented by Councillor Jan Lovell to Rachael Howell (Players' Player of the Year), the Horn Section (Leanne Hollingdale, Tracey Kestle and Jane Rarok) for Section of the Year, and to Marian Brewer for Player of the Year (see photos).


Guests were able to see how the Academy accomodates new members whilst still allowing the more established members to enjoy playing together in an ensemble.


The Academy is a happy place to be on Monday evenings!


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Players' Player of the Year

Section of the Year - Horns

Conductor's Player of the Year

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The Mayors Civic Service (Oct 2015)


TVB Senior Band were privaledged to perform during the Mayor's Civic Service in St Mary's Church.

Our fanfare team of Ann, Daniel, Peter and Sam were also featured during the service.


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Winchester Farmers Market (Oct 2015)


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The TVB massed bands perform in the Time Ring during the local Farmers Market (Sept 2015)


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Afternoon entertainment in the sunshine at Andover Nursing Home (Aug 2015)


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Trout'n'About, Stockbridge (Aug 2015)


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St Mary Bourne Flower Show (July 2015)


Senior Band performs at St Mary Bourne Flower Show, whilst new MD, Matt Pithers, shows off his juggling talents!


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Worldwide Whitchurch Weekend (July 2015)


Senior Band proudly led the march through Whitchurch (Hampshire) to celebrate the Worldwide Whitchurch Weekend!


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The younger members of TVB show of their talent at their end of term Award Evening! (July 2015)


Youth  Band and Frosty's joined forces to provide an evening of entertainment for their families and the TVB group, whilst also receiving their end of year awards.


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Youth Band - Conductor's Player of the Year

Youth Band - Most Improved Player

Youth Band - Players' Player

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Frosty's - Conductor's Player of the Year

Frosty's - Players' Player


TVB return from fantastic weekend in Worcester! (July 2015)

   

Test Valley Brass have recently been forging links between Andover and the city of Worcester. In an action filled weekend the band played in a number of locations around the city including inside the cathedral and outside the Guildhall. The weekend involved three performances by the band which was made up of players both young and old from across the TVB group. This tour was also the bands first outing under their newly appointed Musical Director Matt Pithers who had to say:

 

"Worcester was a fantastic experience for the Test Valley Group as a whole. It was also a great opportunity for me to get to know the people that make Test Valley Brass such a fantastic place to make music. We look forward to welcoming Worcester City Brass back to Andover in the near future."

 

The main performance of the weekend was a joint concert from Test Valley Brass and Worcester Concert Brass. In an evening raising money in aid of the charity Support Dogs, both bands played a varied set of music before uniting with a couple of rousing joint numbers to finish off the concert. In a further effort to encourage links between Worcester and Andover both Mayors exchanged gifts.

 

Despite some typically British wet weather on the Sunday morning when the band were playing outside the Guildhall, a fun and entertaining weekend was had by all. The trip has led to the possible reciprocal visit of Worcester Concert Brass to Andover at some stage in the future.


To view all the photos of our weekend away click on this link: Worcester Photo Album


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Test Valley Brass have a truly Disney Inspired Afternoon of Music, Fun, Food and Dressing Up! (July 2015)

  

The day finally arrived for Test Valley Brass' Disney Inspired Concert and it lived up to all expectations! John Hanson School was jam packed with Disney characters including the Little Mermaid's Ursula, Snow White and one of her dwarfs, a number of pirates, the Mad Hatter, Tinkerbell, Minnie Mouse, Eeyore, Tigger and even a whole band of Minions! Each of the bands performed a selection of Disney inspired pieces culminating in the massed bands of TVB performing in a grand finale.


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HATS perform at Clatford Open Gardens (June 2015)


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Senior Band enjoyed performing at Over Wallop Church Fete (June 2015)


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HATS Piece having fun at Hursley Village Fete (June 2015)


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TVB Senior Band - Musical Director Appointment! (May 2015)  

 

Test Valley Brass is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Pithers as Musical Director of its Senior Band, effective 18th May 2015.

 

Matthew is an accomplished musician having spent the past 21 years as a military musician starting in the Blues and Royals followed by the Coldstream Guards Band and is currently principal clarinet of the Irish Guards Band. Matthew has been involved in banding since he was 8 and from 2011 to 2014 conducted a London based brass band (A Brass Act).

 

Commenting on his appointment, Matthew said “I am delighted to have been appointed as Musical Director of TVB Senior Band and am looking forward to working with the band to develop the playing skills of each and every member. It has been a while since I have been involved with a community brass band and have been looking for a new opportunity and as I live in the Andover area TVB is a perfect fit for me allowing me to balance the demands of my professional life and that of my family.

The band already performs to a pretty high standard and my vision is to develop this further by working with the MD’s of the Youth Band, Frosty’s and Senior Academy so that each member achieves their true potential.”

 

Matthew has already taken his first rehearsal with the Senior Band who has a number of important engagements coming up including a Disney Inspired Concert at John Hanson School in June, a weekend trip to Worcester in July, plus the usual round of fetes and community events.

 

Louise Porter, TVB Chair said, “The appointment of Matthew is a significant part of our strategy for the TVB group with the aim of enhancing the performance of all players and encouraging new players to join us. The Senior Band currently has vacancies in the Trombone and Baritone sections, but we welcome all new players at whatever level."


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HATS perform at their first summer fete of the year in Longparish (May 2015)


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John Hanson School Community Spring Concert (April 2015)


Youth Band were delighted to once again be invited to play at John Hanson School's Spring Concert. The band performed three of their favourite numbers, the popular march "The Rambler", the hymn arrangement of "As the Deer" and the ever entertaining "Baggy Trousers".

 

Success for Test Valley Brass at local music festival (March 2015)

 

The Test Valley Brass family of bands is celebrating its recent successes at the Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival. On 28th March, TVB entered all 5 of its bands into 4 different classes at the festival.  Each band had 15 minutes to perform a selection of contrasting music to impress the adjudicator and the audience in the hall at Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke.

 

First up were the younger players of Frosty's and the Youth Band who both confidently took to the stage performing in the 16yrs & under, and 18yrs & under Wind and Brass Bands Classes respectively.  Both bands were awarded 1st place in their respective classes, with Frosty's proudly coming away with the BMF Salver and the Youth Band with the Hannington Silver Band Cup.

 

Following the success of the younger groups came TVB's newest band the Senior Academy which aims to introduce adults who have never played brass instruments the chance to learn and gain experience in playing with an ensemble before graduating to the ranks of the Senior Band.  The Academy put on a fine display, excelling themselves on the contest stage for the very first time.  Their quality performance was rewarded with 1st place in the Open Music Group Class and overcome tough challenge from Bishop Challoner Senior Wind Group to win the Modern Music Cup.

 

In the final class Test Valley Brass Senior Band and the smaller 10 Piece ensemble 'Hooters & Tooters' were ranged against each other  in the Open Brass and Wind Bands Class.  The Senior Band proved triumphant in this section walking away with first place and the Festival Brass Cup with 10 Piece a close second.

 

For the Senior Band the Basingstoke festival marked their last time under the baton of outgoing Musical Director Keith Thomasson and the band put on an extra effort to make his last outing with the band memorable.  Test Valley Brass are now looking for a new MD and if you are interested in being part of a local community based brass band please e-mail your C.V. to secretary@testvalleybrass.co.uk by 15/05/15. For more information about TVB please visit our website: www.testvalleybrass.co.uk or our facebook page: www.facebook.com/testvalleybrass

 

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Entertainment in The Time Ring, Andover (Feb 2015)

 

The five bands of Test Valley Brass entertained the crowds in Andover's High Street - with each band performing individually, in combinations and finally as the massed bands of TVB!  Thank you to everyone who came and listened.


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Senior Band and Senior Academy joint (post-) Christmas Meal (Jan 2015)


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