An ‘out of this world’ start to our year!

We have certainly kicked off 2018 with a bang, with a great event and some exciting contest successes for all three of our brass groups over the last month. We’ve been so busy it’s taken us all month to report back!

We’re going to the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain!

Qualified for the National Finals in Cheltenham!Our Senior band went to Stevenage on March 17th  for the annual London & Southern Counties Regional contest and came away with a second place in our section (3rd) and an invitation to play at the National Finals in Cheltenham in September! Thanks go to everyone for their hard work, but especially to Musical Director, Rom Stanko, who prepared the band so well – and then handed over the baton to Community Brass MD, Alan Rodger, for the performance so he could fill a gap in the percussion section – bravo! (More pictures here)

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…and more silverware for the whole team!

That wasn’t the first piece of silverware we managed to grab this year though…March arrived with all three of our bands taking part – very successfully! – in the Chichester Festival of Music, Drama and Speech.

For the first time ever, Chichester City Band entered THREE ensembles to the Chichester Festival of Music, Drama and Speech, held annually at the C of E School in Orchard Street. Our Senior band has entered (and won!) for the last few years, but this was the first outing at any type of contest for our Community Band (conducted by Alan Rodger) and our Elementary brass group (conducted by Bob Ainsworth). 

All the bands were rated outstanding or very good in their sections by adjudicator, Chris King (MD of leading Southern Counties Championship Section band, Friary Guildford). The senior band took home the Robert Hall Challenge Cup for the fourth year running, despite only having a week to rehearse a superb new piece – Gambit –  especially composed for the occasion by conductor, Rom Stanko. The Elementary Brass group took home the Chichester City Band Cup and received glowing praise for their renditions of SpongeBob Square Pants, When the Saints, and James Bond. The Community Brass group gave great renditions of traditional march Slaidburn, Chanson du Matin, and Magnificent Seven. (Sadly, no cup on offer in that section or the cupboard would have been full!)

Well done everyone! (Click here to see some pictures of our day)

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Exam success: Not content with taking home some silverware, we congratulate 4 members of our Elementary Brass group, all of whom passed their latest exams with DISTINCTION –  well done Izzy (Grade 2 trumpet), Riah (Grade 2 cornet), Mae (Grade 2 tenor horn) and Maria (Grade 1 trombone)! Well done girls – we’re really proud of you!

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Major Tim Peake Freedom of Chichester

Senior band at Tim Peake presentation (CFT) 1 

Our day out to Chichester Festival Theatre for the presentation of the Freedom of Chichester to Major Tim Peake was even better than we could have expected.  The Chichester City senior band played for the crowds arriving at the theatre to see Chichester’s favourite astronaut – it was a beautiful (if cold) sunny day, and we got a wave from the man himself as he arrived. 

We were able to see the presentation of the Freedom of Chichester, after which the children from our Elementary Brass group got the chance to attend the presentation given by Major Tim. They had a great time listening to him relating his adventures in space, after which their day was completed with a couple of ‘selfies’ for their photo albums!  (See more pictures here)

Clearly very inspired by Major Tim, Izzy (9) and twins Mae and Riah (8), all in Year 4 at the Chichester Free School, have provided us with a brief report of their day.

Our day at Major Tim Peake's presentation

It’s beautifully written out, but just in case…

“25th February 2018

Tim Peake – Freedom of the City

Chichester City Band went to the Festival Theatre to see Tim Peake. He was getting his freedom of the city. He talked and showed us pictures of him being up in space and going into space. He got some of us interested into becoming an astronaut. He also explained about the food and how you sleep. It was very interesting and also made us think that girls can be astronauts too. Tim told us that you have to learn lots of subjects at school. We had a wonderful time and we will remember the experience forever. Thank you to Chichester City Band for giving us this opportunity.

From the Elementary Brass band.”

To find out more about all our bands, please visit the playing with the band page.