A pre-Christmas ‘year in review’…and the end of an era

It’s that time of year when we look back at how things have gone this year…but before we talk about concerts, contests and our new home (!) we have to say a very fond farewell.

After 30 years continuous service as a trombonist with Chichester City Band, our Life Vice President, Don Webb has retired from playing. At our Christmas concert on 14th December, he finally hung up his slide, but not before taking his final solo and having Chair, Dave Williams present him with tokens of our appreciation, including a commemorative shield.

Thanks for your dedication and hard work, Don – we’ll miss you! (Having said all that, Don turned out for of our post-concert carolling engagements, proving a good bandsman can never quite let go!).

(Photos courtesy of Helen Hooker @helenhookerphotography)

To listen to Don talking about his time with the band, head to the Chichester Observer website, where you can also read more about his playing career.

Otherwise, we’ve had another VERY busy year

As ever, we’ve had a very full concert and events programme, playing in and around Chichester, including:

  • Our regular Summer and Christmas concerts at St Paul’s, Chichester
  • Concerts in Selsey and Bognor Regis
  • Many (!) fetes, including Sidlesham, Slindon and Singleton (we don’t just play in villages starting with ‘S’, really!)
  • Carolling – including a lovely concert at St Mary’s, South Bersted to support Chestnut Tree childrens hospice

We also played several times this year for the RNLI in Selsey, supporting two lifeboat launches, in addition to our regular appearance at the Service of Thanksgiving.

And then there was contesting…

We started our year with a clean sweep (Senior, Elementary and Community bands) at the Chichester Festival of Music, Dance and Speech, then headed to Stevenage for the London & Southern Counties regional contest, where we achieved a magnificent 2nd place and qualified for the National Finals in Cheltenham in September (rehearsals for which made our summer even more busy!). We had a great time at the Nationals competing against the best bands in the country in our section and, although the result wasn’t what we’d have liked, we had some really positive comments from the adjudicators.

We can’t talk about contesting without thanking our MD, Rom Stanko for his incredible preparation for Stevenage (where he also stepped in to play percussion at the last minute!) and Cheltenham, and to our Community Band MD, Alan Rodger (who stepped in to conduct at Stevenage with about 2 weeks’ notice). And of course our Elementary Band MD, Bob Ainsworth who took our juniors to their first cup success!

We also enjoyed two weeks with a very special guest conductor, the incomparable Gordon Higginbottom (horn legend and racconteur!), who joined us while Rom was on away on a well-earned holiday (booked before we qualified, of course!)

CCB with MD, Rom Stanko and guest conductor Gordon Higginbottom

Then there’s our new home…

We have to say a big THANK YOU to Goodwood Motor Circuit for providing us with a home in Chichester for the first time in over 6 years. We are finally able to have all of our groups under one roof in the lovely old Super Shell building, and look forward to getting properly settled in during 2019. Your can read more about it in an earlier post

And finally…

It just remains for us to wish all of our friends and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all during our 2019 season!