STOP PRESS: National Finals success!

More success for the band as we take a well-deserved 6th place at the National FInals of the Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. We qualified as Champions of London & Southern Counties 3rd Section back in March, to earn us our 2nd visit in a row to Cheltenham. Over the summer, the band has enjoyed working on the set piece (Viking Age) under the expert direction of MD Rom Stanko, and our performance on the day earned us some very complimentary remarks from adjudicators Phil Harper, Paul Holland and Melvyn White.

Onwards and upwards!

Summer is here!

It’s midsummer now and we LOVE summer! It gives us a chance to get out and about to see and be seen – and we’ve already made a great start with a couple of our favourite events (Slindon Fete, in its lovely downland setting, and the the Garden Show at beautiful Stansted park). We were also proud to be part of the launch of the Festival of Chichester on June 15th, followed by our traditional summer concert at St Paul’s (see photo – and see some more images of us at the Festival launch on the Chichester Observer website.)

St Paul’s, summer concert – Ronnie Wilson’s euphonium solo (and our trophies!)

And don’t forget to check out our diary pages, which are constantly being updated with our appearances at fetes and events all over the area.

See you soon!

Champions! London & Southern Counties (3rd Section)

16 March 2019: Today we travelled to Stevenage for the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships and came away with the 3rd Section winners’ shield and pennant, beating 14 other bands to the prize. To make our day even better, our conductor, Rom Stanko, won the Conductor Prize.

This means we can look forward to another visit to Cheltenham to represent our region in the National Championships in September. Well done to Rom and all the band for a great win!

A great start to 2019

A great start to the year, with some silverware for the trophy cabinet! A creditable second in our section at the SCABA Spring Contest at the Hawth in Crawley (Sunday 24th Feb), not to mention a ‘Best Horn Section’ trophy!

Second place and a Best Horn Section trophy at the SCABA Spring Contest

With barely time to draw breath, we had a really enjoyable evening playing a lovely programme of British and French melodies to celebrate the 60th ‘birthday’ of Chichester’s twinning with Chartres. More info and hopefully some photographs to follow!…

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!

Chichester City Band rehearsals are now “on track”!

2018 has been quite a year for Chichester City Band but perhaps the most significant event, on 30th October, was our return to the City after some 6 years in Bognor Regis. Although we’ve been able to use great venues (thanks to the Regis Centre and to South Bersted Church Hall for providing us with rehearsal space), we’ve been constantly striving to move back to Chichester.

Having heard of our search for a suitable venue, Jon Barnett, General Manager of Goodwood Motor Circuit, very kindly offered his assistance.  As a result of the company’s magnificent generosity, we have been very fortunate to move into our new home in the Super Shell, a fantastic historic building (clearly visible from the air and on Google maps!), which has great space, can accommodate all of our groups under one roof, and has an acoustic that is ideally suited to our needs.

(To find out more about joining us, please visit our Playing with the band page.)

Pictured here is our first rehearsal with MD, Rom Stanko. We have plans for a photo shoot on the race track itself, which runs alongside the building, but we’ll have to wait for better light in the spring (and also make sure the track isn’t being used for its intended purpose)!

For more information about the Band, please check out the rest of the website.

You can also  follow us on Twitter @ChichesterBand and Facebook. Email enquiries to chichestercityband@gmail.com or speak to Rom 07432 155110 or Andrea 07885 618410

Catch us in July…

Well that was a busy June, with two concerts (in the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor, and our regular summer Chichester Festival concert at St. Paul’s) and two very ‘floral’ events – Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers and our regular outing to the beautiful gardens at Stansted for the Garden Show.

But there’s no rest for a brass band in the summer season! Although we’ll be busy preparing for our very exciting trip to Cheltenham to take part in the Finals of the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain, you’ll still have lots of opportunities to see us in July as we hit Chichester City Centre (Saturday 8th) and some of our favourite local fetes (Singleton, 21st and Sidlesham, 28th). We end the month with our annual participation in the RNLI Service of Thanksgiving (Selsey, Sunday 29th).

Check out all of our events on our Facebook page or our Diary of events page for full details.

Enjoy the sunshine!

June is (nearly!) bustin’ out all over!

We’re already into our 2018 season, having kicked off the ‘Last Friday’ series at St George’s, Whyke in April with a superb concert. But the summer season starts in earnest this weekend with our annual trip to Slindon College for the wonderful Slindon Fete (Saturday May 26th, 2pm)

June really will be ‘bustin’ out all over’ though with:

  • a busy opening weekend at the Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers (Saturday 2nd, 9.30am)
  • our now annual visit to the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor (Sunday 3rd, 2pm)
  • our regular outing to the beautiful gardens at Stansted for the Garden Show (Saturday 9th, 2pm) 
  • our Chichester Festival concert at St Paul’s (Saturday 16th, 7.30pm).

Check out all of our events on our Facebook page or our Diary of events page – and you can even print some posters out to help us advertise our upcoming concerts!

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.

Peake-ing early!

We’re starting 2018 with a real treat!

Chichester City Council will confer the Honorary Freedom of the City on astronaut Major Tim Peake at a sell-out ceremony at Chichester Festival Theatre on Sunday 25 February at 2.30pm. 

We will be playing before the presentation from around 1.45pm.

If you want to see what else we’re doing this year, check out our Diary of Events page. Filled up already!