Category Archives: Putney & Wimbledon

Brass In Concert

Just one year into the life of Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band it seemed the right time to throw a party.  With a list of achievements as long as our shiny green ties, we have a lot to celebrate and – to be honest – we love any opportunity to play.  Our enthusiasm for #brassbanding is infectious; with every outing in the community we gather new followers and spread the brass band love.  Tonight was the perfect event.

Having entered the Community Church in Putney at 8pm – with the Mayor of Wandsworth in attendance – those members of the audience new to brass banding would be forgiven for expecting a calm, quiet and reverent start to our concert.  However, our opening number Barnard Castle did make the audience wake up and sit up!  By the time we hit the first note of Trailblaze, they were well prepared for this explosive and entertaining piece; moving through every dynamic, from the euphoniums tiptoeing lightly over the top, to trombones blazing their way through the whole band.

The most beautiful and moving of all pieces of the evening – a classic hymn Crimond known to all as “The Lord is my Shepherd” – opened with soloist & principal cornet Nicholas Scholfield bringing a few tears to the audience with his sublime playing; definitely a fitting venue to allow the church acoustics to reflect the emotion of this evocative piece of music.

Travelling through the different genres, we marched through Sturminster High, and soothed ourselves with the classic hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.  We then sprung into movie theme Born Free and onto Anthem from the musical Chess.  We rocked to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and had some of the audience head-banging in their seats.  Our drummer, Joseph, could be forgiven for making this his favourite piece of the evening, though he probably needs to grow his hair a little longer to look the part!

We eased gently into the beautiful Calling Cornwall sunrise; music that took us on a journey through the Cornwall landscape.  That was one of our four Goff Richards compositions of evening and we managed to squeeze in Still Time.  To prepare us for the tempo, our MD Sam Topp gave us his signature hip wiggle to settle us into the driving rhythm of this entertainer.  Just watching Sam enjoy this Goff number was probably entertainment itself.

Our youngest piece of music composed by Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran was Love Yourself, with soloist Andy doing the loving from the onset!  No birthday party is complete without a cheesy ending, and we literally struck gold with an arrangement of classic ABBA hits from Alan Fernie to round off the party with ABBA Gold.

With every event, we try to make the right choices; right for the band and right for the community. We also thought about our refreshments being right for the planet and – from a concert with over 100 people attending – we created only a tiny bag of waste; everything else was either eaten or recycled!  As Martin Smith said after the event: “Our concert was a success – much less rubbish than expected!” … not sure that is our perfect strapline but – on an environmental level – we will take that!

A wonderful evening for everyone involved, thanks to: the Mayor of Wandsworth for celebrating with us; Community Church Putney for providing the venue; members of the audience (especially those who came to their first Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band concert); members of the band for compering, arranging the venue, and organising refreshments; and finally our dedicated Musical Director Sam Topp for preparing us for this evening.

A great celebration for our first birthday … we are looking forward to a bright brass banding future in Putney and Wimbledon!

Happy Birthday To Us

Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band are celebrating because – can you believe it – we’ve been in existence for a year already. And what a year it has been!

We’ve gone from a few like-minded brass players, to a thriving local band who have performed in vast array of venues including local schools, Brighton
Bandstand and the villages around Saddleworth (for Whit Friday, one of the largest brass band competitions in the Country).

We started literally with a bang as our first official gig was the Wimbledon Park Fireworks extravaganza; just a few of weeks after our first rehearsal and we played to a crowd of several thousand. Not a bad start!

Live on ITV

Through the 2017 Christmas period, we put our Santa hats on and headed out across beloved communities, playing our socks off for commuters, Christmas light switch-ons, Community Choruses, public house revelers and church congregations. On top of that we even managed to play on live TV in front of the nation as they ate their respective breakfasts whilst watching Good Morning Britain and Lorraine. Christmas cheer had never been so brass-centric.

PWBB at Brighton BandstandOf course, a brass band is not just for Christmas. What has really amazed us is how the people of Putney and Wimbledon have really got behind us and
embraced brass music into their celebrations and events throughout the entire year. Not only have we more than doubled the number of musicians in the band to well over 30; we have played at cycle races, rowing races, marathon runs, birthday parties and community church events; we’ve played for schools, pubs, choirs, Guide Dogs, Members of Parliament, NCT Groups and Mayors; we have played on stages, streets, Commons, Moors, gardens, next to the river and by the sea.

It seems like only yesterday that a group of brass players decided to take their art form to the communities of Putney & Wimbledon, and those communities have certainly taken us – and brass band music – to their hearts. Thank you.

What do you do when you reach the grand old age of 1 year old? You have a party – of course – and you invite everyone along! So you are cordially invited to join us on Thursday 11th October.

Not only will you get to hear us play some of our favourite tunes, but if you’re lucky you might even get a chance to chat with the Mayor of Wandsworth, Piers McCausland, who has graciously agreed to come along too.  We understand
he is something of a fan.

We look forward to seeing you on 11th of October, starting at 8pm and continuing on until around 9:30pm, in the lovely Community Church Putney, Werter Road, SW15 2LL.

Come along, let us say thank you, and help us celebrate. And don’t worry; it’s a birthday party, so there will definitely be cake!

Blow Away The January Blues

Eat less chocolate; watch less TV; eat less bacon; stop drinking; eat less cheese. New Year’s Resolutions tend to be a list of things you enjoy, but you’re no longer allowed to do. Until about the 12th of January, that is…

So how about a New Year’s Resolution that you’ll want to keep up beyond January, that adds something fun, exciting and rewarding to your life?

At Putney & Wimbeldon Brass Band, we love nothing more than helping a lapsed brass player get back into playing; or providing a place for a developing player to join a group for the first time. And January is the perfect time…

Here’s a few reasons why joining us might be your best option to start off 2018 on a high note:

  • We’re more fun than going for a run; with a wide range of gigs and events already planned for 2018, your social media posts will be a lot more interesting than a series of RunKeeper stats.Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band live on ITV
  • We’re more sociable than a box set; as an established and thriving band, you’ll instantly have close to thirty new friends. Our welcoming attitude and an active social diary means “Netflix” will soon drop out of your vocabulary.
  • We’re warmer and drier than a swim in the Serpentine; with Christmas out of the way, brass banding is a strictly indoor activity until the summer!
  • We’re less competitive than Sunday League Football; there are no trials or auditions to get your place on our team. As long as you’re comfortable playing a brass instrument in a group environment, you’re in!
  • We’re less judgmental than a dieting club; no public weighing or body-shaming here. We have a supportive culture where we encourage and learn from each other. Our more experienced players love sharing their expertise to help you improve or get back into playing.
  • We’re cheaper than gym membership; as a member-run, not-for-profit group we have no overheads and keep subscriptions to an absolute minimum. Handy when that January pay-cheque seems so far away.

If that’s not enough to persuade you, then take a look at what we’ve been up to in December to get a sense of what it’s like to be a part of Putney and Wimbledon’s local brass band.

But if the guilt of that unused instrument is becoming too much to handle, fill in the form below, and there’ll be no more blues in January; only brass band music!

‘Twas The Season To Be Jolly

CarolsAs 2017 draws to a close, Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band are reflecting on an incredible month spent spreading Chrstmas cheer to the residents of Wandsworth and Merton.  We loved every single one of the 20+ engagements and busking sessions, with highlights including:

  • Inspiring the next generation of brass players at Floreat Wandsworth, Wimbledon Chase and High View Primary Schools.
  • Helping Putney Methodist Church raise over £400 for the Glass Door Homeless Charity.
  • Entertaining a very rowdy post-quiz crowd at the Prince of Wales with some “brass band carol karaoke!”
  • Performing for three camels in Putney and a donkey in Balham; all in the space of two hours!
  • Free mince pies and strudel from Morrison’s Wimbledon when playing outside in a very damp Christmas Market.
  • And, of course, appearing not once, not twice, but FIVE times on ITV, launching their Christmas competition alongside Andi Peters, live on Good Morning Britain and Lorraine.

For those that missed it, here’s a little clip from our YouTube channel:

As a new project in the area, we’ve been humbled by the way local community has welcomed and engaged with us, and look forward to providing the soundtrack to many more events in South West London throughout 2018.

Happy New Year!

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band at Christmas

If the people of Wandsworth and Merton are in any doubt, we hope that the quintessential sound of a brass band playing carols will soon remind them!

That’s right, Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band is delighted to announce its 2017 Christmas schedule.

Of the fifteen or so bookings we have in December; here are the ones that are open to the public, so feel free to come along and soak up the festive spirit!

Throughout the month, we’ll also be popping up at stations and town centres across the area, to cheer up weary commuters and stressed shoppers. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook to see where we’ll be and when!

A mere four weeks after our launch we’re overwhelmed by the response of the local community and the enthusiasm for a brass band in this part of South West London. We’re very excited to be supporting so many local events, and look forward to sharing a Christmas carol and a mulled wine with as many people as possible!

Merry Christmas!

‘Twas The Month Before Christmas

Christmas Music What do all good brass bands do as soon as fireworks night and Remembrance Day have passed? They get the Christmas music out, of course!

Whilst the rest of the country critique this year’s John Lewis advert and enjoy their first mulled wine, Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band is practicing for a very busy Christmas period. We already have over a dozen bookings for festive events across the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth this December!

We’re currently finalising our schedule but keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter for more details of where you can hear us play in the run up to Christmas.

In other news, Santa has visited us early and delivered some fantastic new players to our line-up, helping to fill our cornet and trombone sections. However, we don’t limit our numbers so if you fancy joining us in time to play a few carols this December, feel free to get in touch; the more the merrier!

Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band Set To Launch With A Bang!

We are very excited to announce that our first official engagement as Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band will be Wimbledon Park Fireworks night on Saturday 4 November. The first bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm, so wrap up warm and come see us play.

You can read more about our launch – and debut performance – at emptychairs.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you all there!