Whit Friday & Tour 2019!

The band have had a busy few months and we’re now looking forward to one of the highlights of our calendar year – the Whit Friday contest! For anyone unaware of Whit, have a look at one of our previous posts which will fill you in. This year, it’s an even more exciting weekend than usual because we’re undertaking a Tour de Yorkshire staying up in Huddersfield!

To prepare for Whit Friday and our Tour, we commissioned a march from the legendary Derek Broadbent. To celebrate our first birthday, we called it PWBB after the band – to see a clip of the band playing it conducted by Derek himself, see here. We love the march and can’t wait to play it on Whit Friday!

While up in Huddersfield, we’ll be performing at a variety of local events during the Holmfirth Arts Festival, including at the Holmfirth Civic Hall and the Bandstand in Greenhead park. We’re looking forward to teaming up with the brilliant Hade Edge Band whilst there as well! Our events calendar for the weekend is:

  • Friday 14th June
    • Whit Friday
  • Saturday 15th June
    • Opening event for the Holmfirth Arts Festival on Hollowgate from 11:30am
    • ‘Touch of Brass’ concert at Holmfirth Civic Hall starting at 3.30pm
  • Sunday 16th June
    • Greenhead Park bandstand from 12noon to 1:30pm

Keep an eye on our social media for all the updates on what the band’s up to. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @pwbrassband.

Christmas Events 2018

Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band are delighted to announce our Christmas schedule – please see the table below for all our public engagements. It’s a packed month but we’re looking forward to it, we love bringing the Christmas cheer to the local community! We’ll update this page should there be any changes, but keep an eye on our social media (see links at the bottom of the page) for all the details!

Date & Time Event Location
Sat 1st December, 3-5pm Lantern Arts Centre’s Christmas Celebration Raynes Park
Sun 2nd December, Sets 1-4pm Ely’s of Wimbledon’s Winter Wonderland Wimbledon
Tues 4th December, 8-9pm Carols with Wimbledon Community Chorus at St Mary’s School Wimbledon
Wed 5th December, 5.15-6.30pm Floreat Primary School’s Carols by Candlelight Earlsfield
Wed 5th December, 6.30pm Carols in Putney Putney
Fri 7th December, 5.30-6.30pm Raynes Park Christmas Festival Raynes Park
Sat 8th December, 1.30-3pm Santa’s Grotto at Morden Hall Park Morden
Sat 8th December, 4-6.30pm South Park Garden’s Carols in the Park Wimbledon
Sun 9th December, 1-3pm Christmas in the Village at Rose and Crown Wimbledon
Wed 12th December, From 6pm Carols at Putney Station Putney
Sat 15th December, 4-6pm Carols at the Green Man Putney
Sun 16th December, 3.30-5pm Christmas Service at Community Church Putney Putney
Tues 18th December, 7-9pm Mayor of Merton’s Carol Service at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
Wed 19th December, From 6pm Carols at Wimbledon Station Wimbledon
Thur 20th December, 7-8.30pm Rose and Crown’s Christmas Charity Fundraiser 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!

The Greatest Free Show On Earth

This Friday, 25th May, Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band is very excited to be heading to Saddleworth for its debut outing at Whit Friday. But what exactly is Whit Friday? Read on to find out…

Every year – in a tradition that dates back over the past hundred – brass bands from around the country (and beyond!) gather on the first Friday after the Whitsun to entertain the crowds in the villages of the Saddleworth district, just outside Oldham.

Often referred to as “The Greatest Free Show On Earth,” the bands make a whistle-stop tour around the twelve participating villages in the area. At each stop, they play “on the march” through the crowd-lined streets of the village, before performing a traditional march (this time, standing still!) to be assessed by a ‘blind’ judge hidden in a caravan or similar.

Brass bands of all standards take part and – with prizes on offer for the best performances – each band attempts to visit as many of the villages as possible. Eight is a challenging target, but – with the distraction of beer tents, local food stalls, and the chance to see some of the nation’s most famous brass bands perform for free – most will be happy to make it round the requisite six.

In an area famous for its brass banding heritage, the day brings quite the audience and atmosphere, with the real fun coming from innovative brass arrangements of well known tunes, inventive costumes, and the general chaos of getting 50+ bands through a village in the space of a just few hours.

With fairy-lights – hung from the trees on the village greens – providing the illumination as the sun sets, it’s the perfect setting to meet and mingle with the members of other bands, whilst bonding with those of your own.

Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band has been hard at work, preparing its performance piece, as well as something less traditional to raise some smiles as we march. But what will it be? Follow us throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find out…

On Your Marks, Get Set…Blow!

As the crowds flocked to the riverfront for arguably the biggest highlight of the Putney calendar – the University Boat Race – the rowers weren’t the only ones testing their lungs that day. Spectators had the pleasure of Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band to entertain them in the moments between the races.

It might have been the battle of the Blues but we were there in our classic green, to play a mixture of some Brass Band classics such as The Floral Dance and old pop favourites like Grease, Abba and Bohemian Rhapsody. The crowds loved it, as did we.

We’d like to thank Positively Putney for inviting us and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

We’re now busy getting ready for the summer, so watch this space to find out more about our upcoming events!

Give The Dog A (Trom)bone

On a chilly Wednesday evening in early February, a quiet corner of Wimbledon was warmed by the rousing tones of Putney & Wimbledon Brass Band.

In Dundonald Congregational Church they performed in front of a packed crowd in support of the Wimbledon & District Guide Dogs, with several of the latter in attendance. Exceptionally well behaved they were, too – perhaps hypnotised by the musical director’s shirt as he led the band through a varied programme, expertly compèred by trombonist Elin.

Along the way, the audience was introduced to a mysterious cornet-toting water nymph (Rusalka’s Song To The Moon), beguiled by lyrical flugelhorn and euphonium solos (Ashokan Farewell) and, finally, sent dancing away to a medley of ABBA’s hits. This thoroughly enjoyable evening also raised just shy of £400 for the Guide Dogs association.

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!