On Sunday 21st May night/Monday morning, thieves stole the band's equipment trailer from a band member's driveway, which contained an awful lot of the band equipment following a concert the band had performed on the previous Saturday. All the percussion, a euphonium, all the current music and so much more had gone. As well as informing the police and insurance company, then band (particularly Graham) began to get the story out to as many people as possible in the hope that someone would come forward with information. So newspaper interviews and photographs were arranged, as well as local radio interviews and items of band related web sites.
I'm please to report that on Tuesday 22nd May two children spotted several trollies and large bags containing percussion equipment dumped at the edge of Howell Woods, South Kirby. They mentioned this to their parents who in turn reported it to the police that evening. A police search of the area on Wednesday morning recovered all the dumped items which turned out to be almost all of the contents of our trailer. After doing forensic tests, the items were returned to the band on Wednesday evening, and the band were back in business again. The cases and bags were a little muddy following there overnight stay in the wood, but otherwise all the equipment and other items were in good order. The only items still missing are the trailer itself, the two large timpani drums and the bass drum from the drum kit. Whilst we continue to hope these might turn up, the expectation is that the instruments have probably gone for scrap metal (such a waste of quality instruments) and the trailer; being new and a quality model, to be sold off for illegal gain somewhere away from the area.
After well over 20 years of faithful service to the band, our trailer was beginning to show its age and after the hand break jammed leaving Graham stranded at one of our away performances, it was decided the trailer was becoming ever more expensive to try and keep in good condition, especially with parts no longer available for this model. So it was agreed the time had come to upgrade to a newer model and our faithful trailer went "home" to Swillington Trailers from where we had originally purchased it and where it was always serviced, to be traded in for a newer and slightly larger brand new model. This one has multilevel storage options, a front door making front access easier when fully loaded and it is much easier on the vehicle used to tow it. The Swillington Trailer team were also kind enough to swap the KCB signs over from the old trailer to the new one, so look out at our concerts for our brand new trailer, which we hope will give as many years of great service as our original trusty faithful old friend did!
It has been a number of years since the patrons' Scheme had any sort of a make-over and we felt the time was right to make some changes. The largest change is the introduction of a new Loyalty Card Scheme. We had some problems with the printers who seemed unable to orient the cards the way we needed them which delayed the launch by a few weeks. But once everything was sorted out, the new scheme was announced to all our patrons in October 2011. Each time a patron attends one of our concerts, they will receive a stamp on their loyalty card. Once all six stamps has been collected, they can claim free entry to the subsequent KCB Christmas Concert. Other changes to the were also announced at the same time, and more details can be found on the Patrons' page.
After 11 years as our hard-working Patrons' Secretaries, Roy and Gill Simpson stood down from the position immediately follow the Patrons' Concert of 2010. This was to allow them to spend more time with their involvement in the Pontefract Choral Group and their other commitments.
They have worked tirelessly over the previous 11 years, keeping the Patrons up to date with news organising concerts and building the Patrons' Scheme into a successful part of the band. We wanted to wish them all the very best for their future, and gave then a very big "Thank you" for all the work they have put in over those 11 years. During the concert, the band presented them with an engraved crystal ornament and a bouquet of flowers, and made them honorary life-long Patrons of the band. Photos of the event can be seen on our gallery pages.
We are delighted to announce that Joshua Edward Preston was born to Kim & Andy Preston at 10am on 14th July. A few days late, he weighed in at an impressive 9lb 5oz, and is their second child and younger brother to Abigal who was born in October 2006. The family are all well and we want to wish them all the very best for the future.
We are delighted to announce the wedding of Jennifer Spencer, our solo cornet player, to her partner and wonderful friend, Andy Turner, on Saturday 27th March 2010. The ceremony took place at Princess Street Methodist Church in Wath and was followed by a reception at Holiday Inn, Rotherham.
Players from both KCB and NMYYB made up a band which played at the church before and after the ceremony, with a quartet of the group performing during the ceremony itself. The happy couple also took photographs with the band. Simon Ladds (cornet) was Andy's best man and Kim Preston (horn) was one of Jen's bridesmaids. In the evening, an hour long concert was perform by the joint band before the disco took over for the rest of the evening. We would all like to wish Jen and Andy Turner, a lovely couple, all the very best for their future together.
Following the AGM in February 2010, it was agreed that the band has made good progress in recovering from the lack of commitment situation of a year ago, and the future again looks bright. The introduction of changes in May 2009 have worked well and commitment of players has indeed improved. Several more young players have joined in the past year and their participation has been very welcome. So expect to see KCB back in the heart of the local community much more again, and bringing enjoyable music to young and old alike.
Recent problems with commitment from several band members had led to changes within the band in an attempt to drive the band forward. After many years in front of the band, Graham Dean has stepped down from the Musical Director role, handing the reigns to his son, Ian Dean. We all want to thank Graham for his huge amount of time and effort he has put into the Musical Director role over the years. But we have not lost him, as he returns to one of his own passions, that of "playing" a musical instrument. So he can still be seen in the band performing on the base. We also wish Ian every success as he takes up his new role, following in his father's shoes. Several other internal changes within the band designed to improve the situation have been agreed to by all band members and we also have some new members recently joined the band, which has helped with the slow decline in numbers over recent years.
We are again delighted to announce that our bass trombone player, Lynn Steen, has given birth to their second baby, this time a girl. She arrived a little early on 23rd March 2008, but is doing perfectly well. Lynn and Richard have named their new girl Hanna Elizabeth. Congratulations to them from all in the Band.
May 30th 2007 saw the arrival in the rehearsal hall of two brand new Timps. These Premier Pedal timps will replace the very old and damaged timps that the Band has been struggling along with for many years now. In fact, the very day before the 2006 Christmas concert was performed, the skin of the larger timp burst. That was the trigger to getting the new timps organised but we had to manage with just a single old timp for several months. Thanks go to Simon Coates for all his efforts in researching suitable instruments, purchasing and organising delivery to the band. We hope you enjoy the fuller sound these new timps have brought to our music since their arrival.
It must have been something in the water, but we are so delighted to announce the birth of the third baby for the band in recent months. Baby Abigail Rose Preston was born to band members Kim and Andy. Abigail arrived on 19th October 2006, born at 3.13am, weighing in at 7lb 12oz. Mother and baby doing fine, as is proud father Andy. Jennifer says she is so cute. Being Abigail's Godparent hasn't made her at all biased, has it?
On Sunday 3rd September 2006, our Bass player Simon married his fiancée Helen at a lovely church wedding, before moving on to Rogerthorpe Manor for the main reception and later an evening party with a live disco. An ensemble from the band was invited to play during the main reception and all band members were invited to join them at the evening party. The couple looked so happy and wonderful together and we all wish them both the very best for their new lives together as man and wife.
We are again delighted to announce that our bass trombone player, Lynn Steen, has given birth to a son, Adam Craig, in the morning of Saturday 24th June. He weighed in at 7lb 8oz, and he and his mum are doing fine.
We are delighted to announce that Karen and Steve Brewis became parents to twin girls, Katie and Emily, on Monday 17th April. Mother and girls all doing fine. Karen plays baritone and Steve is our percussionist. Both are also members of the Bratwursts Oompah band.
It has been 6 years since this web site had a major make over. The buttons and title banners were looking a little tired and old fashioned against more modern sites, and a genuine criticism that the buttons were hard to read had been made from time to time. So I made time in March 2006 to completely rebuild new buttons and titles and bring some information more up to date. I hope you like the new look and find buttons easier to read.
For several weeks previously, the KCB WebMaster has been trying to find time for some web-site updates, including a new look to every page in an attempt to make it easier to read, and also the replacement of the old CD & Tapes page with a new on-line Shop page, now that we are able to take payments using the facilities of PayPal. As well as CDs and Tapes, several non-musical items are being offered for sale through the shop. Tickets for our own concerts may also be made available at the appropriate times leading up to the concerts for your convenience.
The Jazz Quartet formed about a year previously has now become a Jazz Quintet, with the addition of a new member, Simon and Martin's grandfather on Saxophone. This new instrument certainly brings a new dimension to the group, and they have enjoyed several concerts to themselves in the past year, already becoming an excellent group in their own right. They also have a name now, "Noteability", an excellent play on words.
News has been quiet for some time, but as of October 2003, we are putting the finishing touches to a new festive CD entitled "A time to Celebrate", which will be available from the middle of November 2003 onwards, in plenty of time for Christmas purchases! The 2003 Christmas Concert contains many of the pieces on the CD, so anyone attending the concert will be able to use it as a reminder of a great evening of festive fun and music.
A new group has formed out of the main band, which had its premier performance at the 40's night concert at Outwood on 27th October 2003. This is a Jazz Quartet made up of Kathryn Lee on Vocals, Martin Coates on Cornet and Simon Coates on percussion. All three are part of the main KCB band. Making up the quartet is Paul Dean (Kathryn's brother) on keyboard. As yet, the quartet is so new, they haven't decided on a name, so they were introduced as the KCB Jazz Quartet.
At the AGM in November 2001, Steve and Karen Brewis stepped down from their positions as Chairman and Band Secretary. We would very much like to thank them for their excellent contributions to the roles that they have undertaken over the past three years. But they decided that it was time to give others in the Band an opportunity to take up the reins on these important roles, so as to give the Band a fresh start and fresh approach. This was all very much in best possible atmosphere, and Steve and Karen are still very much involved with the Band, and have stated their continued support for a long time to come.
So, the formalities of the AGM process were followed, resulting in the voting in of Ken and Cheryl McNaught to the roles (yes, another husband and wife team). Martin Bird was also voted in to the Vice Chairman's role which had been vacated by Alex. New contact details can be found on the member's page.
Something that has been on the back burner for a number of months in 2001, was the possibility of the King's High School and the Band setting up some closer ties between us. In October, our Chairman Steve had an excellent meeting with several members of the Kings staff to discuss several possibilities of how these ideas could be put into practice. After two and a quarter hours of discussions, it seems that many ideas are on the table, which will hopefully benefit both parties. For the Band, these including the use of some of the school's facilities at excellent rates, and for the school, where the Band be happy for pupils to join us on events such as our educational workshop sessions, so that they too are able to gain from the wonderful experience of the specially invited guests who come and lead these events. At the time of writing (October 2001) this is still in the early stages of discussions, but we are likely to begin by inviting some pupils to our November workshop as an immediate start to this extended relationship.
The terrible events that began in New York and Washington on September 11th, 2001, have had repercussions on this side of the Atlantic as well. Not unexpectedly, the Ferrybridge Power Station has been put on alert status, being a possible terrorist target. This has meant that the Band is unable to use their facilities for our twice weekly rehearsal sessions, and we are very grateful that after short negotiations, the Central Methodist Church in Pontefract has once again come to our rescue and allowed us to rehearse there for the time being. Rehearsal meeting times are still 07:45pm for an 08:00pm immediate start on Mondays and Wednesdays.
There were a lot of smiling faces at rehearsals on Monday 30th April, as Steve brought in the new instruments that have been funded by the successful lottery bid (see next section). Eight shiny new cornets, two horns and two basses (all with new cases), found their way into eager hands and up to impatient lips. There was immediately a crisper sound to the session despite a little initial tweaking that was done to bring them each into tune. These will be unveiled at Badsworth Church which is the next concert on Friday of this week.
The Band were delighted to hear that on this third attempt, the lottery commission have sent notification that they have accepted our bid for lottery funding for the Band. We have to say a fantastic "Thank you" to all those band members who assisted and persisted with this bid, but by far the biggest thanks has to go to
Along with a large "match-funding" amount being put in by the Band itself (far more then the minimum amount specified by the lottery commission rulings), the Band will use the monies in various ways. A large percentage goes towards replacement of old and battered instruments that were identified in an independent audit performed by "All Brass and Woodwind" on the Band's behalf in 2000. But the bid was also based on education and giving back to the community, not just for instruments. To this end, monies will be put into workshops to be held over the coming year for the Band, and other monies are going towards commissioning Pete Rosser to compose a special new piece which is to be premiered at our 25th Anniversary Concert in July (see next item for more details). So it's not all for us. The combination of better instruments, further education and new exciting music should come together to give you all an even more enjoyable experience from us.
2001 sees the 25th Anniversary for Knottingley Concert Brass. Founded in 1976, we are 25 years old this year. We couldn't let this important landmark in our history go past without making this a special occasion, and to that end, our main summer event, the Patron's Concert, will be a very special occasion, highlighting the Band's first 25 years of existence. For more information, please refer to our Future Events page.
It is thought that our performance in the Synagogue, north Leeds, may be a world first. The organisers of this event believe this may be the first time ever, that a Brass Band has performed a concert in a Synagogue! You might not find it in the Guinness Book of Records, but this could well be a a fairly unique achievement for our band.
Read the full review of this special charity event, on our Past Events pages.
All the preparation over the preceding months seem to have been worth while, as our Patrons' Concert for the year 2000, entitles Millennium Moments, went off very well, and the feedback we have received since has been amazing. As if to round it off for us, we had 14 new patrons signed up on the night, and several more have signed up since, solely as a result of attending this concert.
We were delighted when James Watson accepted our invitation to come along one Saturday, to give the band a day's workshop. This turned into a wonderful occasion, far exceeding our own aims and expectations for the day. He gave us an insight into his own life and achievements, passed on some his enormous experience to the Band as a whole, and in the afternoon session, several Band members bravely got up to conduct a piece, for which James then passed on his comments and suggestions.
Every person in the band, from beginners to those with many years of experience, all gained a lot from the day. Although I normally publish reviews of the Band's concerts, I felt this workshop was so interesting that I have put up a fuller description of the day on our Past Events page.