Some photographs from this event can be found on our gallery pages.
The "KCB 30th Anniversary" Patrons' Concert for 2006 had to be moved to St. Wilfrid's School at the last minute, after the King's High School cancelled our booking at short notice. Thanks to them for standing in so quickly. This caused us plenty of problems to overcome, as advertising had already been sent out and hand delivered, and tickets had already been produced. So it was a rush to find a new venue and prepare new advertising and tickets, and let everyone know of the late change. We were lucky to be doing an event with Radio Leeds the week before, and the station were kind enough to broadcast our concert and new venue in the preceding week. We also arranged a large item with photographs to go into the local papers as well.
This was a special concert for the band, not simply because we always make our Patrons' Concerts a special occasion, but also because 2006 marks the 30th anniversary of the band. Graham did an excellent job of choosing music for the concert, selecting several popular pieces from over the band's history, whilst adding in some new pieces as well. The choices included items for everyone, from typical brass band music, through pop music to movie scores and more. There was something for the young and old alike to enjoy.
As normal, we gave our Patrons the VIP treatment, including a reception before the concert serving danish pasties, Belgium delights and various other nibbles, along with wine, hot, cold and soft drinks. There was plenty to eat for everyone, to the extent that we were also able to serve the excess at the interval for all our guests, along with the tea, coffee and biscuits we had already planned. Our catering volunteers worked hard to keep things flowing smoothly in somewhat difficult circumstances and our thanks goes to them and to everyone who helped out both in advance and on the night.
The concert itself went off very well indeed, with the hall roof reflecting the music to every corner of the room, so everyone was able to hear it to its best advantage. The Band rose to the occasion and performed extremely well. I think we all enjoyed it enormously and it showed in our performance. Graham made a point of introducing the newer members of the Band; Scott Wilson, Kim Castle, Sarah Houghton and Barry Hill; as many of our regular guests and Patrons may not yet know them. As a surprise to Graham and Susan, the Band had arranged a special presentation to them, to mark all their hard work and utter dedication to the band over the 30 years. They both seemed dumb struck for a moment, then delighted, as Andy made the announcements and Jennifer made the presentations.
As people left after the end of the concert, we received a lot of wonderful comments. But we know for sure that things have gone down well when people go out of there way to contact the Band later to say how much they had enjoyed everything. Our thanks go to all of you.
Some photographs from this event can be found on our gallery pages.
Well, this turned into an eventful day. Everyone made it to the pick-up point on time, but not long into the coach trip north up the A1, we got stuck behind a slow moving abnormal load, which no one could pass. It continued to hold up traffic for most of the way, meaning we arrived much later than planned at the museum. Fortunately we were in contact with members who were making their own way there, so everyone knew what was going on, and as we were not due to start our performance until the afternoon, no great damage was done.
Despite a good weather forecast for most of the day with rain predicted only in the evening, when we arrived it had actually started to rain a little. Unfortunately, the weather remained unsettled for the duration of the day, and this resulted in a rather low number of people attending the museum. However, we stuck to our plan and everyone had an opportunity to visit the museum's attractions and have a bite of lunch, before the band assembled; still in the rain; to perform three sessions of specially chosen music for the event.
The poor weather meant that grass banks surrounding the band stand were not dry enough for people to sit and watch, and for most of the time we were playing, it rained anyway. A few people did brave the weather to sit or stand and listen to us perform, whilst we had reports that others listened to us from inside the other nearby attractions. As for the music itself, the Band performed very well indeed in what were not ideal conditions. We even got a special thanks for our perseverance from the costumed lady organising the event from the museum's side.
But even packing up and setting off for home didn't bring an end to the day's events, as the coach suffered a major engine fault after just a few miles as we joined the A1 again. This resulted in a call for another coach to collect us, but that had to come up from Knottingley which meant a wait of about two hours. However, that coach got stuck in a traffic queue as the result of an accident on the way up to us, so in the end it resorted in taking to the back roads, which added another hour to its journey to collect us. But everyone on the coach remained in good spirits and even the children didn't make any fuss, with various people joining in to keep them entertained. It was amusing to see several gritters pass our stationary coach when it was far from freezing, but these were spreading sand over the oil that the coach had dumped on the road surface.
When the rescue coach finally arrived, a human chain was made to transfer all the equipment and bags from the stricken coach to the new one, before everyone then made their way along the hard shoulder to the new coach. Finally, we were under way again, and fortunately for us, the remainder of the trip was uneventful.
Some photographs from the museum can be found on our gallery pages.
They had a wonderful sunny day for their second village fete in Thorpe Audlin. It was a bit of a tricky drive down to the sports field were the event was being held, but once there, we were able to set-up and ready ourselves in one of the marquees set aside for the band. When we started to perform our first session of the day, we attracted quite a number of people to sit and enjoy our music, while others enjoyed the activities being provided in the other stalls around the field.
The organisers arranged for refreshments for everyone in the band which were very welcome in the heat of the day. Even without jackets and in the shade of the marquee it was still hot and tiring to play. Plus we were all annoyed by tiny corn flies which found their way onto faces and skin throughout the day. But even that did not spoil the enjoyment of the occasion. The Band's marquee formed a central point for the event, with the deputy mayor and mayoress making presentations in front of us, and the raffle being announced by a big drum roll by Steve and the raffle drawn at the side of our marquee. The organisers told us just how much people had enjoyed the band being there this year, and how it added to the whole atmosphere of the event. They have already penciled us in for 2007.
Some photographs from this event can be found on our gallery pages.
The Band and guests set off from our base, the Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station, looking forward to a day by the sea and then for our performance in the grounds of Scarborough's Peasholm Park. First the coach dropped us off in the South Cove region where we had plenty of time to see the sites and attractions there, as well as have lunch, before we were all aboard again for the short drive to the North Cove and Peasholm Park itself. The band stand is a lovely mock pagoda, located on a floating platform in the middle of their Japanese lake, so we and our instruments had to take a boat ride there and back.
It was a hot day and even though they had opened up the front of the band stand before we arrived, it was still very sticky inside as we clambered aboard and set up for the performance. All that was forgotten once the concert got underway, and the sounds from the band stand carried over the water to the large gathered audience very well, even if it did give the birds on the roof somewhat of a shock!
Several photographs from this event can be found on our gallery pages.
Following a recent incident (at the time of the concert), the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service had received quite a bit of publicity due to its crucial role in saving the life of TV presenter Richard Hammond after his near fatal 300mph accident whilst filming a scene for his show. So the timing of this fund raising concert for the service seemed very appropriate. It had been some time since the band performed a concert on behalf of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and we were very happy to be doing so again, especially at this time. The service has been very busy and they are doing their best to raise extra sponsorship to enable them to run a second helicopter. This would certainly save more lives and is a very worthy cause indeed.
It was therefore a shame that more people did not attend the concert. But those people that were there certainly seemed to enjoy the performance and each peace ended to energetic applause. During the interval the band were treated to refreshments with the audience and the use of china cups and plates made an unexpected change from plastic and paper.
At the end of the show, it was announced that they had made a wonderful £574 from the evening, which would be heading over to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service. Following this excellent news, then band finished of with an encore of New York, New York to round off a lovely evening on behalf of a great cause.
The KCB Christmas Concert is to take place on Saturday 2nd December 2006
Our theme for the 2006 Christmas Concert was Super Heroes and we didn't disappoint, featuring heroes like James Bond, Batman, Austin Powers plus the best liked unwilling hero of them all, Harry Potter. As the tunes so well know for each of these heroes emanated from the band's instruments, the atmosphere was enhanced by images from the films being projected on the large screen behind the band.
The screen was also used to good effect in the more festive second half where words to carols were displayed so that everyone could join in the entertainment. Even Father Christmas himself thought it worth while to pay us a visit, handing out free gifts to members of the audience. One of the highlights from the event was when the Beginners Band perform several delightful pieces in front of some very obviously proud mums and dads. It's so nice to see that there ia a future for the brass band music.
Everyone there seemed to enjoy themselves enormously and we have had some great feedback, both at the end of the concert itself as people left and also after the event with plenty of good wishes coming in from people who were there.
I don't often do this, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank several people who worked hard to prepare for this concert behind the scenes but don't often get much recognition. People like Steve Pease who often helps the band with lighting and sound at our concerts and who spent a lot of time this year preparing the video clips and words that were projected onto the screen behind us. Gill Simpson and Diane McNaught who prepared and presented the refreshments and worked tirelessly during the interval preparing drinks for everyone. Also Susan Dean who also helps with the catering and does so much research into the items the band performs and courageously stands in front of our audiences with her informative, witty and entertaining introductions to our music. Finally to Graham Dean himself who dedicates such a large part of his life to the band, in the preparation of the music, often re-scoring whole pieces to meet the structure of the current band, the time spent in preparing for and leading our rehearsal sessions and for the general amount of time and effort he and Susan spend in the preparation of all the Band's main concerts. The band often takes all the glory for our concerts but they would never get off the ground if it wasn't for the time, hard work and never ending dedication of these Super Heroes as well. Our huge thanks goes out to all of them.
We performing another joint concert with the excellent Pontefract Choral Society led by Phil Higgins. It is always a delight and a privilege to perform with this excellent local choir in the surrounds of the beautiful St. Giles's Church, which enhance the singing and music so well.
They choir were making use of the grand piano as opposed to the church organ this year, which dramatically reduced the space available for KCB to set-up. So it was probably better that the band were slightly low on players due to other people having other commitments. The programme of pieces had been specially selected by Graham to reflect the people who were there. All this was worth it, as both the band and the choir performed to the best of their abilities and the whole entertainment was of the highest quality.
As usual, Phil had composed a brand new piece for the choir, and they performed it with wonderful feeling, gusto and flare. Normally KCB accompany the choir for this piece, but for this year, we did not which gave us all a chance to join the audience in enjoying their wonderful rendition.
After the event was over, everyone was able to enjoy the excellent refreshments made available by the organisers. As always, this was a wonderful occasion and we can't wait to be asked to join them again in 2007.
KCB always likes to help out with local charity work, and once again we supported the Prince of Wales Trust with their fund raising activities in aid of the Pontefract Hospice. As usual, three groups provided the entertainment, a school's choir and a Male Voice Choir. The school had obviously worked hard to prepare several items for the evening and they presented several complex pieces to the delight of everyone there. The Male Voice Choir where once again very professional and amusing with their excellent choice of festive song. Plus KCB were on top form with our own selection of dramatic and festive music specially selected for the occasion.
The whole thing was once again professionally held together and introduced by one of the presenters from BBC Radio Leeds. The event and the band also got several excellent reviews from Radio Leeds shows in the couple of days following the event.
The lead up to Christmas wouldn't be the same without our annual visit to the wonderful residents at the Grove Nursing Home in Knottingley. They are always delighted to see us and despite a good number of years under their belts, they all enjoy clapping and singing along like youngsters to our Christmas songs and carols. It is such a delight to see their faces light up with the excitement a brass band brings to them, as many remember with glee, brass bands, such as the Salvation army, visiting their streets in years gone by.
Just an ensemble attended this year, as a full band is somewhat too much for this venue. But they played with enthusiasm and with respect to the surroundings and the age of the audience, such that everyone there were able to enjoy themselves to the full. We are always made so welcome by residence and their helpers, that we always look forward to visiting them at this time of year. As usual, they helpers laid on a wonderful table of refreshments for both the band and the residence to enjoy.
Following on closely behind a fund raising concert in October, KCB were again helping the Air Ambulance Service by providing the entertainment at St. Michael's Church, who arranged this charity concert where the funds went to help support the service. As the Air Ambulance Service is trying to organise finances to run a very much needed second helicopter, we were proud and delighted to again be in a position to do our bit for their service. In the surrounds of this lovely modern church, we performed our last festive event, and final event of 2006. But this didn't stop the performance being of top quality, despite player numbers once again being a little on the low side, mostly due to this being a mid-week event and people had work commitments to meet. By the same token, the organisers had not managed to attract very many people into the audience unfortunately. KCB had several followers there and once again it was these people that were dipping into their pockets to for another charity event. It is a worthwhile charity, though.
Following the performance, everyone went through to the back rooms where the organisers had laid on plenty of refreshments which everyone seemed to enjoy. If we are invited back again next year, why not come along yourself to this exciting event and enjoy the music and refreshments yourself, whilst being able to support a great service like the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service.
If I recall correctly, the organisers announced at the end that they had made around £570 from the evening that was going to be forwarded to the Air Ambulance Service.