We are very proud of our horn player Samantha Ford and Euphonium players Anthony Smith and Thomas Dunne for their awards at the GBBA Virtual Festival - a solo and ensemble contest held online in December 2020. The contest was adjudicated by Dr Brett Baker.
The results were released on New Years Day and heralded our 1st Horn, Samantha, and Principal Euphonium, Anthony, who won first and second prizes in the Open Slow Melody class. Samantha and Thomas received first prize for their duet in the Open Ensemble class, which was up against duets, a quintet, a sextet, and band ensembles. Thomas was also awarded second prize for his performance in the Air Varie and Technical Solo class. The showcase of performances will be premiered in the coming weeks.
We want to congratulate all prize winners in the contest and to all those who entered, and to thank the GBBA for running the solo and ensemble contest online. A very good start to 2021!
Filton Concert Brass have launched their shop, where you can purchase the latest CDs by Filton Concert Brass and/or donate to the band. The shop launches in time for Christmas, and the CDs on offer make perfect stocking-fillers or as a soundtrack to decorating the tree!
In 2018 the band released their debut CD recording, in collaboration with guest trombone soloist Brett Baker. Entitled Tales from the West Country. In 2019, the band released their debut Christmas album with festive favourites, Christmas with Filton Concert Brass. You can also donate to the band.
"All of us at Filton Concert Brass are deeply grateful for your support!"
To purchase individual copies or get a discount when you buy them in combo, please visit the shop.
A massive congratulations to our fabulous Principal Euphonium player Anthony R Smith for winning the Over 18s Slow Melody category of the Foden's Band Solo and Ensemble Contest! Check out his superb performance of Tom Davoren's 'A Simple Gift'.
"The Foden's Solo Contest was originally launched in 2010 and has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the UK. Due to Covid, the band's 10th-anniversary event was moved online. Seventy entries were received across four different categories being viewed over 140,000 times on the band's Facebook page. Due to the number of entries the band used six of its members to shortlist each section to five finalists.
Each finalist has been recorded 'live' with a band member present on Zoom to ensure that only one take was recorded. The various videos have been forwarded to the panel of adjudicators comprising Michael Fowles, Mark Wilkinson, Jonny Bates, Gary Curtin, John Barber, and Mark Landon who have been joined by Bramwell Tovey, Simone Rebello, Russell Gray, and David Childs. A panel member gave an overview of each section before the results are announced at the end of the programme. Due to the extremely high standard of performance, the adjudicating panel has had a difficult task in choosing the various prize winners."
The stream commenced at 7pm on Friday 30th October with the broadcast being hosted by Iwan Fox. View the contest on catch up below.
During the lockdown, Filton Concert Brass have kept banding going by inviting guest speakers for masterclasses on playing, adjudicating, and musical interpretation for Filton players and friends.
On 15th July, the band and guests enjoyed a fantastic masterclass session with Martin Britt, who led us through a session entitled 'taking the noise out of brass playing', discussing putting the fundamentals of brass playing in place, and offering advice on tackling performance anxiety. Thank you Martin for such an engaging session, and to all who attended!
On 30th July, the band and friends were delighted to welcome euphonium virtuoso Glenn Van Looy, who delivered an incredibly useful masterclass on getting our playing back into shape after some time off. Glenn was supposed to be conducting the band at the Senior Cup contest this year, which was unfortunately cancelled, so it was great for everyone to catch up!
On 6th August, it was a pleasure to welcome Mike Fowles to our virtual bandroom, who delivered a fascinating masterclass on 'Taking the mystery out of adjudication'. Mike revealed in great detail the process of contest adjudicating, providing invaluable advice on how to prepare for a contest! Thank you Mike for a really enjoyable evening.
There is limited on-road parking at the venue. Parking is available nearby at:
He spent a decade at Brassband Rijnmond until the summer of 2019 and in 2012 conducted the European Youth Brass Band and was guest conductor with the Royal Military Band between 2015 and 2016. He has also worked with Stavanger Band in Norway, aiding their preparations for the 2018 European Championships.
Erik is currently conductor of Noordlimburgse Brassband, as well as Gelders Fanfare Orchestra, Emergo Castricum Fanfare Orchestra, and the Vriezenveen Symphonic Wind Band. This will be his conducting debut in the UK.
Speaking about the exciting link, Band Chairman James Bryant commented: "We're delighted to secure the services of such a talented conductor. Erik's enthusiasm and work ethic are an ideal fit for us after retaining the Welsh Open title. We're really looking forward to welcoming Erik to Bristol and working with him in the run up to Torquay."
The band are delighted to announce that we are Welsh Open Brass Band Entertainment Championship Champions once again! This makes a hat-trick of Welsh Open titles following our 2018 and 2019 wins, and four wins in five years. Furthermore, our solo euphonium player Anthony Smith was deservedly awarded the Best Soloist prize for his performance of Philip Sparke's 'Blue Heart'. A big thank you to our conductor Lewis Wilkinson Music and all the players for their hard work ! Congratulations also to the other prizewinners and bands throughout the day.
For a detailed overview of the day, click here for the 4barsrest.com report!
He was also invited to conduct several brass bands in the North East, including Fishburn and North Skelton, notably winning 7 contests in the last 2 years. From September, Lewis will be undertaking a Master’s Degree in conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the guidance of Dr Robert Childs.
Commenting on his appointment, Lewis stated “I’m really looking forward to starting work with such a well organised and forward thinking band. Hopefully this will be the start of a very successful partnership.”
in the top 6 at contests, to enter and progress through the British Open Spring Festival, and get the band to the Royal Albert Hall – objectives that seemed almost impossible at the time.
Now, the record speaks for itself - out of Tom’s 22 contests with the band, 18 of those have seen the band in the top 6 places, 14 in the top 3, and 8 victories! Some of many highlights include winning consecutive First Section regionals in 2013 and 2014, becoming First Section National Champions in 2014 and being promoted to the Championship Section for the first time, winning the British Open Senior Trophy in 2016 and the Senior Cup in 2017, qualifying for the National Finals in 2017 and performing at the Royal Albert Hall for the first time, and competing in the British Open Grand Shield for the first time in 2018. Aside from contesting, Tom has led the band through our first foreign tour - performing the Gala Concert at the Lithuanian National Championships in Palanga in 2018, and our first CD recording – with ‘Tales from the West Country’ being released in 2018.
Most importantly however, Tom has helped form the band into a close-knit circle of friends who thoroughly enjoy music making together, and strive for musical excellence at the highest level. Tom says: “I don’t have the words to describe what everyone who has passed through this band means to me. It’s been a constant in my life of true happiness… thank you for the wonderful gift and know that I’ll never experience anything quite like this again”.
In our band curry this week, we presented Tom with a framed photo of him conducting the band at the Royal Albert Hall atop a list of his contest achievements with the band – a true testament to his success. We also presented him with a ‘Filton Concert Brass’ beanie hat (though if there ever was anyone that didn’t need something to keep their head warm..!).
Tom, from all of us here at Filton, past and present, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done for us – the music, the contests, the concerts, friendship, and many, many laughs! We wish you all the best in your new adventure, and are sure we’ll meet again soon!
Over the coming days/weeks we will be sharing some of our highlights together – so keep an eye out!