Cracking Media rescues band and rebuilds web site

In the lead up to Christmas 2011 and just prior to the successful "Sounds of Christmas" concert at the Royal Bath, the web site of Bournemouth Concert Brass (BCB) crashed!

Having had in mind a new web site for 2012 BCB approached Peter Lunn at Cracking Media to see if they would consider being the band "Associate Marketing" partner for a new journey in the New Year.

BCB music stand banner with Bournemouth Coat of ArmsPeter agreed and Cracking Media instantly restored the web site and are now hosting and managing the site. Over the past month Peter has been working with Martin Collett, BCB's Marketing Manager, to create a new web site for the band to reflect their 100 year history and recent restoration to the Championship section within the brass band world.

Cracking Media have taken the band's ideas and created a clean and professional site for the BCB enabling them to let Bournemouth meet individual players, see the band's busy diary and more importantly engage with the band's 2012 patronage scheme, which this year is focusing on re-branding.

Since the 80s BCB has used the bandstand logo linked to its history with the Pinewalk Bandstand. For 2012 the band has obtained permission from Bournemouth Council to officially adopt the Bournemouth Coat of Arms as its crest which it counts as a great honour. The band is setting out to invite private and business patronage to acquire and new set of stand banners for the band and new shirts and travel jackets with the new image.

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Walking with Heroes Concert

Walking with Heroes programmeOver 100 enthusiastic and friendly supporters of both the John Thornton Foundation and BCB braved the weather to attend this concert at Ferndown Upper School. Aptly, as John Thornton had been a Royal Marines Officer, BCB were led on the night by their good friend Lt Col. Chris Davis OBE (Royal Marines) Retired.

The band commenced the evening with the appropriately named fanfare "Walking with Heroes". The band featured two of it's soloists, John Starkes (Euphonium) and Dan Shave (Soprano) during the evening, the first half also featured Alfie Hughes, Dave Hatton and Nick Jarvis in the brass band favourite - Buglers Holiday. As the band is due to compete in the Yeovil Entertainments contest in one weeks time, back under the leadership of it's professional conductor Major David Barringer, advantage was taken to present it's 25 minute programme to the audience in the second half. Many commented afterwards on how much they enjoyed the varied music and especially the finale "Peel Park" from Philip Wilby's "The Lowry Sketchbook. An encore by the band was "Bohemian Rhapsody" - a selection of Queen hits.

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Yeovil Entertainments Contest

Yeovil Rehearsal

 On 11th Feb 2012, a strategic appearance by BCB at this year’s Yeovil Entertainment contest at the town’s Octagon Theatre provided the band an ideal opportunity for some quality performance experience. In the lead up and preparation to the event the band was able to improve its technique, stamina and team spirit ahead of the West Country Regional’s in 6 weeks time at Torquay. On this day the band will play Derek Borgois’ challenging test piece “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” – 16 mins of complex and testing music competing once again against other West Country Championship section bands.

So, Yeovil was not about the result but the experience.  The carefully chosen 25 minute program incorporated choices of music, the content and styles of which would benefit the work to be done on the test piece in the coming 6 weeks.

The picture opposite shows Dave Hatton and Alfie Hughes in rehearsal at the SA Hall.

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New Year Viennese Concert

The band commenced its 2012 concert season with its annual New Year Viennese concert at the Regent Centre in Christchurch. Whether it was the mild weather for this time of year or the Andre Rieu effect a 300 plus audience filled the theatre - the best attendance for over 5 years!

Vienesse 2012 concert programmeThe first concert after the Christmas break is always tough for the band having not played in ensemble since early December, but they launched into "Children of the Regiment", a Julius Fucik march in fine form to commence the programme. The concert featured, as you would expect a pleasant mix of Strauss and Mozart music. The band featured two of its soloists on the programme. John Starks, euphonium. played an arrangement of Schubert's "Serenade" and Peter Hartley, baritone, presented his own arrangement of a melody from a Paganini opera "Girls were made to love and kiss".

The conductor and compere for the evening was the band's resident conductor, Bill Willis. Bill was keen to point out that although we could not totally recreate the Vienna New Year concert on the 1st January at the Musikverein, Golden Hall (Wien, Austria), we had at least duplicated one piece from their concert - Johann Jnr and Josef Strauss's Pizzicato Polka.

Click the programme image on the right to see the bands complete programme for the concert.

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Second at the National Finals

Alfie Hughes Cheltenham Finals 2011A superb performance landed Bournemouth with the second prize at the National First Section Finals. The classic Frank Wright transcription of Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" was delivered with style and was obviously well liked by the adjudicators.

Principal Cornet Alfie Hughes (pictured) won the prize for Best Instrumentalist.

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