Friary Guildford Brass Band Reflect on a Successful Year

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by Matt the Shed, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Matt the Shed

    Matt the Shed Member

    Friary Guildford Band reflected on another successful year as they held their Annual General Meeting at Weyfield School in Guildford on Wednesday 16th April. Membership Secretary, Nigel Stevens, said that whilst the band had lost one or two faces this year the combination of “a wealth of committed and flexible bandsmen, a first class musical director, and the loyalty of two or three long-term brass-banding friends has helped contribute to arguably Friary’s most successful year in its 25 year history”. Whilst many brass bands are finding it harder and harder to field the same band throughout the concert and contesting seasons, Friary are making an impact on the British Banding scene because they are a team who turn up to every rehearsal eager to improve as a unit under the baton of musical director Chris King.

    The recent addition of percussionist Emma Stoffer, who is studying music at Kingston University, not only completes Friary’s percussion section, but also helped them win the Best Section award at the recent Yeovil Entertainments contest. Former member Nigel Simmons returns to the band, bringing with him a wealth of experience to the bass section, whilst Ben Dowsett joins on Baritone. Finally, Janatha Yarham, who previously played for St Sebastian’s Wokingham, bolsters the Cornet section. Friary are currently holding auditions to fill their principal Euphonium position, who will play alongside the band’s “Player of the Year”, Steph Westwood.

    Looking back over the past year Chairman, Mark Yarham, commented that he was “surprisingly pleased with the band’s progress” against its short and long term objectives over the year. When commenting about recent contesting results he said that “whilst the band had a disappointing result at the Area Contest in Stevenage last month, recent successes at Folkestone, Pontins and Yeovil, as well as becoming SCABA band of the year has meant that people across the country are really starting to sit up and listen!” The band will hope to continue their recent success by returning to Blackpool to compete in the Spring Festival in May.

    For more information about Friary Guildford Band, go to or listen out for them at a venue near you…
  2. Adamskied

    Adamskied Member

    I hope the band can keep up the good work in 2008 and make some more friends along the way...Well done to Steph for player of the year.

    Just remember that to get better results we all need to practice so we can come in the picture at all the great contest we will be entering this year.

    Good luck to all and happy banding (hhmmm well sometimes) ha ha ha

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