The Cobham Band on Monday 22nd.December at its rehearsal rounded off the year with celebratory drinks with its President, Mr. Ken Purssey in attendance. In many respects 2008 has been an historic year for the Band. At the beginning of the year the Band faced uncertainty with the need to find a new band room after 60 years! But this did not deter the Band from entering the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships in March at Stevenage where the Band was placed 11th out of 22 Bands in the Fourth Section, this is the highest position the Band has ever achieved nationally. This led to a 1st.Prize at Southern Counties Amateur Band Association (SCABA), Spring Contest at Hove for the March and the Band was also awarded 3rd.Prize in the Test Piece and Best Horn Section. In May the Band performed with Guest Soloist, Gareth Bimson, Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra at its Spring Concert and in July the Band took its first engagement in central London in its 120 year history at the beautiful, historic and prestigious venue: the College Gardens of Westminster Abbey. An hour and a half's programme was warmly received by an audience in the hundreds of tourists, band enthusiasts and office workers taking an al fresco break. This was followed by the Band performing on the Bandstand in Kensington Gardens the next month. In October the Band had a 40 minute programme dedicated to it on Brooklands FM, Community Radio for North-West Surrey on the Sunday before the Band entered the SCABA, Autumn Contest held at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, where the Band was placed 7th out of 9 bands in the test piece, however the Band was pleased to be awarded 1st.Prize for the Hymn Tune contest. In November the Band was pleased to be invited back for the third consecutive year to give its Autumn Concert at the world renowned Yehudi Menuhin School in The Menuhin Hall. Later that month, the Band performed in concert with Cornet Virtuoso, Ian Porthouse and his IP Brass who helped celebrate the life of Ruth Smith, a former member of The Cobham Band who sadly passed away last year in Woking Hospice. The Band was able to present a cheque for £800.00 to Woking Hospice in Ruth’s memory. After much searching for a new band room at the beginning of the year, the Band finally found a home in the heart of Cobham Village in the Church and Church hall of St. Andrew’s, where the Band has ended the year presenting a joint Christmas Concert with the Church, the proceeds of which are in excess of £900.00 and will be donated between The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice and Christopher’s Hospice (CHASE ~ Hospice care for children). The Band has also supported The Surrey Air Ambulance Fund which is the Band’s Annual (2008) Charity. This year thanks to the support it receives from Elmbridge Borough Council, the R C Sherriff Trust and the Band’s loyal and dedicated supporters the Band has had a prosperous 2008 and looks forward to continued success in the New Year.