What was your most terrifying banding experience ?


Well-Known Member
My most terrifying banding experience was in 1962 - I was a young 15 year old EEb Bass with Leeds Model Band and we had to play Eric Leidzens "Sinfonietta for Brass Band" in the Grand Shield in the Kings Hall at Belle Vue Manchester
The 2nd Movement has a 16 bar EEb Bass Solo going to a top Ab with "Turn" just before it - I practised for weeks beforehand.
The dreaded day came - we walked onto that intimidating "Boxing Ring" stage - Peter Kitson brought down his Baton for the opening bars - I thought "How the H**l can I get off this stage - the Solo drew nearer and nearer - suddenly I had 4 bars rest (!) before my entry - Peter looked at me - I started the Solo - it started OK - I led up to the Ab and the "Turn" it was ok - suddenly - it was a piece of cake !! - I even "Milked" the last 4 bars(!) - The feeling of relief was tremendous.
When I graduated to Senior Banding, Solo's were always nerve wracking, but I always got through, though I must admit I was never seriously challenged !!


Active Member
my most terrifying moment has to be when I was waiting to go on stage at the open 2001, first time, but the testpiece was 'Les Preludes', so no problem! 8)
Don't know if this counts technically as it's not 'banding' but I had a lesson from David Daws when I was about 15 and I was soo nervous! I was just in awe at that age but he was great and I relaxed eventually. He had gone home 3 days previously but thats beside the point! :oops:


Active Member
I don't know wether this counts either......
I played at a contest .Fine. I got through to the finals. I stood on stage and i was playing the Return without music which was what I had done in the main contest and it was the best I'd ever played it but anyway, I was stood on stage I made a mistake but I was still ok and then I got to the 3rd variation and started to feel dizzy, I didn't exactly know what happened but I just walked off stage!!! I didn't know why I just did and burst out into tears! It was so scary because I didn't know what had actually happened, but I went back on afterwards in the 2nd half, and played again, this time it went well. I didn't win but oh well :)
Oh I've remembered a real 'banding' one now!!

On tour with my SA band in Canada, at one of the big Toronto Corps doing our Saturday night festival (concert). We were playing a Les Condon number, Song Of the Eternal which has 13 top G's in a row for flugel. Hit about 5 of them before feeling a bit dizzy. Came to during the Euphonium solo thinking I was in a dream which suddenly turned out to be a nightmare.

Thankfully I passed out into the Solo Horn player. If I'd went the other way I'd have fallen off the stage. I've been working on breathing ever since...


Active Member
Playing in the 4th section finals in 1983. First two bars in Ballad for Band. 1st (me) and 2nd baritone pp opening at the finals in the Royal Albert Hall. I wasn't actually nervous until he started drilling us for half an hour before we went on, but it went ok on stage and we came 7th :D


Active Member
Oh yea the thing I dread is when the conductor tells you to walk on stage at the beginning of a concert or contest and theres only a 2 inch gap between the edge of the stage and the chairs, and when I'm wearing my high heels, thats the thing I most dread I'm not bothered about me though I just don't want to wreck my horn but I think thats my worst fear! :shock:
Saturday (treorchy). I've done solos before, and I've done solos in competitions before (but nobody could see it was me cos I was sitting in the 1st horn seat). But for some reason, my first time as solo horn, my mouth dried up and argggg I just couldn't do it!

Oh and when we played ...Dove Descending with the NYBBW and I knocked over a music stand halfway through the piece, James Watson didn't look too amused.

And another time Mr Watson made me play a top D (on the stave) all on my own, I could have cried.


Staff member
Two incidents spring to mind, neither of which relate to a full brass band, but here goes:

The first was with the Coldstream when Trevor Sharpe made me stand up to play a solo in the middle of a selection (George Gershwin, I think) at a concert in Bournemouth. I was not a regular in the "A" band at that stage, and it was quite an intimidating sight looking out at the audience.

The other one came at Roker Park during a Billy Graham campaign week. The three SA bands had all been involved in pre-meeting music at different points, but for the last night they had requested some brass to accompany the choir in a couple of items - 3 cornets and 3 trombones. Rehearsal went fine, but on the evening itself there were the three cornet players and just one trombone - me on bass trom. I can't remember now what the two songs were, but I recall one of them had answering figures between the cornets and troms, with a hefty trom entry to kick it off!

The other two players came up to me afterwards to say well done - they had been there all the time but had chickened out of playing in the packed stadium, leaving muggins all on his ownsome :!: :shock: :wink:


Active Member
One moment in a concert- luckily not a contest, I was happily playing along when my fourth valve slide on my Euph fell out. Instead of worrying I just laughed, and when the second Euph saw he laughed as well but then his fourth valve slide fell out as well! :lol: Freaky, but quite terrfying and funny at the same time! :lol: :roll:


This was probably one of the scariest moments of my banding career to date!
We had entered Rhyll entertainment contest a few years ago, i was sat on the front row at Blackburn and Darwen band. The soprano cornet didn't turn up on the day of the contest so a suitable victim had to be chosen to cue the sop parts in - me!
This shouldn't have been much of a problem (turn in, try to hide etc), but we were doing a Choreographed sort of walk off stage one by one in 'Berne Patrol' (i think). Gues who was the last person to leave the stage......sop! A nice piano top C to finish!
Rubber underware definately required that day!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
my scariest moment in my banding carreer came on sunday !

on my first run through of Tristan Encounters ............

the thought going through my head was ...........

"you want me to play what now ?!?!?!"



Active Member
Kneller Hall audition! I'd rather play a solo in the albert hall than play unaccompanied in front of one person. Especially when he walks around you while you're playing watching how you breathe etc.

Turned out ok in the end as the officer taking the auditions came from shropshire and used to play Eb bass for the band I was with at the time. Spent about 20 minutes discussing some of the old band characters :)


New Member
My most terryifying moment was when I played in an under twelve solo contest (a long, long time ago). I was delighted to get second place but then the organisers decided to have sight reading contest in front of a packed hall.

Didn't hear the player before me but saw him coming into the dressing room after he played with tears streaming down his face, ashen faced and shaking like a leaf.

Needless to say I went out and played as if my lips were made of jelly.


Active Member
Not too bad, I've never had anything very bad, but I came this close to fainting when I was playing out in the town! I was on second bari, but we were standing, so if I had passed out it would have been disastrous! Thankfully I pulled myself together just after the ground started swaying....


Where to start, so many to choose from!!!

Unfortunately had quite a few "off days", and sop is not the best instrument to have an "off day" on.

The worst one without a shadow of doubt is Harrison's Dream at the RAH with Kinneil. Split every entry. I knew it wasn't going well when the principal cornet turned around and said "don't stop.....keep going!!!"

Funny now, but not at the time


Mine was at the Wembly Conferance Centre where a group of percussionists had been brought together for the annual xmas festival. i was surrounded by people that could wipe the floor with me.

The worst was when we came to the finale with the ISB and a mass choir presenting Handels' Hallelujah Chorus. Something caught my eye and i misse the opening Cymbal clash.

Did anyone notice?

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