Welcome to Harwich RBL Brass Band's Website


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Welcome to the Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band's website. Harwich is located on the north east coast of Essex and well known, among other things, for its international port, at Parkeston, serving ferries to the continent, cargo shipping and cruise liners. Find out more about us by using the navigation tabs underneath the header.

Booking the Band
If you would like to book the band for your event please click on the image on the left and you will be taken to our on-line booking form or call 0845 250 0581.

Band Vacancies
To see our current list of player vacancies click on the vacancies banner.

Support the Poppy Appeal.
The Band has registered with the Giving Machine and all donations as a result of your shopping on the site will be passed onto the Poppy Appeal. Just click on the image on the left and you will be taken to the shopping site.

To read the current or earlier editions of the newsletter and see the solution to the latest puzzle click on the image on the left and you will be taken to our newsletter page.

Testimonials & Press Cuttings
To see what some people and the press have said about us click on the image on the left.

Video Clips
To see some concert video clips click on the image on the left to load the Video Index page.

If you have any information, would like articles or photographs featured on this website, please send them to brian@harwichrblbrassband.co.uk


Latest News...
Music School Starts 10 Year Celebrations (31/01/15)

Music School start their 10th year Anniversary celebrations with a concert at Ramsey Church on Tuesday 10th February starting at 6pm. The concert is entitled 'Around the World' and is free.

Please come and join us and enjoy an evening of music from the current Music School Beginners Band and A120 Group Ensemble.

Local Musician Receives Top Award (06/10/14)
Three years ago sixteen year old percussionist Craig Sanders of the Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band auditioned and was accepted for a position at Her Majesty's Royal Marines School of Music in Portsmouth. This meant leaving home, friends and band to embark on a rigorous programme of military and musical training.

During his time at Portsmouth Craig was runner up at this year’s prestigious Cassel Prize solo competition, for Musicians at the School of Music. He won the Carlton Trophy, which is awarded to the best percussion at the Music School. Toured and entertained the public in the Falkland Islands. He has completed the first year of a BMus (Hons) degree. He captained the School of Music football team, winning the Royal Marines Band Services Montague Cup, for the first time in twenty five years. Craig also represented the Royal Navy at under-19 and under-21 football competitions both at home and in the USA.

This August Musician Sanders not only passed out of training achieving high grades in his final M3 examinations, but also the accolade of being awarded the Band Services Princes Badge for overall musicianship and Esprit de Corps, by Vice Admiral David Steele CBE, Chief of Naval Personnel & Training and Second Sea Lord.

The badge was commissioned in 1978, to commemorate Prince Phillip’s 25th anniversary as Captain General of the Royal Marines. The Duke of Edinburgh directed that the best all-round musician or bugler from each annual intake should be awarded a badge consisting of His Royal cypher surrounded by a lyre. The recipient wears the badge in every rank throughout his / her service in the Royal Marines.

Craig, now nineteen, has recently joined the Royal Marines Band at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, Devon where he is looking forward to advancing his career within the Band Service.

The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band is getting quite a name with the Royal Marines Band Service for providing quality musicians. Craig joins Musician William Thurston (RM Collingwood Band), Musician Peter Gibson (2nd year student RM School of Music) and Musician Lorna Riseborough nee Wrycraft (1st year student RM School of Music) who all learned to play locally with the Royal British Legion Band.
Ellie Bould, National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain Report (06/10/14)
Following the article three weeks ago (in the local press), Harwich RBL Music School would like to thank your readers for their generous donations which enabled 12 year old Ellie Bould to not only attend the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain course, but also helped to fund a brand new, top range, Besson, Sovereign Bb Cornet, which she was able to play at the course. The Music school has also been able to set up a new bursary fund which will be used to help other pupils who may have a similar opportunity in the future.

Below Ellie recalls her experience with enthusiasm.
“My experience at the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain was phenomenal. Over the period of the course we carried out many different music activities and workshops as well as some leisure activities.

On Monday 21st July I travelled to Repton, Derbyshire for my 2pm seating audition which would decide my position within the band. The results placed me as seventh solo cornet (I was told a great achievement for my first course and age). Immediately after the auditions I had a chance to play some pieces that I had never seen before with the full band. My favourite piece was a world premiere composed by Paul-Lovatt Cooper, called Road to Run. Another full rehearsal was followed by sectionals that evening where my cornet tutor was Richard Marshall, principal cornet of the famous Black Dyke band.
There were three full rehearsals each day, running through the whole concert programme, as well as daily sectionals where we broke the pieces down and practiced the little details.

Each evening I enjoyed team games before lights out at 9.30pm. Thursday evening we went on the annual trip to Frankie and Bennies, followed by Ten Pin Bowling. Another annual event was a big game of manhunt on the Friday where we had to hunt down lots of different items.

Our final day was Saturday. We woke up at 7:00am for 8:00am breakfast followed by a big assembly at 9.00am. We received certificates and chocolate fingers from our Tutor, who then told us some things they liked about us. It was then time for another full rehearsal in the concert hall so we could practice coming on and off the stage etc. At this point I was getting really excited about the forthcoming performance and I couldn’t wait to play all of the wonderful music. It was 2:30pm when the concert began and it lasted for 2 hours! We played all of the pieces really well and there weren’t any major mistakes at all. Our guest soloist was Gary Curtin, Principle Euphonium of the Black Dyke Band and our conductor was Dr. Nicholas Childs, Musical Director of the Black Dyke Band. Once the absolutely amazing concert had finished, we were reunited with our parents. I was quite glad to see them but also sad that the course had finished.

The whole course was just fabulous and I can’t wait to go again next year. I was a bit homesick, but in the end had made some lovely friends and enjoyed absolutely everything.
I would like to finish by thanking everyone who has supported and enabled me to benefit and enjoy this wonderful experience at such short notice.”

Index of pictures:

1) Ellie and new cornet with NCBBGB Musical Director Dr Nicholas Childs (left) and cornet tutor Richard Marshall (right) Musical director and principal cornet respectively of the world famous Black Dyke Band.
2) The whole band performing during the concert.
3) Ellie as part of the cornet section during the concert.
Firstly on Tuesday Charlotte R, Charlotte S and Saffron all sat their Grade 1 Music Theory exam in Colchester. We have just heard that they all passed with flying colours.
Charlotte S and Saffron both were awarded a Merit and Charlotte R gained a distinction.

Well done to you all.

Secondly Annabel Brookes and Ellie Bould took they practical exam on November 27th and have just heard that they two have both passed.
Annabel took Grade 1 Flugel and passed with a Merit and a score of 123 out of 150.
Ellie Bould took Grade 5 Cornet and passed with a distinction only dropping 9 marks gaining a score of 141. Excellent work girls. A fitting reward for all your hard work and endless practising.

This ends a very successful term for Music school.
(Submitted by Jane Gibson)
Music School Fundraising Events (10/12/13)
Saturday 7th December 2013 was a very busy day for the Music School. The Triangle Traders, after the success of last year, invited the Music School to again present a day of Christmas Music at the Triangle Shopping Centre Frinton.

Beginners Band started the event with a selection of pieces interspersed with singing and carols. Several pupils plus teachers were brave enough to perform solos, duets and trios to entertain the shoppers. The A120 Ensemble and Recorder Groups form the Music School also entertained. Band support staff manned Tombola stalls as an additional fundraiser.
We are pleased to announce that over £350 was raised during the day which will go towards extra facilities and music resources for the school.
Later in the day a small group from the A120 ensemble accompanied the carol singing at the Clacton Masonic Lodge Annual Christmas Dinner. As an appreciation they were presented with a cheque to go towards music school funds.
A long, but enjoyable and successful fundraising day! (Submitted by Jane Gibson)
Congratulations (10/12/13)
We are very pleased to announce that three of our youngsters have passed their exams. After many hours of practice on their chosen pieces, scales, aural tests and sight reading, plus rehearsals with their piano accompanist they sat their exams on Friday November 15th at St. Botolphs Church in Colchester. Well done to :-
Alyssa Rosson who passed her Grade 1 Tenor Horn with a Merit.
Ella Mowle who passed her Grade 2 Flugel Horn with a Merit.
Thomas Sterry who passed his Grade 2 Cornet with a Pass.
(Submitted by Jane Gibson)
Salvation Army Christmas Tree Festival 2013 (10/12/13)
The Music School were invited by the Salvation Army to enter a ‘Tree’ into their Christmas Tree Festival. We wanted it to be a tree that all at the music school, pupils, teachers and support staff had a part of. So on November 26th in place of our Theory lessons!!! we all made a decoration out of a glittery pipe cleaner, beads, cardboard and a picture of us in a Santa hat holding our instrument. Jane also took a picture of all of us in the band to put in the star at the top of the tree.
Monday evening Dec 2nd Jane and her mum took the tree to the Salvation Army Citadel in Harwich and decorated it with the pipe cleaner decorations we had all made.
Not realising that we had actually entered a competition it came as a big surprise to hear that our little tree had been awarded first place in the Junior Section. Needless to say we were thrilled with our efforts.
The judge’s comments were “I was looking for something that wasn’t traditional and liked all the smiling faces. It reminded me of the joy and happiness of Christmas”.
The judge’s comments were “I was looking for something that wasn’t traditional and liked all the smiling faces. It reminded me of the joy and happiness of Christmas”.
(Submitted by Jane Gibson)
Town’s Fort Resounds to the Sound of Brass. - Saturday 6 July 2013 (23/07/13)
On Saturday 6 July at the Redoubt Fort, Harwich we were joined by RBL Victory (Portsmouth) Brass Band and current National 4th Section Champions Norfolk Wherry Brass Band for a whole day Festival of Brass Music which formed part of the 2013 Harwich Festival of the Arts fortnight. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect as the massed bands, consisting of around seventy players, assembled around the Fort’s Ramparts to open the proceedings with a selection of rousing fanfares immediately after the Fort's cannon had been fired by the Harwich Re-enactment Society at exactly 12.00 noon.

The day proceeded un-interrupted with individual sets from each band in the main arena, ensembles of various sizes performing in the moat area, and guest appearances on the Ramparts from professional Trumpet duo of Heidi Bennett and Paul Archibald who also ran two very successful youth workshops during the afternoon. There were soloists in the refreshment room, a band exhibition, and a trial room where anyone could have a go at a selection of brass instruments under the direction of band members. If all this wasn’t enough local food and drink stalls were serving up a mixture of culinary delights around the ramparts to cater and refresh bandsman and public alike

Afternoon proceedings in the arena concluded at 5.30pm after a performance by Harwich RBL. This allowed just enough time for the bandsman to have a break before a large and appreciative audience were treated to a superb massed bands evening concert which culminated in a spectacular choreographed firework display to the 1812 overture. What a way to finish a day to remember.

Look out for a full article about the day in the next edition of the Band’s Legionnaire Magazine - available free of charge as a download from this web-site soon.
Colchester Food & Drink Festival 2013 (23/07/13)
Sunday 30 June saw the Main Band performing at the 2013 Colchester Food and Drink Festival in the Lower Castle Park.

The band was situated right outside the Beer Tent – just the right place for a brass band perhaps - where they entertained large numbers of festival-goers who were enjoying the great selection of food and drink on offer - as well as the great weather.
Wormingford RBL - Celebration Tea Party (23/07/13)
On 29th June 2013 the A120 Ensemble were, once again, on their travels - this time performing at Wormingford Village hall for the Wormingford RBL Branch 80th Year Celebration Tea Party. The Ensemble were invited to entertain the guests all of whom enjoyed a selection of light music - including some dance numbers whilst being ably waited upon, by the local Air Cadets, with a delicious assortment of sandwiches and cakes.

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