News

Summer Concert 2017 - Musicals, Theatre and Film

This year's summer concert will be at the Adrian Mann Theatre at NESCOT on Sunday 2nd July at 7pm. We're focusing on Musicals and Theatre this year with a bit of a revisit of last year's theme, Film, thrown in. Those of you on the mailing list will receive a ticket order form in the post (or a flyer on e-mail) very soon. If you're not on the mailing list, why not?!? Use the contact tab to get yourself added to it ASAP! In the meantime you can order tickets by sending a cheque made out to 'Epsom and Ewell Silver Band' to EESB, 49 Chertsey Drive, North Cheam SM3 9UL.

You can print your own order form here

Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 for children under 15 and OAPs. We hope to see as many of you as possible. If you have any queries, please use the contact form or call us on our dedicated band line – 07908855393

Christmas concert – Sunday 4th December 2016

It’s almost Christmas again! It doesn’t seem long since we were at St. Mary’s Church in Cuddington for last year’s Christmas concert. These concerts have been very successful and we’re happy to be back with the Cuddington Residents Association again this year. The concert is on Sunday 4th December at 7pm. There’s a CRA flyer attached. You can buy tickets from us by printing and completing an order form here and posting it to the address shown on the form. We’ve increased the price slightly this Christmas to bring us in line with the CRA and to hopefully provide a little extra for the Mayor’s Charity Fund. Anybody 12 years or over is £10 and all under 12's are FREE. The Mayor of Epsom himself is one of the event organisers! We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Crawley Contest – Another trophy!

We took part in the Crawley own-choice test piece contest on 25th September. Playing Kenneth Downie’s ‘Purcell Variations’, we managed a very creditable third place with some very positive comments from the adjudicator. This position came with a BIG trophy, which you can see in the photo here. Well done to all the band and congratulations to winners Otterbourne.

Summer Concert 2016 - Film and Literature

This year's 'Film and Literature' themed summer concert will be at the Adrian Mann Theatre at NESCOT on Sunday 26th June at 7pm. Those of you on the mailing list will receive a ticket order form in the post (or a flyer on e-mail) very soon. If you're not on the mailing list, why not?!? Use the contact tab to get yourself added to it ASAP! In the meantime you can order tickets by sending a cheque made out to 'Epsom and Ewell Silver Band' to EESB, 49 Chertsey Drive, North Cheam SM3 9UL.

You can print your own order form here.

Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children under 15 and OAPs. We hope to see as many of you as possible. If you have any queries, please use the contact form or call us on our dedicated band line - 07908 855393.

Success for the band at the Crawley test-piece contest

We had great success this weekend in our first contest under our new MD, Paul Graham. The SCABA Autumn Contest at Crawley involved the usual test-piece competition as well as march and hymn tune contests. Playing in the First Section, we managed to win the march competition, thanks to a great performance from our Principal Cornet, Matt Paterson. We also came a very creditable second in the test-piece contest, which was won by Milton Keynes Brass. To top off our afternoon, Paul was awarded the Conductor's prize for his interpretation of our test-piece, Celestial Prospect by Wilfred Heaton. So three trophies in all, which were a just reward for the hard work put in at the bandhall in recent weeks.

A new MD for EESB!

We’re really happy to announce that we’ve appointed a new Musical Director!
Paul Graham will take up the position on 22nd June.

Paul has had extensive band experience as a player with the Salvation Army’s International Staff Band and also with some of the best bands in the country such as Fodens, Grimethorpe and, more recently, Aveley and Newham. As a conductor/MD, he was bandmaster of the Salvation Army Croydon Citadel Band for 5 years and took charge of the South London Youth Band for 12 years.

We are really looking forward to working with Paul and continuing to build on the recent good work of his predecessor Jack Smith.

You can read more about Paul on the Musical Director page here.

A great result at the area contest!

On Sunday 22nd March we took part in the London and Southern Counties area qualifiers in Stevenage. It was our first year back in the First Section and in recent years we have struggled when making the transition from the more forgiving Second Section. Our piece was Philip Sparke's 'A London Overture', which gave us a stern test. Having been drawn first, the adjudicators' comments were critical but fair and they noted that we had laid down a good benchmark for the section. We ended up being ranked fifth, which was a great result for us and a huge improvement on our previous rankings in this section. This contest was also Jack Smith's final act as our Musical Director and it was a fitting end to his tenure. In the three years he has been with us, he has built on the great work done by his predecessor Ted Howard and pushed us into the top half of the First Section table. We are grateful to him for his effort and commitment and we hope that our next MD appointment is as successful. Auditions are in progress this month and we will announce our new MD soon.

A New Year and a New Section!

Thanks to a good performance at the Area contest in Stevenage last year, the band have now been promoted to the First Section. We've flirted with the First Section a couple of times in recent years. It's a big step up and finding the consistency to consolidate a position in this part of the league table has been the stumbling block of many a band. We're hoping to improve on recent attempts, though, and this will require not only a big effort from the existing players but also some solid recruitment. We're looking for Bb cornets at the moment, especially some Front Row players. If you're a good quality cornet player and you think you'd be an asset to a band that wants to push on, come and see us for a blow. We'll also be looking to appoint a Principal Cornet, so this could be a big opportunity for you. Use the contact form to let us know if you are considering joining. Or call the band phone on 07908 855393.

Christmas Concert - Sunday 7th December 2014, 7pm

It seems like only yesterday that we were finishing our last carolling session at Hampton Court and putting away the Christmas music for another year! But it's getting on for that time again already. Due to the success of last year's concert at Cuddington, organised by the Cuddington Residents Association, we've decided to join up with them again this year. So our Christmas Concert will take place at St Mary's Church, The Avenue, Worcester Park KT4 7HL on Sunday 7th December 2014. No doubt there will be the usual mix of entertaining music (seasonal or otherwise) and some carol singing. Not to mention some top-notch refreshments!
Tickets will be on sale on the door for £10 each but EESB supporters will be able to take advantage of a discount if tickets are booked in advance. So if you're a regular at our concerts but aren't on our mailing list yet, then let us know and send us your details. That way we can send you an EESB order form when the time comes. Otherwise you'll pay the full price on the door. Hopefully we'll see you there.

Epsom in Harmony - Friday 26th September 7.30pm, Oaks Hall, Duchess Stand, Epsom Racecourse

We took part in the Epsom in Harmony event at the Epsom racecourse on Friday 26th September. The event happened two years ago as part of the borough celebrations and it was revisited to mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War. We were joined by seven local choirs - Epsom Male Voice Choir, Epsom Choral Society, Soundbytes, the Ewell Ladies, The Downsmen, Sponsalia and children from the Rosebery School. The music was evocative of the time and there was poignant contemporary poetry readings too.

Summer Concert

This year‘s Summer Concert will be held at The King’s Church off Longmead Road in Ewell on Saturday 21st June at 7.30pm. This is a new venue for us and we’re looking forward to playing there. Those of you on the mailing list will receive a ticket order form in the post 9or a flyer on e-mail) very soon. If you're not on the mailing list, why not?!? Use the contact tab to get yourself added to it ASAP! In the meantime, you can order tickets by sending a cheque made out to 'Epsom and Ewell Silver Band to "EESB, 49 Chertsey Drive, North Cheam SM3 9UL". Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children/seniors. We hope to see as many of you as possible there. If you’ve got any questions, please use the contact form or call us on our dedicated band hotline - 07908 855393. Print your own order form here.

A Good Showing at the Areas

EESB recently made their annual pilgrimage to the shrine of London & Southern Counties banding that is Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, for the regional championships on Sunday 16 March. The band had enjoyed bringing the test piece, "Chaucer's Tunes" by Michael Ball, to life, with its vivid depictions of literary character, and many varied musical moods, and we were looking forward to giving our performance, which we hoped would offer something a little different for all to hear and enjoy. Expectation was high following our appearances at the National Finals last September and at Butlins in January, with online brass band magazine 4barsrest.com predicting us as likely winners for the contest - so not too much pressure, then... [...More]

Chase: Chauntecleer and the Fox.....

With a good run-up of rehearsals behind us, and the knowledge that we wouldn't have to get up too early (playing on the Sunday morning, the eighteen bands competing in the Second Section at Stevenage would be drawn in two ballots, of which we were fortunate to be placed in the second), morale was high on the contest day. On arrival at the leisure centre, a brief warm-up and top-and-tail rehearsal was enough to refresh the memory, settle at least a few nerves, and also highlight how warm it was throughout the centre - an unexpectedly mild turn in the weather didn't seem to have filtered through to the geyser in the boiler room (whoever he was), and the whole building was warm, uncomfortably so in parts. Knowing how warm it would be under the lights on stage in the Gordon Craig theatre, we somewhat reluctantly took the decision to perform in shirt sleeves, and leave our heavy woolen jackets behind. Whilst the visual effect would not be so impressive, it was felt that it was more important that we should feel more comfortable in order to play well - and we certainly intended to show we meant business by the way we played! (We also appeared to set a trend, as most bands in the championship section, which followed later in the day, also took to the stage without their jackets).

Having been drawn to play fifteenth out of the eighteen bands, it felt like rather a long wait to play; we eventually walked on to the stage around 1 p.m. - quite a few of the audience left at this point to get their lunch, it seemed, but we had a few stalwart supporters in the 'house', including ex-players who had made the journey from various places more northerly even than Stevenage in order to cheer us on. Our performance got off to a flying start, at a tempo which surprised everyone on hearing the recording subsequently - this wasn't criticised by either of the two adjudicators, however, and if anything seems to have helped catch their attention early on. Although it was not a blemish-free performance, the tricky changes of mood and tempo were navigated safely by all, and we built to a rousing, confident finish. MD Jack Smith was so pleased with how it had gone that he seemed at a loss as to what to do afterwards - we had done what we set out to do, to reproduce on stage what we had worked on in the band room.

Time for a cooling beer...

A rather blurry picture of the band on stage

The results ceremony was rather interesting, as for the first time at Stevenage, we had been judged not by one, but by two adjudicators: Welshman Lyn Morgan (a stranger in these parts) and Linda Cole, an experienced conductor and band trainer with more local connections, but less experience in the box. Both had clearly given much attention to the performances, and thought to their remarks and the placings they had given. What was also slightly unusual this year was that the placings from fourth upwards were announced, rather than the top six placings - one of those times when you want to hear your band announced, but not too soon... Our performance had attracted a great reception in the theatre, and from various commentators - some of whom still predicted EESB as winners, so it was something of a disappointment to hear our name being called out first - in fourth place. (Interestingly, there seemed to be an audible intake of breath from various quarters at this pronouncement, and not from our supporters either).

Whilst it was a shame not to be invited for a second year to compete at the National Finals in Cheltenham, where we would have relished the opportunity to improve on our performance in 2013, we could at least take heart in having played very near to (if not right at) our very best on stage, and having given a committed performance of which we could be proud. Following some beermat arithmetic later on, and consultation with the mystical runes known as "The Grading Table", we also worked out that the band would be promoted back to the First Section (national grading) from 2015, which pays tribute to the hard work of all our players, and their continuing development under the direction of Jack Smith. Besides this elevation of status, playing in the First Section means we won't have to get up early on a Sunday morning for next year's trip to Stevenage; surely a bonus in itself...

Jack Smith MD.
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Butlins Contest - A view from the front

EESB recently made the long journey to the North Sea coast, to take part in the National Mineworkers Band Festival at Butlins in Skegness(Jan 2014). Despite its name, the weekend-long festival attracts bands from a wide range of backgrounds besides those with their historic roots in Britain's mining and associated industries. Bands from across the country competed by performing a set test in their respective sections on Saturday, January 18th, with the Championship Section also providing light relief throughout the day on Sunday 19th as they competed in the entertainments contest. [...More]

Playing in the Second Section, Epsom & Ewell were set 'Kenilworth' by Sir Arthur Bliss; a piece which still poses a great many challenges to bands today, despite dating from 1936, when it was written for the National Championships. The band had spent a good deal of time preparing their performance thoroughly, including a preview performance at their Christmas Concert. Competing against sixteen other bands from around the UK (including three other bands from the London & Southern Counties region), the band gave a confident performance which drew much attention and positive comments from those who heard it.

Unfortunately, the two adjudicators were less enthusiastic about our rendition, despite giving some very positive comments on the quality of the band's soloists, and broadly praising the musical interpretation of the piece. After a long wait for the results (the band played shortly before 11 a.m. and the results were not announced until the evening), the band were understandably disappointed to find that they had ended up in a joint thirteenth place. Most players, along with MD Jack Smith, were philosophical on reflection, and felt that the band had benefited from the experience of preparing such a challenging piece, and competing at a national contest for the second time in less than six months. Needless to say, all are determined to use this experience positively in putting in a good showing at the forthcoming Area contest in Stevenage.

The performance at Butlins also marked a fond farewell for EESB's soprano cornet and 2nd horn, Lewis and Hazel Shaw, who have had to relocate owing to work commitments. Having been with the band since 2011, they have played a big part in its development and life both musically and socially - we wish them well, and will miss them very much.

Jack Smith MD.
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Butlins Contest - A view from the ranks

2013 was a successful contesting year for the Band having been invited to the National finals in September and placed 6th in the 2nd Section. We were on a roll! Why not have a go at the big prizes on offer at Butlins. EESB had never played at the Mineworkers National Open Brass Band Festival held in Skegness, in mid-January(2014), what could be more appealing. So following a short playing break over Christmas, we got stuck into 'Kenilworth' the 2nd section test piece. On Friday 17th January we set off for bracing Skeggy. [...More]

There was lots of admin to be taken care of before the big day and our thanks go to all involved, especially Paul Dewis our contest secretary. Paul organized our self-catering accommodation in Gold apartments and furnished us with information about 'Splash World' and all the other delights our Butlins weekend had to offer. The drive up to Skegness was one of the least appealing aspects of the weekend and the weather at the start of the journey confirmed our concerns. After a couple of hours of torrential rain, the weather eased up.
Lisa Hill, Hazel Shaw, Jess Redman tweeting '#We've stopped for lunch, where are you?'

As we hit the last couple of miles on the winding A52,in the distance we could see the white top of the Skyline pavilion and above that the faint glimmer of a rainbow. Was this a sign of things to come and the pot of gold we were seeking? Our expectations were high.

The rainbow seemed to hang right over the front gate

We arrived at the 'resort' in small groups throughout the afternoon and early evening. At 9.00pm with yellow wrist bands on, we met up in the Crazy Horse for a final practice session and to make sure instruments were all in good order for the contest in the morning. Afterwards some went back to their rooms some went on to sample the evening entertainment in the big shed with two bars called 'Reds'. Some even joined in with the live show on stage with much vigor and enthusiasm. A special thanks to our guest players at this point. The Weekend had begun.

During the early hours of Saturday morning, the now legendary 'Born Free' played on a Tenor, were heard by those still awake. The light sleepers dreamt they were in some kind of Brass Band fantasy land. Welcome to Butlins 2014. The next morning at 8.30 we tuned the TV to channel 800 to watch the draw for all sections 'Live from Centre Stage'.This was a new experience for most of us, normally only familiar to the contest secretary. We drew number 5, right behind one of the favourites. Playing commenced at 10.00am at Lakeside. At 10.30 we gathered together outside our apartment block for the 100 yard walk to the 2nd section contest venue at Lakeside. There was a large white tent outside a large grey shed. Once in the tent, we warmed up and got ready to move across to the shed and sign in. We got on stage, which was a white line separating us from the first row of chairs by about a foot. We sat down and waited for the whistle. Sometimes the whistle goes before everyone is ready sometimes there is a long silence. Often that is because the previous band has given an outstanding performance or is getting lots of tips from the adjudicators on how to improve before their next contest. The whistle blew. This was it we were ready to make our Butlins debut.

The whistle blew, this was it, we were ready to make our Butlins debut.

We started with a very good opening. All soloists played well and we all came together to a very dramatic closure. We felt that we had given our best in a very competitive field of wide ranging bands. It was now down to the Adjudicators. The results would be given at 8.00pm in Reds.

One of the attractions of Butlins Mineworkers is there is always something to do. Some stayed in Lakeside to listen to the competition or moved to other section bands at their venues. Some put on their bathers and went to Splash World. Some went to the sports bar or other bars to bathe the throat. There were at least 4Bars to rest.. Some went home.. All of us were awaiting the results.

So at 8.00pm all first to fourth section bands met in Reds to find out if they were in the prizes. We had not made it into the top finishers, we all felt a little disappointed, never mind we were having a good time and we did play well. For the bands whose results are not announced on stage a representative is sent to the contest office to pick them up along with the remarks. With eager anticipation Paul arrived with the envelope. There it was - 13th with Dronfield Genquip. Some swore, Some went into shock, Some could not believe it, all of us were disappointed. Only one thing for it re-group and head for the bar. We were not alone in our thoughts. Many other bands were doing the same thing including some members of Dronfield band who were in the queue right next to us. We had gone to Butlins for a number of reasons. One of those was to say farewell to Lewis and Hazel Shaw who were heading back home and would be back playing with Dronfield next week. What a small world this Banding is. There was the rest of the evening to get through and of course the Championship Band Entertainment contest on Sunday.

During the early hours of Sunday morning the dulcet tones of 'Born Free' could be heard again along with the opening of 'Jurassic Park' and a number of Hymn tunes. Some bands need the practice whatever the time of day. On Sunday morning the Entertainments contest started in Centre Stage compared by Frank Renton who had been in the box all day adjudicating the 1st section. Well done to Sandhurst Silver who won. We listened to Jack Smith, our conductor who was playing with East London Brass. ELB also came thirteenth in the Championship section. Some very fine playing was heard from all the bands taking part and congratulations go to Flowers who took home the top prize. Grimethorpe gave a concert before the results of the championship section.

What a wonderful banding weekend was had by all those attending. Of course there was disappointment with our results, but also sadness that we say farewell to Lewis and Hazel. Good luck to you both, see you at Cheltenham!

Pete Hicks (trombone).
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Christmas Concert thanks

The Christmas Concert at St Mary's on 1st December went very well indeed. We had a bumper audience, swelled by the ranks of the Cuddington Residents Association, and the playing was superb. Soloists Lewis Shaw and Peter Hicks put in excellent performances, as did everybody during the run-through of the Butlins Test Piece 'Kenilworth', which was well received. We're grateful to the CRA both for the invitation to play at the church and for their efforts with ticket sales and refreshments. We hope to repeat the partnership in the future. Hopefully all of you who attended the concert went away happy. As usual, we welcome all your comments on music and venue etc. If you've got any ideas, please use the contact link to get in touch.

Christmas Concert - 1st Dec 2013, 7.30pm

The band are very pleased that our Christmas Concert will be held at St Mary's Church, Cuddington, in partnership with the Cuddington Residents' Association. Some of you may remember us doing some Christmas concerts for the Mayor's charities there a few years ago. They gave us a very warm welcome and I'm sure they will do so again. The church is on The Avenue in Worcester Park, just the other side of the bypass but still in the borough. Those of you on the mailing list will receive a ticket order form in the post very soon. If you're not on the mailing list, why not?!? Use the contact tab to get yourself added to it ASAP! In the meantime, you can order tickets by sending a cheque made out to 'Epsom and Ewell Silver Band to "EESB, 49 Chertsey Drive, North Cheam SM3 9UL". We hope to see as many of you as possible there. There will be some carol singing intermingled with the usual blend of Yule-inspired medleys and jaw-droppingly brilliant new pieces! And I think we can count on a bit of mulled wine and a mince pie too!

National Finals a success for Epsom!

This weekend the band travelled to the National Finals in Cheltenham. We qualified for this back in March at the regional contest, having come second to Hitchin in the Second Section. Ware Brass made up the trio of bands from the London and Southern Counties area. In total, eighteen bands from all over Great Britain competed in our section. The set test piece for the Finals was Kenneth Downie's 'Purcell Variations' and some of you will have heard it at our summer concert. It's a lovely piece and very easy on the ear compared to some test pieces. But it's still a stern test of a band!

The competition at National level is always stiffer than at Regional level, of course, so it was very difficult to judge how we would compare to bands from the other regions. It would be easy to be daunted by the occasion but the band did a good job of concentrating on their own playing and put in a strong, confident performance. The adjudicators praised our musicality and independent observers '4 Bars Rest' were very enthusiastic about MD Jack Smith's efforts, nominating him as our 'star player'! A nervy wait for the results, prefaced by one of the adjudicators saying that "the top six were easy to pick out", ended with the news that we had come 6th! In a competition of this standard this was an excellent result for us. Bands in 4th, 5th and 6th also received a letter of congratulation to mark our achievement, so we did not come away empty-handed.

Our congratulations go to Goodwick Brass Band from Wales who won our section, unanimously acclaimed by all accounts. We celebrated our own success well into the evening and, needless to say, a good time was had by all!

A new website!...and a chance to let you know what we're up to this year

Hello everybody and welcome to our new-look website for 2013! You'll have noticed that it looks a bit different to the last time you logged in. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to increase the profile of the site and give you as much information as possible on what we are doing. You'll notice that there is now information on the CD's we are selling, the music in our library, useful links to other sites and also a gallery of our photos. This gallery isn't particularly comprehensive at the moment but it will evolve as time goes on. If any of you have taken any pictures at any of our recent events and would like to see them on the site then use the contact form to let us know and we'll sort it out. We hope you enjoy the new site. [...More]

We'd also like to take this opportunity to give you an idea of what's going on during the rest of the year. Our final summer engagement of the year is at the annual West End Show at West End Green in Esher. This is always a jolly event, so if you'd like to hear us playing, just come along and listen. Then we'll be concentrating our efforts on the National Brass Band Championships in Cheltenham on 21st September. We qualified for the finals back in March and have been honing our skills on the test-piece, Kenneth Downie's 'Purcell Variations' over the summer. Some of you will have heard us play it at the concert last month. It's a lovely piece, but the adjudicator will have to listen to it at least 15 times in one day! Wish us luck!

After that, we're into Autumn with the Remembrance Day service at St Mary's in Ewell on 10th November. We'll then be swiftly into the Christmas season with our concert on 1st December. We'll let you know the venue for this soon. If you'd like to be on either the paper of e-mail mailing lists for concert information just use the contact form to let us know. We have all our usual carolling appearances at the Hampton Court and Tower of London Ice Rink openings, the Royal Marsden's 'Celebrate a Life' service and Hampton Court's Carols by Candlelight events, among others. These are all events organised by other people so we can't arrange entry ourselves. But if you happen to be at any of them, we'll see you there!" [...Less]

Summer Concert a great success

Thank you to everybody who came to join us at St. Paul's Church for our summer concert on 13th July. It was a new venue for us so we were interested to find out what it would be like. It turned out very well! The unusual shape of the room meant that audience members could choose their view of the band and the accoustics were very successful too. If you were at the concert and have any views on the venue, we'd really appreciate hearing them. Just use the contact form on the right hand side of this page to let us know what you thought. [...More]

The concert itself was a great mix of both easy-listening and challenging pieces. We gave you soloists in the shape of Lewis Shaw's "On with the Motley" and Mark Goodwill's 'Largo Al Factotum', both played wonderfully. We gave you energy with a modern take on 'Toccata', ably supported by a very active performance by Tim Lain and Adam Payn in the percussion section.
And we showcased the test-piece we will be playing at next month's National Brass Band Championships in Cheltenham - Kenneth Downie's 'Purcell Variations'. Some of the longer-serving members of the audience will have heard this piece before. It's unusual in a test piece because it is very tuneful and easily slips into a concert program without being over-challenging on the audience. If you were at the concert, I'm sure you would agree that we are well placed to put on a good show for the judges on 21st September.

All in all, a rewarding evening for both players and audience alike." [...Less]

Summer Concert July 2013

The Epsom and Ewell Silver Band summer concert will be taking place at St Paul's Church Howell Hill on Saturday 13th July 2013. Please come and join us for a varied evening of music at a new venue.

Contest Success for EESB, February 2013.

Epsom & Ewell have been doing rather well on the contest stage of late - in fact, our silverware cabinet is starting to run out of room! To add to our pair of trophies from SCABA's Spring Entertainments Contest, we now have a handsome cup and plaque for a second place result in the second section at the London & Southern Counties Regional Contest in February for a fantastic rendition of Edward Gregson's 'The Plantagenets'. We also swept the board at the Oxford & District Brass Band Association's winter contest with the same piece and the march Castell Coch, and a well deserved Best Instrumentalist prize was awarded to euphonium player Mike Hensor.