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The New Year has started well for Towcester Studio Band!

Author: Kevin Hawkins Published: 15th January 2020 13:27

The New Year has started well for Towcester Studio Band!The New Year has started well for Towcester Studio Band! Photo Ben Bucklow.
Firstly the committee and players at Towcester Studio Band (TSB) would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank all of our loyal followers for their support and generosity during the festive season!

The Band survived an incredibly busy November/December and still found time and energy to compete in the Butlin’s Mineworkers Contest last weekend! The event started seventeen years ago and is held annually in Skegness!
Travelling to the East coast in January will always be slightly risky but I must report that the weather gods certainly looked after us this year. Clear and bright for most of the time, windy but relatively mild for the location and time of year.
This was the first time TSB had entered the competition, encouraged by the success of our friends and near neighbours Raunds Town Band in last year’s contest. So in addition to preparing for all of our Xmas gigs we were focused on the Third Section Test Piece, Gothic Dances, composed by Alan Fernie. TSB tasted success with this piece by winning the 3rd Section at the Leicester Brass Band Association contest at the end of November.
Most of TSB’s annual contesting exploits are against Band’s that play in the Midland’s Region of Brass Banding. This contest pitched us against several Band’s from the Northern Region which is traditionally a very strong area for Banding. There were some 3rd section Band’s from the Midlands Region on show including Raunds Town, last year’s winners! The event is held over the weekend with the main contest day being Saturday. The day started for TSB at 8:30am with a pre-competition practice session held in a nearby Grammar School. There were thirteen Band’s entered in our section and the draw for the order of play took place at 9am! TSB were drawn to play 12th which meant we were likely to be on stage at 2pm.
The venue for the 3rd Section was Crazy Horse which was not the most modern of concert halls but Musical Director Peter Wain had prepared us well and the Band didn’t disappoint. The performance wasn’t blemish free but went well enough. The prizes on offer are exceptional in 3rd Section Banding circles and we were all hopeful of a top four finish. First prize £2k, second £1k, third £700 & fourth £500.
Unlike other regional contests the results of this competition are not presented until much later in the day. In fact there is a special Results Show that happens at 8pm so even more time to kill before all Band’s learnt their fate!  TSB members gathered in the Reds arena for show time and eagerly awaited the results of the 3rd Section. We were thrilled to be announced in fourth place. Obviously first spot would have been better but for our first visit to the Butlin’s contest the Band were very happy with this result.
The Band’s next contesting engagement is the Regional Area qualifying event on March 7th at Kenilworth. The 3rd Section test piece is entitled Endurance which is quite apt given the very busy last three months!
And finally, a reminder of our Spring concert... the Band return to the wonderful surroundings of Stowe School in April.

We are performing in the Ugland Auditorium on Saturday April 25th  7:30pm 2020 and are delighted to announce that Jonny Bates, composer, conductor, Geneva instruments performance & development artist and solo tenor horn with Fodens Band, is our special guest soloist!

Jonny’s association with TSB started a couple of years ago when he was commissioned to compose a piece for the 1100th Anniversary of Towcester concert.

During the day he will conduct two workshops, one for Composition and the second for Performance. Pupils from Stowe School, Magdalene College Brackley, Sponne School, Towcester and various NMPAT groups will be invited to participate, with the Performance group playing a part in the concert.
This is a ticket only event, adults £10 and concessions £8 (over 65/members of Stowe Arts/children) and tickets are available from www.towcesterstudioband.co.uk & www.artsatstowe.co.uk .

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