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2000 British Open Contest Results

Faireys were placed 4th at this years British Open Contest and would like to congratulate Robert Childs and the Cory (Buy As You View) Band on their victory.

The performance had some fantastic individual performances, most notably Lee Rigg (Principal Cornet), Owen Farr (Solo Horn) and Michael Howley (Euphonium)

The Band were in good company in the results and the first six placings are as follows...

2000 British Open Contest
Birmingham Symphony Hall, September 9th, 2000

Test Piece:
Michael Ball's Celebration for Brass Band
Adjudicator: James Williams, John Iveson & William Relton

Band Conductor
Cory (Buy As You View) Robert Childs
Black Dyke Nicholas Childs
Grimethorpe Garry Cutt
Williams Fairey James Gourlay
Fodens Courtois Bramwell Tovey
YBS David King

Back to work

The Band is back to it's usual busy self after the summer break.

Concerts at Adlington and the Bridgewater Hall have warmed the band up ready for the season ahead and our new Solo Euphonium player Michael Howley is settling in well.

The Band also welcomes Neil Hayward to the Band on the Solo Cornet row and Peter Christian back on Solo Baritone, player profiles will be updated soon..

I'm tinkering with some new designs for the website so if you have any ideas that you like to see incorporated in the new look, let me know.


Personnel Changes

The Band is pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Rigg as Principal Cornet and Owen Farr as Solo Horn. Both players gave superb performances at the recent All England Masters contest and the Band wish them both well in their new positions.

Following Lee's appointment to Principal Cornet, Brian Taylor has done a straight swap and is now the Band's Repiano Cornet. Having sat in one of the hottest seat's in Banding for the best part of the last 25 years, Brian will by no means be taking a rest on the back row.

The Band is also pleased to welcome Gavin Saynor to the band on EEb Bass. Gavin will be replacing the legendary Geoff Harrop who is retiring from playing. Geoff hasn't left just yet and will be playing with the Band on the Whit Friday Marches.

The Band also welcomes Simon "Maverick" Jones back to the Tenor Horn section following a year away from the Band. During that time Simon had the audacity to play with the YBS band at Cambridge and beat us (last year) but he is forgiven for that and it is great to see the Denis Bergkamp of Banding back to his rightful home (Simon refuses to fly anywhere!).

A busy month then!

All England Masters Contest

Faireys were placed second in the closely fought All England Masters contest on Sunday May 28th. In a test piece that still causes problems for most Bands, it was the YBS band who just pipped Faireys to the silverware.

Faireys performance was marked by some fantastic individual performances, notably Kevin Crockford (Soprano), Owen Farr (Solo Horn) and Lee Rigg (Repiano), whose performance of the Cornet Solo in the 2nd Movement was easily the highlight of Faireys performance.

2000 All England Masters Contest
Corn Exchange, Cambridge, May 28th, 2000

Test Piece:
Wilfred Heaton's Contest Music
Adjudicator: David Read, James Scott & William Relton

Band Conductor
YBS David King
Williams Fairey James Gourlay
Brighouse & Rastrick Allan Withington
Travelsphere Holiday (GUS) Melvin White
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery John Hinckley
Todmorden Old Denis Hadfield

Please check the Brass Band World website for the full results list

Sudden death of Wilfred Heaton

The much admired composer Wilfred Heaton died suddenly in Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Friday May 19th, aged 81, after having been in hospital for a few days.

Brought up in the Salvation Army, his music reflected the work of a composer of genuine stature. At first, much of his output was rejected. In more recent years, since the value of his music has been widely recognised internationally, he lived a quiet life in Harrogate, producing little new work.

Contest Music, one of the favourite works of players around the world, was chosen by ballot of bands to be used as the test piece at the All England Masters championships at Cambridge on Sunday, May 28. It will be a poignant occasion for all the many admirers of his work.

A funeral service takes place on Friday, May 26th, at Leeds Central Salvation Army Hall, Nile street off Bridge Street, Leeds, at 11am. It will be conducted by Captain Peter Forrest and will be followed by a committal service at Harrogate Crematorium at 1.40pm.

Newsflash posted to the Brass Band World website Wednesday 24th May

In The Red

The band had a great time at the World Premier of "In The Red" last Sunday (21/05/00) at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. The performance formed the entire first half of a Charity Gala in aid of The National Society for Epilepsy. The second half included a set by Kiki Dee.

The Performance was conducted by Geoffrey Brand with the Lead Roles played by Peter Polycarpou, Carl Wayne, Jane Milligan & Stuart Pendred. The Performance was narrated by Richard Owens.

The Band enjoyed their first foray into the world of the musical and hope to perform "In The Red" again soon.

You can also get more information on "In The Red" by taking a look at the official website.

In The Red

The Band are busy preparing for the World Premier of "In the Red" on Sunday 21st of May at at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End

Geoffrey Brand is refreshing the Band's memories, as well as introducing new members of the Band to this fine music as it has been 2 years since we first recorded the CD. If you would like to order a copy of the CD please contact Andy Gillooly via email.

You can also get more information on "In The Red" by taking a look at the official website.

Acid Brass CD's

The Band has had a fantastic response to their appearance on BBC TV last week, including a growing number of people asking for a copy of the Acid Brass CD.

Band Manager Andy Gillooly informs me that there are some on order and that they will be with us shortly. If you would like to place an order please contact Andy via email

Note: The first Acid Brass CD (recorded live at the premier) was a limited edition of a 1000 and was sold out pretty much within the first year of it being released.

The Tate Gallery Gig

The Band had a fantastic day at the Tate Modern and had the pleasure of playing playing live on TV not once, not twice, but three times! We were well looked after by Jeremy Deller, the BBC and it was great to see Rodney Newton with the Band again, conducting "French Kiss" by Lil' Louis, arranged especially for the Tate concert.

The Band spent the evening in the same company as Kylie Minogue, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Hill, Jilly Cooper, Michael Palin and many more.

Faireys on the TV!

Watch out for the Band on BBC 1 and 2 on Thursday 11th of May. Faireys are playing at the opening of the Tate Modern Gallery in London and will be belting out some Acid Brass numbers! Times to follow shortly.

UPDATE: Times are as follows:

Thursday 11th May, BBC 2, 7:30pm: Tate Two
Kirsty Wark and Matthew Collings introduce live coverage of the evening celebrations marking the opening of the new gallery for modern and contemporary art on London's Bankside.

Thursday 11th May, BBC 1, 10:30pm: Tate Late
Kirsty Wark presents live coverage of the evening celebrations marking the opening of the new gallery of modern and contemporary art on London's Bankside

Concert News

The Band played their first concert since returning from Switzerland at Fleetwood last night (Sun, 7th of May). Conducted by Brian Grant (fresh from steering Glossop to the British Open at the Grand Shield Contest the day before) the band were on top form, with special mentions going to Kevin Crockford's sublime solo playing in "Emmanuel", Bob Blackburn and the Tenor Horn section for their dexterity in "Molly on the Shore" and fine Solo spots from David Thornton and Nick Hudson.

The Band now play in 2 different formations during their concerts, the first half being the traditional brass band layout and the second half a big band style formation. This format was first tested at Oldham prior to the Swiss Tour and ever since has proved a big hit with both the Band and audiences alike.

The style of the Music in each half reflects the stage setup, so during the first half you'll hear the likes of "The Force of Destiny", "Elegy from a Downland Suite" and "The March from the Pines of Romes" whereas the second half will have the likes of "Malageuna", "Stardust" and "Trumpet Blues and Cantabile". Come and see the Band in action and then expect to see the trend copied across the land!

Personnel News: The 3 Simon's

The Band welcome back 2 old boys for the forthcoming All England Masters Contest. Simon Stonehouse returns on 2nd Cornet and Simon Jones on 2nd Horn.

The Band is also pleased to announce the signing of Simon Menin onto the Front Row Cornet bench. Being a Swiss National, it was a case of "Local Boy Done Good" when Simon helped the band out (in more ways than one) on the band's recent tour of Switzerland.


The Swiss Photo's will have to wait folks as my Hard Drive is no more (it is now an ex-hard drive, it has ceased to be etc).

I'll knock them out via my work pc when I get the chance (some chance!).

Congratulations to...

to Brian Grant on his first contest win with the Glossop Band at the Buxton Brass Band Festival on Sunday April 30th.

A big slap on the back also goes to David Thornton who cheekily won the best soloist prize whilst guesting!

Swiss Tour

The Band spent the Easter Holiday in Switzerland on a whistle-stop tour. A write-up and photo's will follow shortly.

Farewell to...

to Alan Hobbins (2nd Cornet) who after 2 years with Faireys has announced his resignation from the Band. Alan is in his first year of studies at the University of Salford and the Band wish Alan all the best in his Studies and future career.

Latest Photo

The latest photo of the band is now in circulation. View the handsome devils here

Busy time ahead

The year 2000 is a busy one for the Williams Fairey Band with a tour of Switzerland just around the corner and some high profile concerts back in England later in the year. If anyone would like any information regarding any of the concerts on the Swiss tour then please contact:

Daniel Zumbrunnen
Brass Band Les Posses
Russel 2
1025 St.Sulpice

EMail: oedipe@bluewin.ch

The band will be playing at the opening of the new Tate Gallery in London on Thursday the 11th of May where the Band will be playing a set of Acid Brass numbers.

The band are also playing at the World Premier live performance of the first brass band musical "In the Red" at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End on Sunday 21st May, 2000. The Williams Fairey Band will be joined by West End stars including Peter Polycarpou and Carl Wayne. This will form the first half of a charity gala concert in aid of the National Society for Epilepsy. Tickets are now on sale from Her Majesty's Box office (Tel - 0171 494 5052).

North West Area Contest

Faireys were placed second and qualify for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October in the closely fought North West Area contest on Sunday March 12th. In a test piece that tested every section of the band and required solo contributions from everyone, the performance was "top drawer" stuff and were just pipped to the winning enclosure by the in-form Fodens Courtois.


2000 North West Regional Area Contest
Winter Gardens Blackpool, March 12th, 2000

Test Piece:
Philip Sparke's Variations on an Enigma
Adjudicator: John Berryman

Band Conductor
Foden (Courtois) Nicholas Childs
Williams Fairey James Gourlay
JJB Leyland Howard Snell
BT Philip Bailey
Wingates Alan Lawton
Marple Thomas Wyss

Well Done...

to David Thornton (Solo Euphonium) on being voted Player of the Year by the other members of the Band for the second year running. David faced strong challenges from Kevin Crockford (Soprano), Sandy Smith (Solo Horn) and Shaun Crowther (Eb Bass) all of whom were in the running.

to Andrew Gillooly (2nd Trombone) on being voted Bandsman of the Year, again by the other members of the Band. Andy has been in the frame for this award over the last few years. Andy took over the post of Band Manager in 1999 so the workload that he has had to deal with has increased dramatically. Andy pipped the last recipient of the award Gary Parker into second place with Jimmy Leggatt in third place.

Farewell to...

to Gary Parker (2nd Cornet) who after 11 years with Faireys has announced his retirement from the Band to persue his career on the Trumpet. Gary is now in his 2nd year of studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and he will be back to help the Band out on it's tour of Switzerland.

to Mark Peacock (2nd Cornet) who after 4 years with Faireys has also announced his retirement from the Band. Mark has no plans to play with another band and is taking a well earned break from playing.

Both Gary and Mark will be sorely missed and the Williams Fairey Band wish them all the best for the future.

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