Both bands return to the concert stage this weekend.

After having had an enforced period without public performance, both Haverhill Silver and Youth & Community bands return to the formal concert stage this weekend. HY&CB can be seen at 7pm on Saturday 9th October at St. Mary’s Church in Haverhill. St. Mary’s were kind enough to let us use the Church to rehearse in through the summer, when restriction meant we couldn’t use our bandroom.

HSB will be performing at Haverhill Arts Centre on Sunday at 7.30. The prolonged of enforced inaction has lead to some comings and goings and the band will be showcasing it’s new talent,

COVID-19 – A Different Kind of Banding

Roughly two months have now passed since the band made the difficult decision to cease performing. However, the virus hasn’t managed to completely silence us… Thanks to a lot of hard work from band members, we have recorded several ‘socially distanced’ performances; all performed in our own homes, each part recorded separately. Musical Director Paul has had the tricky task of piecing each video together to create one full band performance, but the results have been pleasing. We have managed to create three videos so far, and are currently hard at work on our next project. Our third video (Blaze Away) was recorded especially for the VE Day anniversary celebrations and was broadcasted by Haverhill Town Council to the public via Facebook. Check out our videos by visiting our YouTube channel.


In light of the latest official Government advice which has been reinforced by Brass Bands England, the HSB Management Committee have sadly decided to cease all band activities until further notice to prevent the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak within the organisation.

Brass in the Wire – 4th place and a cup for Tim!

The band have just returned from Warrington where we competed at the Brass in the Wire Contest. Competing against 13 other Championship/First Section bands from across the North of England, we put on a solid performance of ‘A Tale as yet Untold’ and was awarded 4th place by adjudicators Sandy Smith and Paul Andrews. Principal Cornet player Tim Pannell was also awarded ‘Best Soloist’ for his outstanding contribution to our performance, so a big well done to Tim.

Happy New Year from Haverhill Band! 

The band enter 2020 rehearsing hard for the upcoming Brass at the Wire Contest and L&SC Regional Championships, where we will be performing ‘A Tale as yet Untold’; the set test-piece for the 2020 National Brass Band Championships. The latter half of 2019 saw a number of changes within the band; we said goodbye to Rebecca Mason (Second Cornet), Kevin Chapman (Bb Bass), David Howell (Solo Horn) and Tim Vinall (Flugelhorn), but have equally welcomed new members to fill the seats mentioned.

Nick Batty has recently joined us on Tutti Cornet (having previously played for Hade Edge Band), Ryan Morley has decided to fill the vacant Second Cornet seat (moving from Tutti Cornet), Matthew Waterson has filled the Solo Horn seat (after stepping up from First Horn), Ian Jacobs has filled the Flugelhorn seat (after moving from Assistant Principal Cornet), with Gary Howard and Lisa Jardine-Wright rejoining the band on Bb Bass and Second Horn respectively.

LBBA Contest
Sunday 24th November saw the band return to Loughborough to compete at the LBBA Contest. Performing Wilfred Heaton’s ‘Contest Music’, we were unfortunately placed 5th out of 7 competing bands. The full result was as follows:

  1. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Grey)
  2. Derwent Brass (Jack Capstaff)
  3. Lydbrook (Glyn Williams)
  4. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
  5. Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby)
  6. Hathern (Stephen Barwell)
  7. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)

Busy Times for HSB
The last two months have been a busy time for both HSB and HYAC. September 21st saw the Senior Band present their latest Haverhill Arts Centre concert (a Last Night of the Proms themed event), followed by an excellent performance by the Youth & Community Band at their latest concert, held on October 19th at Haverhill Methodist Church. The Senior Band have also just enjoyed another visit to the picturesque setting of Thaxted Parish Church, leaving a packed crowd wanting more.

We now turn our attention to the forthcoming LBBA Contest, where we aim to go two places better than our solid showing last year, where we were awarded 3rd prize.

Summer Season
The band has recently enjoyed performing at several events throughout June and July. Thaxted Fayre, Haverhill Show and Proms in the Park (St Ives) all proved to be highly enjoyable engagements, with the band putting on a fine show for each one. Next week (Saturday 20th July), is the turn of Haverhill Youth & Community Band, where they’ll be performing at the Willows Care Home in Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds.

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Haverhill Youth Solo Festival                                                                                                     The band held our annual Open Youth Solo Festival on Sunday 5th May. This was an opportunity for young players to experience playing solos to an audience in a competitive yet supportive and friendly atmosphere. Players from Haverhill Youth and Community Band were joined by young people from other youth bands in the Cambridge area. The solo playing was followed by a fun play, where many of the competitors, teachers, parents and even the adjudicator joined to play through some well known Disney and Gershwin tunes.

The adjudicator, Cliff Wilkinson, who has played for the winning band in both British and European Championships, produced written comments for all the competitors and chose a winning performance in each of 4 sections. He also gave some general comments and said how impressed he was with the confidence and competence of all the young players.

Winners were:
Under 11 Slow Melody: Lucia Browne (Cottenham Brass Juniors)
Under 11 Florid Solo: Archie Pannell (HYAC)
Under 18 Slow Melody: Anna Bailey (Cottenham Brass Juniors)
Under 18 Florid Solo: Noah Blythe (HYAC)

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From Hollywood to Broadway/Band Awards
Sunday 28th April saw the band present our latest Arts Centre concert and were delighted to perform in front of a packed auditorium. During the evening, we were delighted to present our annual band awards, so congratulations go the following players:

Most Improved Player – Sarah Jordan (Second Horn)
Player of the Year – Ian Jacobs (Assistant Principal Cornet)
Bandsperson of the Year – Tom Walker (Third Cornet)

On a sadder note, we also said goodbye to two members of the band who move on to pastures new. A massive thank you to Matt Ralph (Second Baritone) and David McClintock (First Horn/Assistant MD) for all of your hard work and commitment to the band over the four and three years respectively. We hope to see you both soon!

Success at Stevenage – 4th place!
Following several weeks of intense rehearsal, Sunday 17th March saw the band journey to Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre to perform at the London & Southern Counties Regional Contest. Having drawn to play number 10 out of 12 competing bands, we delivered an impressive rendition of Ray Steadman-Allen’s ‘Seascapes’ and were delighted to be awarded 4th place by adjudicators Robert Childs and Michael Fowles.

We also send our congratulations to the band’s Solo Euphonium player Antony Sanders, who led Tendring Brass to a fantastic 2nd place in the Second Section.


Welsh Open Entertainment Contest – 8th for the band, but a win for Tim!
The band have returned to East Anglia following our debut at the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest. Despite putting on a solid performance of our ‘Greek-themed’ programme, we were awarded a disappointing 8th place out of 14 competing bands by adjudicator Philip Harper. However, all was not lost as our principal cornet player, Tim Pannell bagged the prize for ‘Best Cornet Player of the Day’ for his outstanding contribution to our performance.

The band would like to congratulate Filton Concert Brass, City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) Brass Band and Llwydcoed Band for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

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Haverhill Look Forward to Welsh Appearance
The band are currently hard at work preparing for our first appearance at the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest, held in Porthcawl, South Wales. Competing against 13 other Championship/First Section bands from across both Wales and England, a good performance could see HSB return to Suffolk with an invite to compete at the 2019 British Open Spring Festival, held in Blackpool later this year.

Three is the Magic Number
The band have just returned from an enjoyable weekend in Skegness, after competing at the Butlins Mineworkers Contest. On Saturday, the band performed Dvorak’s ‘Carnival Overture’ as our chosen test-piece. Having drawn to play number three, the band produced a fantastic performance and was placed 3rd out of seven competing bands in the test-piece contest. This means that HSB beat Virtuosi GUS Band (current Midlands Champions), Flowers Band (current West of England Champions) Friary Brass Band (current London & Southern Counties Champions) and Redbridge Brass (2017 National Finals Qualifiers). This is a major step forward for the band and we are all thrilled with this result.

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(Photo credits: Paul Barker, 4barsrest & The British Bandsman)

The adjudicators were not as impressed with the performance in the Entertainment Contest held on Sunday, but many of the 3000 people listening complimented the band on our continued improvement in style, sound and confidence.

Band looks forward to Butlins
Members of HSB are currently working hard for our third appearance in the Championship Section of the Butlins Mineworkers Contest. As always, we look forward to competing against some of the country’s best top section outfits and aim to put on a performance that we can be proud of.

The band is midway through a busy Christmas season and has so far enjoyed three engagements; Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, the Mayor’s Carol Service in St Edmundsbury Cathedral (many thanks to Helen Hooker for taking some great photographs of the band!), and our annual Family Christmas Concert with Haverhill Youth & Community Band.

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We’ve still plenty more bookings to do over the next two weeks, so check out where we’re performing here.

Success at the LBBA Contest
Sunday 18th November saw the band travel to Loughborough to compete at the LBBA Open Contest. Performing ‘Tristan Encounters’ by Martin Ellerby, we were delighted to be placed 3rd out of 7 competing bands from across the Midlands, Oxfordshire and even Victoria, (Australia!), by adjudicator Alan Morrison. The piece, comprised of 14 transfigurations, proved to be a challenge for the band, but also one where we emerged with a great deal of credit.

We also congratulate our Solo Euphonium player, Antony Sanders, who led to Tendring Brass to victory in the Third Section – well done all!

The band now focuses its attention to the Christmas period, where we will first be performing at the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, on Sunday 25th November.

Thaxted Tickets Now on Sale 
We’re delighted to announce that tickets for our upcoming concert in Thaxted Parish Church are now available to purchase. Order yours today by clicking on the following link:

Looking Ahead
After another successful Arts Centre concert, we now focus our attention to our next two major engagements; Thaxted Church on the 27th October, and indeed the LBBA Open Contest on the 18th November. With an exciting programme planned for our next concert and a challenging own-choice test piece for the contest, the next two months will certainly be an enjoyable time for the band.

And The Band Played On…
Tickets are now on sale for our next Arts Centre Concert, ‘And The Band Played On’. We are delighted to launch a new initiative, offering all brass players under the age of 18 the chance to attend this concert for just £1.00! Standard tickets are £10.00 and concessionary tickets are also available for £7.00. Purchase yours today by clicking here…

Band Starts the Summer Season
This Saturday sees the band perform at our first summer engagement of the year; namely Great Wratting Village Fete. It will also mark the start of a busy period for HSB, where the Senior Band and Youth & Community Band will be performing in a variety of events across West Suffolk and Cambridgeshire throughout the coming months. To find out where you can see us this summer, why not check out our events page?

Spring Concert/Band Awards
A good time was had by all at our latest Arts Centre concert; with both audience and band thoroughly enjoying the occasion. Sunday evening also saw the presentation of our annual band awards, and we were delighted to present trophies to the following players:

Most Improved Player – Steve Morley (Third Cornet)
Player of the Year – Andrew Cooper (Soprano Cornet)
Bandsperson of the Year – Tom Walker (Third Cornet)

Youth Solo Festival Hits the Right Notes
Sunday 25th March saw the return of the Haverhill Youth & Community Band Solo Festival, with over 20 entrants (representing HYAC, Cottenham Brass and Tendring Brass) performing in front of adjudicator, Ryan Higgin. The event proved to be a great success and we congratulate everybody who took part – especially the prize winners. Another highlight of the morning was the performance of a massed band (formed of competitors and keen adult supporters), who entertained the audience before the awards ceremony. Congratulations once again to all who performed; we hope to see you all again next year!

Under 11’s Slow Melody Champion – Maisy Brookes (Tendring Brass)
Under 11’s Florid Champion – Daisy Holliday (Cottenham Brass)
Under 18’s Slow Melody Champion – Anna Bailey (Cottenham Brass)
Under 18’s Florid Champion – Florence Wilson-Toy (Haverhill Youth & Community Band)

HSB Retains Championship Section Status
Sunday 18th March saw the band compete at the London & Southern Counties Regional Contest. Despite a good performance of Kevin Norbury’s ‘Odyssey’, our rendition did not find favour with the two adjudicators, who later placed us 8th out of 11 competing bands (Northfleet Brass had withdrew from the contest). The result was however, good enough to secure our Championship Section status for another year and we look forward to returning next March to do battle once again.

Butlins in Review
The band have just returned from Skegness, where we competed in the Butlins Mineworkers Contest.

We began proceedings early Saturday morning with a rehearsal in Skegness Silver Band’s practice room, before eventually making our way back to Butlins to find out where we had drawn to play… 7th out of 8 bands it was to be. Not long later, we made our way to the changing facilities (a small marquee to the uninitiated) before getting ready to go on stage. For our test piece, we had chosen to play ‘The Year of Dragon’ by Philip Sparke – a wonderfully emotive piece written in three movements. Despite an extremely positive rehearsal beforehand, our performance wasn’t without errors and the band generally felt that we had left our best playing in the band room. However, any disappointment soon disappeared when we started our next rehearsal (less than half an hour after coming off stage!), this time working on our entertainment programme which we would perform the following day.

Hatherhill-96(Photo courtesy of the British Bandsman Magazine)

Our chosen theme was ‘Missions’ and we had decided to perform five pieces that were all related to this idea. We opened our programme with a new composition entitled ‘Nuevos Horizontes’, a fiery Latin number written by Tim Pannell and Craig Sanders, then immediately launched into the ‘Wellington March’. This was then followed by ‘Don’t Doubt Him Now’ performed superbly by our Principal Cornet player, Tim Pannell. The final two pieces of our programme consisted of ‘Life on Mars?’ (a new arrangement also written by Tim) and ‘The Yompers’; a suite of six short movements which depict the events of the Falklands War. Written by Craig Sanders, this was another new composition which we were delighted to perform in front of such a large audience.

Despite a technical fault which left us and several other bands without the use of video screens, we overcame the issue and gave a performance to be proud of.

The result? 8th and last place it was. However, there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend which we can use to strengthen the band in time for the L&SC Regional Contest. Onwards we go.