Fishburn Band would like to wish all our visitors and supporters a very Merry Xmas and a Successful 2007.  We've had a very busy period and have just completed our regular Xmas carol playing around the local villages and at Makro over the last 3 weeks and enjoyed our Xmas concert for our supporters at the Fishburn Club on 15 December.  We again enjoyed playing for a Conductors Masterclass led by the excellent Ray Farr at Durham University.  We also played at a very touching memorial service at Bowburn Community Centre on 16 December, where there were numerous miners banners on resplendant display around the Community Centre Hall.  Unfortunately, our planned concert at Chilton on 22 December was cancelled due to the unfortunate illness of the local Mayor.  We're now having a short break before it's back to work preparing for the Butlins Contest on 20 & 21 January 2007 and for our joint concert at the Sage, Gateshead, on Sunday 28 January 2007

Bandroom News 24.12.06


The National Finals Contest was the the last engagement to be carried out by Eb Bass Player and Assistant Resident Musical Director Anthony Taylor and Tenor Horn Player Suzanne Kay.  Both Anthony and Suzanne unfortunately decided to leave the band for personal reasons and will both be missed.  Although Anthony had left at an earlier date, he kindly agreed to help the Band at the finals.  Trombone Player Paul White also decided to leave the Band prior to the National Finals for personal reasons.  The Band would like to thank them all for their excellent service to the Band and given the right circumstances, they would be more than welcome to return when feeling ready to do so. 

Two new Tenor Horn Players and a Soprano Player have joined the band and have settled in very quickly - Victoria Haworth (aka 'Peggy') who is a former member of the National Youth Brass Band, Julie Taylor who has joined from Easington Colliery Band, and Steve Symonds who has joined from Barnard Castle Band.  Victoria and Steve both made their debuts with the Band at The National Finals.  Victoria played with only one weeks' notice replacing Ann Hall who we wish well and hope to see back at Band again soon.  Steve played his first contest on assistant Principal Cornet, before later taking up his position on Soprano for the Scottish Open championships.  Julie made her debut at the Scottish Open Championship replacing Suzanne.
Bandroom News 15.12.06


We've now completed the first 4 months of the fantasy football league season.

The Managers of each Month to date are:
August 2006           Fishburn Bandits         Steve Hardy & John Youll
September 2006    Bari Town                    Neil Parkin
October 2006         Silent But Deadly        John, Mal & Kieran Gill
November 2006     Bari Town                    Neil Parkin

The first round of the Custom Cup is now complete with George and Mildred (Mal Usher and Helen Gill), Bari Town (Neil Parkin), Silent But Deadly (John, Mal and Kieran) and Fishburn Bandits (Steve Hardy and John Youll) being the victors and through to the next round.

The League Series Competition is currently led by Hex Hustlers (Audrey Gill and Jo Brown)

Click Here to visit and keep up to date with our exploits in the Fantasy League.

Bandroom News 15.12.06


We returned to Scotland on 26 November to defend our title as Scottish Open Champions. Ably led by the excellent Russell Gray, the Band selected the difficult Tristan Encounters (Martin Ellerby) as our chosen test piece and gave a very good performance.  Once again, everyone in the band played confidently and on this occasion, it was new member Steve Symonds who stood out with his secure soprano playing.  Many thanks go to Alistair from YBS on Bb Bass who assisted the Band.  Despite not regaining our title, we gained a creditable 5th position against strong opposition of 14 bands.  Click Here to read adjudicators remarks by Robert Childs and Stephen Roberts.

Bandroom News 30.11.06


We made our long awaited return to the Royal Albert Hall on 28 October and did ourselves proud with a very good performance of 'Judges of the Secret Court'(Berlioz).  Expertly led by the charismatic Richard Evans, we achieved a creditable 12th position out of a stong field of 20 Bands.  Everyone in the Band played confidently and enjoyed the occasion, none moreso than Melissa who was making her contest debut with the band and played her solos with style.  We are now very eager to repeat the experience next year and will be determined to aim for a win at the Northern area contest in March.  Click Here to read adjudicators remarks by David Read, Geoffrey Whitham and William Relton.

Bandroom News 31.10.06


Percussionist Beth has now commenced her Degree at Liverpool University, with ambitions to become a teacher.  At her last job with the Band prior to leaving, Beth stood in for 'our Kev' displaying her skills on the Kit in our Concert at Bowburn.  All the Band wish Beth good luck in her studies and look forward to seeing her on her trips home.

Bandroom News 11.09.06


We are pleased to announce that Melissa, who normally plays Cornet, joined us in September 2006 and has quickly established herself in the Band, making a very smooth move to the Flugel position in Patricks' absence.  Melissa graduated with her Bachelor of Music (Hons) Degree at Leeds University in 2006 on Cornet and Trumpet.  She has played for several Brass Bands prior to and during her university years often as Principal Cornet and is the daughter of Tommy Maddison, himself a renowned Cornet and Flugel Player and Conductor. Melissas first engagement with the Band was at our concert in Bowburn on 8 September, where she gave a very confident performance in her new position.
Bandroom News 11.09.06


Troon was the last outing for our Flugal Horn player, Patrick, before he heads to Africa for three months through his work for the NHS.  Patrick will be returning before Christmas though just in time for the rehearsals for our first contest of 2007, the Butlins Entertainment Contest, Skegness.  A little presentation was made to Patrick by our Band Manager, Carole, at our rehearsal in Troon and we look forward to seeing him back in the bandroom towards the end of the year. 
Bandroom News 27.08.06


Once more we travelled North or the Border as we headed on 26.08.06 to Troon for their annual Land O'Burns Invitation Contest.  As mentioned previously, the contest took the format of entertainment and following a much appreciated programme by both the audience and adjudicator, we acheived 2nd place with a prize of £800.  The intricate logistics of getting on stage for our first piece, Come Follow the Band and our choreography in Mumbo Jumbo, also impressed the Deportment Judge and so we walked away with first place for that element of the event and a £100 prize.  An added bonus was the individual prize of Best Tenor Horn which was awarded to our very own Steve Hardy.  Everyone was thrilled at the result, if not a little disappointed at being pipped at the post by Whitburn, however Musical Director Russell Gray's choice of music was the winner on the day and it's looking good for our next endeavour at entertainment contests which will be in January as we head for Butlins at Skegness.  Troon was the first outing for our two new percussionists, Laura and Rebecca, who were featured heavily in one of our pieces, Letter from Home.  Thanks go to Alan Catherall from Reg Vardy Band who once again helped out on Second Cornet.  Why not check out the adjudicator's remarks by clicking here.
Bandroom News 27.08.06


Oh what fun we had at the auction for players prior to the start of the Fishburn Band Fantasy Football season.  Unfortunately Neil Simpson couldn't be there so he left Jeff Bell in charge of picking his team and no one was more surprised than Neil when he found out that Jeff had bought Dean Ashton for £3m, unawares that he had broken his ankle earlier that day.  Shame!  This year we welcome a new team into the league - Carole Bell and Phil Rosier are the Managers of Bell's Up Utd.  We wish them well in their first season.  Another change is that Ronnie Bannister and Neil Simpson have joined forces and are Managers of Out 'til October.  Unfortunately, Patrick Garner has withdrawn from the League this year, as he will be having a three month break from the band due to work commitments.  So here's a list of the other teams involved in the 2006/07 season:  Aud & Jo are running Hex Hustlers; Neil Parkin has Bari Town; John, Kieran and Mal Gill now manage Silent But Deadly; Jeff & Caroline Bell have Bellselecta (Hee Hee); Mal & Helen have changed their team name to George & Mildred and last, but not least, are the current leaders of the League after one day, Steve Hardy and John Youll with their newly named Fishburn Bandits

Bandroom News 20.08.06


The website has had its break over the summer and we are now back with news of what's happening over coming months.  Next on the agenda for Fishburn Band is a trip to Troon for the Land O'Burns Contest on Saturday, 26 August 2006.  The band has had some good results at this contest over recent years and it is hoped that with Russell Gray at the helm, we can once again come back with some silverware.  This year the contest takes the format of a 20 minute entertainment programme and our featured soloist will be Jeff Bell on Euphonium.  We then have a concert planned for Friday, 8 September 2006 at Bowburn Community Centre.  October sees the band travel to London to compete at the Royal Albert Hall in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain on Saturday, 28 October.  The band are really looking foward to this, especially as Richard Evans has been booked to take the band at the contest. 

Bandroom News 19.08.06


Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Chris Bentham has had to step down as our Resident Conductor.  No one was more disappointed than Chris but we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his hard work over the last couple of years.

Taking over from Chris is Phil Rosier.  Phil is no stranger to the band, having played with and conducted Fishburn on numerous occasions in the past.  As with all our conductors, we look forward to working with Phil and taking on board his ideas with regards to a new programme of music for future concerts.

Bandroom News 19.08.06


After a hard fought contest, Neil Parkin and his Bari Town team just about managed to keep Audrey and Jo (Thrifty in Th'aisle) from making a clean sweep of all competitions in Fishburn Band's Fantasy Football League.  Neil took the League title with Audrey and Jo coming second but also winning the mini League Series and also the FA Cup competition.  As we're now into June, it won't be long before we will be having the auction for the 2006/07 season.

Bandroom News 16.06.06


The band are very pleased to announce that Lyndon Taylor has joined the Band on Solo Cornet.  Lyndon played for many years with Spennymoor Town Band where he played Principal Cornet and developed a wealth of experience.  Helping us to complete our Solo Cornet bench following the recent vacancy, he will bring much needed strength, balance and skill to assist us in having further and ongoing success in the contest field.

Bandroom News 21.04.06


Further to the recent Annual General Meeting and election of Officials, the following posts have been filled:

Contest Secretary - Jeff Bell
Concert Secretary - Neil Parkin

Bandroom News 06.04.06


John White has been promoted to Principal Cornet of the Band immediately following our successful result at the North of England Brass Band Championships contest in March.  John, who has been with the band for 5 years on Assistant Principal replaces John Gill who has been a member of the Band for 22 years of which 16 successful years were on Principal Cornet.  John (W) played his first engagement as Principal at a concert in Spennymoor Town Hall on 25 March and demonstrated his excellent playing ability and fine leadership skills to a responsive audience.  John will provide consistency in the ongoing development of the band and help take the band into a successful future.

Bandroom News 06.04.06


At last!.  After a frustrating 4 years, we had an excellent and well deserved result at the North of England Brass Band Championships on Sunday 19 March, qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall to be held on 28 October 2006.

Russell Gray led the Band in an exciting performance of Peter Grahams excellent 
'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' in which adjudicator Derek Broadbent stated that there was much to commend.  In additional to collecting 2nd place in the contest behind winners Reg Vardy Band, Mal Usher picked up the prize for Best Soprano Cornet and John Gill the prize for Best Principal Cornet.

The Band supporters group provided a welcome return to Fishburn Club afterwards putting on a buffet for the Band making it a good celebration all round.

Click here to read the adjudicators remarks

Bandroom News 20.03.06


Fishburn Band would like to invite you to attend one of their rehearsals in the run-up to the Area Contest on Sunday, 19 March.  Their rehearsal on Friday, 17 March will be at Spennymoor Comprehensive School, starting at 7.30pm.  Why not come along and watch their Professional Conductor, Russell Gray, take them through their paces.

Bandroom News 15.03.06


Our website is 5 years old today.  With over 92,000 visitors to date, this represents a turnover of over an incredible 50 hits per day on average.  Many thanks to all those who visit regularly and support the site making it all worthwhile.  We'll ensure that the site is constantly updated to keep you interested with fresh and topical information.
Bandroom News 25.02.06


As mentioned earlier, Russell Gray has been appointed to conduct the Band at the forthcoming Area Contest in March at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington.  Russell was appointed as Musical Director of the Leyland Band in March 2005 and guided them to winning the National Championships of Great Britain at The Royal Albert Hall in October 2005.  However, his links to Leyland go back much further than that.  As a player he moved to Leyland following a successful two year spell with Black Dyke Mills Band and he became Assistant Principal Cornet to Philip McCann at Leyland.  In 1991 he became Principal Cornet of the band and led Leyland through a highly successful time which resulted in the band obtaining the number one spot in the rankings.  Fishburn Band are very fortunate to have secured the services of Russell as he is in great demand to take bands in this country and abroad. In the last year Russell has added an impressive list of National titles to his CV with Ransome in France, Leyland at London, Wallberg in Switzerland, the Saitama Premier Brass Band in Japan and has just won the Norwegian Championships on 11 February 2006 with Stavanger Brass Band.  .Russell took his first rehearsal with the Band on 21 February and laid down his preparation requirements for the coming weeks to the contest. Click here to see Russells photograph.

Bandroom news 22.02.06


We held our mid season auction on 16 February at Fishburn Club where great fun was had by all.  Thanks go to Caroline for her excellent skills as auctioneer.

Aud & Jo's team 'Thrifty in Th'aisle' where once again crowned Managers of the Month for January, closely followed by Jeff's team 'Bell Selecta (Hee Hee)' keeping up this seasons closed shop between themselves and Neil Parkins 'Bari Town'.  Come on, give the rest of us a chance!

Click here to visit our Fantasy League and then click on any individual team to see their players.  
Bandroom News 20.02.06


The Band held it's AGM on Sunday 12 February.  Following the election/re-election of officials, here’s a list of the people who have the power at their fingertips and the thankless task of running the Band:

Band Manager:
Carole Bell
General Secretary:
Duties shared amongst Committee
Neil Simpson
General Assistant:
Caroline Bell
Jeff Bell
Patrick Garner
Neil Parkin
Helen Gill
Len Potts
Mal Usher
Bandroom News 16.02.06


Well, we ended 2005 with a magnificent series of results.  In October the band were placed third at the Pontins (Prestatyn) Contest with Resident Conductor at the helm, Chris Bentham; Wingates came second place and Staffordshire took the top spot.  November saw the band travel to Glasgow to compete in the prestigious Scottish Open Championships and emerged as winners following an excellent rendition of St Magnus under the guidance of Ray Farr.  This was one of the best results that the Band has achieved in its 50 year history and it was hoped that we could keep the momentum going as we started a busy period of concerts and contests in 2006.  However, we returned to the Butlins contest at the start of 2006 hoping to improve on a disappointing result in 2005 but found that once again we don’t appear to have the mark of what the adjudicators are looking for in our entertainment programme and once again came away disappointed.  So what’s next?  Well it’s onwards and upwards again as we rehearse for the next major event in our banding calendar, the Area Contest in March at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, where gaining one of the top two positions will see the band play in National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, London in October.  The band have engaged the services of Russell Gray to take us to the area and we intend to give it our best shot.
Bandroom News 10.02.06


Well done to Neil Parkin and his team 'BariTown' on becoming Manager of the Month for the thrid time this season with 107 points, edging out Aud and Jo's team 'Thrify in Th'aisle' who had a reasonable 88 points.  Neil has set the pace at the top of the league and is going to take some catching.
Bandroom News 03.01.06

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