Early Start to a Busy 2018 as Band Welcomes New Members

The Hammonds Band started 2018 early this year with our annual trip from Huddersfield to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. The band have been playing two concerts in two days here for over 20 years to packed houses in the distinctive ‘Round’ Theatre. It is an engagement which is one the highlights in the Band’s calendar and popular with Hammonds players and supporters.


New signings

The concert saw the debut of two new signings to the band Owen Watson on 2nd baritone who joins us from Skelmanthorpe Band, Jessica Clayton on percussion who has moved from the Friendly Band and the experienced Glenn Crisp joins us on front row from Clifton and Lightcliffe Band. At the start of next month the band are also delighted to announce that Matt Brown will be joining the on solo trombone, replacing Charlotte Horsfield who we wish all the best after her recent move to the Fairey Band.

The band in The Round at The Stephen Joseph Theatre

The band in The Round at The Stephen Joseph Theatre

Led by Musical Director Morgan Griffiths Hammonds played an eclectic mix of traditional and modern pieces to enthusiastic and supportive crowds. Highlights included the band’s dazzling array of soloists starting with award winning Principal Cornet Phillip Varley show both the quality of his melodic playing and his technical dexterity playing ‘Willow Echoes’. Flugel player Catherine Owen followed with a wonderful rendition of the popular music song ‘You needed me’ and Peter Graham’s hauntingly beautiful melody ‘The Holy Well’ was then played superbly by 1st Baritone Mike Walsh. It was then the turn of Solo Horn Zoe Wright who enchanted the crowd with ‘Apres un Reve’ arranged by the late Gordon Langford. Principal Euphonium Ashley Higgins then showed his technical brilliance playing ‘Harbour Light’ and not to be left out Gareth Davies showed both his great playing and comic timing in ‘If I were a Richman’ from the musical Fiddler on the roof.

Other highlights from the shows were the 12 piece band choir playing the Humming Chorus from Puccini’s Madam Butterfly with the choir split around the four corners of the Round making for a magical effect that was much appreciated by both audiences. Phillip Sparke’s tour de force Year of the Dragon proved to be a big hit both nights showing that band has started 2018 on top form.

As Andrew Liddle wrote in his article for The Yorkshire Times:

There was something beautifully nostalgic for northerners of a certain age, the hymn for all occasions reminscent of Sunday afternoons in the park and those wet Whit Friday processions, to say nothing of F.A. Cup Finals, festivals and funerals and breaking up from school!

Yes, an Abide With Me to moisten a few eyes - before suddenly the Humming Chorus from Madam Butterfly cast its customary reverential spell upon the audience. The concert drew to a close with that Salvation Army show stopper, Shine As The Light, so often a brass band test piece. It’s safe to say this prize-winning band, runners up in last year’s Yorkshire regional championship, passed with flying colours.
— http://www.yorkshiretimes.co.uk/article/The-Hammonds-Saltaire-Brass-Band-At-The-SJT

The band are now preparing for Brass at The Guild Contest later this month and our next concert is at St Saviours Church in Birstall on Saturday 17th February, tickets are available, please see our diary page for further details.

Darran West