2017 was an eventful year that will be remembered as one of the best, and most important, in the band’s history. Concert highlights include our best ever summer season, a great Last Night of the Proms, a very special Memories and Milestones concert at which we celebrated Harold’s 70 years with the band, and two hugely enjoyable Christmas concerts.
On the contest stage, the band competed in the First Section for the first time ever. After establishing ourselves in the section at the Areas in March, we ended the contesting year on a real high, being named top First Section band at the SWBBA’s Annual Championships and coming third overall in the Open Section. This was a huge achievement and one that we will aim to build on as we head into the new year.
Aside from concerts and contests, the last few weeks of 2017 has also seen the band secure new premises - largely thanks to the hard work and perseverance of our Chairman, Martin. The band will soon be setting up base at St. Francis Church Hall, which will provide us with the much needed additional space we need to rehearse and to develop a training academy to help to secure the band’s long term future.
Huge thanks to everyone that supported us in any way during 2017. Special thanks though to our fantastic Friends of Sidmouth Town Band Committee - Val, Sally and Andrea. Your support and enthusiasm are second to none, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we achieved in 2017 without you.
As we head into 2018 with a spring in our step and excited for what lies ahead, we would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!
It’s been a busy few months for the band and, somehow, we are already over half way through this year’s summer season. The start of the summer season coincided with the signing of the lease for St. Francis Church Hall, which officially became our new band room on 1st June. We are hugely grateful to the Town Council for providing our home in Woolcombe Lane for so long, but we are excited to be able to create a new band room that will help to secure the future of brass banding in Sidmouth for many years to come.
It’s been a great summer season so far, with many warm, sunny Sunday evenings and large crowds in Connaught Gardens. Tickets are now on sale for the band’s annual Last Night of the Proms concert, which is taking place on Saturday 18th August. We are delighted to be welcoming guest singer Vicki Campbell and, as this year’s compere, BBC Radio Devon’s Gordon Sparks. You can buy tickets in advance from Pure Indulgence (Fore St., Sidmouth) or at any of our concerts. You will also be able to buy tickets on the night. Check our Engagements page or contact us for more details.
Next week sees the band join in with Sidmouth’s wonderful Folk Week. On Saturday 4th August, we will be opening the festival’s official Welcome Concert at 11.30am. The concert, which is free to attend, is held in The Ham Marquee. You can also hear us during the festival’s Songs of Praise service in the Parish Church, which will take place at 6.00pm on Sunday 5th - just before our usual Sunday evening concert at 8.00pm in Connaught Gardens. We will also be returning to The Volunteer Inn on Friday 10th August for a concert in the garden to round off Folk Week in relaxed style.
As we reflect on what was one of the best ever summer seasons for the band, we are also busy preparing for a very special concert coming up on Saturday 27th October. To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, our Festival of Remembrance concert will look back on the past 100 years, paying tribute to those who have lost their lives and saying thank you to the extraordinary men and women who served, sacrificed and helped to shape our world today.
We are delighted to be joined by Chris Hoban, one of the leading songwriters in the folk tradition in the South West. Multi-instrumentalist Chris has performed with many of the West Country’s finest folk musicians, including Steve Knightley, Phil Beer, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Jim Causley, Geoff Lakeman, Phil Henry & Hannah Martin. He regularly writes songs for the nationally renowned Devonian folk duo Show of Hands, and has featured on a number of their albums and joined them on tour.
Tickets for our Festival of Remembrance are available from Pure Indulgence (Fore St, Sidmouth) for just £7.50. All proceeds will go to the Royal British Legion.
The concert is being held in Sidmouth’s Parish Church and, as such, tickets will be limited. Get yours early if you can. Any remaining tickets will be available on the door.