WOLVERTON TOWN BAND

The oldest brass band in the Milton Keynes area

THE END OF ANOTHER YEAR

29 December 2013. As another year draws to a close, we must say a huge thank-you to both everyone in the band and all our supporters for the past year and a very busy festive period. It's been a year of contrasts. One the one hand, we had a very successful year with performances and raised more money than ever before. One the other, we lost our Musical Director and Perry Harris, one of our most active and longest serving members, died unexpectedly after a heart attack.


We must now look forward so here's to a successful New Year. The band's first practice of 2013 will be on Monday 6th January.

BUSY FESTIVE TIME AND HERE'S TO THE NEW YEAR

27 December 2013. The band took part in lots of events in the run-up to Christmas, bringing some seasonal cheer to the people of Wolverton and Milton Keynes.

We played:

  • Christmas music outside Tesco on two weekend days. See the photos in the Photo Gallery.
  • Carols to local residents door-to-door around the streets of Wolverton on three evenings.
  • At the annual Wolverton Lantern Parade, Stony Community Carols, the Galleon pub, the Mathiesen Centre in Bradville and the Cambridge Street street party.
  • At John Lewis in Milton Keynes where the band’s festive music helped shoppers enjoy the day on two occasions.
  • As is tradition, we finished the year playing carols round the Christmas tree in The Square on Christmas Eve afternoon.

See the photos in the Photo Gallery.


Over £2,200 was raised for which we thank the exceptionally generous people of Wolverton. Here's to a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.


The band's first practice of 2014 will be on Monday 6th January.

FAREWELL TO A GENTLEMAN AND A TRUE BANDSMAN

8 December 2013. It is with great sadness that the band has to report the death of one of its longest-serving and most stalwart members, Perry Harris, who died after a heart attack last night. Perry had been a member of various brass bands during his long banding career and had been with Wolverton Town Band for over 11.


Perry inspired lots of musicians over the years, was a true friend to so many and had a big impact on those he taught. He was someone for whom the words ‘loyal’, ‘passionate’, ‘spirited’ and ‘committed’ were part of his soul; qualities he applied as one of a small number of players who kept Wolverton Town Band together in its most difficult days. Both the band, and the wider world of brass banding, has lost a dedicated bandsman and a true gentleman.


It’s difficult to believe that we were all with Perry at the Wolverton Lantern Festival (where he played his usual vital role setting everything up and then went on to conduct the band) just a few hours before his untimely death. Perry will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. Our condolences and thoughts go out to his wife, Cherry, and her family.

WOLVERTON LANTERN PARADE

7 December 2013. The band made its traditional appearance at the 25th Wolverton Lantern Parade earlier today. It was an excellent performance and Perry Harris conducted, just hours before his untimely death later that evening following a heart attack. To a true gentleman and someone who gave so much to the band over many years; rest in peace, Perry.


Photos are in the Photo Gallery.

BEDKNOBS AND BRASS BAND MUSIC

25 November 2013. The band had an excellent couple of days playing in John Lewis over the weekend. We played Christmas carols and festive music to shoppers in the bedding department on both Saturday and Sunday. It was a long weekend but worth it, raising £230 for band funds.

Many thanks and well done to everyone concerned; it was a great performance and got our Christmas commitments off to a very good start.

See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

10 November 2013. Well done and many thanks to everyone who took part in the Remembrance Day parade earlier today. It was an excellent turnout and everyone looked very smart. The weather stayed fine and sunny but it was chilly! Special thanks and well done to Heidi who played solo and Jane who conducted for the first time at a public performance.


Have a look at the photos in the Photo Gallery.

ARMED FORCES DAY PARADE

2 November, 2013. Once again, the band played in the annual Armed Forces Day parade at the MK Dons stadium (Stadium MK) as part of the home game against Walsall.


See our photos in the Photo Gallery.

A STEAMY PERFORMANCE

14 September 2013. The band's latest gig was this morning at Wolverton station. A steam train stopped en route between London and Birmingham and the band played to an audience of people on the station platforms and those traveling on the train.


The event was part of the Wolverton 175 celebrations commemorating the town's 175-year association with the railway industry. Despite the drizzly weather, a good crowd turned out to see the train, and biscuits and souvenirs were on sale from ladies dressed in Victorian costume. 


See our photos in the Photo Gallery and a YouTube video posted by Dave Farron.

YOUNGSTER ENTERTAINS SENIORS

1 September 2013. This afternoon gig was at Collingtree Park Care Home in Northampton. The music set the feet a-tapping on a warm and sunny afternoon. Our newest and youngest member, Casey, made his debut performance, much to the delight of the residents.


See our photos in the Photo Gallery.

NOT SO SECRET PERFORMANCE

18 August 2013. This afternoon, the band performed at Wolverton’s Secret Garden on Stratford Road. The performance was one of a series of musical events held over the summer and provided local residents with a relaxing Sunday afternoon’s music. Hundreds of people supported the event, with many bringing along picnics and everyone enjoying the music in the seclusion of the beautiful community garden.


Many thanks to everyone who made the occasion such a success, including the deputies who helped us out. Special thanks to Alison who conducted the band - so marvelously - for the first time at one of its public performances.


See our photos in the Photo Gallery

IN SEARCH OF A NEW MUCICAL DIRECTOR

18 August 2013. Unfortunately, once again, we're looking for a new Musical Director. Anyone out there with a passion for music who can help us develop the band - weekly rehearsals, preparing the band and conducting at performances? Let us know - we'd love to hear from you.

MK MUSEUM COUNTRY FAYRE

14 July 2013. Milton Keynes Museum was the venue for this afternoon's performance. The band was playing as part of the museum's country fayre. Well done to both players and collectors in such blazing heat. We had a bucket collection and raised a small amount of money.


See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

IT'S IN THE SQUARE

7 July 2013. Thanks to everyone for another excellent performance at today's It's In The Square music festival in Wolverton. The weather was scorching (a total contrast to last year when it poured down) and the event was well-attended, despite Andy Murray's appearance at the Wimbledon final.


See the photos in the Photo Gallery

BELGIAN TWINNING WEEKEND

30 June 2013. Some photos from the recent Belgian twinning weekend (1 - 2 June) are now in the Photo Gallery. The band played at a Brass Bands Concert and Fish & Chip Supper on the Saturday evening at Greenleys Community Centre and again at a short service around the war memorial in The Square on the Sunday morning.

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER

24 June 2013. Welcome to Jane who's originally from the Bolsover in Derbyshire, an area with a rich brass band tradition. She moved to Milton Keynes after university and has lived here for 13 years.

Although Jane didn't play an instrument as a child, she started piano lessons a few years ago and was inspired to join us when listening to a brass band playing outdoors in London last Christmas. After thinking, "I've always wanted to play in brass band" she came to her first practice in January, took up the cornet and has progressed ever since. She said, "It's great; such a friendly band and I've learnt a lot in just a few months."

Such a great story. Jane, we're pleased to have you on board and it's nice to hear that you're enjoying your brass banding.

IN THE NEWS AGAIN

24 June 2013. The band got some good coverage in the latest issue of Wolverton & Greenleys News. We had a great recruitment advert on page 33 and a couple of photos as part of an article on the launch of the Wolverton 175 celebrations (page 27). Have a look.

FROSTS AGAIN

12 May 2013. Yesterday, the band played at what's becoming a regular venue, Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands. It was a lovely gig and everyone looked the part. Many thanks to everyone who participated, both players and collectors. It was a great performance. We collected £225.05 so that's a healthy sum going into the band's bank account this week.


Have a look at all the photos in the Photo Gallery.

WOLVERTON 175

5 May 2013. Yesterday, the band played at MK Museum (Wolverton) as part of the Wolverton 175 celebrations, a series of activities taking place this year to celebrate the town's 175-year association with the railway industry. The band played to an appreciative audience among the trams, carts and bikes that make up the transport section of the museum.


Have a look at the Photo Gallery.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MUSICAL DIRECTOR

6 April 2013. We're delighted to welcome Jeffrey Ginn as our new Musical Director. Jeffrey is a very experienced musician and began playing the E flat bass (tuba) at the age of twelve. During his school years, he played with the Rowntree Macintosh Band of York and the North Yorkshire Schools' Concert Band.


Later, Jeffrey’s success in the mathematical sciences combined with a growing love of classical music led him to take a degree in Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) at Surrey University. After graduating, he worked first for Chandos Records and then BIS Records of Stockholm, Sweden.


In 1994, he returned to England to form his own classical music recording company and has worked on several hundred CD releases with many of the world's leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists.


But, as a performer, his heart is firmly in the brass band movement. He has also played with Middlesbrough Brass and Colchester Silver Band. He lists Gilbert Vinter, Eric Ball and John Carr among his favourite composers.

A BRASS BAND SEND-OFF

31 March 2013. We performed at a very enjoyable gig this afternoon. The band was asked to play at Tiny Bakery's leaving party for customers and friends. The owners are moving from the area and wanted a brass band send-off. It was chilly but the session was well-received with neighbours coming out onto the street to listen and give their support. Have a look at the photos in our Photo Gallery.

ON THE HUNT FOR A NEW MUSICAL DIRECTOR

26 February 2013. Unfortunately, Paul Welch has stepped down as Musical Director due to work commitments. Paul was our Musical Director for about a year and was instrumental in reviving the band’s fortunes, its growth and increased profile in the local community. We thank him for his effort and commitment during his time with us and wish him well for the future.


So, we would like to hear from anyone with a passion for playing music who could take on the position of Musical Director, which involves:

  • Leading the main band's weekly rehearsal session - currently on Monday evenings.
  • Preparing the band for its playing commitments.
  • Conducting the band at its occasional performances.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

26 February 2013. Welcome to our new members, Clare, Debbie and Beth. Clare plays the baritone and lives in Woughton on the Green. She joins us having moved to the area from Leeds. Debbie is a teacher and plays the tenor horn. So far, she's been impressed by the friendliness of the band. Beth plays the euphonium and is a post-graduate student at the Open University. Welcome and we look forward to seeing more of you all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

1 January 2013. Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. The first band practice of 2013 is on Monday, 7th January. Here's looking forward to another successful year.