The band are very pleased that our Christmas Concert will be held at St Mary's Church, Cuddington, in partnership with the Cuddington Residents' Association. Some of you may remember us doing some Christmas concerts for the Mayor's charities there a few years ago. They gave us a very warm welcome and I'm sure they will do so again. The church is on The Avenue in Worcester Park, just the other side of the bypass but still in the borough. Those of you on the mailing list will receive a ticket order form in the post very soon. If you're not on the mailing list, why not?!? Use the contact tab to get yourself added to it ASAP! In the meantime, you can order tickets by sending a cheque made out to 'Epsom and Ewell Silver Band to "EESB, 49 Chertsey Drive, North Cheam SM3 9UL". We hope to see as many of you as possible there. There will be some carol singing intermingled with the usual blend of Yule-inspired medleys and jaw-droppingly brilliant new pieces! And I think we can count on a bit of mulled wine and a mince pie too!
This weekend the band travelled to the National Finals in Cheltenham. We qualified for this back in March at the regional contest, having come second to Hitchin in the Second Section. Ware Brass made up the trio of bands from the London and Southern Counties area. In total, eighteen bands from all over Great Britain competed in our section. The set test piece for the Finals was Kenneth Downie's 'Purcell Variations' and some of you will have heard it at our summer concert. It's a lovely piece and very easy on the ear compared to some test pieces. But it's still a stern test of a band!
The competition at National level is always stiffer than at Regional level, of course, so it was very difficult to judge how we would compare to bands from the other regions. It would be easy to be daunted by the occasion but the band did a good job of concentrating on their own playing and put in a strong, confident performance. The adjudicators praised our musicality and independent observers '4 Bars Rest' were very enthusiastic about MD Jack Smith's efforts, nominating him as our 'star player'! A nervy wait for the results, prefaced by one of the adjudicators saying that "the top six were easy to pick out", ended with the news that we had come 6th! In a competition of this standard this was an excellent result for us. Bands in 4th, 5th and 6th also received a letter of congratulation to mark our achievement, so we did not come away empty-handed.
Our congratulations go to Goodwick Brass Band from Wales who won our section, unanimously acclaimed by all accounts. We celebrated our own success well into the evening and, needless to say, a good time was had by all!