Internationally famous musician, Dr Bob Childs visits Stourport band

Stourport-on-Severn Brass Band was privileged to welcome the internationally celebrated musicianBob Childs and SoSBB s and conductor, Dr Bob Childs to a rehearsal and tutorial this weekend.

Having recently been promoted to the Second Section of the Midlands Brass Band Championships, Stourport-on-Severn Brass Band has been busy working hard to prepare for the Area contest in March. Then a chance meeting at a family wedding recently brought one of the band players and Bob together and when an invitation was extended for him to come along to a rehearsal, he accepted.

Robert Childs (Bob) was born in the small Welsh village of Crickhowell and joined his first band, Crosskeys Silver, aged 9. Moving to Tredegar Town Band shortly afterwards, Bob won a coveted place in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, where in the summer of 1974 he met his future wife, Lorraine Hartley.  Bob’s playing took him to the post of solo euphonium at Tredegar Band, whilst at that time, working by day at the Ebbw Vale Steel Works. Robert joined the GUS footwear band and in 1977, was asked to join the famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band on solo euphonium. This was a first stepping stone to a long career of playing, conducting and teaching, writing and adjudicating, which took him around the globe with the most famous bands in the world, including Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Cory Band and Black Dyke Mills Band.

The day at Stourport began with a morning rehearsal where Bob shared his expertise to advise the band on various aspects of its musical performance.  The second half of the day was spent with a musical tutorial where the band put down their instruments and Bob picked up his euphonium, demonstrating various techniques and exercises for players to take into their daily practice, to improve their own abilities.Bob C

With experience of leading the world’s most famous bands, Bob’s response when asked how he found Stourport Band was inspiring.  He commented: “I really enjoyed the day. I enjoyed working on a piece where the band has already done the hard work, know their piece well and we can talk about adding style and “that something” that takes music to the next level. I particularly enjoyed working with Oli and sharing conducting skills. Stourport is a great, friendly band that made me very welcome.

Reflecting on the day, Oli Wilson, Musical Director at Stourport Band added: “What a great start to 2018. It was a delight and privilege to welcome Bob to our rehearsal. I am very proud of the band, who rose to the occasion. We all took so much learning from the day and for Bob to share knowledge and anecdotes about his unique career was truly tremendous.  This was a day in Stourport band’s history that we will never forget.”


Double contest success!

Celebrating 2 contests and 2 cups!

This Autumn, SoSBB entered two entertainment contests, where we were required to perform a 20 minute programme of our own choice to entertain the audience. Judges would be scoring the band on performance and entertainment value.

So, on Sunday 1st October, the band jumped on a coach and headed to Bolsover Festival of Brass entertainment contest. Having qualified for promotion into the 2nd Section from January 2018, we had made the decision to perform in both the  Second and Third sections of the contest.   Our programme opened with Matthew Hall’s ‘Legend of Cyfarthfa’, followed by a solo performance of ‘Go the Distance’ from Disney’s Hercules, arranged by David Stowell and performed by our brilliant horn player Jo Foskett.  This was followed by Matthew Hall’s melodic ‘The Smile’ and the set ended with Hall’s energetic ‘Nightingale Dances’.

Much to our delight, we were awarded third place in the competition for Second Section bands.  This is a great achievement and we were delighted.

Then, on Saturday 28th October, we arrived in Evesham for the Wychavon Festival of Brass entertainment contest.  Again, we had chosen to perform in both the 2nd and 3rd Sections of the contest with the same programme.  This was a larger sized competition and bands arrived from across the country.  Performing the same programme, to our delight, we were awarded 2nd prize in the Third Section of the contest.  What a fantastic day … What a fantastic month!

Wych2017SOS          Wych2017

Ukuleles for Stourport students

Stourport-on-Severn Brass Band donate four ukuleles to Stourport High School and VIth Form College2017 Peri Concert 073(1)

On Saturday 13th May 2017, Stourport-on-Severn Brass Band hosted an evening of entertaining music at the Stourport Civic Centre and were delighted to perform alongside talented young musicians, playing ukuleles and strings, from Stourport High School and VIth Form College.  In celebration of the successful evening, members of the Stourport on Severn Brass Band went along to the summer peripatetic concert at the school and to thank the students for their contribution to the concert, proudly presented gifts of four ukuleles to the Music Department.

Speaking on behalf of the school, Marc Robins of the music department commented: “The Ukulele group has been running since 2015. Ukuleles are a great instrument for our students to learn to play and very affordable to purchase.  The department now has 14 and that is fantastic as we can teach more children to play.  Whilst musicality is important, it is really about having fun.  This year, the group also ‘went on tour’ playing to both Lickey Hills and Wilden Primary Schools.  This is great for our future students to see what opportunities they have when coming to Stourport High.”

Hannah Styles, one of the Ukulele performers, said that she was very pleased that the school had new ukuleles and that it meant more students could learn to play and join the group.  Jake Robins, student and fellow musician, added that playing ukulele was really good and made people happy.

Oli Wilson, Musical Director of Stourport on Severn Brass Band commented: “The evening concert with our young friends from Stourport on Severn High School was an absolute success.  The band was honoured to perform alongside such talented, musical students who made the event so memorable.  We must encourage young people to participate in music – it provides a focus and opportunity for expression, engagement and promotes artistic culture.   We very much look forward to our next joint event.”2017 Peri Concert 079

Seize the Day Concert with Guests from Stourport High School

Come along to a fantastic evening of music from SoSBB and the awesome talented musicians from Stourport High School and VIth Form College.  The SHS Ukes, SHS Singers and SHS StrinSeize the Day imagegs will be performing alongside the band in what can only be a varied programme of entertainment with something for all. 

Taking place at Stourport Civic Centre on Saturday 13th May at 7.30 pm, tickets (priced £8 for adults and £5 for under 18 yrs) are available from Stourport Civic Centre Box Office on 01299 823339 or contact Jo on 07902 016539. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Top of the table – Celebrating Promotion!

March 11th arrives and we all head off to the Regional Brass Band Championships to test our performance against our fellow bandsman in the Midlands.  We were all up brightchampagne and early to rehearsal ahead of the contest, at Nicholas Chamberlaine College in Bedworth.  The contest venue, on our arrival, was buzzing with some bands relaxed having already played and others nervous in anticipation.  The test piece, ‘Darkwood’ by Dan Price depicts scenes of a Northern Village and a popular choice.  Following our performance, which we were pleased with, time for refreshment and awaiting the results – we kept our fingers crossed … and then the results were in! We were unfortunately not placed in the top 3 but achieved a fantastic 6th out of 18 bands who performed. And now we’ve heard that we’re ‘Top of the table’ for Third Section bands and will be promoted in January 2018 to the Second Section.  A fantastic achievement for the band and testimony to the efforts and commitment of its conductor and players!

A prize cup at the Wychavon Festival of Brass

Thewychavon-festival-29102016-2 weather was dull but spirits were high at the Wychavon Festival of Brass in Evesham on Saturday 29 October 2016.  Competing in the Third Section of the contest, our repertoire opened with vigour as we played ‘Breakout’ from Hardiman’s ‘Cry of the Celts’.  Jo Foskett, our wonderful tenor horn soloist, entertained us with her truly beautiful performance of Curnow’s ‘The depths of His love’.  The majestic ‘Procession to Covenant’ by Himes followed and our set concluded with Elton John’s ‘Circle of Life’ from ‘The Lion King’.  Even Simba was on stage with us!  We were delighted to be awarded 3rd place for our performance and receive a trophy, certificate and prize money!  Another great day of banding!

Stourport-on-Severn Brass Band – as seen on TV ….

What a surprise when Stourport-on-Severn made a guest appearance on Central News yesterday!  stourport-in-the-park-sept-2016


A viewer, Ian Yates, had sent a photograph of his enjoyable afternoon in the Sanders Park, Bromsgrove in the sunshine, enjoying the music of a brass band  …. which many of our players recognised as our performance in Bromsgrove from the previous day (Sunday 11th September).  It was a beautiful sunny day and we are delighted that our audience enjoyed our performance. 


Thank you also to Ian Yates, for sending in the photograph.

Look out for us in Bromsgrove…

Stourport on Severn Brass Band will be appearing at Sanders Park on Sunday 11th September from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Bring the family, a picnic and spend an enjoyable afternoon in the park with us.

Bromsgrove Sanders Park