This week Strata Brass are back in the rehearsal room preparing for their return to concerts and contests.
After a relaxing summer break, Strata Brass will be back at their Elsecar base getting ready for 2 quick fire concerts, first at Boarshurst Band Club on the 10th of September, then to the well renowned Unite Band Club the following Sunday. It is then straight back to the autumn contest season with the band competing at Bolsover on the 1st of October and a quick turnaround to be ready for Leicester Contest on the 19th of November.
The band will hopefully be firing on all cylinders after the break with no ‘ring rust’ to shake so the programme can be refreshed to offer more content for the YouTube channel which has seen a flurry of videos through August. Releasing a new video every Wednesday and Sunday, with a few extras thrown in along the way, the channel is growing to showcase the best of Strata Brass
If you haven’t already checked out the channel head over to YouTube by following this link.
See you all on the 10th of September at Boarshurst Band Club.
Following on from adding an Instagram account to their social media presence, Strata Brass have officially launched their YouTube channel to showcase the band’s music.
During the summer break, the band’s hard working media team have been releasing videos from the final summer concert of 2023. Every Sunday and Wednesday clips will be uploaded to the band’s Instagram and TikTok profiles, with the full video being available on YouTube.
So far the playlist includes brass band favourites Clog Dance and Bass in the Ballroom, and the moving Deep Harmony, arranged by the band’s very own Leigh Baker; which has proved so far to be the channel favourite clocking over 300 views in the first 48 hours.
In a quote from the team responsible for the bands media growth they said “The [YouTube] channel is in it’s infancy and we are really excited with the results and reception so far. It is great to see the numbers grow with each new video we release. It is something we continue to learn and develop as we progress, and thank everyone for their support .”
If you haven’t already checked out our videos, you can follow this link, or head to YouTube and search for @stratabrass. Don’t forget to Like, Comment and Subscribe.
The passing of the second weekend of July can only mean that Strata Brass ventured north to support Brandon Village again in the Durham Miner’s Gala.
Some of the band travelled on Friday afternoon to enjoy a little R & R before the event, the rest were up early for the coach from the band room leaving at 5am! All meeting in Brandon village at 7am for a welcome coffee and a bacon sandwich, the band started the day with a stirring rendition of Gresford, the Miners hymn outside the Community Hall before taking to the streets round the village. First up was a new arrangement of ‘Mark Bronson’s Uptown Funk’. and the Brandon residents came out to show their pride and support for the banner as it passed by before it made it’s way on to Durham City Centre to join the thousands of others from villages around the area all wanting to show their pride in the their own Banner and heritage.
Once in the City centre, Strata Brass marched towards the old racecourse, with an obligatory stop at the Magdelene Steps where they treated the crowds to their version of Robbie Williams’ ‘Let me Entertain You’ which was greeted with the usual enthusiastic appreciation of the crowd. Next stop was the County Hotel where the awaiting dignitaries and the silenced crowds were serenaded with the bands fantastic version of Gresford. Then the final push along the road to the Old Racecourse and time for a well earned rest.
After the speeches on the main stage were finished, the band reconvened on the road to take the return leg of the days action. Ensuring that the Durham crowd and most importantly, Brandon Banner Group where well entertained with Strata’s own version of Tina Turners ‘Simply the Best’ and Cascada ‘Everytime We touch’. After arriving back where they started so many hours earlier, some of the band got back on the coach to travel back to Barnsley, while the others went back to village to collect their cars and say their goodbyes for another year before heading back into Durham to relax after another amazing day.
Every member of Strata Brass loved representing Brandon Village once again We always get such an amazing welcome, whether it be a seasoned player or one their for the first time. We will always look forward to the second weekend in July and becoming members of this wonderful community, even if just for a day.
On Sunday the 2nd of July, 7 of our members were up and out early to take part in the Barnsley 2023 Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research.
The journey began when our second horn player, Joanne was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to take a back seat from the band while going through treatment and recovery. She still attended events and rehearsals when she could, and all the band gave her the love and support she needed at that difficult time.
When she returned to playing earlier this year she also wanted to do something special to repay the fantastic efforts of the medical team who helped her recover. Together with her family, she came up with the idea to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Barnsley, but with a brass band twist. and so March for Life – Brass Band Edition was born.
Through the power of Facebook, many wonderful people from Rockingham, Stannington, Chapeltown and Unite the Union bands responded to the call and signed up to take part in the 5K march. At a speedy rehearsal on Friday night in Rockingham’s band room, they decided on a selection of marches and some fun and light hearted tunes normally reserved for Strata’s trip to Durham. There was much fun and laughter had during the march and in a little over an hour and a half, the band finally completed the full 5K, crossing the finish line with a rendition of the Jackson 5’s ‘Blame it on the Boogie’.
As it stands, the initial target of £1700 has been well and truly smashed, however if you wish, there is still time to donate on the bands Cancer Research donation page.
Congratulations to everyone involved and did I hear someone say same time next year?
Next Saturday, Strata Brass will once again have the honour of accompanying Brandon Banner Group in the annual Durham Miners’ Gala.
The Durham Miners’ Gala is a large annual gathering and labour festival held on the second Saturday in July in the city of Durham, England. It is associated with the coal mining heritage (and particularly that of miners’ trade unionism) of the Durham Coalfield, which stretched throughout the traditional County of Durham. It is also locally called “The Big Meeting” or “Durham Big Meeting”.
Its highlight consists of a parade of banners, each typically accompanied by a brass band, which are marched to the old Racecourse, where political speeches are delivered. In the afternoon a miners’ service is held in Durham Cathedral, which may include the blessing of any new banners.
During the march bands and their banners play a wide variety of music instead of the traditional marches. This years poster gives some clues to what you can expect from Strata’s offering this year to entertain the thousands in attendance, especially when we stop at the historic Magdalene Steps.
Strata Brass are all ready for their outing at Wetherby Bandstand this afternoon. The programme is set and the soloists are prepared all that is left is to meet on Sunday and entertain the always great and appreciative crowd gathered on what is forecast to be a lovely sunny day for a performance of the best Movie and stage classics we can find.
Kicking off the show in true cinematic style with the iconic 20th Century Fox theme really will set the mood before the band take you on a journey including the the 1957 classic The Bridge over the River Kwai through to the 2002 We Were Soldiers.
After a trip to the lobby for an ice cream, you can expect to be carried away to the world of theatre. From Phantom to Disney, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Strata Brass are pleased to announce the appointment of Leigh Baker to the post of Musical Director.
With a lengthy pedigree as a performer, conductor, and composer/arranger in the very highest echelons of banding, Leigh will bring a huge amount of experience and imagination to the post.
“Strata have a great band and a great set up and I’m excited to form a new relationship with them. With an exciting programme of concerts and contests coming up through 2023 I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Leigh is no stranger to the band having worked with the South Yorkshire outfit as a guest conductor over the past few years. Band Manager Robert Hardy adds, “Leigh is very well known across the Yorkshire banding community and beyond, and will bring a wealth of experience to the band. His experience and knowledge of how to plan and pull off great concert and contest performances is something that we are really looking forward to.”
Robert concludes, “We would also like to officially thank Richard Marshall for leading the band at last night’s FROM STAGE AND SCREEN concert and in rehearsals in the lead up to the concert. It means a lot to the band that we have such knowledgeable and experienced friends who we can call upon.”
Our first official concert with Leigh is at Wetherby Bandstand on the 11th of June, which promises to be a great afternoon in a beautiful setting. Keep your eyes peeled for future announcements including our latest new signings!