"“ … they were come unto the land of Beulah, where … the trumpets continually sound so melodiously."

Monday, 26 December 2011

Well earned rest

Well that's it for another year. We had a very busy Christmas season this year, culminating in carols in the square in Conwy on Christmas eve.

It had been a really lovely day, sunny and dry and very mild. We were due to play at 5.30pm. At 4.30 it started to rain, just a bit, nothing to worry about. It stopped about 5.15, just to lull us into a sense of false security. Then it started again, and it kept on,and on, and on. There was no cover for us, but as the old song goes "the band played on". Allen conducted for the first half, which was a selection of Christmas numbers while the crowd gathered. and despite the appalling weather, gather they did, with a forest of brollies, which reminded me of the Pavarotti concert in Hyde Park back in the '90s. Never let it be said that Conwy folk are not hardy!!

We found it difficult to see the dots because of the rain, despite having the music in plastic sleeves, as the raindrops were literally running down the page. Once the crowd had assembled Mary took over conducting for the community carols, for which we were joined by Sioned Terry who sang a few solo verses. Fortunately the MC decided not to do all 11 carols that were on the sheet, as by now we were frozen and very soggy. We ended up with a rousing chorus of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, which was very much enjoyed by all present. The crowd then departed to watch Santa's arrival at the Castle, and the band were able to get home to dry out themselves and their music, having poured out the water that had collected down the bells of the horns, euph and basses.

In spite of it all, it was very enjoyable, and was a lovely way to put us really in the Christmas spirit. Hopefully they will ask us to return next year, and maybe it won't rain!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

R.I.P. Les Hannan

I can't quite believe I have another RIP to publish within a month of the last one. We were totally shocked to hear that Les died suddenly today. He was conducting last night at the Optic Centre and seemed his usual witty self. Last Friday he was compering the concert in Rhyl Town Hall, and keeping everyone entertained with his church noticeboard jokes. He was a very talented musician, having conducted the Salvation Army Songsters when he lived in Bradford, as well as having played cornet for Black Dyke Band. He was a great asset to Beulah Brass, having played cornet, baritone and latterly solo horn, besides being associate conductor, standing in when "Big Jim" was not available. Sadly, we never did manage to play "Over the Rainbow" well enough to accompany him properly. A true gentleman, always quiet and polite, but with a very dry sense of humour. God Bless you Les, we will miss you.

And it goes without saying that Shirley and the family are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Christmas Jobs

Well Christmas started in earnest with the Tree of Lights, which had a very good turnout this year. Thankfully the weather was a bit better. Then we continued with Morrisons fundraising, and between then and Christmas eve between both bands we have 16 jobs. I think Christmas will come as a well earned rest!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

R I P Ken Nixon

We were all shocked at rehearsal on Wednesday to hear that Ken was in Intensive Care, then David Woodward came at tea break to say that sadly Ken had died at 7.40 that evening. Ken was a lovely person and a great asset to Beulah Brass. He will be sadly missed by everyone. His funeral will be held on Thursday (24th) at 11.00 in St Paul's Abergele and the band has been asked to play.
I'm sure everyone will want to be there to say goodbye to a true friend. God Bless you Ken

Our thoughts are with Mary and the family at this sad time.

Dewi Sant Concert

The band had a good concert on 26 October in the bandroom. This was for the Dewi Sant Centre. We were joined by the Impromptus, a Jazz trio comprising Michael's son Martin and two of his friends. They were very good indeed,and I think they have a great future ahead of them. It's only a pity that the centre hadn't sold more tickets.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Starters, Leavers, Movers and Shakers

We have welcomed more new faces over the summer, Stanley on back row cornet - he hadn't played for a while but the rust is coming off now!! Deborah has also joined on Tenor Horn, and Brian on second baritone. Pete has moved down from second euph to first bari as that line was totally empty.

Caitlin has taken up a place at Bangor University so we won't be seeing much of her, but she promises to help us out during her holidays. We wish her all the best.

Jack has also had to call it a day as his maths classes clash with band practice, but he may be able to rejoin in the future.

Mike Pearson has been playing with Rhyl for some time now, and has decided to continue with them as he doesn't have the time to commit to both bands.

There aren't really any shakers, but the learners are all doing very well. Stanley and Brian joined Archie, Sue and Big Dave, and they are all sitting in for practices now, putting in the odd note here and there where they feel able. All credit to Dave Kent for the marvellous job he is doing with them.


Day Band Events

The day band played for the annual Gymanfa Ganu in Ruthin at the end of September, and were very well received.

On 15th October they played a concert in Trefnant Church to help raise money for church refurbishment. This was very enjoyable and the band played extremely well, despite having to call in two substitute players owing to holidays and illness. We shared the occasion with Anwen Hughes (soprano) from St Asaph Cathedral choir, who was accompanied by the Cathedral Organist, Alam McGuinness. The church was full and the concert was enjoyed by all.

Foden's workshop

On Saturday 1st October, several of us attended a workshop in Dolgellau run by Fodens band. This was very enjoyable, and the workshop band took part in the evening vconcert given by Fodens. You can read more about it at http://www.fodensband.co.uk/shop/news.php?article=205&osCsid=7fcbb829b6e29b5632a5415f8373ef99 We will try to arrange for more Beulah members to attend next year's event.

Summer Season

Both bands were very busy over the summer, having engagements every weekend from 11 June to the end of July, with some weekends having both Saturday and Sunday engagements. Abergele Carnival was a new event this year and while it was rather a long walk from the car park to the spot where our marquee had been pitched, it was most enjoyable and the weather was glorious, although at times we had to compete with a morris dancing display and a team of drummers!! There are photos in the gallery and there is also a video compilation of the carnival field, with the soundtrack mainly comprising band items recorded on the day. Have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwev0Nkwoj8&noredirect=1 and see what you think!
Photos and video are courtesy of our old friend, George Frost.

The day band played in the White Rose Centre in Rhyl on several Tuesday afternoons to raise money for various local charities, and a total of almost £350 was raised.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

New Players

The other week we were pleased to welcome several players from Rhyl Band along for a blow. Martin and Charmaine came and joined the back row cornets, and we very much hope they will decide to join us. We also welcomed our old friend Nia, who was playing Flugel, but after the concerts she will switch to baritone and Ed will probably go back on Flugel, where he has been for some time. I think this was probably a record turn out - we actually had 28 players!!

Nant y Glyn Concert

The Band had a very successful concert at Nant y Glyn Chapel last Friday - there was a full house, and the audience all seemed to enjoy it. The refreshments provided were first class - Beulah will go anywhere for a cup of tea and a cake - we will definitely go there again if asked!! As Big Jim was still unwell, Les took over as conductor, as well as acting as compere. He had a wealth of amusing little anecdotes, which made everyone chuckle. Our own Louise Kent, in between playing on the front row, treated us to some songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber from his musicals. What a lot of talent we have in our band.

Day Band first outing

The day band had its first outing of the year at the opening of the outdoor Gym and climbing wall on Pensarn Prom. However, as it was so windy, they actually played in the bandroom for most of the afternoon, only venturing up on the prom for about half an hour for the actual opening ceremony, which was performed by Dame Mary Peters, who is now Lord Lieutenant of Belfast. There are a couple of pictures of this event in the gallery. Despite the weather, everyone had an enjoyable afternoon.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Christmas Dinner

Well we finally had our Christmas Dinner on April 1st (yes I know, only Beulah Brass would have Christmas Dinner on April Fools Day). Anyway it was very nice indeed. We thought we would like a change of venue this year so we went to Colwyn Bay Cricket Club. The event was arranged by Michael Ludenbach and we are all very grateful to him for the effort he put into making it a success. Thanks also to the Cricket Club for a very pleasant venue and a lovely meal.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

We Have Moved!

Last night we had our first practice in the new Dewi Sant Centre just around the corner from the Hall where we spent ten very happy years. But the premises have been sold so we had to move on. We have been lucky to be able to stay in the same area, which we regard as home.

The new centre is lovely and I must say the band sounded great in the new hall. We had almost a full turnout for the inaugural practice and I think everyone was impressed. The facilities are really great and there is plenty of room for parking too.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Belated Happy New Year

Well we all seem to have survived the cold winter, and at last Spring appears to be around the corner.
A snippet in the Rhyl Journal by Rhian Waller brought us an enquiry from Simon Price, a drummer, who joined us for a couple of practices, and we hope he will become a permanent band member.
We had another enquiry from Abergele Carnival Committee asking us to play at this year's Carnival. All because Rhian was looking for local charity stuff to put in the paper!! Nice one Rhian, thanks very much.
The first Committee meeting of 2011 was held at Jeff's house. Jeff slipped on the ice before Christmas and broke his ankle in two places. I'm glad to say he is now well on the mend, and we hope he will be back in the Bass section before long. Some people will do anything to avoid Jim's exasperated shout of "BASSES!"
Fred Williams, solo cornet player, has also been absent for some time, due to illness. We hope his operation has been successful, and that he will soon be back on the front row.