Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ashford Hill concert

On 14 November 2009, the band gave a concert in St Paul's Church, Ashfrod Hill, celebrating the life of Jose Marshall. Jose was a band member for many years, and her husband, Bernard, had been the Vicar at the church.

The programme comprised:

Festivo - E Gregson
Greensleeves - arr A Reed
Pirates of Penzance - arrF Godfrey and WJ Duthoit
Licolnshire Posy - PA Grainger
Fantasia on British Sea Songs - H Wood
Portsmouth - arr S Stirling
Illyrian Dances - G Woolfenden
Psalm 23 - H Goodall arr M Laurence
Liberty Bell - JP Sousa

All these pieces were linked to Jose's life by Ann Moore, who added reminiscences and read two poems by Jose.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wind Weekend in Manchester

Mel, Fiona, Jim and I went up to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester last weekend (24/25 October 2009) for the Wind Weekend, organised in conjunction with BASBWE. It was fantastic! There were scratch wind bands, which anyone could play in, performances by amateur wind bands, specialist master classes and concerts by the students (conducted by Tim Reynish), plus trade stands for instruments and music. Adam Gorb was there and explained some of his music.

The buzz of being amongst several hundred people with the same interest was incredible, and I am enthused to practice every day for the rest of my life! Here's a picture of Jim being helped to breathe by the head of brass.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cold Ash Play Day 27 September 2009

A view from the trumpet section

Friday, August 28, 2009

We received this letter following our performance at Englefield and thought, as it was so complimentary, that we should share it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

2009 Annual Report

BEENHAM BAND Report of the Committee for the year ended 31 July 2009
Registered Charity – number 1087848

Simon Witcomb - Chairman, Ian Hulin – Secretary, Fiona Benjamin - Treasurer, Eleanor Brooks, Lynne Ellis, Jean Rollinson

Librarian - Ann Moore Publicity team - Alyse Ashton, Anne Laney and Trevor Holloway

We are very fortunate to have Robert Roscoe as our conductor.

Constitution and object
The band is a registered charity, and its constitution is available to all members. The object of the band is to advance the education of the public by raising the aesthetic taste through the performance of music.

Membership and rehearsals
We have had 42 paying members during the year. We rehearsed every Friday during term time from 7.30pm to 9.45pm in Beenham School Hall.

Sadly, two of our members, Jose Marshall and Jannette MacPherson, died from cancer during the year. They were both enthusiastic long term members of the band, and we miss them.

A copy of the accounts for the year to 31 July 2009 is attached. The band made a loss of £988. This was partly due to the higher than usual expenditure on new music and higher expenses from concerts. The balance to carry forward to 2009/10 is £1,103. Subscriptions were £85 for the year or £30 per term. Being a charity, we are able to recover income tax on subscriptions.

We are building a library of music pieces written specifically for wind band together with arrangements of popular tunes and marches, music from shows and films, and light classical music. We have now commissioned and performed three pieces composed for us.

Performances and events
21 September 2008 Cold Ash Play Day
23 November 2008 Concert in the Falklands Chapel, Pangbourne College
14 December 2008 Christmas concert
6 December 2008 Christmas Dinner in the Six Bells
17 December 2008 Carols round the village
19 December 2008 Christmas concert
23 December 2008 Carols in Woolhampton
6 June 2009 Beenham Church
20 June 2009 Corn Exchange concert
3 July 2009 Concert on the Rec
5 July 2009 Forbury Gardens, Reading
25 July 2009 Englefield Flower Show

Main concerts
The November concert in the Falklands Chapel was in conjunction with Engelfield Primary School, who joined us in Oliver! and also sang to us. This was a wonderful occasion and one we hope to repeat.

Our Corn Exchange concert in June, celebrated our first 10 years as a wind band. The programme included Carmina Burana, Carnival of Venice (with Torbjörn Hultmark on cornet) and the world premiere of “Jubilation”, which the band commissioned from Lloyd Coleman, a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

Thankfully, we picked a dry evening for our July concert on the Rec in Beenham, after two wet years. Several hundred villagers sat out in their deckchairs with picnics, and enjoyed a wide selection of music, as well as a BBQ and beer.

Marketing and publicity
Our marketing and publicity have improved considerably during the year. The website is a great success, and all members of the band have been mobilised to put up posters, and promote concerts.

Our main aim is to ensure that members enjoy making good music, whilst meeting our charitable objective.

Simon Witcomb – Chairman 25 August 2009

2009 Accounts

Beenham Band
Income and Expenditure Account
For the Year Ended 31 July 2009






911Tax refund on subscriptions771781
4,591Sub total3,8863,991
2,500Concert income2,6523,083
500Fees received410580


100Coffee money and raffle109115
-Sale of scarves, bow ties etc-59
40Sale of CDs36155
7,741Total income8,3748,784


500Music purchased4911,017
450Room hire425380
3,500Conductor's fees3,4853,055
4,450Sub total4,4014,452
2,500Concert expenses3,4354,745
-Commissioned music1,000-
-Social events - net-29
90Making Music (NFMS)8782
50Web site and photos etc7-
250Postage, stationery and copying208330
7,490Total expenditure9,3629,776

251Excess of income over expenditure for the year(988)(992)

1,103Balance brought forward2,0913,083

1,354Balance carried forward1,1032,091

Represented by:

Balance at bank1,8971,022

Deposit account-1,500

Cash in hand1940





  1. The band was formed in September 1999, and was granted charitable status on 3 August 2001. Its registered number is 1087848

  2. Expenditure on instruments and music is written off in the year in which it is incurred. A list of instruments and the cost of music owned by the band is attached.

  3. Greenham Common Trust have loaned the band a baritone saxophone for an unlimited period.


This income and expenditure account was approved by the Committee on 25 August 2009.

Simon Witcomb - Chairman
Fiona Benjamin - Treasurer

Independent Examiner's report

I have examined the records and vouchers of the Beenham Band for the year ended 31 July 2009, and certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, this Income and Expenditure account reflects the transactions for the year.

Gillian Down BSc ACA
Independent Examiner:
21 September 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beenham Band at the Rec 17 July 2009

This year's end of year concert on the recreation ground at Beenham was a little earlier than usual so that we could fit it in before our conductor Robert Roscoe headed off for a well earned holiday in the Antipodes. What a great idea that was - so nice to play in fine weather (unlike the downpour of last year!) and watch our audience enjoying relaxing in their outdoor chairs.

Here are a few comments and ideas from our audience:

"We think they are brilliant" (Mr & Mrs Breslin)
"A good wide repertoire" (G & S Dunsford)
"Keep it going. Fantastic!" (P Leijten)
"Absolutely wonderful" (A Jarman)
"Love the band on the Rec and the Carol evening. Why not do a concert at Beenham School in Spring or Autumn and have children singing?" (J Humphreys)
"Great night" (R Ilott)

and the winner of the prize draw for 2 FREE tickets to our major concert in 2010 was Mr M Barham. Congratulations to him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Forbury - 5 July 2009

A chap came up to Graham Shipp after the event and said, 'How come you have such a great band from such a small village as Beenham?' Graham said that we were so lucky to have Robert Roscoe as our Director and that this was a major factor in this. Then he realized what a tremendous compliment we had just been paid...!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Band on the Rec 2009

As I drove along the lane through Beenham on Friday evening, I passed quite a few people on foot, walking quickly in the same direction, and holding onto children, blankets, and other oddments.

Not refugees, it turned out, but pilgrims. Drawn by the lure of Beenham Band's annual extravaganza, Band on the Rec.

When I arrived at the Rec there was already a fair sized crowd, but it was to swell quite a bit more as time went on.

Luckily, this year we were not rained on. Indeed, it was perfect weather for a spot of banding, because the skies cleared and freshened, letting us play comfortably in good light, sustained by beer and Pimms, while our listeners lolled comfortably on their blankets and garden chairs, sustained by their picnics, until we closed at 9.30 pm.

I don't know for sure which music was most appreciated, but Pirates of the Caribbean, The Stripper, Dambusters, Hootenanny, the Muppets, Grease, and Copacabana seemed to score highly.

Look forward to seeing you at the Rec next year.

(Thanks to Clara Morsley for the photos - please click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review of the Corn Exchange concert - 20 June 2009

Bravo Beenham

Beenham Band’s first decade was celebrated by a large and appreciative Corn Exchange audience. Beginning with a ‘Flourish’, a fanfare written by Vaughan Williams, this set the tone for the commissioned work ‘Jubilation’ by the 16 year old Lloyd Coleman, a student at Chetham’s School of Music. This young clarinettist is a member of NYO and winner of the BBC Proms Young Composers’ Competition. The band rose to the technical demands of the swift style changes and complex metre.

Now came the turn of their principal conductor, Robert Roscoe. ‘Gallimaufry’ as its name suggests is a ‘jumble’ of musical material put together from Henry IV plays by Guy Woolfenden, RSC Director of Music for many years. It had the feel of early music featuring double reeds, percussion ostinatos and a lively xylophone display.

In the same vein, ‘New Baroque Suite’ was baroque in structure but with a jazzy twist. Particularly enjoyable were solos from the trumpet and soprano saxophone.

The ‘tour de force’ came in the performance from Swedish born Torbjorn Hultmark, a local professional musician, teacher and composer. ‘Variations sur Le Carnaval de Venise’ was composed in the mid 19th century by Jean Baptiste Arban and this wind band version was arranged by Torbjorn himself. Arban was a virtuoso cornet player and wrote this as a technical display. To begin we were treated to a sensitively and lyrically moulded melody. Each variation built increasing displays of musical athleticism executed with accuracy and style. A stunning performance.

From Venice we move to Paris for ‘Sketches’ by Martin Ellerby. Notable was the 3rd movement reminiscent of Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie’. Then across the Atlantic to New York with Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story ‘Selection. Gloriously self-indulgent with luscious tunes like ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’.

The evening ended dramatically with a Wind Band version of Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ arranged by Krance. The brassy drive in ‘O Fortuna’ contrasted the delicately phrased solo oboe in ‘Dulcissime’. The strain of this demanding work showed in some rhythmic instability despite Roscoe’s clear beat and cues.

What a credit to all those responsible for Beenham Band’s first 10 years.

Judith Cooper June 20,2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beenham School PTFA

Thank you for joining Beenham School on Friday for our Carnival BBQ. I wasn't there myself but I hear that the event was a success and that we made approximately £1,800 for the school, AND IT DID NOT RAIN!!!!!

Can you pass on a thank you to all of the band, your participation in the event was appreciated by everyone.

Lorna Hadman

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10th Anniversary Concert 2009

Saturday's concert opened with Lloyd Coleman conducting the band, first in Vaughan Williams’ Flourish for Wind Band, and then in the world premiere performance of Lloyd’s own piece, Jubilation, which he wrote especially for Beenham Band.

View the audience

Both pieces were well received by our enthusiastic audience.

Jubilation gets its second performance in Manchester today, Wednesday - good luck, Lloyd!

Brass row

Robert Roscoe took up the baton for the rest of the concert, first conducting Ted Huggens’ immensely expressive New Baroque Suite.

This was followed by Guy Woolfenden’s Gallimaufry, which although in six sections is played as one continuous piece. Gallimaufry is based on music Woolfenden originally wrote for the RSC productions of the Henry IV plays in 1982, and sounds like traditional English music, though cast in modern forms.

Where now?

The first half ended with Torbjorn Hultmark enchanting us all with a mellifluous stream of cornet solos in his own arrangement of Arban’s Carnival of Venice.

After the interval the band gave exciting performances of Martin Ellerby’s demanding Paris Sketches and an arrangement of Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Lobby crush

For the finale there was John Krance’s amazing wind band version of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, during which the band seemed almost to take the roof off Newbury’s Corn Exchange.


See you soon for "Band on the Rec", Friday 3rd July at 7.30 pm on Beenham Rec - feel free to bring a picnic!

(Click on pics to enlarge)

Afternoon rehearsal

A few photos from the rehearsal on Saturday (click to enlarge):

robert roscoe conducts beenham bandRobert Roscoe conducting

dave appleby on tenor hornDave Appleby on tenor horn

torbjorn hultmark plays carnival of veniceTorbjorn Hultmark running through Carnival of Venice

lloyd coleman conducting beenham band at newbury corn exchangeLloyd Coleman rehearsing Jubilation

french horns beenham bandGolden action

robert roscoe conducting beenham band at newbury corn exchangeRobert and Beenham Band

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Message from Katie Roehl

Thanks for the update about the Band`s 10th anniversary celebration this weekend. How I wish could be there! Please give my love and best wishes to each and every member of the band. Take lots of pictures and put them on the website!

Michael & I were married last fall, and will be moving to China to
teach English this fall. More updates later...

Until then, love to all, and have a wonderful concert!


The Night Before ...

I suppose we could have squeezed a few more into the school hall last night, but it was fairly full for the final Friday rehearsal before the Corn Exchange concert.

Carmina Burana got a good going over, with Robert conducting in the first half, this time also with two pianos and some extra percussion.

And then, after that lip-busting session, we spent the second half jubiliating with Lloyd, as he took us for a work-out of his own.

Add Ted Huggens’ New Baroque Suite, the Carnival of Venice, Gallimaufry, Paris Sketches, West Side Story, and Vaughan Williams’ Flourish for Wind Band for the actual concert, and the audience will have a real treat; and we will all sleep well in our beds tonight.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Carnival of Venice

Looking for things to do in Newbury? Well, check out our 10th Anniversary Concert at the Corn Exchange, and remember to bring your family and friends.

Last night Torbjorn Hultmark came to rehearse his own arrangement of Arban’s Carnival of Venice, for band and solo cornet. It’s a well-known piece, and gorgeous to listen to.

When I was at school I learned the lowbrow version, “Mein Hut Der Hat Drei Ecken”, a German drinking song, complete with actions, which we used to practice, much as the girls are doing in this clip from Youtube.

The Corn Exchange audience on Saturday will, by contrast, be treated to a fantastic virtuoso performance of the theme and its many variations, played by Torbjorn himself, accompanied with style and panache by the Beenham Band. Get your tickets here.

Don’t miss it!

Beenham Church Fête

Our first fête of the season was the Beenham Church fête, last Saturday. A typical early summer’s day, it drizzled, so we took up stations around the font, and played inside the ancient church. Well, the church is largely Victorian, it just looks older.

Our small audience seemed to enjoy their retreat, and we enjoyed playing them some of our old favourites - Hootenanny, Dambusters, Grease, and Pirates of the Caribbean - among others.

I can report Beenham church does a good cup of tea, served in tea-cup and saucer in our interval. The nearby cake stall looked good too, but unfortunately I could not afford the weight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Band Plays Carmina Burana

Mike Cooney on French HornCarl Orff’s Carmina Burana is a piece I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with. As a boy I rehearsed parts of it for a performance in London. Great music, but my voice broke before the big day, and since my school was only providing a boys’ choir, that was me out. Later I got a CD recording, but found it usually gave me a headache.

So the band arrangement by John Krance has been something of a revelation. Carmina sounds so good, so natural, just as if Orff had originally written it for wind band. And it doesn’t give me headaches, for all its verve, intensity, power, and drama!

Carmina really ‘rocks’, as they say, and anyone coming along to Beenham Band's Anniversary Concert on 20th June is in for a real treat. (Tickets from Newbury Corn Exchange).

I did a little hunting around and found that Naxos has a recording of the Krance version of Carmina Burana, available from their website for £5.99, including postage. You can listen to samples of each track on their web site.

Carmina is part of Naxos' Wind Band Classics range, several of which are currently half-price: any votes for new repertoire?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Music at Douai Abbey

It seemed to me, as I was sitting in Douai Abbey this afternoon listening to Tom Winpenny’s organ recital, that the sound of an organ in full flow is reminiscent of a wind band. Perhaps it is not surprising, since they both rely on air passing through tubes to make their sound.

Anyway, I spent an enjoyable hour listening to Tom playing pieces by de Grigny, Bach, and Duruffle, rounded off by a Libby Larsen prelude.

Tom was visiting from St Albans, where he is Assistant Master of the Music at the Cathedral, also home to the biennial International Organ Festival.

Douai Abbey, with its good accoustics and beautiful architecture provides a lovely concert venue. If you haven’t been along I recommend it.

The monks are warm hosts, and offer a succession of interesting concerts. Next week, Saturday 6th June, is a Berkshire Maestros “Children Celebrate the Child” concert featuring local youth choirs and musicians. And on Sunday 21st June, it's Mozart from the Basingstoke Choral Society and New London Sinfonia, preceded by strawberries.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lloyd Coleman rehearses Jublilation

The band had great fun on Friday when Lloyd Coleman came down from Chetham’s for his first rehearsal of Jubilation, which he wrote especially for us.

Jubiliation is a dynamic work, with plenty of ebb and flow in its development, and drama in its conclusion: something for the band to get its teeth into, and much for the audience to enjoy.

Lloyd knew how he wanted us to perform, and through his good humour, and meticulous and energetic conducting, communicated that to the band.

Anyone who wants to hear Jubiliation’s premier performance - with Lloyd conducting - should book tickets for Beenham Band’s anniversary concert at the Newbury Corn Exchange on 20th June, when it will feature in our spectacular and wide-ranging programme.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beenham dance

Guess who I saw when I turned up to a dance in Beenham school last week?

Simon Witcomb and Mike Smethurst-Evans, putting real life into the Kick Ball Change live dance band.

Good jazzy ballroom and latin, with great vocals from Ed Hall singing as he drummed.

When they ran out of puff, Karen Goodall of Kennet Dance played CDs to keep the music rolling.

Look out for the next one, and jive!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10th Anniversary Concert

Beenham Band’s 10th Anniversary Concert is at 7.30pm on 20 June 2009, in the Corn Exchange Newbury, and it will be a good one!

The programme includes Carmina Burana, West Side Story, some other exciting wind band pieces, and Carnival of Venice, with trumpet soloist Torbjorn Hultmark. This is the spectacular variations on “My Hat it has Three Corners”.

We are also performing the world premiere of a piece that is being written specially for us, to mark our 10th anniversary. The composer is Lloyd Coleman, who although still a student at Chetham's School of Music, is a highly acclaimed winner in National Composers’ competitions, and will be conducting the premiere.

Tickets cost £10 (with concessions) and are on sale at the Corn Exchange. You can buy them here!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dates for 2009

Autumn Term Rehearsals
September 4th 11th 18th 25th
October 2nd 9th 16th 23rd 30th
November 6th 13th 20th 27th
December 4th 11th 18th

Performances - NB Times given are for start of performance

Saturday 5th September - Enborne Flower Show (2pm - 4pm)
Sunday 27th September :Play Day at Cold Ash (10am-4.30pm)
Saturday 3rd October :Bucklebury Octoberfest (12pm-5pm ish TBC)
Saturday 14th November :Ashford Hill - Concert for Jose(5pm rehearsal)
Friday 18th December :Beenham Christmas Concert - (7.30 pm)
Other Dates
Friday 25th September :Beenham Band AGM - Mid normal Band rehearsal
Tuesday 13th October :Committee meeting at The Six Bells - 8pm
Saturday 19th December :Band Christmas Meal - Victory Hall Beenham

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday 6 February 2009 - Snow report

Tonight is cancelled! As I write, it is snowing in Thatcham, and although the roads here look OK, access to Beenham is not good, and will probably get worse tonight as it freezes. Pity!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A taste of Christmas

We are in Beenham school hall.

Beenham Band plays a selection of carols, festive pieces, and Lieutenant Kijé.

Robert conducting, back to the band, encourages the audience participation which is the price of admission. Simon horses around on his trumpet.

Nutcracker, mince pies, and mulled wine.

Away in a manger, O come, all ye faithful, Silent night.

It's Christmas with Beenham Band.

God bless.