Lismore Proms taking a year out as Band plan exciting concert in November.....
It became something of an annual tradition for many in the town but for the first time in over a decade, Helston Town Band will not be descending on the usually tranquil setting of "Lismore," in Helston this August Bank Holiday Weekend.
"The sheer cost and work involved in organising our Lismore Proms weekend was quite phenomenal and seemed to increase each year," said a band spokesman. "We are not ruling out a return to Lismore (or an alternative venue) in the future and are very fortunate to have an open invitation from our President, Michael Jay. However, for the first time in many years, we can allow our band members to enjoy a relaxing Bank Holiday weekend, as we explore putting on alternative events, at different times of the year. However, in what would normally be the week running up to the Proms, we want to reiterate that there will be NO Proms or Songs of Praise at Lismore this year, as we have had enquiries from a number of regulars. We don't want people to turn up Lismore on Saturday evening!"
A decision on a 2017 Proms will be made in the New Year.
In the meantime, trusty Helston "Proms-goers" are invited to join the band at an alternative event, with fun and entertainment, at The Flambards Experience, on Saturday 26 November 2016. Details of this evening of music from the movies, which will include refreshments and a bar, will be released over the coming weeks, as the band's busy Summer season draws to a close.
The next performances from the band will be outside The Harbour Inn, Porthleven, on Friday 26 August and Friday 2 September, from 7:30pm
After helping to switch on the town lights, the band played at the carol service held at Lizard Lifeboat House. The band played beside the lifeboat with the community singing carols on the vistors platform above them and members of Landewednack School singingcarols onthe back of the boat.
The evening was the start of a full weekend of carols. On Saturday morning a group of players played in the town whilst another 2 groups (one taking the morning shift and the other taking the afternoon stint) played at Flambards for the Christmas Fayre held there. There was a return visit toFlambards where another 2 groups played on Sunday.
There are more to follow over the next couple of weeks including our Christmas Concert at the Methodist Church on Sunday 13th.
After 2 days of torrential rain, the skies cleared late on Friday to produce a day of glorious sunshine for the Helston Town Band annual Summer Fete on Sat 25th July.
There was a large crowd gathered by the time Tiffany Truscott was introduced by Mr Alan Trewhella, Band Chairman, to open the fete at 2:00pm. After the official opening, Tiffany was present with a buttonhole by Rupert, a member of the Helston Town Student Brass.
Following the opening, the first part of the musical entertainment began with the Helston Town Student Brass playing a number of well known pieces of music under their Musical Director, Mrs Marika Charleston. This is the first time that the Student Brass group has performed in public, except for Flora Day, since their new Musical Director took over in January. Marika also featured later in the afternoon as principle cornet for the Helston Town Band.
The Student Brass were followed by the Helston Town Concert Brass under their Musical Director, Mr Ian Edwards. Ian has led the band for some time now and their repertoire has grown and improved. They played a number of popular and well known tunes and included solos by Harry on cornet and Ashley on trombone.
As the Concert band gathered their instruments and music, they were replaced by the Helston Town Band. The Town Band, under the leadership once again of assistant musical director and part time comedian, Mr Kevin "Garcie" Johns, entertained the crowds with a number of pieces of well known music including "Coming to America", "Liberty Fanfare" and a montage of Beatles music that included a solo by Flugel horn player, Phil Bennetts. Another star of the day was Marika Charleston who had earlier conducted the the Student Brass also performed in her role as principle cornet, playing the solo, "One Day". The band finished the day with two versions of the Flora Dance. First, the band played the tune made famous by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band. They then ended by standing to play their tune that has made Helston famous around the world, The Flora Dance.
The band have a busy summer agead and can be seen next at the Harbour Inn at Porthleven on Friday 31st July at 7:30pm and then at St Agnes carnival on Saturday 1st August. At the end of August we also have our Annual Lismore Proms and is held this year on Sat 29th August followed on Sunday by the Songs of Praise.
Helston Town Band are pleased to announce that the adjudicator for the 57th Annual Solo and Quartet contest to be held on November 14th 2015 is Dr Keith Wilkinson. The contest, held at the Helston Community College, will be Keiths first visit to Helston. On Sunday 15th November, Keith will be conducting the Helston Town Band for a concert, again at the Helston Community College. All competitors will be invited to join the band on stage during the concert for a massed band piece.
Dr. Keith M. Wilkinson moved to the United States with his wife, Audrey, and daughters, Debbie and Katie, in 1996.
Prior to his move Keith enjoyed long and successful periods as musical director of leading championship bands, the GUS Band and William Davis Band. He was also in demand to travel, around Europe as well as Britain, as a guest conductor and adjudicator. Among these guest appearances he was principal guest conductor of Newtongrange Silver Band (Scotland) and Brass Band Fribourg (Switzerland).
Keith is still able to occasionally accept invitations to conduct in Britain and as recently as May, 2015 had the privilege of successfully directing Newtongrange Silver Band in the Spring Brass Band Festival and in October, 2015 will direct the William Davis Band in a special performance. Regarding his appearance with Newtongrange, one commentator wrote "a welcome return to the UK of a conductor of proven 24 carat class ". (Iwan Fox, www.4barsrest.com.)
Since arriving in USA, Keith has had several opportunities to share his talents as guest conductor with bands in both USA and Canada and is currently, in addition to BBWR (Brass Band of the Western Reserve), musical director of Chapel Brass, based in Columbus. For a period he was principal guest conductor of St. Louis Brass Band.
In March, 2008, Keith was presented the God And Country Music Award by The Salvation Army and Brass Band of Columbus for “his outstanding contributions to brass banding in USA, Britain and Europe”.
Keith tried his hand at brass band orchestration while still in school and this aspect of banding has continued to hold his attention. He has approaching 100 published arrangements with publishers in Britain, Switzerland and USA. Some of his arrangements have been used as test pieces at major championships. In order to make his arrangements available more rapidly he has now formed his own publishing company, Alum Creek Music (www.alumcreekmusic.com).
Less than 2 weeks to go and the band are busy preparing for the day itself. We start by visiting RNAS Culdrose on Tuesday 28th for the officers and families with more rehearsals at the Epworth Hall over the next few days. Don't forget to come and support the band onMay Day. Better than just coming, why not bring your family and friends and have your rehearsal of the big day?
What a fantastic day for the band. We had hoped to get a top 6 result and we achieved it. This is down to the hard work and determination of all concerned. A massive thank you goes to Mr David Johnson for putting the band through their paces and leading them to a superb performance.
Our thanks also go to Clare, Louise Richard and Andrew for stepping in and especially to Kevin for all of the hard work he put into bringing the band together.
We would also like to congratulate all of the other cornish bands on their successes again this year
Helston Town Band are pleased to extend a warm welcome to Mr David Johnson who will take the band to Torquay for the first time in March.
Born and raised in Sennen Cove near Lands End in Cornwall, David began his playing career on baritone with Penzance Silver Band before moving to Solo Euphonium at Lanner and District Silver Band, playing until he joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1990. During his 24 years as a professional musician in the Royal Marines, his career has taken him all over the world, performing as a soloist in the USA, Canada, Russia, Ethiopia, Japan and Australia.
In addition to his talents as a performer, David is also prolific arranger for wind and brass bands. For the past nine years his music has been featured at the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall and his more recent works include arrangements performed at the world premiere of the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ and for Classic FM chart-topping saxophonist, Amy Dixon. In recognition of his achievements in this area, in 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Herbert Lott Award for Innovation and Invention in Orchestration.
David started his conducting career with Torbay Brass and in 2006 moved to Verwood Concert Brass where, over the course of three years, the band was promoted from Third to First Section. In 2010 David took up the position of Musical Director at Aldbourne Band and in 2011 steered the band to victories at the West of England First Section Regional Championships, Senior Trophy at the Spring Festival and the National Finals in Cheltenham. As recognition of his achievements with the band, he was nominated as ‘Conductor of the Year’ in the 4BarsRest Awards in 2011. Since Aldbourne’s meteoric rise to the Championship Section, David has achieved 3rd placings with the band at the Regional Championships in 2013 and 2014 respectively. These successes were also mirrored at the Spring Festival with promotion into the British Open’s Grand Shield in 2013.
Having spent most of 2014 in the euphonium section of Cory Band, ranked number one in the world, David has picked up his baton once again and is returning to his home-county to work with Helston Town Band in their preparations for the West of England Regionals in March.
We are looking forward to success at Torquay under his directorship.
If you would like to hear the band play under David's leadership, they will be holding an rehearsal at the Masonic Hall, Cross Street, Helston on Wednesday March 11th at 7:45pm.
Saturday 23rd August saw Helston Town Band present their 12th annual ‘Lismore Proms’ in the beautiful grounds of band president Michael Jay’s Lismore Gardens, and what a special evening it was.
The band began their performance with popular march Ravenswood, followed by the well-known Light Cavalry overture. HTB then featured rising star Sean Sjoholm playing the beautiful soprano solo L’inverno. A very special celebrity appearance by the nephew of operatic superstar Luciano Pavarotti - Garcalotti Pavarotti (Kevin Johns) performed the famous Nessum Dorma to huge applause by the 600 plus audience.
Mother and daughter singers Karen and Bromley Hurn were the band’s guest soloists this year and they delighted the crowds with a varied and entertaining programme. Compere for the evening was the ever-professional Bruce Taylor.
Helston also featured other ‘special guest’ soloists in the form of Tim (Jack Curnow) Jones (apparently the nephew of Tom Jones) playing and singing the hit song It’s Not Unusual, complete with goatee, loud shirt and hip thrusts. A blast from the past also made an appearance at the Proms, Laurel and Hardy (Paul Jenkins and Shawn Carter) took to the stage with a rousing rendition of Another Fine Mess.
A special highlight of the evening featured members of a local Pipe and Drum band performing the stirring Highland Cathedral along with the band.
The second half of the concert saw the band, joined by members of Helston Concert Brass, march through the beautiful gardens playing the Flora Dance.
The 2014 Proms was the first appearance of both new Principal Cornet Jasmine Ryder-Pollard and Musical Director Darren Hendy, who took over the baton in May and has made such an impact on the band with his drive, enthusiasm and determination.
A very special and truly unique moment in Cornish and English brass banding took place at this year’s Proms. Band veteran Russell Harvey, who joined the band in 1944, was presented with certificates and medals by the Cornish Brass Band Association and Brass Bands England in recognition of a truly incredible 70 years as a member of Helston Town Band. To put this in perspective, the next highest certificate that the CBBA have ever awarded is 63 years continuous service.
The band itself also paid tribute to Russell, with former MD Edward Ashton speaking about his professional and personal relationship with Russell. The band presented Russell with a silver salver and former band member Debbie Retallack also made a welcome appearance presenting Russell with a framed picture of him leading the band during the 7 o’clock dance of this year’s Flora Day and a bottle of Spingo!
The band would like to sincerely congratulate Russell on this incredible achievement… next target – 70 Flora Days?
The evening concluded with traditional Proms Anthems – Jerusalem, Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Pomp and Circumstance, and the Cornish anthem Trelawney, giving the audience the opportunity to wave their flags and sing their hearts out! The atmosphere was fantastic, with ‘Rule Britannia’ being heard across the night air on the other side of Helston.
To put on a night such as this requires a huge amount of work from a large number of people, and the band would like to thank everyone who contributed in any shape or form.