Following our very successful public consultation on the evening of 8 November 2023, we want to continue to consult as many people as possible across our community about their views of what our future Bandroom could be and what is most important to the people of Helston and beyond.
The community of Helston and the support that it continues to provide has always been at the heart of Helston Town Band and it is vitally important for us to get feedback about the potential future uses of the redeveloped space. We want to create a flexible building that Helston’s communities are proud of and will use, that balances financial and environmental sustainability alongside respect for our heritage.
We want to hear from residents, community groups, local businesses, no matter how young or old - we want to hear your views.
We are asking for your help in two ways
|A huge thank you to everyone who came along to our Proms by the Lake and made it such a success. We had quite a crowd… and the rain stayed away! We are indebted to the South Kerrier Alliance and David and Lucy from the Lakeside Café.|
The Band were honoured to welcome along Tom Furse, as fantastic guest soloist, together with Chris Bond, as his accompanist. Tom is well known locally for his solo work with choir and as a member of the Celtic Ensemble. Chris is, of course, renowned in the banding world as a professional composer, arranger, conductor and adjudicator.
Rev. Danny Reed was, as ever, an entertaining compere and the Band are grateful to him for all the work that he does, as a Committee Member and supporter.
We thank the Committee for organising the evening and especially Jenny Harvey, who organised a brilliant raffle and John Penaluna, for sorting the lighting. Our thanks, also, to Richard Curnow, for arranging the sound.
The Band were delighted to be able to welcome back Kevin Johns, as Musical Director, following a period of ill health and to recognise the work carried out by Keith Busby, filling in and taking rehearsals and engagements, during his absence.
As ever, we are grateful to those in the town for their support.
|Well, Flora Day 2023 certainly didn’t fail to disappoint!|
We are so thrilled to have (literally) played our part in such a super occasion. Hats off to The Flora Day Association and all of the Stewards and especially to their Chairman, Nigel Pascoe, Deputy Chairman, Martin Wallis, and Honorary Secretary, Nick Wills.
A big thank you to all of you for your support. Our wonderful team of collectors were out and about yesterday and we are so grateful for your generous donations and kind comments.
Our thanks, too, to our guest players for the Childrens’ and Midday Dances, comprising familiar friends from local Bands, including Porthleven Town Band, Camborne Town Band, Breage Silver Band, St Stythians Band and Redruth Town Band. Thank you also to those who came from further afield, including Debbie Retallick from London and Matt and Joshua Curtis from Saddleworth.
Aside from the Senior Band, we are extremely proud of all of the players from our Youth Groups (tutored by Lowenna Thrussell) and our Concert Band (directed by our Bass Drummer, Ash Chinn). A number of youngsters were taking part in Flora Day for the first time, having perfected their playing and marching over recent weeks. They posed for a photograph before they set off and were impressive throughout the day.
The two Bands yesterday were superbly led, as ever, by our Musical Director, Kevin Johns and Martin Pascoe.
Yesterday, our longest- serving Bandsman, Russell Harvey, played on his 75th Flora Day. To mark this unprecedented occasion, Russell was presented with a special certificate and a gift by Kevin, as the Band gathered before the start of the Morning Dance.
Russell is held in great admiration by us all and proved that, even after 75 years, he still enjoys Flora Day celebrations, when he joined members of the Band, who were unwinding after a long but fantastic day!
|All those involved with Helston Town Band are deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Life Member and former Treasurer, Ann Williams. Ann died yesterday at the age of 80.|
Ann became something of a Helston Town Band institution, and, in September 2021, representatives from the Band and Committee gathered to mark her retirement as Treasurer, with a presentation and meal held in her honour. Ann was thanked for her “immeasurable contribution over many years” and presented with a silver salver, flowers and gifts. Ann had moved to Stoke, to be near Annette.
Ann Williams was made a Life Member in 2012, in recognition of her lifelong dedication to the Band
Ann had been associated with Helston Town Band for as long as she could remember; her dad played trombone, whilst her mum was a founding member of the Ladies Committee and was also their Treasurer for 21 years. For the last few years of that time, Ann was Joint Treasurer with her, which was her introduction to the finances of the Band. Ann re-joined the Ladies Committee in 1982 and, after a couple of years, she was asked to become Treasurer. We remember fondly the work that Ann did with the Ladies, the friendships formed and the many fetes and the coffee mornings that she presided over. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, in 2009, Ann also took on the role of Treasurer for the entire organisation, balancing the Band’s books for over a decade.
Service to Helston Town Band: Ann retires as Band Treasurer
‘Meticulous’ is the word that springs to mind when summing up Ann’s approach to being Treasurer and it is something that became virtually a full- time role for her… at a time in her life when she should have been taking things a bit easier! Ann set up the accounts and spreadsheets on her home computer, reported back to the Committee and could account for every penny that came or went out. As part of her role, Ann co- ordinated Flora Day, Summer and Christmas collections, dealt with insurances, receipts and bills and paid in thousands of pounds at the bank, on behalf of the Band, over many years.
Ann, alongside her late husband, Russell, dedicated a massive part of her life to the running of the Band and in recognition of this achievement she was made a Life Member in 2012. She was a lovely lady who will be very much missed by us all and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family and in particular to Annette, Mark and Louise, Laura and Jason.
|After months of fundraising and hard practising, the band was delighted to have been awarded fifth place (out of 18 competing bands) in the Second Section National Championships of Great Britain in Cheltenham on Sunday 18th March. Whilst it is fair to say that the test-piece ‘Ghosts, Goblins, Witches and Wizards’ by Darrol Barry was not one of the band’s favourite pieces to rehearse, under the baton of our professional conductor John Berryman, the band was praised for giving a “convincing performance”, with the adjudicators giving particular mention to the band’s soloists, our MD’s approach, and the level of detail heard throughout, summed up with – “you really went for it”.|
The weekend began with an Open Rehearsal in Helston at the Central Methodist Chapel on Saturday morning where supporters were able to hear the band put through its paces by John Berryman. Due to last-minute sickness, we also learned that one of our members was not going to be able to join us in Cheltenham. Whilst this would be a huge blow for most bands, we were so thankful that our multi-talented Solo Euphonium player Jack Curnow was able to move onto trombone at the 11th hour, and our Resident Conductor Kevin Johns was willing to come out of retirement to cover euphonium. The band cannot express enough gratitude and admiration to both Jack and Kevin for their willingness to put the band first.
After the long coach journey to Cheltenham (with delicious Gear Farm pasties for the journey), the band had a relaxing evening dining in the hotel.
Sunday (Contest Day) began with a very early trombone section practice followed by a final rehearsal at the hotel in the morning. Presentations of thanks were made to John Berryman and Kevin Johns for their musical direction, Ian Nicholls (for his superb organisation of the logistics of the whole weekend) and Simon Taylor (for returning to help the band out on percussion). We then eagerly awaited to hear the draw to find out what order we would be playing. At 1250 the message came through that we had drawn 18 out of 18 bands, after which followed a lot of waiting, and more waiting, and more waiting! With the other bands in the waiting area we observed the national 2 minute silence at 8pm in memory of Her Majesty the Queen and wore black ribbons on our collars as a mark of respect during our performance. The band did not take to the stage until around 9pm, the final band of the whole weekend to perform. The performance was not totally error-free, but nevertheless, it was atmospheric, committed and bold. When the results were announced (at nearly 10pm!), the band was very proud to receive 5th place at the National Championships of Great Britain.
The band would particularly like to thank our supporters and fundraisers for helping us with the costs of the trip. We owe huge thanks to our Resident Conductor Kevin Johns for the many, many hours of rehearsal preparation for the contest, and to our wonderful professional conductor John Berryman who we are truly honoured to work with.
Members of Helston Town Band and Committee are saddened to hear of the passing of a man who, despite having never played an instrument, became an indispensable part of the organisation from the early 1990s.
|Helston Town Band has a busy weekend ahead taking part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the Queen’s incredible 70 years on the throne. On Friday 3rd, the band was delighted to play at Poldhu Residential Home to celebrate with the residents and their families playing in the sunshine in what must surely be one of the most stunning backdrops ever. Like the Queen, whilst the residents may no longer be physically as able as they were, we were honoured to celebrate the occasion with those who may remember the Queen’s coronation 70 years ago. |
On the morning of Sunday 5th, the band will perform at the Central Methodist Church’s special Platinum Jubilee Service, and in the afternoon, will perform at Helston’s Jubilee Party at the Coronation Park.
|For more information, see:||www.helstontownband.co.uk/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=events&id=158287|
|Helston Town Band are pleased to launch their new website, powered by HarmonySite (https://www.harmonysite.com/). As well as providing the public facing Internet site, there is also a fully configurable Members area that allows the band to manage all aspects of the running of the organisation, including its Engagements, Music catalogue and Instrument stock.|
Ian Nicholls, who led on the deployment of the new site said, ‘It really couldn’t be easier! Building out the web site was really straight forward, even for someone without website building experience like me. Using the instructions provided by the company I quickly added up to date content and built the Instrument database. The support from the company has also been first class whenever I have needed it. We haven’t scratched the surface of the functionality available. There is more to come with the site being expanded to include functionality to sell merchandise and receive donations as well as manage the band’s stock of uniform.’
Chairman, Ben Curnow, said ‘I think the new site is really fantastic and I and other band members can’t wait to start using it as it looks so easy to use. It is going to make the managing the whole organisation consisting of 3 bands and committee much more efficient and I am surprised at just how cost effective the solution is’.
Come and check it out!
|For more information, see:||www.helstontownband.co.uk/|
Members of Helston Town Band returned in high spirits on Saturday evening following the news that they had won the Second Section of the 2022 West of England Regional Championships.
Under the baton of their professional conductor, John Berryman, and attending their first competition since the Covid outbreak, the band travelled to Cheltenham Racecourse, where adjudicators praised them for their performance of the late Cornish composer, Goff Richards’ The Aeronauts.
The band was told: “An excellent performance all round. Well balanced, rhythmic detail and dynamic contrast a plenty. Well done all soloists and great control, musical director. Thank you.”
It was a special day for the band, as it was their first competition since the outbreak of Covid, following a nervous return to outdoor rehearsals in the summer, after a considerable period without meeting.
The win puts the band back in their rightful place as, having made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Regional Championships held in March 2020, for Covid safety reasons, the band had unfortunately been relegated to the National Second Section – making their latest success and promotion back up to the First Section even more richly deserved and fitting.
Musical director Kevin Johns has worked hard to bring the band back up to a good standard, but has faced struggles. Just three weeks ago the band had to shut down for ten days, due to a Covid outbreak amongst its ranks, following a Sponsored Blow.
It was only a couple of days before the contest that the band finally had a full rehearsal, where all players were present.
Messaging the band following the win, a delighted Kevin said: “I can’t emphasise enough how proud it makes me feel to think how well we played today. Well done to everyone. Onwards and upwards.”
Thanking Kevin and citing the band’s success as a testimony to his relentless hard work as musical director, the band’s chairman, Ben Curnow, said that he was still flying high after Saturday’s success, adding that it was one of the best days he could recall and a fantastic return to proper banding with the band family.
The band now has an invitation to attend the National Finals, back at Cheltenham, in September.
|YouTube Video URL:|
|For more information, see:||https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/20046271.west-england-band-championship-winners-helston-town-band-celebrate/|
|4 Bars rest, in their round up of the 2022 West of England Regional Championships reported that HTB smashed it! Iwan Fox wrote,
The clearest margin of victory on the weekend came from Helston Town.
Directed by the experienced John Berryman, they gave a wonderful rendition of Goff Richards' 'The Aeronauts' to add to the title success claimed in 2018.
Even in a contest dotted by performances of character and imagination, theirs rose highest in the sky. It left delightful musical vapour trails in its wake in evoking the twists and turns, dives and daring do of the squadron of aircraft the composer used to watch at the RAF base near to the Cornish home of his youth.
Perhaps the finest praise came not from the judges Gary Davies and Steve Pritchard-Jones, but by Goff's widow, Sue who said that it was "just what Goff had intended".
The judges thought so too. "An excellent performance with good control and well organised sounds by the MD", wrote Steve, whilst Gary called it, "an excellent performance all round. Well balanced, rhythmic, detail and dynamic control aplenty. Well done all soloists and great control MD."
No doubts then on a fully deserved success from a band that benefitted greatly for the musical nous and insight of an MD of remarkable vintage.
John Berryman's insistence on building controlled vibrancy and lyrical phrasing on a foundation of solidly engineered basics evoked an era of early sleek lined jet-propelled acrobatics.
It was great stuff. You suspect there may be more to come when they return here in September.
"I really enjoy things with Helston," John later told 4BR. "The attitude and approach is about enjoying the music making. The band came down a section in the Covid-19 break but it has been a good thing really.
This was a great piece that they loved playing — and when you have that everything else is a bonus."
|For more information, see:||https://www.4barsrest.com/news/53750/report-results-2022-west-of-england-regional-championships?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook|