***Battle Of The Bands – Sky Arts***

A brand new and uplifting four-part docuseries has been announced by Sky Arts that will follow Britain’s biggest and most celebrated Brass Bands and their larger-than-life members as they prepare to compete in some of Britain’s most prestigious Brass Band competitions.

Battle of the Brass Bands is made by award-winning production company Twofour on behalf of Sky Arts and will showcase the extraordinary talents of some of the most skilled Brass Band players across the country. Each episode will document the highs and the lows of the featured Brass Bands as they go head-to-head against each other and their competitors.

Will it be Brighouse & Rastrick or the Fairey Band that triumph at the Whit Friday contest? Can Rhondda Valley’s Cory defend its title at the oldest musical contest in the world; The British Open? Who will reign victorious at the National Championships of Great Britain at The Royal Albert Hall? And how will the UK’s top Brass Bands fair against the US’s number one The Fountain City Brass Band at the The Brass in Concert competition in Gateshead?

This extraordinary new series will air from 20 August 2019 on Sky Arts, the UK’s only TV channel dedicated to arts, music and culture, and will also be available for streaming on NOW TV.

Speaking about this new, uplifting series, Phil Edgar-Jones Director of Sky Arts said: “We are delighted to be presenting Battle of the Brass Bands on Sky Arts in August, Brass Bands are one of the longest running music traditions in British history and we are looking forward to celebrating and highlighting the role that Brass Bands play in our cultural landscape, and to display the high level of skill and dedication that these musicians give to their art”

Speaking about the new series, Twofour Neil Edwards, Head of Specialist Factual Programming at Twofour Broadcast and Series Director said “Making these films was a total privilege and an absolute revelation. If you think the world of Brass Bands is all flat caps and whippets, think again. These are amateur musicians playing to an Olympic standard. The competition pieces feature some of the finest and technically challenging music I’ve ever heard, presented in some of Britain’s most prestigious and iconic venues. I challenge anyone to experience the thrill of these competitions and not be converted into a brass fan for the rest of their lives. I’m delighted that Sky Arts have chosen to highlight this talented, fiercely competitive, frighteningly committed and completely unique community of British musicians.”

Battle of the Brass Bands is commissioned for Sky Arts by Shirley Jones, and produced by Twofour, with David Clews as Executive Producer, Gill Hennessy as Series Producer and Neil Edwards as Series Director.

Band of the Year Contest

The Fairey Band took part in the inaugural Brass Pass Band of the Year Contest on Saturday 22nd of June at Stoller Hall, Manchester.
The band played a diverse programme full of great music from the likes of Berlioz, Peter Graham, Howard Snell, and one of the most iconic works ever written for the brass band movement, Eric Ball’s masterpiece, Resurgam. The Fairey Band were placed 4th on the day, against the very best bands in the UK. You can see our performance, and all the other bands here ……. https://brasspass.tv/

Jonathan Beatty will join Garry Cutt to form the new musical team at Fairey.

Musical Director – Jonathan Beatty

The Fairey Band are pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Beatty as their new Musical Director.

The experienced musician has been a professional musician for over 25 years, playing with some of the country’s leading ensembles, including the Orchestra of Opera North, the Royal Ballet and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. He also enjoyed a 15 year period with Grimethorpe as principal trombone.

Jonathan is a lecturer in performance at the University of Huddersfield and directs both its brass band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, playing a key role in the continued development of brass musicianship at the university.

More recently he enjoyed considerable conducting success with the likes of Dinnington Colliery, Hade Edge and the University of Huddersfield Band, with the appointment reigniting a long-standing musical relationship with Fairey professional conductor Garry Cutt, which started when they worked together at Grimethorpe in the 1990s.

Jonathan said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with one of the country’s most successful bands and especially with Garry Cutt.

To be able to have an input into their future musical development is a huge privilege. They have a fantastic work ethic and a team of excellent players.”

In response Garry added: “This is a great appointment for the band. I have the highest regard for Jonathan as a musician and he has so much to offer Fairey.”

New Sop signing as Martin Irwin moves across the Pennines

The band are pleased to announce that Soprano Cornet star Martin Irwin has joined the band from Black Dyke.

Martin is one of the most highly regarded cornet players in the business and brings with him a wealth of experience, having had significant success with the Brighouse and Rastrick band and more recently Black Dyke.

Speaking of the appointment, professional conductor Garry Cutt said: “We’ve been looking for some time for a top class player who could offer us the musical experience and quality required at the very highest level and it’s been well worth the wait. Martin is a bandsman who has always given 100% with whichever band he has played for — and his CV is testament to his class.”

The majority of Martin’s banding experience has been in Yorkshire, so signing for Stockport-based Fairey’s is the start of a new musical chapter.  

Leeds Best of Brass, Morley Town Hall

Once again, the band are looking forward to performing in Morley Town Hall on Saturday 9th March, as part of the Leeds Best of Brass concert series.

This year guest conductor Jonathan Beatty, who brings a twist of Yorkshire humour to the proceedings, will be guiding the band and audience through an entertaining programme. Featuring no less than eight of the band’s fine soloists, there is a mix of old and new favourites with something for everyone to enjoy!

Programme:

•  The Champions (William Rimmer)
•  Festive Overture – Shostakovich, arr. P. Kitson
•  My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (Trad. Arr. Gordon Langford)
    Cornet soloist: Stephanie Wilkins
•  12th Street Rag (Euday Bowman)
    Featuring: Brian Taylor, Owain Llestyn and Jimmy Leggat
•  Mood Indigo (Ellington, Mills and Bigard, arr. Philip Harper)
•  Rhapsody for Trombone (Gordon Langford)
   Trombone Soloist: Rebecca Lundberg
•  Fire in the Blood (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

                    – Interval –

•  Saints Fantasy (Leigh Baker)
•  Mack and Mabel (J. Herman, arr. Keith Wilkinson)
•  Piper ‘O’ Dundee (Kenneth Downie)
   Featuring: Rachel Neil (Horn)
•  Ashokan Farewell (Trad, arr. Alan Fernie)
   Featuring: Lucy Cutt (Flugel)
•  Benedictus from the Armed Man (Karl Jenkins)
   Euphonium Soloist: Adam Bokaris
•  Don’t Stop Me Now (arr. Phillip Harper)
•  Procession to the Minster (Wagner, arr. Howard Snell)

For tickets, please see

https://www.leedsconcertseason.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/fairey-band/4278

Remembrance Concert

Remembrance Concert

Fairey Band and Stockport School’s Brass Band
Remembrance Concert

We are delighted to be hosting a joint concert of Remembrance with the Stockport School’s Brass Band on Friday 9th November, 7:30pm at St Elisabeth’s Church, Reddish, Stockport. To enquire about tickets please use the contact section of the website or come along and pay on the door on the evening.

2018 European Brass Band Championships – Utrecht

The Fairey Band are extremely proud to be representing England at the 2018 European Brass Band Championships in Utrecht in May.

We have been hard at work getting the pieces up to scratch! The video below features some of the preparations the band have been making before their performances of ‘Time for Outrage!’ and our own choice test piece that has been commissioned especially for the occasion.

The contest will be broadcast live on the internet so be sure to tune in to www.brasspass.tv on 4th & 5th of May.

Free Concert

Reminder: The band will be putting on a FREE concert on Sunday 29th April at Glossop Band Club featuring both of the test pieces.

 

Aciiiid Wedding!

The summer always brings an Acid Brass outing; this time for private wedding (use the contact page if you have an enquiry!). See the video we’ve put together below for highlights of the special day at Victoria Warehouse in Salford.

 

See www.acidbrass.com for more information.

Upcoming Joint Concert with Nidaros Brass Band

We are delighted to welcome the Nidaros Brass Band all the way from Norway to share the stage with us at a local concert on Saturday the 3rd of June, taking place in St. Thomas’ Church in Stockport*. The Fairey Band’s portion of the concert will feature some works of renowned composer and arranger Gordon Langford, who has recently passed away.

For further details from the Prof, see the video below!

*NB: There are a few different St. Thomas’ Churches in Stockport, so be careful to get the right one:

St. Thomas’ Church
Buckingham Road,
Heaton Chapel,
Stockport.
SK4 4QZ

Fairey’s Renew Partnership With SSBB

Saturday 25/3/17 will see members of the Fairey Band tutoring players from Stockport Schools’ Senior and Intermediate bands (SSBB), as they prepare for their appearance at the upcoming National Youth Championships.

The training day, to take place at Stockport Music Service, will mark a revival of a previous relationship between Faireys and the youth band organisation from Stockport, and is hoped to be the first of ongoing future events between the two.

ssbbFairey flugel player, and former SSBB member, Lucy Cutt commented “Faireys are absolutely delighted to be involved in this event, and to be able to give something back in this way. We very much look forward to future collaborations with the band, supporting the musical development of young players in our ‘home’ area of Stockport”.

With generous support from Yamaha, the agenda for the day will see full band rehearsals, conducted by course leader Mike Fowles, and sectional rehearsals led by the Fairey tutors. Alice Bell, SSBB administrator said “our players are looking forward to the day and the opportunities it will give them to work with both the tutors from The Fairey Band and Mike Fowles. We are very proud to represent Stockport and to renew our links with our local Championship Band”. A short concert for parents, performed by both bands, will round-off what is hoped to be a musically productive and enjoyable event for all.

Christmas Message

Merry Christmas everybody! See below for our video Christmas message from Tom, Garry & the band, along with series of clips from one of our Christmas concerts this year given at Uppermill Civic Hall.

See you in the new year for the festival of brass!

Christmas Schedule 2016

Come one, come all (and all ye faithful)! Feeling in that Christmassy mood yet? Well why not kick-start this festive season with the Fairey Band!

fairey_christmas_2016_small

Fairey Band & COAL

coal_emailer_autumntour_contactA selection of the Fairey Band will be taking part in the upcoming COAL tour by the Gary Clarke Company, at the Contact Theatre, Manchester. For tickets and more info click here.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1984/85 British Miners’ strike, award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke proudly presents COAL, a powerful and emotional dance theatre show about life at the coal face.

It brings together Clarke’s striking physical language performed by 7 professional dancers, a local cast of women and a live brass band, in a story about community, solidarity and survival.

www.coaltour.co.uk

Show/Workshop Package

Gary Clarke Company offer schools, colleges and universities the chance to take part in individually tailored workshops led by members of the company, watch a live performance of COAL and be invited to give a critical response to choreographer Gary Clarke as part of a unique post-show discussion.

To find out about booking a workshop and subsidised £9 show tickets for participants, please contact engagementcoal@gmail.com prior to making a booking direct with Contact.

About COAL

Strong, powerful and emotive, COAL explores the darker underbelly of the mining industry unearthing the true nature and body wrecking demands of a working class industry now almost forgotten.

It is based on years of personal research by Gary Clarke, including interviews with Anne Scargill, former wife of NUM president Arthur Scargill, and Betty Cook, the founders of Women Against Pit Closures.

“The COAL Autumn tour is dedicated to the survival and resilience of a man that understands what’s it’s like to fight for his life like many others. This man is my Dad” – Gary Clarke

Gary Clarke also spent time with Chris Skidmore of the National Union of MineworkersBruce Wilson, author of Yorkshire’s Flying Pickets, Barnsley historian and author Brian Elliott and Paul Winter of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

COAL is a direct response to my upbringing in the working class mining village of Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire. It’s about trying to capture a time in British history that is too easily forgotten. It is an attempt at keeping the memories of the mining industry alive, an industry that I believe shaped the fabric of our society and how we live our lives today. These communities are at the heart of COAL.”Gary Clarke 2015.

Providing the distinctive voice of Margaret Thatcher is actor Steve Nallon, still best known for his many performances as the controversial Prime Minister in long-running cult TV satirical comedy hit Spitting Image.

Performers are pushed to physical and emotional extremes, with an evocative score of live brass classics organised by Musical Director Steven Roberts and a thunderous soundscape by Noise Artist Daniel Thomas.

Whit Friday 2016

The Fairey Band had another successful outing at the Whit Friday March competition this year, coming second overall for the Saddleworth area. Check out our winning performance at Scouthead this year below:

 

Fairey to Light Up Christmas Delights on Sky Arts

Hot on the heels of their Acid Brass music being heard on the British Pottery Throwdown programme, Fairey Band will now be both seen and heard on another high profile television appearance – this time on the Sky Arts Channel in the lead up to Christmas.

Wonderland

RW_tweetThe band recently recorded ‘A Brass Band Wonderland’ programme in the depths of the gloriously named ‘Devil’s Arse’ – the famous series of caves which make up the Peak Cavern in Castleton in Derbyshire.

The show will broadcast on SkyArts on 16th and 23rd December 2015

The band was joined by Hackney Colliery Band as well as celebrity presenters and performers including singer Russell Watson, singer/songwriter Andreya Triana, boy band Collabro and comedian Jason Manford, who not only hosted the show but also sang a couple of festive numbers.

Favourites

‘White Christmas’, ‘Christmas Song’ and ‘Sleigh Ride’ are amongst the favourites you will be able to hear on the Sky Arts Channel in December – appropriate numbers as the temperatures in the depths of the earth were a little chilly to say the least according to Fairey Band Manager Nigel Beasley.

dave_widesmall

Amazed

“It was another really interesting day for the band. It was cold though – although our efforts were really appreciated both by the other performers and the producers. They were amazed we could keep playing for four hours without the instruments freezing to the lips!”

Nigel added: “Playing alongside these household names is not only good for the band but good for the brass band movement as a whole. I think people are now realising that bands such as Fairey can provide high class music making in any genre they want.

It was also great to be able to do a couple of pieces with Hackney as, for some time, we have been thinking of doing a collaborative concert together.”