Although we were sorry to report that Mike Jolly had retired from playing last year, he has remained a member of the band and we are very pleased to announce that he has agreed to be appointed as our new Band President, a vacancy created by the retirement of our previous Band President John Woodland, earlier this year.
We were saddened this month to lose two players who have been with us for many years, one due to business commitments and the other to retirement. Jan Feersma-Hoekstra, our very own flying Dutchman (!) euphonium player has found his business committments, both here and in Holland, impossible to fit in with banding. Mike Jolly, a stalwart in the cornet section has also sadly decided to hang up his instrument. We shall miss them both. On a more positive note, we are happy to see Tim Lee playing with us once again, in the cornet section.
Hot Off the Press !! ~ click here see our latest press release re our Diamond Anniversary Year ~
We're pleased to announce that we've become even more tech savvy and have now launched a Facebook page. Follow us on Facebook using this link and get all the latest news - Honiton Band Facebook
The band were saddened to learn that Ron Marraner had passed away. Ron had found that he had to retire from playing earlier in the year, but as with his wife Heather, who we lost in October 2015, Ron was a stalwart member of the band for many years, on both baritone and horn. He supported Heather with her work as librarian and he was a committee member for a number of years. We were pleased to be able to provide a 'guard of honour' for his 'Celebration of LIfe'.
Early in the month, the band were thrilled to be involved with the wedding celebrations of one of our members, Emma. We were able to play for Emma's reception at the Fernhill Hotel, in the Snug (and it was!).
We were also pleased to welcome three new members into the band - Victoria on cornet, Linda on Baritone (good to welcome a former member back into the fold!) and Jonathan on trombone.
The band was very grateful to Ron Marraner for donating his baritone to us after his retirement and it was duly presented by our equipment officer Geoff Dibsdall and MD Liz Carter, to new recruit Linda.
It is with much sadness that we have to announce the passing of a much loved and highly respected member of the band, Heather Marraner. Heather was well known in local brass band circles and was a dedicated member of Honiton Band over many years, playing 1st Horn, serving on the committee and fulfilling the onerous task of being librarian. Throughout the past year, whilst battling against cancer, Heather maintained her committment to the band and served as an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with her family and particularly with her husband Ron, who has been another stalwart member of the band.
We have just had a fantastic weekend with our visitors from Holland ~ De Woudklank Fanfare Band ~ with whom we 'share' a Euphonium player, Jan Feersma-Hoekstra. They arrived on Thursday 29th May and returned home on Sunday 1st June, after a whirlwind visit to East Devon. On the Friday, after a 'typical' English Breakfast at our local Wetherspoon, they had a marathon practice at Offwell Village Hall, followed by an afternoon concert at Sidmouth's Connaught Gardens. The two bands came together in the evening for a BBQ at Offwell Village Hall and ended the day with a 'friendly' game of skittles. True to English sporting form, we taught them how to play the game and they then proceeded to beat us!
On the Saturday we joined together again for afternoon tea at Honiton's community complex, The Beehive ~ and then De Woudklank put on a wonderful concert in the Joanna Leach Auditorium, with our band joining them for their final three pieces. We all retired to the cafe afterwards and kept the bar staff busy until our Dutch friends had to leave to make ready for their return journey home the following day. A weekend to remember!
The band has now moved its practice venue to Honiton's exciting new community complex, The Beehive, in Dowell Street. We continue to practice on Wednesday evenings, but now from 7.30 - 9.30 pm. We are gradually exploring our new surroundings! We also took part in the community event which marked the opening of the complex to the public, manning a stall for the day and playing a few pieces during the morning.
We're pleased to announce that Liz Carter has kindly offered to be our permanent Musical Director, after several months of 'holding the fort' for us, following the sudden illness and subsequent shocking loss of Arthur Williams. (please do read our tribute to Arthur)
Our association with Liz goes back many years and we are now looking forward to the future, under her baton.
We were thrilled to welcome Edwina Bradshaw to a recent band practice. Edwina was there to make a presentation of a new Eb Bass to the band, which she was donating in memory of her late husband David G. Bradshaw, who had a longstanding love affair with brass band music. The bass was presented to bandsman David Lee, who is currently the longest serving member of the band. David hopes to play his new instrument for the first time, at the band's morning outdoor concert at St Pauls Church, on Saturday 31st August (11 - 12 noon).
Pictured are David Lee, Equipment Officer Geoff Dibsdall, Edwina Bradshaw and MD Arthur Williams
We had a great evening at our annual band dinner, held on Friday the 5th at the Blue Ball Inn, Sidford. The food was very good, the venue was perfect and the conversation flowed. It's good to get out of the band room and socialise!
Another busy Christmas Season. Hope you managed to catch our carol playing around town and possibly started off your festive season at our Christmas Concert on the 8th, but if not, there's always 2013!
The band was very pleased to welcome new members this month, including Eric Wood on cornet and Jeff Hutchinson on euphonium.
We also held another successful annual charity concert, this year on behalf of Shelterbox. We've received very positive feedback and if you missed our evening of 'brass and song', make sure you catch us at next year's concert, if not before!
The band is taking part in this year's South East Devon Community Raffle, organised by local Rotary Clubs - 1st Prize is £1000 cash and tickets are only £1 each. They will be available until early November, with the draw taking place on 25th November. You can purchase your ticket/tickets from the band either on Wednesday evenings during our practice night, or when we're out and about playing - just ask a band member and they'll point you in the secretary's direction! For complete information on the raffle, please visit www.sedcr.org.uk
We're pleased to be able to report that our charity concert on April 2nd was a success. We had an audience in excess of 100, the Sheldon Octet added greatly to the evening with their contributions and we were grateful to Andrew Harris for his compering of the programme. We were subsequently able to give The Devon Air Ambulance Trust a cheque for £716. Our thanks go to everyone who was able to support the event.
- our 1st Baritone player Richard Brain presents the cheque to DAAT representatives.
Richard has recently had experience of the excellent work that DAAT perform.
March saw the band moving its practice venue from the Royal British Legion, after 34 years. Although we will still be supporting the Legion when we can, pressures on the practice space meant we couldn't continue there on a Wednesday evening. Fortunately for the band, Honiton Town Council were able to offer us space at the Town Council building on a Wednesday evening, so we have been able carry on seamlessly - so it seems.
The band also held its Annual Dinner once again at The Otter Inn. If the noise level throughout the evening was anything to go by, a good time was being had by all! It's always nice to have a chance to socialise with each other, something which is difficult to do during engagements and practices. It was also nice to see so many spouses and partners joining us - particularly as their support through the year is invaluable.
You may have noticed on our home page that we are holding a concert at Honiton St Paul's, in aid of Devon Air Ambulance, on Saturday 2nd April. It should be an enjoyable evening of varied music, with the additional attraction of the Sheldon Octet group. Tickets, which are £6 with a glass of wine included, will be available on the door, or they can be purchased from a variety of outlets. There will also be a draw during the evening. If you require further information, please get in touch.
The band were very saddened to hear of the passing of Gordon Perry. Gordon and his family were members of the band for many years and Gordon only
retired in 2002.
Saturday January 16th saw the band hosting its first ever brass workshop, with 20+ musicians from other local bands joining us. We were fortunate in being able to have Philip Harper for the day and what a great day it was. He put us through our paces using several pieces, with the most exacting being Alan Fernie's 'Anglian Dances'. We were exhausted by the end of the day, but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope the day will be reflected in our playing throughout the coming year!
It was with great sadness that we learned on January 5th of the death of our founder member Jim Kendall, at the age of 87. Jim was a stalwart member of the band, who very reluctantly retired from playing his drum kit in April 2007. Jim never lost interest in how the band was doing and even collected for us during Christmas 2008. He'd had an extremely difficult 2009 and spent much of it in hospital, both in Honiton and Exeter. Those of us who were able to attend the funeral and memorial services were reminded of happier times.
The band enjoyed another successful evening concert at Honiton's Millennium Green on Saturday the 25th. We were fortunate with the weather for a third year running, despite the vagaries of our BBQ summer and the audience was larger than ever, probably topping 150. Many thanks to the kind member of the audience, who enjoyed the concert so much that she remonstrated with us for not having a collecting box and insisted on making a donation of £4.
We held our Annual Dinner this year at the Monkton Court Hotel and enjoyed a great evening out. Band members, along with spouses and partners and those who had helped us throughout 2008 were able to catch up with each other. To any of you out there who weren't able to come along and enjoy the evening with us, we hope to see you next year!
As ever, we had a very busy time this month, commencing with the switching on of Honiton’s Christmas tree lights, outside of St Pauls Church. We had a full programme of carol playing, both in the evening around the town’s residential areas and in the High Street. We also had a variety of engagements at various venues, including care homes, local church services, our annual carol concert at the RBL and a private function at Escot House. We were pleased to see our newest member, Jan Feersma Hoekstra, fully taking part in the festive season. Jan - who plays euphonium - is our first international player! He recently moved from Holland, with his family, to the Honiton area. Honiton Band attracted his attention - thanks to our website. Although Jan frequently commutes to Holland on business, he manages to attend practices and engagements on a regular basis.
Along with everyone else in Honiton, the band were shocked and saddened by the death of Honiton’s Mayor Chris Tratt. We were constantly touched by the fondness he expressed for Honiton Band and were particularly pleased to have been able to support him during the recent Gronau Twinning trip. His tremendous enthusiasm for and work on behalf of Honiton and its many organisations, will be greatly missed. But just as importantly, we shall miss his friendly, easy manner, his sense of humour and his modesty. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife Jean and their family.
As part of our ‘Instrument Project’, we were able to present Mike Ashby with a new Sovereign Cornet. We all know how much instruments cost these days and we were fortunate in receiving a town grant again this year, which helped towards the cost. Honiton’s Mayor, Chris Tratt, very kindly agreed to make an official presentation to Mike, during practice.
The Band were sorry to have to say goodbye to Francis this month, although delighted that he has secured a place at Southampton University to read English and Philosophy. Francis has been with the band for many years and will be sorely missed on 2nd Euphonium. However, we hope he will visit us at holiday time!
The season continued to be a wash out in August and most particularly for the unfortunate organisers of Dalwood Fair. The band displayed a remarkable degree of resilience when it played in the flooded fair field, in a muddy tent, upon hastily supplied plastic sheeting, which saved the day! The first time I think I’ve ever played in green wellies!
We were however thrilled to have taken part in an excellent trip to Honiton’s twin town of Gronau. Visit ‘Gronau 2008’ to read more about what turned out to be an unforgettable experience, not least due to the fantastic generosity of our German hosts - and to see photos.
We were disappointed this month to find that once again, 'The Branscombe Air and Classic Car Show' had been cancelled, although not due to bad weather this year. The show has raised a lot for charity throughout the years and had become a great favourite in the band’s calendar. We weren’t however disappointed with the audience at this year’s Millennium Green Concert in Honiton, which if anything, exceeded last year’s. Luckily the sun shone, on what must have been one of the few summers days we experienced in the 2008 season!
The band is progressing its plans to visit Gronau between August 26th and September 1st, in conjunction with the Honiton Twinning Association. The trip will mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning between the two towns and falls during Gronau’s wine festival. We have been fortunate in securing the services of our previous MD Malcolm Avery, who will fill in for Arthur Williams, who unfortunately is unable to join us on this trip. Remembering what a great time he had with the band in 2004 during their trip to France (Mezidon Canon), Malcolm couldn’t resist the invitation.
The band will be running a coach and there are still seats available. If anyone from Honiton reads this and would be interested in experiencing a twinning trip, particularly with a view to perhaps joining the Twinning Association, please contact our band secretary as soon as possible.
We were very pleased to finally be able to launch our website, which is very much an ‘ongoing’ project.
The band took ‘possession’ of its new band tie this month. This is the very first bespoke tie that Honiton Band has had and we are very grateful to Tor Designs for their input at the design stage and the subsequent production run.
The band was sorry to have to say goodbye to one of our Eb Bass players, Vernon Bailey. Although only with us for a short while, he quickly made himself part of the ‘family’. We wish Vernon and his wife Anne well in their new life in Cornwall.
The band were pleased with the success of their recent Charity Concert, at Honiton’s St Paul’s Church, in support of Hospiscare and the Children’s Hospice South West. The concert was held in memory of a popular member of the band, Kathryn Gibbs, who unexpectedly passed away in 2003. The concert, on Saturday 13th October, had a very appreciative audience and the evening was compered by Andrew Harris - who is well known in the Devon banding world - and was one of our previous conductors. We were also fortunate in being supported by a small group from the Sheldon Singers. The evening raised a total of £671.31, which was shared by the two charities.
The band were delighted with the large audience at our recent concert on Honiton’s Millennium Green. This was our first concert at this venue and was held as part of Honiton’s 750th Market Charter Celebrations. We were blessed with a lovely evening and managed to make links with our sister band in Gronau. The Town Council were also delighted with the turn out and have asked us to play again next year, for the Charter Celebrations.