Kicking off the Christmas season

The Christmas season is here and the band kicked off the season in style.

On Thursday, our band announced the opening of the famous Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and the switching on of the city centre Christmas lights with a grand fanfare.

We joined the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Mohammed Azim who pressed the button to light up the Christmas tree.

The crowd attending the event were then treated to a selection of carols which floated down into Victoria Square from our position on the balcony of the Council House.

This year marks the Frankfurt Christmas Market’s 20th visit to Birmingham so it was great to be part of the celebration.

There are many more festive outings for the band this season. We’ll be playing again at the German Market so make sure you visit when we’re there! Find out more about our upcoming gigs (including our Christmas Concert on the 7th December) here.

A fond farewell

We’re sorry to have said goodbye to our soprano player Oli who rehearsed with us for the last time this week.

Oli has been a dedicated member of the City of Birmingham Brass Band since 2104 and he will be sorely missed as he makes the exciting move to Norway for a new job.

We wish him all the best in his next adventure!

Celebrating Silver Sunday

Silver Sunday is a special day in the national calendar when everyone can come together to celebrate older people.

We played our part by entertaining the residents of Bournville Gardens Retirement Village. A programme of entertainment pieces and Proms favourites had the audience on their feet, waving their flag and singing along.

Thank you for having us and we look forward to returning in December with some Christmas classics.

Friendships in France

What a great trip!

Music, culture and friends were all part of the weekend in Albert, France as the band represented the city of Birmingham alongside the Lord Mayor and other UK delegates.

The highlight of the trip was the signing of a Friendship Charter which was followed by our performance in the Theatre du Jeu de Paume. The venue was fantastic and the band played a first half of classic pieces by English and French composers and a second half of light entertainment. An enthusiastic audience gave the band a standing ovation which was a great reward for the band’s hard work.

You can watch our performance of the opening number Death or Glory below. The whole concert can be viewed here.

Our second day in Albert was filled with short performances around the town, including outside the Basilica and in the market square. We visited the hospital where we saw the ‘Birmingham Pavillion’, named in recognition of the support Birmingham offered to rebuild the town after the First World War.

A short concert at the residential home in Albert was a very humbling experience and rounded off the whole weekend.

A huge thank you to our wonderful hosts in France who made us feel very welcome.

As we left Albert to return to Birmingham we made sure to pay our respects at a British cemetery and remember the reasons for the commemorative occasion.

On the long coach journey and in between the more formal proceedings there was plenty of time for fun, laughs and friendship (and the chance to get acquainted with French wine…).

One rehearsal to go…

We’re almost ready for our visit to France! With one rehearsal to go until we depart for Albert, the band have been putting the final touches to the programme.

For the concert in the Theatre du Jeu de Paume on Friday 20th September, we’ve selected pieces to mark the relationship between the city of Birmingham and the town of Albert. To begin we will play commemorative pieces and classical numbers by composers from both sides of the channel. To end, we have included some popular numbers from stage and screen to entertain the audience.

CBBB to represent the City of Birmingham

We’re honoured to have been invited to represent the City of Birmingham on a visit to celebrate the relationship with the town of Albert, France.

After the First World War, the City adopted Albert and acted as a ‘War Godmother’ sending supplies and money to help rebuild the town.
To commemorate WW1 and to celebrate this relationship, CBBB will perform at the Theatre de Jeu de Paume on the 20th September in Albert for a historical event.

The town of Albert was almost totally destroyed during the First World War as it was only a couple of miles from the front line and the Somme.

After the First World War many British towns and cities became involved in ‘adoption’ schemes to provide help for the devastated battlefield. Many of the places adopted were on the Somme and Birmingham adopted Albert in 1920. Today Albert still has a ‘Rue de Birmingham’ and the almhouses paid for by the citizens of Birmingham still exist although with a different use.

Read more about the relationship here.

New MD and change of rehearsal venue!

Change is in the air… The City of Birmingham Brass Band are excited to announce the appointment of their new Musical Director, Saphran Ali. Saph has had a long association with the band already and so it is particularly gratifying for us to welcome him at this time to take the band forward into the future. We’ll also will be taking up residence in a new regular rehearsal venue at The Moseley All Services Club following 7 years at the Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College. The band would like to express our warmest thanks to the College for some wonderful memories, and also to Ben Hewlett-Davies, our outgoing MD for his productive and enjoyable spell in charge of the band, which has featured many highlights. It is not the last we will see of him!

Members of City of Birmingham Brass Band stand in front of bandstand holding their instruments

An afternoon at Trentham Gardens

Sunshine was out and the audience were in good spirits for an afternoon of music at Trentham Gardens.

We began with the march of ‘Castell Coch’ to get everyone in the mood for the brass band performance. A mix of film music including ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ and ‘Theme from Shrek’ were popular and we finished the first half with an ‘Oliver’ medley (great singalong!).

Opening the second half was a second march ‘Death or Glory’ before we slowed it down with the ballad ‘Love Changes Everything’.

Our finale was the classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which had everyone tapping their feet and once again singing along.

We made the most of the weather with a well deserved picnic. Katy’s cheese scones went down a treat – thanks!

Picnic time at Trentham Gardens

Billesley Lane Allotments – Open Day

CBBB aren’t always out in full force and the Billesley Land Allotments Open Day was one such occasion.

As invited guests for the event, a small group of CBBB members entertained visitors at this special event.

With something for all the family, from wildlife stalls to gardening advice, light music and popular tunes were just right for this outdoor performance.