Carols galore

The festive season is in full swing for CBBB!

As well as rehearsing for our upcoming Christmas Concert with Bournville Choirs, we’ve also got a busy weekend of carolling ahead. Tickets for the concert are limited due to Covid-19 precautions and if you’d like to join us, please contact St Francis Church Bournville on 0121 472 7215 (ext 2).

On Saturday we’ll be entertaining visitors and residents of Bournville Gardens Retirement Village at their Christmas fayre. On the 5th December the band will be performing some Christmas classics to shoppers at Bell Court, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Brass band members stand in front of stage wearing Christmas jumpers
CBBB players at Bournville Gardens Village in 2019

CBBB needs your nomination

The last year has been a real struggle for our band. Covid-19 put an immediate halt on gigs and concerts which are the primary source of our charity’s income. There’s still uncertainty around future restrictions which could mean the cancellation of yet more gigs and so we really need your help.

Please nominate our charity and we could be awarded £1,000 in Ecclesiastical’s 12 days of giving. £1,000 would make a huge difference to us and allow us to put on concerts for the community, repair instruments, purchase music and continue supporting our players. This band is so important to us all as a place to be with friends and to make music together. Sharing music with the community is at the core of what we do and your support would allow us to continue doing what we love.

All you have to do click the banner below, select ‘heritage arts’ as the charity type and fill in a (very) short form to nominate CBBB to receive this award. The more nominations we get the more chance we have to receive £1,000. Please complete your nomination by midnight on the 5th December so that we register for the draw.

Click the banner below to complete your nomination and once you’ve done so, please share!

Thank you.

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Christmas Carol Concert

After a year’s gap, we’re back live for our popular joint Christmas Concert with Bournville Choirs.

On Saturday 11th December, a concert is being held at St Francis Church, Bournville and will feature the City of Birmingham Brass Band, Bournville-Vocal-Ease Ladies Choir, and Bournville Parish Church Choir. The concert begins at 6:30pm.

With a mixed programme of traditional Christmas carols, and lively festive pieces, this promises to be an entertaining evening for all.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions there are limited tickets available. Tickets are £8 for adults (£5 children) and to purchase your ticket, please call St Francis Church office directly on 0121 472 7215 (ext 2) or contact the band.

We hope to see you there for festivities.

CBBB AGM – that’s the badger!

What a year it has been… Firstly a huge thank you to all of our band members, supporters, family, friends and everyone who has helped keep Birmingham Brass going over the last 12 months.

The year (2020/21) began immediately after our success the regional competition and our qualification to the national competition. Almost as soon as we had congratulated ourselves and settled back into our seats, the pandemic hit, the world changed and all rehearsals, gigs and social events were cancelled.

Over the next 12 months members rehearsed at home and some took the opportunity to try out recording and online performances. When restrictions allowed, band members came together (initially outdoors) to rehearse in small groups before gradually being able to meet indoors and eventually the whole band came back together.

Looking back and despite everything that has been thrown at us we have had some fantastic brass band successes including being placed 2nd in the Foden’s Online Contest (4th section) and the 5th best fourth section band in Great Britain. The band gives its thanks to Saph who has led us through some difficult times, got us back into rehearsals and led us to the national competition at Cheltenham this September. In recognition of all his hard work soprano cornet player Nigel presented Saph with a knitted badger. There’s a story about a badger… come to a rehearsal and you’ll find out!

Knitted badger presented to Saph (MD) by Nigel (Sop cornet)

We’re sorry to say goodbye to some of our players this year including Adele (euphonium), Dan (cornet) who have moved on to new musical ventures and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. It was also a year when we welcomed lots of new faces to the rehearsal room including Ali (tenor horn), Dave (cornet), Nigel (soprano), Laura (trombone) and Connie (percussion). We welcome you all into the Birmingham Brass family!

If you’d like to join us, do get in touch. We currently have spaces on Euphonium and basses (Eb and Bbb) but would also love to hear from other players wishing to play.

Looking forwards, there are a number of Christmas engagements and gigs we have lined up for this festive season. Keep up with our latest news to find out where you can catch us around the West Midlands. Here’s to the next 12 months!

Success at Nationals

Our hard work during what has been an extremely difficult year for the band has paid off as the band secured 5th place in the Fourth Section.

We were invited to the National Competition after our success in the Midland Area Brass Band regional competition. Despite qualifying for the Nationals in March 2020, our trip to the Cheltenham was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Excitement and anticipation was in the air as the coach left Birmingham (early morning!) and headed south towards Cheltenham. Almost as soon as the stands were set up in our rehearsal venue, we got the call “Drawn band number one”.

No time later the band was on stage at Cheltenham Racecourse and ready to put in the best performance they could of “An Elgar Portrait” by Dan Price. Led by MD Saph, the band had the confidence to perform under pressure and all the hard work paid off.

We are delighted to be awarded the 5th best Fourth Section Band in Britain.

Well done to all the bands that took part and made it to the national competition in such difficult circumstances.

We’re back!

The bandstand season has begun and we’re back on stage.

Our first outing was a sunny day at Stratford-upon-Avon in front of a huge crowd. Beside the River Avon, the audience were treated to a wide variety of music including the traditional march ‘The Middy’, the upbeat and toe-tapping ‘Manhattan Skyline’ and the smooth ‘Moonlight Serenade’ by Glenn Miller.

Principal cornet player Sarah put in a wonderful performance of Share My Yoke.

There was a little drizzle during our gig at Walsall bandstand but those watching us braved the British weather for the afternoon’s entertainment. Highlights included It’s a Kind of Magic, Eye of the Tiger and Somewhere Over the Rainbow (in honour of the amazing NHS).

We’re looking forward to returning next year for another summer of performances.

Foden’s Band – Online Whit Friday Competition

We are really pleased to announce the band have been awarded 2nd place in the 4th section for international contest ‘Fodens Band Online Whit Friday Championships 2021’.

With Covid-19 putting a pause on many brass band competitions and events over the last year, the Online Whit Friday Championship was a really exciting opportunity for the band to work towards a putting in a high quality performance.

The event was streamed online and 119 bands took part from 13 countries. 57 different marches were performed across the two days by bands from youth to Championship section. The variety of performances was brilliant to see and it was fantastic to see everyone come together for such a worthwhile event. Thank you to Foden’s Band for putting on such a fantastic event, we thoroughly enjoyed taking part and watching all the other fabulously creative entries.

The march CBBB chose to play was Punchinello. Each member of the band rehearsed individually and through online rehearsals organised by our Musical Director Saph.

The audio a visual recordings made at home were compiled by our talented Repiano player Nick Poole.

The hard work payed off and we are delighted to have been awarded 2nd place for our section.

Listen to our Punchinello performance below.

Return to rehearsal

It’s been amazing to get back together again for rehearsals albeit slightly different from what we’re used to…

For the safety of our members, their families and friends, our rehearsals have moved outside! This allows us lots of space to spread out safely but also practice playing together as a group.

Thank you to Selly Park Tavern for being so accommodating and we’re very lucky to have this outside space available to us. It has been amazing to be together again!

Join in with our Christmas Countdown

Join in our festive countdown as we bring you some of our favourite seasonal tunes.

Our members have recorded performances of Christmas carols and music to entertain you. Watch our performances below:

Carols galore!

Despite the difficulties that Covid-19 brings, we have been spreading Christmas joy with carols.

In small, socially distanced groups, members of CBBB provided some festive cheer to the shoppers and passers-by in Birmingham City Centre, Hatton Adventure World, Morrisons supermarket, Grand Central Station and Hagley Road Retirement Village.

Thank you to all the venues and the public for their support during this time. We wish you all a very merry Christmas.