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.
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.
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…).
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.
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.
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!