Concert – Albert, France

Concert at Theatre du Jeu de Paume, Albert, France – organised as part of the tribute to the cities of war.

The band has a varied repertoire ranging from traditional fanfare music to modern music, classical works, film music and popular melody arrangements. There will be something for everyone.   Free concert.

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.

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

Christmas Concert at JCC

Amidst a refreshing flurry of powdery snow, the CBBB held its annual Christmas Concert at Joseph Chamberlain College. Although the snow hampered travel to the College for some, audience attendance was high and good spirits abounded. The hall had a number of festively-decorated tables set up, and cheerfully dressed audience members took their places before the band played a number of holiday favorites. One of the band’s featured soloists was trombonist Iain Jackson with his arrangement of Santa Baby, where he skillfully demonstrated both jazzy improvisation and the bass trombone’s deep lower register. Jordann Brionne, euphonium soloist for The Cavalier, displayed nimble musical ability as he made his euphonium sing through numerous melodic passages.

The band also gave the world premiere of MD Ben Hewlett-Davies’ new composition, The Steel Pressers, a march dedicated to the City of Birmingham’s industrial past. Other band and audience favorites included We Wish You a Merry Christmas, the upbeat Christmas Festival, the soulful and wintery Snowman, and the rousing Bavarian Christmas song, Schneewalzer. A good time was had by audience and band members, and a number of refreshments, including lovely hot drinks and delicious baked goods, were served during the interval. It was a grand holiday concert and generated delightful Christmas cheer for all. Kerstin Becker

Proms ‘Around The World’

CBBB has held a ‘Last Night of the Proms concert at Joseph Chamberlain College for several years now, but this one was certainly our most exciting yet! This year, we teamed up with Handsworth Community Choir to deliver a shared programme with a Round the World theme, followed by a traditional Proms finale.

We were also lucky enough to have children from the One Handed Musical Instrument Trust as guest stars! In case all this wasn’t exciting enough, the concert also included the premiere of ‘One With You’, a hauntingly beautiful piece written and composed by our bass trombonist Iain Jackson, and a brilliant performance of ‘National Express’ by Divine Comedy, which was specially arranged for the concert by MD Ben Hewlett-Davies.

Although the weather was not on our side, this was our best attended and most unique Proms concert to date; in fact we nearly couldn’t fit all the audience and their picnics into the hall! We are extremely grateful to Handsworth Community Choir and OHMI for helping us create such a wonderful showcase of community music making in Birmingham, and are really hoping we can help these connections grow in the coming years to keep making our concerts even more varied and interesting!