Training sessions – book now

We’re starting a new season of training sessions in the new year, for everyone from absolute beginners.   Here’s the ad that you’ll be seeing around the local papers and newsletters –

• Are you looking for a new challenge? 

• Have you ever wished you’d learned to play a musical instrument? 

• Perhaps you gave up when you left school and regretted it ever since? 

You’ve come to the right place! The Band of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service is looking for new members of all ages – absolute beginners and returners – to join the new Beginners’ band, starting in January 2019. You don’t have to be a firefighter and you don’t even need to have your own instrument (we have a limited number to offer on a first-come-first-served basis). We teach brass (e.g. trumpet, euphonium, trombone, tuba) and woodwind instruments (e.g. oboe, flute, clarinet, alto, tenor & baritone saxophone), as well as double bass and electric bass guitar. The cost per term is £30. 

The Beginners Band will meet on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 pm at the Management Development Centre of the Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Lansdown, which is to the north of Bath, just beyond the racecourse (you do need a car to get there, but there’s plenty of parking). The rehearsal will last for one hour, at which point you can either go home, or stay and listen to Brass, Wind and Fire (our intermediate band to which you will graduate), or rehearse with Brass Wind and Fire until 9.30 pm. 

For more information and to book yourself in, please email us (link to be found on most pages!)


A day out at Portishead

Thanks to all who dropped by to listen to the band at last Sunday’s Emergency Services open day at the Police and Fire Service HQ in Portishead.   We were playing out in the open, in the vicinity of the Arena this year – it’s difficult to compete with the Police dogs exhibitions, so we didn’t try!

In the spare time we had between our two sets, it was difficult to get round more than a fraction of what was on show, but some of us were able to get over to the main Fire & Rescue Service exhibitions.  Thanks to our colleagues in the Service’s Media Office, (especially Liam who took the photo), here’s some of the band in front of one of the many pumps on show.   (Hint – if you need a fire dealt with, don’t ask the people in the red uniforms).

Some of the band with some of the AFRS firefighters at the display

Coming soon – training course to recommence in early 2019

In addition to our concert band, who meet on Monday nights, and the intermediate band (Brass Wind & Fire), who practise on Wednesday nights, in the past we have run training courses for beginners.   Plans are now being finalized for the next season, which will run weekly on Wednesday nights as a separate (hour) session, followed by the opportunity (if desired) to join the band for the second half of their session – initially as observers, but as the course runs on, there’ll be an opportunity to join in and play some of the pieces.

No prior knowledge or experience (apart from a working pair of ears, and, ideally, an instrument) will be required.   There is a limited stock of instruments for loan, first come first served.

More details will be on this website soon – if you want to express an interest, do drop us a line at our email address, linked below.  We hope to start the sessions in January 2019.

Bathampton Village Show 2018

Thanks from the band for the warm welcome we received at last Saturday’s show – the first time we’ve ever followed a Fancy Hat competition.  Our luck held out for a second year of playing this show, which is out in the open – what rain there was came after we’d finished our set.

Band members – September concert arrangements

The concert band has two confirmed bookings for September:

Sat 8th for the Bathampton Village Show, an afternoon performance

Sunday 16th at Portishead, where (as currently planned) we will be performing two sets, at the Open Day.   Travel arrangements for this day will need to be co-ordinated for the limited number of car parking spaces we have allocated – please listen out at the next rehearsal sessions to ensure you know the details!  (And if you’ve volunteered to drive !!)

Setlist for September concerts

The revised setlist for September (both concerts) is as follows:

asterisked scores are as distributed at 20th Aug rehearsals

Air from County Derry
Italian Festival
Copper Mountain
*Disney Film Favourites
*Swan Lake
*Meet the Beatles
*Best of Leroy Anderson
Sweet Caroline
Magnificent Men

*Marches of John Williams
Saxes will rock
Music Man
Blue and the Grey (NB Robert Longfield arrangement)
Best of Henry Mancini
Gypsy Baron
*It Don’t mean a Thing
Vera Lynn (band only version – all repeats played)
*Jungle Book
Mamma Mia

Band members – extra concerts at Christmas

Christmas concerts:

In addition to those already in the diary, we have a confirmed concert at Deerhurst on Saturday 8th Dec, 2.30pm baton down.   Thick pencil in the diary for this one.

We have an enquiry about a possible performance in Wells on another Saturday in December – again, please listen out on Monday evening!   More details when we have them.

Band members – Diary entry (pencil)

To members of the Concert Band:

Please pencil in a possible engagement on Sunday 16th September, in the Portishead area.   This will be a public performance, for the Fire & Rescue Service.

Details yet to be confirmed – keep listening on Mondays!

Sounded well at Soundwell?

Thanks to everyone who turned up at Soundwell Church last month to hear the band play, with proceeds in aid of their adopted charity.   

The Band at St Stephen’s Church, Soundwell | July 2018
Director of Music Alan Peacock presents the Jim Churchill cup to Yvonne

It’s always good to play to a full house, and we were able to give the audience a ‘little extra’, with the presentation of our annual award (the Jim Churchill cup) to Yvonne.  (She’s wearing the glitzy number for her vocal number, not the presentation – which was a surprise to her).

Just gone…

Thanks to all who came to see the band at Soundwell last week, at our concert to help raise funds for the event and its charity.   A fuller report will appear here soon.

Thanks too to band members who attended the AGM on Monday – more on this too, to come.