January 2019 – New Year, New Music

In the concert band, we’ve tidied away the Christmas medleys and the carol sheets.   A whole heap of new music, and old marches, is being dusted off and practice has begun for the first public concert of the year, which will be in Bath on May 18th. and it will be an ambitious one!

More details to come, nearer the time.

The training sessions have also started, on Wednesday evenings – but it’s not too late to join in.  Email us for details.

Signing Off for 2018

We played our last concert for 2018 last week, which was our usual Christmas concert for Monica Wills care home in Bristol.   No more Christmas Festival Yuletide Medleys for another year (minus the month or so of practice).

Whether you’re a band member – or hoping to become one, with our training sessions starting in January – or you’ve heard us play sometime in 2018, here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This site may be offline for odd moments in the following week, as updates are applied and general pruning takes place.

Phil (chair of the committee and currently blog master)

Training course starting January 2019 – places still available

Before the next set of concerts fills the schedule, a reminder about the next run of our training programme….The course will run on Wednesdays from mid January, and players of all abilities are welcome.

We’ve had several enquiries from wind players, including clarinets and flautists, and the numbers are filling out – but places are still available.

For more details, click on the ‘beginners’ tab just under the top photo on this page, and to enrol, email us at info@avonfireandrescueband.org

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!) info@avonfireandrescueband.org


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