There may not have been a red carpet outside the Hilton Hotel, Cobham, but inside there was as much glitz and glamour as Hollywood as Friary players and their guests dressed to impress for the annual Friary Awards Night Dinner on 30th January.
After an excellent dinner, Band Chairman Nigel Stevens addressed the gathering, summarising the Band’s many achievements during 2015, including a number of firsts: the Band’s debut at Butlins and winning the Most Entertaining Band and Best Bass Section awards; becoming London & Southern Counties Regional Champions; appearing on BBC Radio 2’s Listen to the Band programme; the debut at The Sage, Gateshead for Brass in Concert; sharing the stage with the Fairey Band; and breaking into the top 40 rankings.
All in all, the year had been one to remember, and although a couple of contest results had been disappointing, they were in the context of competing against some of the top bands in the world. Nigel also thanked the players’ ‘other halves’ for their forbeara
The address over, Musical Director Chris King then took the floor to announce the award winners, as follows:
Player of the Year: Richard Straker (principal cornet)
Most Improved Player: Chris Attwood (percussion)
Bandsman of the Year: Shared: Jane Challiss (tenor horn/percussion & Hon. Treasurer) and Mike Trumble (euphonium & Minutes Secretary)
Section of the Year: Cornets
Attendance award: Nigel Stevens
After the awards, there was the opportunity to mingle and chat over drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. All in all it was a first class evening, and thanks go to the Band’s tireless Secretary, Lauren Straker, for organising the event once again.