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Friary Diary - Issue 41 - June 2018

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 41 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Guildford Brass Band.


Memories of huddling to keep warm whilst playing Christmas carols and seasonal music at The Meadows, Sandhurst and the Hog’s Back Brewery last December may be fading fast, especially in the current heatwave, but we were delighted to present the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust with a cheque for £1,116.26 recently from the cash collected. According to Kelvin Bossey from KSSAAT who received the cheque from Band Chairman Nigel Stevens, each mission costs around £2,500, and almost all the Trust’s income comes from donations, legacies and their own in-house lotteries. So having managed to get the helicopter off the ground, we’ll be playing again come December to help it return safely to base again! Many thanks to all those who donated.


The Band is delighted to welcome percussionist William Rowling. From a brass-playing family, William started playing percussion aged 7, mostly on kit, until the age of 13 when he discovered orchestral percussion. When not hitting things, he can sometimes be spotted playing euphonium and trombone (although not at the same time!). He played with Godalming Youth Band from an early age and joined Godalming Band at the age of 10. In 2016, William was thrilled to win the Best Instrumentalist Award at a scaba contest, beating all the brass players(!), as well as being part of the Best Percussion section. He began studying at the Royal College of Music Junior Department on Saturdays from September 2016 exposing him to a new level of music, a range of different musical activities and enabling him to develop his playing further.

William has been fortunate to have performed at a large number of venues, including at the Royal Albert Hall on two occasions, with Surrey Arts ensembles for The Freedom Game in 2015 and with the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble in 2017 at the Proms. In 2018 William was pleased to gain a place in the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, and is learning a lot from the experience, both from the tutors and conductor Bramwell Tovey. On his first course, he was honoured to be the percussion winner of the Katie Ogden solo competition.

William has greatly enjoyed playing with Friary Guildford already, being part of the Band’s fourth consecutive win at the London and Southern Counties contest, so qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, and playing at Blackpool in the Grand Shield. He is looking forward to future challenges and new experiences playing with the Band.


The June World Rankings saw Friary ease a couple of places to 28th place. In 27th 29th and 30th places respectively are Buizingen (Belgium), Très Étoiles (Switzerland) and Schoonhoven (Netherlands) all of whom have represented their countries in the European Championships within the last three years: we are in exalted company!

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