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Friary Diary - Issue 50 - March 2019


Welcome to Friary Diary issue 50 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


Friary went to the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships at Stevenage last Sunday, to defend the Regional title held for the past four years. A draw to play 9th out of the 12 bands competing was favourable, but with performances of the test piece, Ray Steadman-Allen’s Seascapes, from both Redbridge and Wantage being highly rated by brass website 4barsrest in the first half, there was clearly no room for complacency. Mercifully, after a late finish of the twelve performances, the wait for the result was relatively brief. Adjudicators Michael Fowles and Dr Robert Childs awarded first place to Friary, and with it the awards for best cornet (Richard Straker), best tenor horn (Chris Pannell), best euphonium (Chris Straker) and best trombone section (Chris Brewster, Ian Stewart and Adam Gregory): so a clean sweep of the trophies.

The five consecutive titles equal Redbridge’s record (2007-2011) and the win also means Friary again qualifies for the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in October. Along with Brighouse & Rastrick, Cory, Foden’s, Tredegar, Virtuosi GUS and Whitburn, Friary is one of only seven bands to have qualified for the Nationals the last seven years: the Magnificent Seven! Band Chairman Nigel Stevens was thrilled with the result: ‘Each year it seems to be more difficult to retain the title, but we’ve managed to do it again. We’re immensely grateful to our Musical Director, Chris King, for his excellent guidance, and to all our players and deputies for their dedication and commitment. It’s been a terrific start to the year with our result at Butlin’s and now at the Regionals, and are looking forward to another year where we build on that success.’


Friary Brass Band is delighted to welcome Rhian Linney to the front row cornets. Rhian started playing the​​ cornet at the age of five with the local band Pontypool Brass Band. From there she continued to learn through school and county ensembles. Rhian then moved to Blaenavon Town Band where the conductor Bryn Davies helped develop her playing. Since then Rhian has played with many bands including Rogerstone Band, Abergavenny Borough Band, numerous County Bands and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales. In 2006, Rhian joined Tredegar Town Band where she was a member for over seven years. During her time at Tredegar she was fortunate to be involved with many innovative projects and experienced a range of contests, culminating in winning the British Open Contest twice. At the end of 2013, Rhian moved to Surrey to take up a job in Guildford. She joined Staines Brass Band for a short time and then enjoyed a break from banding. ‘I’m really enjoying my return to playing, and being part of such an up and coming band as Friary,’ she said.


Friary remains 23rd in the World Rankings following all the Regional contests.


When I first started Friary Diary just over four years ago my main concern was not having enough news to fill the page each month. In fact it’s generally proved more difficult to squeeze everything in! My intention to feature a player profile each month has been one such casualty, as I’ve only managed to cover Musical Director Chris King so far. Feedback has been very positive, but please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything else you would like to read about.

Please visit our calendar page here to view our forthcoming events

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