top of page
  • TS

Friary Diary - Issue 55 - August 2019

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 55 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


(Pic. Giraffe Racing)

Friary returned to the delightful College Garden, adjacent to Westminster Abbey for a lunchtime concert in the Abbey’s Brass on the Grass season. Warm sunny weather drew local and tourists alike, with an audience of around 300 enjoying the music. It was hard to believe that we were in the heart of London: only a couple of sirens interrupted the otherwise tranquil setting. A varied programme featured a number of solos, including Robin Harry, a xylophone tour de force from percussionist William Rowling who received rapturous applause for his sensational dexterity. We’ve since had a CD order from Germany, from a tourist who was so impressed by the Band’s performance!


Warmest congratulations go to our aforementioned young percussionist, William Rowling, who is also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (NYBBGB). William was runner-up (to 2018 BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award winner, Thomas Nielsen) in the NYBBGB’s highly prestigious Harry Mortimer Soloist Competition this year, and was also the 2019 winner of the Con Buckley Percussion Award, which is awarded each year by the NYBBGB. That follows on from a successful term at the Royal College of Music (RCM) Junior Department, where he and his duet partner were highly commended in the final of the Junior Department Chamber Music competition, and he was one of the recipients of the Graham Cole percussion prize for the year. It was an excellent conclusion to his time at the Junior Department, before he starts at the RCM as an undergraduate in September. He has been fortunate to gain a four year scholarship to study there, so very well done and the best of luck, William!


Have you been watching Sky Arts’ documentary series Battle of the Brass Bands? If so, you may have spotted our Contest Secretary, Alex Sears, in the week before last’s episode (episode 3) which was all about the National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall last October. Alex was on stage (left hand end seat, front row) with representatives of the other competing bands waiting for the all-important adjudication. And a few other Friary players also managed to make brief appearances throughout the programme, too! As a reminder, Friary came 11th, its best ever placing at the National Championships against the very best bands in the country. If you are interested in how bands prepare for major contests, and how the contests are run, do take a look. Last week’s episode was all about last year’s Brass in Concert contest at The Sage, Gateshead: Friary will be competing there this coming November.


Preparations are in full swing for the National Championships on 12th October at the Royal Albert Hall. The test piece is Hermann Pallhuber’s Titan’s Progress, originally commissioned by Austrian band Brass Band Oberösterreich at the 2007 European Brass Band Championships. The work contains references to the music of Gustav Mahler, Titan being a novel by Mahler’s favourite author. Friary is aiming for a top ten finish this year.


There was no August update, so Friary remained 27th in the World Rankings.

Please visit our calendar page here to view our forthcoming events

bottom of page