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Friary Diary - Issue 57 - October 2019

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 57 - a one page monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


Friary made its seventh consecutive appearance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 12th October to compete against 19 other top bands from England, Scotland and Wales in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. On a wet, dreary day there was an all day wait to go on stage, with the Band being drawn 17th: it was close to 5.00 pm before it was time to perform the set test piece, Hermann Pallhuber’s Titan’s Progress.

The work was commissioned by Brass Band Oberösterreich at the 2007 European Championships, held at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Programme notes from the composer state: ‘Titan was a novel by the German author Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, who later called himself Jean Paul. It is considered the author’s main work and he referred to it as his ‘cardinal and capital novel’. It is almost 900 pages in length and tells the story of the transition of its hero Albano de Cesara, from a passionate youth to a mature man. Jean Paul was one of Gustav Mahler’s favourite authors and the latter gave the original five-movement version of his first symphony the subtitle The Titan — in deference to Jean Paul’s novel. Titan’s Progress also contains references to the music of Gustav Mahler.’

The performance generally went very well, and found considerable favour with the three adjudicators, Dr Robert Childs, Alan Morrison and Rob Wiffin OBE, who placed the Band 11th. Comments included: ‘Much to commend and a musical reading with secure soloists, particularly cornet. Not all the sections came off, but the overall performance was really controlled and secure.’ ‘An accurate, controlled performance. There was much to commend here.’

Over the past four years, Friary has been remarkably consistent, being placed 12th in both 2016 and 2017, and 11th in 2018. All the bands placed in the top ten this year were ranked higher than Friary in the world rankings. Cory, Black Dyke and Whitburn took the top three places. Cory’s performance was breathtakingly superb: few in the audience would dispute their win.

Band Chairman Nigel Stevens summed up the result: ‘We would dearly have loved to come in the top ten, but cannot complain at 11th, looking at the quality of the bands placed above us. And we came well ahead of two leading Yorkshire bands, too!’ ‘Congratulations also to our fellow London & Southern Counties representatives, Zone One, who came in just behind us at 12th,’ he added. For the full results, see


This Saturday (26th) sees the Band return to St Mary the Virgin Church in Worplesdon for an evening charity concert in aid of the churches of Worplesdon parish and the British Heart Foundation. Tickets are available from the Church Office (01483 233091) or from Doreen Smith (01483 234407) or on the door, although please be aware that this is usually a very popular event. And don’t forget afterwards that the clocks go back an hour this weekend too!


In the October update, Friary rose one more place to 24th in the World Rankings. In Great Britain only, the Band is ranked 16th; in England alone it is ranked 11th. For full ranking details, please go to

Please visit our calendar page here to view our forthcoming events

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