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Friary Diary - Issue 101 - July 2023

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 101 - a monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


“I didn’t want to go, my wife dragged me, I didn’t want to listen to boring oompah music. But I was on the edge of my seat throughout. The breadth of music, really upbeat, so pleased I went!”

Such was the feedback from one audience member convert after Friary’s sell-out concert at St Nicolas Church, Great Bookham last month.

The programme certainly contained something for everyone: Indiana Jones and Capriccio Espagnol started the concert in high octane fashion, before Richard Straker’s spellbinding cornet solo Someone to Watch Over Me, featured in Friary’s Brass in Concert set last year, gave the audience pause for breath. Balkan Dance livened the proceedings up again before Lauren Straker’s poignant flugel solo, A Little Star Went Out, moistened more than an eye or two. Caravan, Appalachian Mountain and Toccata in D brought the first half to a close.

Mill on the Cliff, The Lord Bless You and Keep You and Coronation March opened the second half which then moved into classic Last Night of the Proms fare, much to the audience’s delight. An enthusiastically requested encore gave MD Nigel Taken the opportunity to air his summer concert standard, Manhattan Skyline.

“St Nicolas was a new venue for Friary,” explained percussionist Chris Atwood who helped mastermind the event, “so we were delighted that we filled the church to its absolute capacity. We were thrilled by the reception we received, and hope that this will result in a return engagement,” he concluded. You can see a clip of the Proms finale on the Band’s Facebook page.


Tickets for this exciting event on 30th September at Trinity Methodist Church, Woking GU21 4LH have just gone on sale – visit to book your seat. Our special guest soloist is Tom Smith, principal cornet player with the world-famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band (currently ranked 4th in the world). We are thrilled that he will be joining us and looking forward to sharing the stage with him, as well as meeting up with old friends from Friary’s past 40 years. It’s a concert not to be missed!


Sadly this event which was planned for 7th October has been postponed until next year, due to difficulty in securing a suitable venue.


Do you buy online, and would you like to support the Band at no cost to you? Although Friary has very healthy reserves, in common with most of us we are facing rising costs so every little helps. As mentioned a few months ago after the demise of Amazon Smile, Friary has registered with Easy fundraising who will make a donation when online purchases are made via their app or website. Simply register with using the following link.It really is as easy as that! Thank you.


There has been no further update since 7th June so Friary remains 27th in the world. For full ranking details, please go to



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