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Friary Diary - Issue 102 - August 2023

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 102 - a monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


We’re all getting very excited about our special 40th anniversary concert at the end of the month! Our special guest soloist is Tom Smith, principal cornet player with the world-famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band (currently ranked 4th in the world). He is also a performing artist for both Besson and Denis Wick.

Brought up in Cornwall, Tom started playing cornet in The Camborne Junior Contesting Band under MD Alan Pope (BEM), where he stayed until leaving in 2018 to start his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, under the tuition of Richard Marshall and Professor Roger Webster.

From 2016-2019, Tom played with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, where he moved his way up from 2nd cornet to assistant principal cornet.  He graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in July 2022, and has recently been appointed as a brass tutor with Barnsley Music Hub.  

We are thrilled that Tom will be joining us and looking forward to sharing the stage with him. We will also be meeting up with old friends from Friary’s past 40 years, including former Musical Director Chris King who will conduct some items.

The programme will cover a broad spectrum of music, from classics by Bach and Borodin to much-loved numbers by Lionel Ritchie and Whitney Houston, so there’s something for everyone. It’s a concert not to be missed, so do bring your friends along as well!

The event takes place at 7.30pm on 30th September at Trinity Methodist Church, Brewery Road, Horsell, Woking GU21 4LH and tickets are available here. Prices are £12, with concessions £10 and under 16s FREE if accompanied by an adult purchasing a full price ticket. A small booking fee applies to all tickets.

We understand that there are some planned road closures around the A3/M25 junction that weekend, so please check for updates if you will be travelling around that route. We very much hope you can join us for our celebration!


We were approached recently to take part in the traditional Lewes Bonfire Parade on 4th November. This is a new event for Friary although we have played in the town before, many years ago. It will be something of a marathon for the Band as it’s all evening and much marching – and the streets of Lewes are far from flat, too! But it should be a great experience to be part of this historic event.


We are busy preparing for the National Finals which are on 21st October at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The test piece is Edward Gregson’s Of Men and Mountains. More about our return to the RAH next month.


At the time of writing, there has been no further update since 7thJune so Friary remains 27th in the world. We expect an imminent update following last weekend’s British Open. For full ranking details, please go to



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