Welcome to Friary Diary issue 81 - a monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.
STOP PRESS: FRIARY HITS THE TOP TWENTY – PLEASE SEE BELOW!
HOGS BACK BREWERY CAROL CONCERT:
Revellers at the Hog’s Back Brewery on 5th December were in good voice (no doubt suitably lubricated by the Hog’s Back’s products), accompanying the Band with some traditional carols, interspersed with other seasonal music to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Lauren Straker’s haunting flugel solo of Away in a Manger touched plenty of hearts, and the finale of Jingle Bells had everyone clapping and well and truly in the Christmas spirit. Sadly though, the usual Christmas Eve carolling session on Christmas Eve at the Brewery has been cancelled by Hog’s Back in the interests of keeping everyone safe during the festive period. Friary’s management team also decided it was not wise to hold the carolling session at The Meadows on 12th December, an occasion when we collect funds for the Band and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. This was disappointing, of course, but I am delighted to say that a date for next Christmas has already been agreed with The Meadows.
Amid much gloomy news at the moment, there was a very welcome Christmas present for Friary when the World Rankings were updated on the 13th December: the Band rose six places from 25th to 19th. This is the first time that Friary has been in the top twenty bands worldwide. In the UK, Friary is 12th; in England alone the Band is 9th. Band Chairman Nigel Stevens commented: ‘It’s not that many years ago that one of our objectives was to reach the top 40. After another year when banding has been hard hit by the pandemic, this is wonderful news for Friary – a great Christmas present for all our players who have shown what terrific teamwork can achieve,’ he concluded.
UNIBRASS GALA CONCERT:
The organisers of UniBrass, the University Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, have asked Friary to perform the gala concert in the evening of the contest which is being held at the Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield on Saturday 5th February. This is another prestigious engagement for the Band and another sign that Friary is no longer one of the banding world’s best kept secrets!
As mentioned above, as at 13th December, Friary is 19th in the world. For full ranking details, please go to https://www.4barsrest.com/rankings/