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Friary Diary - Issue 94 - December 2022

Welcome to Friary Diary issue 94 - a monthly round up of news about the Friary Brass Band.


A capacity Sunday afternoon audience at the Hog’s Back Brewery was in fine voice (possibly helped by the brewery’s products!), joining in favourite carols and enjoying other seasonal music on 4th December. Away in a Manger was beautifully played as a flugel solo by Lauren Straker, and if any of those present weren’t already in the Christmas spirit, Stop the Cavalry had everyone firmly in the mood. And having been given a set of sleigh bells by Chris Attwood, ably assisted by my granddaughter I finally achieved an ambition to play with Friary (albeit from the sidelines) in Sleigh Ride. It’s quite surprising what a workout that proved to be! Many thanks to the Hog’s Back Brewery for their hospitality, and for booking another carol concert this year.


Friary was delighted to return to Teddington Baptist Church on 10th December for an evening concert with a blend of Christmas carols, other seasonal music and several items from the successful Brass in Concert programme. Softly as I Leave You, (remember the 1960’s hit for Matt Monro?) beautifully played as a euphonium duet by Chris Straker and Sam Noden, received huge applause, as did Richard Straker’s moving cornet solo Someone to Watch over Me and Lauren Straker’s flugel solo Away in a Manger. Sam Every’s new arrangement of My Favourite Things also proved a notable success with the audience. After the ever-popular Let it Go, the Band showed its versatility with a sensitive performance of In Perfect Peace, followed by the finale of Eric Ball’s classic The Kingdom Triumphant. The encore I Wanna Dance with Somebody brought the well-rounded programme to a conclusion.


A warmer than usual Saturday on 17th December was a welcome change for the Band’s carolling at the Meadows, Camberley, where the winter wind normally sweeps through the centre. Footfall seemed lower than in previous years – possibly more internet shopping combined with the economic climate – yet the generosity of the public was undiminished. A particularly warming sight was of two British ex-pat ladies dancing to the music: they were due to return to Spain the following day and commented that the sound of the Band had made Christmas special for them. Many thanks to those who played, to the collectors and of course to those who donated too. The session raised just under £700, to be split equally between the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust and Band funds. Sadly the usual Christmas Eve carolling at the Hog’s Back Brewery had to be cancelled due to lack of suitably safe space.


Friary begins its 2023 programme of engagements on 29th January with a return to the Victoria Hall, Hartley Wintney. Last year’s debut concert there resulted in a re-booking for this year within a matter of days. Tickets (£16 adult, under 18s £11) are on sale via Ticketsource. This was a sell-out last year so please book early to avoid disappointment.


Following the Brass in Concert results, an update in December saw Friary rise three places to 26th in the world. For full ranking details, please go to



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