Master Mariners Sea Pie Supper

This has become an annual engagement for the band at the beginning of February. Every year the Master Mariners have held their traditional Sea Pie Supper at various venues. This year was the second year that it has been held at St. Mary’s Stadium in the Mick Channon Suite. Master Mariner is the professional qualification for someone to serve as the person in charge or in command of a commercial vessel in England and Commonwealth Countries. The title can be traced back to the 13th Century.

The band tends to limit itself to music with a sea or sailing reference for this event and after the speeches of the evening are complete they join the Shantymen for a few rousing shanties. The evening always concludes with a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.


Band plays at Olympic Park

On the 16th January the band travelled to the Olympic Park to play at the Go Travel Show in the Copper Box Arena. We were there to support IOW Tours who we have had a close relationship over the past few years playing at many of the reunion events that they hold for various organisations. The Go Travel Show gives smaller independent travel companies the opportunity to advertise their wares to the general public. Many of the companies there seemed to specialise in group events and there were some impressive opportunities for holidays both in the UK and abroad.

The band played a couple of sets whilst we were there generally focusing on playing music from around the world including Spanish Gypsy Dance, a German Polka, Conquest of Paradise.

Band on a break

Band on a break

 


Christmas Concert – Sat 12th December

Our Christmas Concert this year will be held at St. James Road Methodist Church, Shirley on Saturday 12th December. Tickets are £5.00 each and can be obtained from members of the band or can be purchased on the night at the door. Hope to see you there.

Christmas Poster


Change of venue for London 10K

After a break last year due to “insurance reasons” the band returned to the scene of past performances at the London 10K run on the 12th July. Due to the Embankment being classed as “Ground Under Repair” to upgrade the cycle routes through London, the race changed its normal layout and as a result we played on the Strand rather than on Westminster Bridge. The band were happy with this as there were more facilities for refreshment here.

The forecast hadn’t been good for the day but in actual fact the rain stayed away and it wasn’t too warm either. As a result the band experienced a comfortable climate for playing for the runners. We played for over 2 hours whilst the runners passed our spot on the street. The pieces we played were generally up tempo numbers and marches to keep a good rhythm going for the runners.

Pictures from the event can be seen on our Gallery Page.


Shipping Service at Winchester Cathedral

On a balmy summer’s evening on Thursday 11th June the band played at the Master Mariner’s annual Shipping Service at Winchester Cathedral. The band played some music before the service started and then played the hymns during the service alternating verses with the organ before joining together in the last verse of each hymn.

Once the service was finished the band moved around to the Deanery Garden to play a short concert for the guests who had attended the service. The concert had a distinctly nautical theme to it and the audience were appreciative of the playing.


Southampton Half Marathon

Up until a couple of years ago the band used to play at the London Marathon. This year on Sunday 26th April, we were invited to play at the Southampton Half Marathon just outside the band room at the top of the hill on Burgess Road. It was a bitter day and thanks must go out to the family across the road who provided hot mugs of tea to those who wanted it. Thankfully, the rain stayed off and we were able to play some rousing marches to keep the spirits of the runners up. Especially as they had just had to run all the way up Burgess Road.

Logistically, this was one of the easiest jobs for the band as they only had to move their equipment about 200 yards from the band room. The band enjoyed playing for the runners and are looking forward to playing next time. 


Bournemouth weather defies expectations

On the 21st June the band travelled down to Bournemouth to play on the bandstand in the Lower Gardens. The forecast for the day was for dull and overcast weather and that normally limits the size of the audience that is prepared to stay and watch the concert. However, the weather turned out to be pretty good and it was a perfect day to sit out on the lawn and listen to a brass band concert. Although we were a little light on top cornets we were able to adjust the programme slightly to ensure that their life was made slightly easier.

It is difficult to say how much longer we will be able to continue doing this event as Bournemouth City Council are now refusing to pay bands for performing. This is a great shame as it is a great place to play but the costs of getting up and down to Bournemouth with all our equipment is likely to make the cost of playing prohibitive in the future.


Summer is coming!

The band kicked off their first bandstand job of the season on Sunday 17th May at Romsey. It’s traditionally the first bandstand concert we do each year and can sometimes suffer from inclement weather. However, the rain stayed away and there was even some sunshine to enjoy during the afternoon.

The Romsey Memorial Park is having a face-lift at the moment with new facilities being installed. In the meantime, business continues as normal and refreshments were still available at the temporary van that was on site. There were a good smattering of people listening to the band as they played some of the pieces that they will be taking on tour to Germany in July. Some of the pieces featured at Romsey included Lustspiel, James Bond Collection, All That Jazz, Voice of the Guns and the Ashokan Farewell.

Romsey is not the biggest bandstand in the world but the 23 members of the band present just managed to squeeze everything on with little room to spare. Our next bandstand is in Bournemouth on the 21st June.

 


Band plays at reunions for HMS Ganges and HMS Hermes

The band have played for two separate naval reunions recently. The first took place at Hayling Island for HMS Ganges on the 29th March. The second was held at Rochester for HMS Hermes on 12th April. Both events followed a very similar format. The band played a short set of concert pieces before providing the music for a memorial service. Once this was over they played another short concert for the pleasure of the naval veterans.

Both concerts had a naval theme to them with pieces like Hearts of Oak, Life on the Ocean Wave, Sailing, Britannic Salute and Sunset making up a good portion of the programme. 

These reunions continue the band’s long association with Isle of Wight Tours who organise these reunions on behalf of the various organisations looking to meet up again to see old friends and comrades.

 
Naval Crests

We look forward to performing more reunion concerts for these organisations in the future.


WI notch up 100 years

On the 16th January the band helped the WI celebrate their centenary outside the Guildhall at Winchester. Much like the Olympic torch parade the WI are passing around a special centenary baton to every federation in the country. It was Hampshire’s turn on the 16th January and on a cold and bitter evening the band entertained the women with a few marches as they waited for the baton to arrive. Once it did, the band accompanied the ladies in a rousing rendition of Jerusalem.