15/1/2018 Brass

15/1/2018 Brass
15/1/2018 Brass

15/1/2018 Brass by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Mondays are my first brass band rehearsal evening of the week. I love my band. It’s certainly not fashionable or especially popular, but there’s just something fantastic about making music with 24 other friends.

I’ve been doing this for over forty years now. I can hardly believe it myself, but playing an instrument is such a great hobby for me.

4/1/2018 Stands up

4/1/2018 Stands up
4/1/2018 Stands up by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

The Christmas break is over and we are back up and running at band. No doubt many of our lips will be a little soft, but we’ll have two hours tonight to blow the cobwebs away and start preparing ourselves for the year ahead.

It’s going to be a busy start to 2018 too. We’ve got three contests to prepare for before the summer: the NEMBBA contest in February, the Area in early March and we are off to the French Open in June.

Happy days!

335/365 Three Kings Swing

335/365 Three Kings Swing
335/365 Three Kings Swing by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

It’s that time of year again; our first Christmas concert of the 2017 festive season. We’ve been rehearsing various Yuletide ditties since late October, so we are well prepared for the oncoming barrage of Santa-related tuneage.

One piece we play is the one visible on the right of my stand here; Three Kings Swing. It’s a fantastic jazzy variation of a famous tradition theme, one often associated with Christmas. It has an utterly terrifying solo in the middle for Repiano cornet, one certain to stretch the abilities and nerve of even the most competent cornet player.

Today, I am that Repiano. That solo is mine. I will stand up a few bars before and play some of the correct notes in a generally jazzy style, while being partially blinded by my varifocal lenses – it’s really hard to see music when standing up. I will attempt to play at the correct speed, with an easy style, while avoiding the terror taking over my fingers.

I love it.

281/365 Horn

281/365 Horn
281/365 Horn by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

I’ve been playing at Newark Wedding Fair at the exhibition centre. Carlton Brass are angling for more bookings so we have formed a quintet too. I’ve been playing the cornet part, my first time doing so in a quintet.

My lip knows it’s had a good blow, but it was very rewarding.

We also played two further sessions with the full band. I am absolutely knadgered after that!

268/365 Rehearsal

268/365 Rehearsal
268/365 Rehearsal by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Hello pop pickers, it’s that time of night for our band rehearsal.

You can possibly tell from my music what we are playing: At the Sign of the Swinging Cymbal – the theme tune to Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman’s radio show back in the day. It’s a specially arranged version done for our appearance at the Bolster Festival of Brass in October.

Looking forward to it!

176/365 Contest Day


“176/365 Contest Day” by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

I love brass band contest days.

My band Carlton Brass are playing at the Brass on the Grass contest at Denby Potteries today. This is an entertainments contest, where each band has to play a programme of 25 minutes of (hopefully) entertaining brass band music.

We played a really good selection of music, including a sung vocal solo by our outstandingly talented Charlotte. Her Don’t Rain on My Parade went down really well.

We came second. Pretty pleased with that!

51/365 Toot

51/365 Toot

Yet another photo of me at band.

This time we are rehearsing Land of the Long White Cloud by Philip Sparke. This is the chosen test piece for the Area, and we are running it out at the imminent NEMBBA contest too. It’s a cracking piece of music, if a bit heavy on the lip.

Here’s a good example: