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!

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!

159/365 Champs


“159/365 Champs” by rutty is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Our brass band organisation has had a lot of success over the years. Not as much as some of the top bands in the country, but we’ve won some national competitions here and there; most recently the 2015 Midlands Section Section Regional Championships. We subsequently came an excellent 4th at the National contest too.

You always win a nice banner after a victory, and this top one was for one of the now defunct bands in our organisation (NCT), who won the old Championship Section Regional Contest.

It may seem strange having a competitive element to brass banding, but it’s a core element of our culture. Some don’t like it, but it’s something I really enjoy.

70/365 Contest Day

70/365 Contest Day

It’s that time of year, once more, where dozens of brass bands descend on Bedworth to participate in the annual Midlands Regional Brass Band Championships.

My band, Carlton Brass, were competing in the First Section; hoping to improve on a disappointing 14th place last year. We were playing Land of the Long White Cloud by Philip Sparke, drawn number 11 of 16.

We played really, really well, and came off stage happy with our efforts. The result, 7th, was a little disappointing considering how well it went, but we can’t really argue with the remarks from the adjudicators; some really nice playing but a few too many errors here and there to come much higher.

We had some lovely comments from others in the hall, so perhaps we could have come higher, but we are still happy to play as well as we did.

We obviously celebrated out achievement by having a few drinks, as is tradition.