Below is a full list of our news since we opened the
new website, we will keep a record of all news and
features covered on the website.
12th Dec 2010 -
Bo'ness & Carriden Junior Band Website
can all Junior Band players/parents
join the website via join/login page
to receive information about the
band or any changes to calendar
4th Oct 2010 -
headed to the 1st Section
National Finals in Harrogate last
weekend and came away with an
amazing double of 4th
place and Best Instrumentalist.
down on the Friday afternoon, the
weekend got of to a great start with
rehearsal performance that left
professional conductor, Steve Sykes,
struggling to find any fault and the
players with sky high confidence.
arrived and the band drew to play
number 14 which meant a long wait
before they finally made it to the
warm up room. The band then took to
the stage and under the impressive
direction of Steve, played a
blistering performance of George
Lloyd’s “Diversions on a Bass Theme”
which was widely appreciated by the
Live comments by
4barsrest.com stated of Carriden
Band’s performance “a possible
contender this” and this led them to
predict second place.
adjudicator's eventually awarded the
band’s hard work with a well
deserved 4th place and
Best Instrumentalist in Britain to
the band’s Soprano player, Richard
All in all a very
Jan 2010 - White Christmas (and New Year)
Carriden Band’s 2009/2010 festive period was
only slightly disrupted by the worst spell
of winter weather in years.
First off was the Annual Christmas Concert
in Bridgeness Club on the 20th of
December. Heavy snow eventually meant that
6 players didn’t make it but the show went
ahead regardless. After adding to our ranks
by pulling two players out of the audience
(thanks to Robert Burns and Ian Stewart)
Bede Williams conducted this traditional end
of year event (and sang a few missing drum
parts) and an appreciative audience enjoyed
the whole event. Thanks must also go to our
friends in Iolare for adding to the nights
Then the band reconvened on the 2nd
of January for the traditional New Year
march round the town. Bad road conditions
dictated that a couple of our usual stops
had to be cancelled (apologies to Craigview
sheltered housing and The Grange). For most
members of the band it was their first ever
experience playing/marching in a blizzard
but we made it safely to Bridgeness Club to
entertain the crowds.
It was there that the bands player awards
were then announced and the winners were:
Player of the year 2009: Hugh Foster
Bandsman of the Year 2009: Scott Cameron
Congratulations to both.
Also, Ian Stewart, on behalf of the Junior
Band thanked the Senior band for the help
and support throughout the previous year and
presented a cheque for £750 from the Junior
Band to the Senior Band.
Rehearsals begin again on the 11th
January with David McLeod covering conductor
duties while Bede Williams has a well
deserved trip back home to New Zealand.
Bo’ness & Carriden Band would like to thank
everyone for their support over the last
twelve months and wishes everyone a Happy
Nov 2009 - Junior Band Annual Concert
On Friday 27th
November the Bo’ness and Carriden
Junior Band put on a great
performance to the packed crowd at
their annual concert in Bridgeness
Under the baton
of Douglas (Dougie) Stewart the band
commenced their performance with the
traditional march “Slaidburn”. This
was followed by a very varied
programme ranging from Bach to Mamma
Mia. Certainly something for
everyone in the audience!
Soloists on the
night included Calum Middleton -
Ballade fur Flugelhorn on
flugelhorn, Jordon Burns -The Post
Horn Gallop on the senior bands
treasured post horn, Ross McGuinness
-The Joker on trombone and David
Mclean - Aye Waukin’O on the cornet.
All playing very well indeed.
The junior band
Achievement Trophy for the player
who has made the most progress in
the last year voted on by the band
players was awarded to a very
thrilled Lindsay Hamilton. The
trophy was presented by Hugh Grant.
Well done Lindsay.
It was very
encouraging to have two new players
in the junior band this year Caitlin
Grozier and Amy Purvis who during
the year have moved up from the
intermediates group. This is a
great reward for all the hard work
by Caitlin and Amy.
The beginners and
intermediate groups were not out
done on the night thrilling the
audience with solos and group
performances of music by Robert
Burns conducted by strangely enough
Robert Burns assisted by David
Mclean. Based on this performance
there will certainly be no shortage
of players looking to move up to the
junior band next year.
The beginners and
intermediates group Achievement
Trophy ( the Hugh Bell Memorial
Trophy kindly donated by Val McKay)
was awarded to Lewis Murray. Well
done Lewis, what a tremendous sound,
Hugh Foster watch out!
The band finished
the evening with “When The Saints Go
Marching In” which now could be said
to be the unofficial anthem of the
Many thanks to
all our guest players for supporting
us in this event.
Nov 2009 - Centre Stage at Murrayfield
Carriden Band were at Murrayfield
Stadium on Saturday (28.11.09) to
play the Argentine National Anthem
prior to the International Autumn
Test between Scotland and Argentina.
It’s been a few
years since the SRU last hired BCB
to play at an international match so
the band were looking forward to a
return to such a big stage and
despite freezing conditions they
carried out their duties extremely
professionally under the direction
of resident conductor Bede Williams.
Nov 2009 - Festival of Remembrance 2009
Falkirk Council’s prestigious Festival of
Remembrance was led by Bo’ness & Carriden
Band for the first time on Saturday night, 7th
The evening was compared by Bill Black and
was split into two distinct parts. The
first of which being of a celebratory nature
and saw the band play three spots of concert
music along with other acts, such as pupils
from Falkirk High School, Sacred Heart
Primary School and singer/songwriter Bruce
Davies. This was enjoyed by capacity
audience in Falkirk Town Hall.
Then following a short interval, the band
played a number of marches as the Parade of
Colours entered the hall and took there
place on stage as a prelude to the formal
Remembrance service. During the service the
band provided the musical accompaniment for
the hymns and Principal Cornet Hugh Foster
provided the bugle calls.
The evening closed at 10.30pm, making it a
long day for the players, given that they
began rehearsal in Falkirk Town Hall at
2.30pm. But it was a rewarding day for all
connected with the band and they were all
proud to have played their part in this
Nov 2009 - Celebrating 21 Years in Style
and Carriden band put on a stylish show on
Friday night at their 21st annual
concert in Bo’ness Town Hall to a near
capacity, and very enthusiastic, audience.
Last year’s event which
featured a compilation of some of the most
popular numbers from the previous 19 years
was always going to be a hard act to follow,
but follow it they did. And then some.
There was definitely
something for everyone in the audience from
brass band classics to big band standards
and everything in between. And the band
also amended their programme at the very
last minute to include “Mid all the traffic”
which they dedicated to the memory of
Catherine Rodger, who died suddenly a week
before the concert.
Bede Williams, the band’s
new conductor, who only started some 6 weeks
ago, was a big hit with the audience –
particularly when he joined with the band on
trumpet to play “Just a closer walk with
thee”. I don’t think anyone in the hall
expected that first note, and that includes
the band !
Also, joining the band on
stage this year were several members of the
junior band. This is a policy that the band
has carried out for the last few years in
order to give our younger players the
experience of being on stage with the band.
It’s a big step up for them all and they all
rose to the occasion admirably.
The band finished the
evening with Steve Sykes’ fantastic
arrangement of “Caravan” and “Mr Jums” for
their encore, a personal favourite of
conductor, Bede. However, this still wasn’t
enough for the audience so Caravan was
played again in response.
So that’s one of the band’s biggest dates on
the calendar over for another year, although
the band will be back on stage on Saturday
night in Falkirk Town Hall for a Remembrance
Oct 2009 - Successful start to 2009/2010
Bo’ness & Carriden Band got the new
contesting season of to a good start
with a well earned 3rd
place at last Saturday’s Fife
The contest, which attracted 15
bands from all over Scotland is one
of the few contests still to use the
old March, Hymn and Testpiece format
and the band elected to play The
President, Crimond and Philip
Sparke’s Tallis Variations.
It was also a sweet start to their
career with the band for newcomers
Bede Williams (Resident Conductor)
and Claire McIlreavy (Flugel Horn).
Bede, a young trumpeter/conductor
from New Zealand and based in
Glasgow, has only been with the band
for a matter of weeks but has
already proved his worth with this
result. And Claire, also a summer
signing with the band, came in for
some individual praise in the band’s
Adjudicators Remarks from Saturday.
Special mention should also be given
to Jordan Burns on 3rd
cornet who, having been a product of
the band’s successful Junior Band,
made his first contesting appearance
with the band on Saturday.
Now the hard work starts all over
again for this years annual concert,
taking place in the Bo’ness Town
Hall on the 30th of this
Dec 2008 - Sons O Brass
Our NEW book "Sons O' Brass" (150
years of Bo'ness & Carriden Brass
Band), was launched today at 3pm, in
Inkspot & Silverleaf Booksellers,
South Street, Bo'ness. Copies of
this new book are available to buy
from the shop, priced at £10 each.
of the book are also available to
buy from Lyons Hardware and
Peter J Robertson, both
located in South Street, Bo'ness,
from Branches, Market Square,
Bo'ness or from any band member.
Books can also be ordered by
downloading the order form below.
Sons O Brass Order Form
Dec 2008 - New Guest Book and ForumWe
now have a NEW Guestbook and
Forum, why not sign up and leave a
message for the band.
Sign up here
March 2008 - SCOTTISH CHAMPIONS 150 NOT
Carriden Band got their 150th
Anniversary of to a flying start on Sunday
with victory in the Scottish Championships.
confident and musical performance of Gilbert
Vinter’s “James Cook, Circumnavigator”, the
band not only took the 1st
Section national title but also won the best
instrumentalist prize. This went to their
Soprano Cornet player, Richard Tobin, who
thoroughly deserved this recognition after a
stunning musical performance.
took place in The Rothes Halls in Glenrothes,
which is a new venue for this event, and
proved a popular choice with the public. A
packed hall witnessed Bo’ness & Carriden
take to the stage after being drawn number 6
and as one observer commented “ the band
lifted the competition to new levels with a
performance that outshone all that had
adjudicators remarks commented that the
band’s performance was “very nearly
excellent” and “A well directed performance,
full of detail and with good balance.
Soprano was a real star!”
contest earns the band the right and honour
to represent Scotland at the British
National Finals in Harrogate in September
and also gives them automatic qualification
to the Scottish open in November.
conductor, Michael Marzella said “After the
hard work and commitment shown by the band
members in their preparation for this
contest I am delighted they achieved this
fantastic award and I am proud to be
associated with such a significant result”.
Scottish Championships also provides a great
start to the band’s 150 years
Plans for this
momentous year are well under way and the
band are very pleased to announce that they
have secured a grant from “Awards for All”
(one of the funding bodies of The National
Lottery) which will fund two of their 150
year celebration projects. One being the
publishing of a book following the history
of the band from 1858 to the present day,
written by Val McKay. And the other being
the commissioning of a new brass band march
to be written by top Composer, Performer &
Conductor, Andy Duncan.
to be a busy year for the band, as other
events lined up, over and above their usual
commitments, include a Celebration Concert
on 6th June, a Civic Reception,
and our 20th Annual Concert in
Bo’ness Town Hall.
To bring this
celebration year to a close, the band has
also agreed to join their great friends and
local rivals, Unison Kinneil Band, who are
also celebrating their 150th
anniversary, for a joint concert on the 5th
December, also in Bo’ness Town Hall.
Proceeds from this great occasion will be in
aid of a charity to be announced.
As always the band are
thankful for the continued support of the
local community and if there is anyone out
there who may be able to assist in their
research for the book or has any memorabilia
relating to the bands history, their help
would be very welcome.
CHANGES AT THE
chair”, that is.
It is with no small amount of regret,
that the Band announces the departure of
their award winning principal cornet
player, Craig Robertson.
Craig, has decided to take up the offer
to join the Scottish Co-op band in
Glasgow, and goes with the best wishes
of everyone at BCB.
The prestigious position will now be
filled by Gordon McFarlane who is no
stranger to the role, having first
played principal cornet with BCB as long
ago as 1986.
The ranks of the band are further
strengthened by the return of Diane
Waugh to the Solo Cornet rank after a
year teaching in Shanghai and by the
return of Ian Squince on Bb bass after a
year working in Aberdeen.
SUCCESS BY THE
Saturday the 19th saw Bo’ness &
Carriden Band compete in the annual British Open
Spring Festival in its usual surroundings of the
Winter Gardens in Blackpool. And the bands hard
work before hand paid off with them gaining a
well deserved promotion place.
a field of 20 bands from all over Britain, BCB
drew the dreaded number one draw and took to the
stage at around 11am.
set test piece was Joseph Horovitz’ “Ballet for
Band” and the band played a confident and
musical performance which set a very high
standard for the first performance of the day.
In particular the Flugel, Soprano and Cornet
soloists played to a standard that would have
been hard to match.
Several hours and 19 performances later the
adjudicators took to the stage. In a brief
summing up speech, James Scott spoke of 4
performances that were to a higher standard that
the rest of the field and of one outstanding
soloist performance. He then proceeded to award
Bo’ness & Carriden Band’s Principal Cornet
player, Craig Robertson, best soloist and the
band 3rd place overall.
band’s resident conductor, Mike Marzella, said:
“It’s always difficult to get a result when we
compete at a national level, but to get 3rd
place from a first draw against such a strong
field was particularly satisfying and we are all
really proud of Craig’s achievement in gaining
the soloist award.”
Senior Trophy (British Open) contest in
Blackpool less than a week away, the band
embark in a gruelling series of rehearsals
in an attempt to make up for the
disappointment of the Scottish Championships
Under the baton of Resident Conductor, Mike
Marzella, BCB will be virtually locked in
the band hall every night this week in an
effort to make their mark at this
The set test piece for the Senior Trophy is
Joseph Horovitz' "Ballet for Band" and so
far preparation is going well. The band last
played this piece way back at the Scottish
Championships in 1988, so it presents a new
challenge for 90% of the players. It
features a beautiful Flugel horn solo in the
middle section and if the band's new Flugel
player, Sarah Findlay, plays as well as she
did in Dundee she is sure to impress the
adjudicators this time around.
DISAPPOINTS IN DUNDEE
On Sunday 11th March Bo’ness &
Carriden Band headed for the Caird Hall in
Dundee as firm favourites for the 1st
Section Scottish Championships. However,
despite a marvellous performance, things did not
go to plan.
The following quote from brass band website
4barsrest.com tells the whole story:
and Michael Marzella will be mightily
disappointed with their 4th place finish. For
us, this was the class act of the contest. The
basics of good band playing were all there -
good tuning, balance, control, full use of the
dynamic range and beautifully phrased solo
features. What's more, all the soloists had a
good day (with cornet player Craig Robertson
winning the best instrumentalist prize) and the
MD's interpretation was, we thought, on the
mark. We're not sure why the judges didn't like
it as much as we did - better luck next year.”
Bo’ness and Carriden Band are delighted to announce the
continued success of two of their Principal players.
The Besson Scottish Solo championships were held in the
Regal Theatre, Bathgate on Sunday 4th
February and attracted a large and talented field of
competitors from bands all over Scotland.
Adjudicators on the day were Roger Webster and
Following a performance from the field of 21 soloists, a
total of six finalists were chosen to perform a
second time. Carriden Band were delighted to have
their two entrants, Craig Robertson on Cornet and
Gregor Stewart on Trombone, chosen to perform a
After stunning performances from both, Gregor Stewart was
awarded 2nd and Craig Robertson, 3rd,
with the eventual winner being Graham Fraser from
This continues an amazing run of results for Gregor, who
has finished 1st, 2nd ,2nd
over the last three years and also finished 3rd
in the British Open Solo Championship in November
last year. And also for Craig who has been a
finalist two out of the last three years.
BUILDING FOR THE SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIPS
The band are also very pleased to announce a couple of
personnel acquisitions in their quest to win the
Scottish Championships in March.
First is the appointment of their new Resident Conductor,
Mike Marzella. Mike, who parted company with the
Whitburn Band last summer, has been sought after by
many of the countries top bands and we see it as a
major coup for the band in securing his services.
Also, Sarah Findlay, previously principal cornet with Johnstone Silver Band, has joined the band on
Flugelhorn. Sarah, an experienced solo player, will
complement the existing array of talented “end
chair” players and is sure to be a big help in the
band’s quest for continued success.