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

Please can all Junior Band players/parents join the website via join/login page to receive information about the band or any changes to calendar dates.


4th Oct 2010 - Harrogate Success

Carriden Band headed to the 1st Section National Finals in Harrogate last weekend and came away with an amazing double of 4th place and Best Instrumentalist.

Having travelled 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.

Contest day 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 Yorkshire audience.

Live comments by 4barsrest.com stated of Carriden Band’s performance “a possible contender this” and this led them to predict second place.

However, the 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 Tobin.

All in all a very successful weekend.

4th 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 entertainment.

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 New Year.


9th 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 Club.

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 junior band!

Many thanks to all our guest players for supporting us in this event.

(Ian Stewart)

28th Nov 2009 - Centre Stage at Murrayfield

Bo’ness & 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.

9th 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 of November.

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 important event.

3rd Nov 2009 - Celebrating 21 Years in Style

Bo'ness 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 Concert.

9th Oct 2009 - Successful start to 2009/2010 Contesting Season

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 Charities contest.

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 month.

12th 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.

Copies 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

11th Dec 2008 - New Guest Book and Forum

We now have a NEW Guestbook and Forum, why not sign up and leave a message for the band.

Sign up here

9th March 2008 - SCOTTISH CHAMPIONS 150 NOT OUT!!

Bo’ness & Carriden Band  got their 150th Anniversary of to a flying start on Sunday with victory in the Scottish Championships.

With a 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.

The contest 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 played before

The 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!”

Winning this 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.

The band’s 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”.

Winning the Scottish Championships also provides a great start to the band’s 150 years celebrations.

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.

2008 promises 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.


The “top 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.


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.

From a field of 20 bands from all over Britain, BCB drew the dreaded number one draw and took to the stage at around 11am.

The 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.

The 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.”



With the 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 in Dundee.

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 prestigious contest.

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.


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:

4barsrest pre-contest favourites Bo'ness & Carriden 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 Lesley Howie.

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 second time.

After stunning performances from both, Gregor Stewart was awarded 2nd and Craig Robertson, 3rd, with the eventual winner being Graham Fraser from Whitburn Band.

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.


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.


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