News from 2012

25th November 2012

Today we travelled to the Perth Concert Hall to take part in the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships. We were playing in the Novice Section and we were drawn to play 10th out of 13 bands. The band played well and we came off the stage really pleased with our performance. Unfortunately it's the adjudicators we had to please but they rewarded us with our first ever Gold Award at 'the Scottish' and 3rd place overall. A fantastic achievement for such a young band ...... onwards and upwards!


10th November 2012

The big day has arrived ...... our 5th Anniversary Concert.

Our day began with an afternoon Workshop given by members of the Co-operative Funeralcare Band led by Dr Nicholas Childs, the professional conductor of the world famous Black Dyke brass band. Dr Nick worked on the pieces we are playing at the Scottish Youth Championships later in the month. We then worked in our sections with members of the Co-op Band before getting back together with Dr Nick to let him hear the improvement!

During the break between Workshop & Concert we had a nice surprise ....... a birthday cake baked by our Chairperson, Jenny Douglas. It was baked in band formation, with the main cake being a stage, with each player having an individual cupcake complete with band logo and name. Some band members thought that was the best bit of the day!

The evening Concert was held in Arthurlie Church. Our special guests were the Co-operative Funeralcare Band conducted by Allan Ramsay and Dr Nicholas Childs.

Levern Valley began the concert playing a varied programme which included Let Me Entertain You, Rise & Shine and Pirates of the Carribean. Members of the Co-operative Band then joined the hosts to play Hollyhedge March and I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles).

It was then time for the Annual Awards with 2012's Most Promising Player being Robyn Elder. The award for Most Improved Player went to Erin Brown and Musician of the Year was Ewan Howie. The Players' Choice award, voted for by the band members, was given to Christopher McCloy.

The remainder of the Concert was given by the Co-operative Funeralcare Band and from the first number, When Thunder Calls, the audience were quite literally blown away. This was the first time many in the audience had heard a champion brass band live and were amazed at the technique and sound the band produced.

A big thank you to our special guests the Co-op band, it's conductors Dr Nicholas Childs and Allan Ramsay, Levern Valley band, the band committee and parent helpers and the audience for making our 5th birthday such a great event.


28th October 2012

This evening we performed at the closing event of the year long celebrations to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of St John's Church in Barrhead. Despite really heavy rain we had a great time playing in the Gazebo. We opened the concert playing a short set which included Let Me Entertain You, A Groovy Kind of Love, Ob-La-Di, Irish Tune from County Derry and Rise & Shine.

The evening finished with the band synchronising two pieces, Pirates of the Caribbean and I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), to a fantastic firework display which really brightened up the Barrhead skyline on such a damp evening. It almost looked and sounded as if it had been rehearsed!


25th October 2012

Tonight we held our AGM in Carlibar Primary School. It was a good night and the Chair, Treasurer and Conductor gave their annual reports. Two new members joined the Committee and the first meeting was held after the AGM.


15th September 2012

Today the band took part in an event in Cowan Park in Barrhead. The event was organised by the 'Friends of Cowan Park" who are trying to stimulate more use of the facilities available in the park by the local community.

t was the band's first ever performance on a bandstand and fortunately it stayed dry. It was, however, very windy and this led to a very steep learning curve for everyone in the use of clothes pegs to stop the music flying away and also the use of feet on the music stands to stop them blowing over!


10th - 12th August 2012

This week-end we held our first ever residential course at Gartmore House, near Aberfoyle. The house is set in its own grounds in the lovely Stirlingshire countryside. We had a very full few days of playing and also some fun time ...... not that the playing wasn't fun! For a number of our players it was our first blow after our long summer break but we made lots of progress by the time we left for home on Sunday afternoon.

On the Saturday morning we had a visit from members of the current Scottish Champion brass band ..... The Co-operative Funeralcare Band. We have invited the band to be our guests at our annual concert later in the year and this visit was part of their commitment to that event. The Co-op players worked with us in sectionals and then the Co-op's new Associate conductor, Allan Ramsay, conducted the full band.

We have a very busy schedule with 3 concerts and a performance at the Scottish Youth Championships in Perth all before Christmas and this week-end course has laid the foundations for what we hope will be a successful few months ahead.


14th June 2012

Tonight we held our annual Slow Melody competition in Carlibar Primary School. The adjudicator was Kenneth Blackwood, the Senior Brass Teacher in East Renfrewshire.

This year we introduced a separate competition for our Beginner group with the winner receiving a "Performance of the Day" shield.

In the Beginners competition 3rd place was awarded to baritone player Oliver Jonsson. In 2nd place, playing cornet, was Esme Johnson and the overall winner of this group was another cornet player Ailsa Roy playing Michael Finnigan.

In the senior Slow Melody competition it was a very close run thing. In 3rd place was cornet player Ewan Howie playing his own arrangement of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Second place was awarded to last years' winner Ailish Douglas (Euphonium) who played Speak Softly Love.

The winner of the main award was Christopher McCloy who gave a very musical performance of the Romance from Mozart's Horn Concerto No.3 on Tenor Horn. Ailsa and Christopher were both presented with their awards by adjudicator Kenneth Blackwood. A big thank you to all parents and friends who turned up to listen to and encourage the 30 pupils who took part in the event.


1st May 2012

Euphonium star, Glenn van Looy, visited the band today and presented a masterclass. The day began with Glenn conducting the band in a couple of pieces before moving on to discuss his approach to warm-ups and practice routines as well as the neglected art of slow melody playing. The youngsters benefited greatly from the tuition and tips passed on by the outstanding euphonium soloist. To close there was a lively question and answer session followed by Glenn showcasing his immense talent with a suburb performance of the Lament from Philip Sparke's Cry of the Celts


9th February 2012

This evening the band took part in East Renfrewshire Music Services' Brass Festival. This was the "new" bands first public outing. New as it included the beginners who joined recently. The band performed Gonna Fly Now, Everybody Needs Somebody and 500 Miles. Everyone was delighted with our playing, especially our new members, and we received lots of positive feedback.


4th February 2012

Today our Brass Ensemble became the Scottish Junior Ensemble champions. After qualifying from the West of Scotland qualifiers in October, today's final was held in the Howden Centre, Livingston.

Big congratulations to our winning group who were Ewan Howie, Megan Ferguson, Amie Mackenzie, Carmen Cassidy and Holly Moore. As well as the winning trophy, the group were also presented with a Besson Cornet as part of their prize.

Special mention to Ewan Howie who had a busy day as he also qualified for the Junior Solo final. Ewan acquitted himself really well and received a well deserved Silver Award.


12th January 2012

Beginners please!

Tonight we welcomed along our beginners for the first time. All 18 of them. They all started playing in August last year and have made great progress. Hopefully they will all come back next week as their first concert is in 4 weeks time!