2009 News

Gordon Brown Kingdom Play For Prime Minister.

Kingdom Brass was invited recently to perform during a ceremony to award veterans medals, held in the Adam Smith College , Kirkcaldy.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, whose constituency covers the town of Cowdenbeath where Kingdom Brass is based, was the guest of honour, making medal presentations to over 100 local veterans.

The band performed light music while the guests arrived, then played during the presentation ceremony itself. During the reception following the ceremony, the Prime Minister took time to chat to his local band, congratulating them on their continued success, their community involvement and their ongoing youth development work.

added 20th December 2009

Christmas Concert Capacity Crowd Enjoys A Kingdom Christmas.

Kingdom Brass rounded off their 10th Anniversay Year with a sell out Christmas Concert, held in Beath High School, Cowdenbeath.

Andrew Duncan conducted the band, which performend a mix of concert pieces and traditional Christmas music.

The guest soloist for the concert was Gary MacPhee, former solo trombone with Kingdom Brass and now solo trombone with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Gary performed two solos, 'Amart Es Un Placer' in the first half, and 'Dark Eyes' in the second.

The second half of the concert featured the Kingdom Brass Youth Band, performing pieces they had prepared earlier in the day during their workshop with Gary MacPhee.

added 12th December 2009

Perth Concert Hall Kingdom Brass And Kingdom Youth Perform In Perth.

Kingdom Brass took part in the Scottish Open Championships, held in Perth Concert Hall, on Saturday 28th November finishing in 11th place out of 17 competitors.

The band, conducted by Andrew Duncan, performed the fiendishly difficult testpiece "Extreme Makeover". A poor first third to the piece cost the band dear, and despite a sparkling remainder of the piece the small errors in the first section meant the band were always going to be in the chasing pack when competing at this high a level.

On the Sunday it was the turn of Kingdom Brass Youth to fly the flag for the organisation. Conducted by Anne Crookston, the band were drawn first and played very early in the day before the event really got into its flow. Despite this, the band gained a silver award, and showed much improvement a year on from their debut at this event.

added 30th November 2009

Town House Kingdom supports local remembrance service.

Kingdom Brass led a large parade down Cowdenbeath High Street on Sunday, as part of the annual remembrance service.

The band provided the music during the laying of the wreaths at the Town House, before marching the parade back down the High Street.

added 9th November 2009

Boiler 10th Fife Title For Kingdom Brass.

Kingdom Brass retained the 'Best FCBA Band' title, making it ten titles in ten years for the band.

The band, conducted for the first time by new Musical Director Andrew Duncan, performed the testpiece 'Extreme Makeover', just being pipped to the Open title by Dalmellington.

Solo horn Stuart McKenzie won the best horn prize, and the Kingdom percussion section won the award for best percussion.

added 5th October 2009

Scottish Arts Council YMI Funding for Percussion Academy.

Kingdom Brass have secured funding from the Scottish Arts Council to set up the KB Percussion Academy.

This new scheme will complement the existing Kingdom Brass Youth Initiative, allowing the organisation to teach a whole range of percussion instruments, and generate the percussion stars of the future.

Lynsey Paterson, principal percussion with Kingdom Brass, will be head percussion tutor. Recruit will be held towards the end of 2009, with lessons being given in the Co-op Hall, Cowdenbeath, on Monday evenings, and the percussionists joining in with the junior bands on a Tuesday.

Percussion workshops will be held throughout 2010 for the percussionists being taught, plus other local young percussionists. One of those will be with Simone Rebello.

added 7th September 2009

Andy Duncan Kingdom appoint Andy Duncan as new MD.

Kingdom Brass is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Duncan as the band's new Musical Director with immediate effect.

Kingdom Brass Chairman, Bill Sandell, said of the signing "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to procure the services of such a prodigious talent as Andrew Duncan. We have been looking for some time for the right person to optimise the performance of the band and we believe that we have found that in Andrew. We look forward to a very long and mutually rewarding partnership".

Andrew began his conducting career after leaving the Halle Orchestra in 2000 becoming Musical Director of the Hepworth Band. Following a move back to his native Scotland, Andrew had his first taste conducting Kingdom Brass at the 2003 Scottish Championships.

In 2007 Andrew was appointed as the Musical Director of the Mount Charles Band from Cornwall. With Mount Charles he won the South of England Area in 2008 and was the runner up in 2007, subsequently competing at The National Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. Together they also gained 4th place at the English Nationals in 2008 and 3rd place at the Grand Shield in March 2009.

Andrew has conducted many of the world's finest brass bands on a freelance basis in recent years including Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Brighouse and Rastrick Band and the Wingates Band.

Andrew Duncan says of the appointment "I am delighted to be starting work with Kingdom Brass, the first band I worked with as a conductor in Scotland. I am looking forward to taking the band to the very top of Scottish banding and indeed further afield! The band has many exciting plans and aims for the future and has been universally admired for its 'Kingdom Brass Youth Initiative' which I am sure will pay dividends for the band in the years to come".

added 22nd August 2009

Craig Anderson Successful partnership with Musical Director ends.

Kingdom Brass regretfully announces that they have ended their long time association with Musical Director Craig Anderson.

Bill Sandell, Chairman of Kingdom Brass, says of the news, "Craig has stated clearly for some time that his time as MD was finite and that it would absolutely last no more than 5 years. He had recently advised us that we should be considering future arrangements due to other commitments that he has and that this time was imminent. With that in mind, the committee sought a replacement and as timing in this case was critical, we decided to make that change now."

Bill Sandell continued, "Kingdom Brass is extremely grateful to Craig for his tenacious work in driving the band to their current position in Scottish and British banding. He led the band on our very successful tour of Germany and winning the Senior Trophy in 2006, our third place at the Scottish Championships in 2008 and securing our place in the Grand Shield for 2010. He will be hugely missed as a friend and driving force of the band by the members of Kingdom Brass and we offer him our heartfelt thanks for his time with us and wish him the very best of good fortune in his career moving forward from today."

added 18th August 2009

Anniversary Concert Kingdom Brass hold 'spectacular' 10th anniversary concert.

Kingdom Brass celebrated their 10th anniversary in style last weekend, with a sell out concert in the Lochgelly Centre.

Formed in 1999 by the merger of the Cowdenbeath and Kelty & Blairadam bands, Kingdom performed a 'Night at the Movies', with video backing, lighting and smoke effects adding to the atmosphere. The band celebrated the anniversary with a reception after the concert for players, officials, sponsors and invited guests.

The band's guest soloist for the evening was Les Neish, who wowed the audience with 'Zigeunerweisen' (fitting in with the movie theme as it was used for 'Kung Fu Hustle') and 'The Bare Necessities', which saw Les don a bear suit and give an impromptu maraca solo.

Band Chairman, Bill Sandell, said of the evening, "The past ten years has just flown in, and been very successful for the band, so we knew we had to do something special to celebrate that. We have been planning this concert all year, and full credit must go to the band Secretary, John Todd, for pulling this all together and giving us an evening which will be talked about for years."

Also appearing in the concert was the Kingdom Brass Youth Band, with Les Neish conducting them through 'Gonna Fly Now' from Rocky, and principal conductor Anne Crookston in front of the band for 'Wallace and Gromit'. Both bands then appeared on stage together for the first ever time for a performance of 'The Little Mermaid', with the junior band players on samba drums.

It had been a busy week for Kingdom, as a thirty strong contingent of youth band players and tutors headed to Meigle, in Perthshire, for a three day residential stay leading up to the concert. A variety of activities took place including individual, section and full band rehearsals, games and leisure time. Les Neish travelled with the group and worked closely with the young players, while the band's principal percussionist, Lynsey Paterson, gave samba lessons in preparation for the weekend concert.

Youth Band Chairman, Lee Bathgate, said of the course, "The young players in the junior band were really looking forward to this one, and we gave them a varied programme of music and leisure activities to keep their interest up. Les was fantastic working with them, and now they're demanding another trip next year!"

added 16th August 2009

The Grand Shield Podium Finish at Senior Cup for Kingdom Brass.

Kingdom Brass finally achieved its long held aim of qualifying for the Grand Shield, with a fantastic third place at the Senior Cup in Blackpool.

Conducted by Craig Anderson, the band delivered a fantastic performance of the testpiece, Herbert Howell's 'Pageantry', and captured one of the four promotion places which were on offer. Sixty bands battled it out across three contests in the sprawling Winter Gardens complex, with Kingdom finally taking their form from north of the border down south.

The last time the band tasted success in Blackpool was 2006, with victory in the Senior Trophy which secured promotion to the Senior Cup. Two below par performances in 2007 and 2008 saw the band well down the table, but some serious hard work in the run up to the event saw the band finally realise it's potential, and secure a place in the Grand Shield for 2010.

added 12th May 2009

Caird Hall Kingdom Secure Scottish 'Top 5' Finish.

Kingdom Brass, conducted by James Gourlay, captured another top 5 finish at the Scottish Championships.

The testpiece for the Scottish Championships, Gilbert Vinter's 'Salute to Youth', proved to be a tough test for the Championship Section. Kingdom remained a model of consistency, with 8 top half finishes from 9 appearances in the top section.

Online banding magazine 4barsrest said of the performance "The opening fanfares were so well shaped. The second movement was a masterclass of musicality with excellent cornet and flugel playing, and the third romped along to a convincing ending, aided by some lovely horn playing."

added 24th March 2009

Night of Brass 'Night of Brass' Packs Hall.

Kingdom Brass, in association with the Fife Charities Band Association, held the 2nd 'Night of Brass', bringing together 5 local bands to perform their testpieces before the Scottish Championships

Dysart, Dunfermline, Tullis Russell, Lochgelly and Kingdom all performed, with Kingdom Brass Youth providing some short concert items before their senior band performed.

It was a busy weekend for both bands, with Jim Gourlay working closely with the young Kingdom players to prepare them for the evening performance, as well as preparing the senior band for the Scottish Championships.

added 16th March 2009

James Gourlay Kingdom Brass Appoint James Gourlay for Scottish Championships.

Kingdom Brass are delighted to announce that James Gourlay will be directing the band at the upcoming Scottish Championships.

James has a reputation as one of the country's finest tuba players but has also enjoyed great success at the highest level as a conductor.

The move to appoint James has been proposed and organised by the bands current MD, Craig Anderson. Craig has many commitments in the coming months as MD of Campbeltown Brass and playing obligations with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC SSO and RSNO.

Craig says, "I feel it is an ideal opportunity for the band to engage Jim at this time. I feel I cannot commit fully to everything at once and a Championship Section band of Kingdom's standard could really benefit from the change of direction and experience."

Kingdom received some bad news recently when principal Bb tuba player Ian Green injured his back in an accident at work, and faces a lengthy recuperation period, which means he cannot compete at the Scottish Championships in March. Craig added, "I will be signing as a player with the band and will work jointly with Jim until a few weeks before the contest, at which time I shall transfer into the tuba section to cover for Ian. We do wish him a speedy recovery so that he can retake his seat as soon as possible after the contest. I will then take up the podium again after the Championships and look forward to the next challenge with Kingdom."

Bill Sandell, Chairman of Kingdom Brass said, "It's a huge privilege to have Jim Gourlay conducting the band in this prestigious event. With Craig preparing us in conjunction with Jim and then stepping in to the principal Bb tuba seat, this absolutely is the best of both worlds for us. Jim is originally from Fife, and to have him conducting the Fife Champions at the Scottish Championships is going to be something special. I understand he hasn't worked in Fife before, so it really will be great to have him in the Kingdom."

added 12th March 2009

Craig Herriot Kingdom Brass Wins FCBA Senior Solos and Senior Slow Melody.

Nicky McLaughlin won the FCBA Senior Solo's with a superb performance of the tenor horn solo 'Variations on a Welsh Theme'.

Craig Herriot won the FCBA Slow Melody contest with a fantastic performance of 'A Time For Peace'.

A mixed quartet made up of players from Kingdom, Lochgelly and Tullis Russell were the only competitors in the ensemble contest.

In the junior sections, trombone player Liam Mullan from Kingdom Brass Youth won the under 12 competition. The Kingdom Brass Youth ensembles were also runners up in the 12-15 section, and won 2nd and 3rd places in the under 12 section.

added 26th January 2009