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2010 News

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 20th November and produced a cracking performance of the testpiece, Simon Dobson's "... and when the river told ..." to finish in 4th place in the field of 15 competitors.

The band, conducted by Andrew Duncan, had worked extremely hard on the testpiece in the run up to the contest, and the hard work paid off with a performance which brough much praise from the three adjudicators of Simon Dobson, Howard Snell and Hannes Buchegger.

Kingdom's solo trombone player, Helen Douthwaite, also won the individual award as 'best instrumentalist' at the event.

On the Sunday it was the turn of Kingdom Brass Youth to perform in the concert hall. Conducted by Anne Crookston, the band performed a difficult programme of 'Trash Bash' (featuring the players from the Kingdom Percussion Academy, conducted by Lynsey Paterson), 'In The Hall of the Mountain King' (featuring the xylophone soloist Sally Cain) and 'Everybody Needs Somebody' (complete with Blues Brothers hats and shades!). The band continued their improvement at this event, with a Gold Award after last year's Silver.

added 22nd November 2010






Boiler 11th Fife Title For Kingdom Brass.

Kingdom Brass won all three sections of the 2010 FCBA Open Contest.

The band, conducted by Musical Director Andrew Duncan, performed Wilfred Heaton's fiendish testpiece 'Contest Music', to win the Open title, and retain the prize of 'Best Fife Band'.

The band also won the march contest, playing Joe Cook's 'Keighley Moor', and won the hymn tune contest playing the Howard Snell arrangement of 'Now Thank We All Our God'.

Principal Cornet, Lee Bathgate, won the prize for 'best cornet' and the percussion team of Lynsey Paterson, Russell Wilson and Graeme Wilson lifted the prize for 'best percussion'.

It was also a significant day for the Kingdom Brass Youth Initiative. Ross Bahlaj, solo euphonium with Kingdom Brass Youth, made his contesting debut with Dysart Colliery Band, the first of the Kingdom players to progress through the youth system to a senior band.

added 3rd October 2010






Stravinsky Auditorium Kingdom Set For European Championships.

Kingdom Brass will represent Scotland at the 2011 European Brass Band Championships.

The competition takes place over the weekend of April 29th and 30th 2011, in the Stravinsky Auditorium, Montreux, Switzerland.

Ten of Europe's finest bands will compete at the competition, including the reigning World and European Champions, Cory Band from Wales.

Each band will perform twice at the event, with a 'set testpiece' performed by each band on the Friday evening, and then an 'own choice testpiece' performed on the Saturday afternoon. The results of the competition are announced after the gala concert on the Saturday evening.

While still in the early stages of planning the trip, the band estimates the cost will be in the region of £20,000 and are investigating all avenues to raise this amount.

added 7th July 2010






Cowdenbeath Gala Kingdom Lead Cowdenbeath Gala Parade.

For the first time, Kingdom Brass performed in the Cowdenbeath Gala Day procession, leading the parade down the High Street.

The Fife Champions paraded the impressive Fife Charities Band Association Trophy in front of the band, letting the home crowd see their silverware.

Following the band down the High Street were members of the Kingdom Brass Youth Band.

Following the parade, both bands performed short concerts in the park.

added 21st June 2010






Howden Park Centre Kingdom Through To West Lothian Final.

Kingdom Brass has won the first semi final of the West Lothian Festival of Brass.

Conducted by Andy Duncan, Kingdom pipped current Scottish Champions Co-op Funeralcare Band to a place in the final on June 27th.

Scotland's representatives at the European Championships earlier this year, Bon Accord Band from Aberdeen finished in third place.

Adjudicator Nigel Seaman stated in his remarks it had been remarkably close between Kingdom and Co-op technically, but Kingdom had won through on pure entertainment value.

Kingdom's programme consisted of 'A Caledonian Fanfare' (featuring the percussion section of Lynsey Paterson, Kenny Carlyle, Graeme Wilson and Duncan Findlay), 'Harry James Trumpet Concerto' (with soloist, principal cornet Eoin Tonner), 'The Duke of Cambridge March' (with Adam Gore, John Todd and Bill Webster featured on fanfare trumpets), 'Tonight' (featuring soloists Eoin Tonner and Adam Gore, plus a trombone trio of Helen Douthwaite, Graeme McGregor and Bill Sandell), 'Keystone Cops', 'Alloway Tales' (with narration from Graeme Wilson), 'Claire De Lune' and 'Reunion & Finale from Gettysburg'.

The second semi-final sees Whitburn, Kirkintilloch and Clackmannan compete to meet Kingdom in the final on June 27th.

added 7th June 2010






Carnegie Hall Kingdom Regain Carnegie Title.

Kingdom Brass has won first prize in the Championship Section at the 2010 Carnegie Contest, regaining the title the band won in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Nearly thirty bands competed across all 5 sections, with Kingdom winning the top prize. The band's Principal Cornet player, Raf Van Looveren, also won the prize for best soloist in the Championship Section with a spectacular rendition of 'Variations on a Tyrolean Song'.

added 25th April 2010






Rothes Halls Kingdom in Scottish Top 4 Again.

Kingdom Brass competed at the Scottish Championships at the weekend, gaining fourth place.

Conducted by Andy Duncan, the band delivered an exciting performance of the testpiece, 'English Heritage' by George Lloyd, that had many in the hall predicting a higher placing.

The performance featured the band's Principal Cornet player, Belgian star Raf Van Looveren, and the bass team of Angus Pearse, Gareth Ross, Ian Green and John Hamilton, who picked up the prize for best basses at the contest.

Adjudicators Brett Baker and Chris Wormald said before the results there had been '4 great bands' at the competition, which had the audience guessing right up to the end which order they would be placed in. The result is the ninth time in ten years that Kingdom has finished in the top half of the Championship section, and the fifth finish in the top four.

added 15th March 2010






Night of Brass Kingdom Hosts "Night Of Brass".

Kingdom Brass, in partnership with the Fife Charities Band Association, will host their third "Night of Brass" on Saturday, March 6th.

Five bands will perform their testpieces for the Scottish Championships the following weekend.

Dysart, St. David's, Tullis Russell, Lochgelly, Kingdom Youth and Kingdom Brass will all perform on the night, with Belgian cornet star Raf Van Looveren as guest soloist.

Dysart Colliery, conducted by Bill Sandell, will open the evening at 6pm with their performance of the 4th section testpiece "Saint-Saens Variations".

Appearing at the event for the first time is third section band St. David's Brass, from Dalkeith. Conducted by John Dickson, the band will perform the testpiece "Labour and Love" at 6.30pm.

Second section band Tullis Russell, conducted by Andy Shaw, will perform the testpiece "Kingdom of Dragons" at 7pm.

Lochgelly, conducted by Paul Drury, will perform the first section testpiece "A Moorside Suite" at 7.30pm.

At 8pm it'll be the turn of the Kingdom Brass Youth Band to take the stage. During the afternoon, the Youth Band will be taking part in a workshop with Raf Van Looveren, and they'll have the chance to present a few of the pieces they have worked on as part of the Night of Brass.

Following their Youth Band on stage, Kingdom Brass, conducted by Andrew Duncan, will perform "English Heritage" at 8.20pm. Kingdom will also feature principal cornet Raf Van Looveren as their soloist in a couple of items to round off the evening.

The event is being held in the Co-op Hall, Cowdenbeath, and entry is free. Doors open from 5.30pm. A bar will be running all evening, and everyone is welcome to attend what has become a well-established social event in the Scottish banding calendar.

added 5th March 2010






Lynsey Paterson Kingdom Brass Launch Percussion Academy.

Kingdom Brass has launched their new Percussion Academy with an open evening for parents.

Lee Bathgate, Chairman of the Youth Band, welcomed the parents to the meeting, telling them this dedicated percussion teaching was the first of its kind in the UK, and how it was made possible through generous funding from the Government's Youth Music Initiative, through the Scottish Arts Council.

Lee introduced head tutor Lynsey Paterson, who will be delivering the tuition for the Percussion Academy, and told the parents that Lynsey was the Scottish Percussion Champion, having won the title at the Scottish finals the weekend before.

Lynsey explained the format of the lessons, and the instruments that will be used, as well as how the percussion players will integrate with the ever expanding Youth Band.

Alan Edmond, Youth Development Officer for the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) spoke to the parents about the need for greater investment in percussion tuition, and how these young players will have opportunities to perform in fantastic concert venues up and down the country.

There was also a chance for Kingdom's Child Protection Officer, Gillian Garvie, to explain to the parents our policy on child protection, and why every tutor has background checks carried out to ensure we operate in the safest possible environment.

The evening was finished off with a chance for the new percussionists to try out some of the equipment they'll be learning on.

added 15th February 2010






Simone Rebello Kingdom Brass To Sponsor Percussion Competition.

Kingdom Brass have announced they will be sponsoring the inaugural SBBA Youth Percussion Finals, offering the three youth prizewinners a private lesson with percussion star Simone Rebello.

With this being the first year that SBBA are including percussion sections alongside the normal brass solos and ensembles, an Open section will take place on Sunday, February 7th, for percussionists of all ages, rather than in specific age groups. The best '21 and under', '16 and under' and '12 and under' player in the Open competition will all be offered an invitation to receive a lesson from Simone Rebello, courtesy of Kingdom Brass.

Simone will be travelling to Scotland over the weekend of August 13th to 15th to work closely with the young percussion players of the recently launched Kingdom Brass Percussion Academy, and the brass players in the Kingdom Brass Youth Band, as well as other local young percussionists. She'll also be appearing as guest soloist in concert with Kingdom Brass on the evening of Saturday, August 14th.

The Chairman of Kingdom Brass Youth, Lee Bathgate, spoke of the decision to sponsor the competition: "This year has seen us launch our Percussion Academy to complement our Youth Band, and with Simone coming up later in the year it made perfect sense for us to offer some of her time to tutor the best young percussionists in Scotland. We're very happy to support SBBA with the new percussion competition by sponsoring the youth prizes."

Lee continued: "We're running three percussion workshops this year, one with Simone and two with our head percussion tutor, Lynsey Paterson, and they'll be open to all young percussionists in our area. On top of that we're going to be running five brass workshops, and a residential course, so it's a busy but very exciting time for our young players."

The next brass workshop for Kingdom Brass Youth will be on Saturday, March 6th, when Belgian cornet star, Raf Van Looveren, flies over to work with the youth band. Raf, who will play principal cornet with Kingdom Brass on English Heritage at the Scottish Championships the following weekend, will also be the band's featured soloist at their "Night of Brass" that same evening, when local bands will join Kingdom Brass in performances of all 5 regional testpieces.

added 6th February 2010






Lee Bathgate Kingdom Take Six FCBA Titles.

Kingdom Brass dominated the 2010 FCBA Solo & Ensemble contest, winning six of the nine categories for junior and senior soloists and ensembles.

The premier prize, the Senior Air-Varie Contest, was won by Lee Bathgate, his twelfth win at this event over the past 25 years.

Lee also played in the Kingdom Brass Quartet, which delivered a showcase performance in the Senior Ensemble category to lift the title once more. William McLaughlin (cornet), Helen Webster (horn) and Brian Paterson (euphonium) made up the rest of the ensemble.

Kingdom's solo baritone player, Jim Ferguson, won the Senior Slow Melody title, and rounded off a fantastic personal appearance with a third place in the air-varie.

In the youth event, Kingdom's latest signing, horn player Rachel Neil, won the 21 and under category. The young players from Kingdom Youth won first and second places in the 12 and under ensembles, and trombone player Liam Mullan retained his 12 and under solo title, with another of Kingdom's young trombonists, Michael McLaughlin, in the runners up place.

In the other categories, euphonium player Ross Bahlaj gained third place in the 16 and under section, and the 16 and under ensemble also gained a third place. Percussionists Sally Cain and Kieran Adamson were placed second and third in the new 12 and under percussion section.

added 23rd January 2010






Ross Bahlaj Ross Bahlaj Wins KBYI Solo Contest.

Ross Bahlaj, euphonium player with Kingdom Brass Youth, has won the 2nd KBYI Solo Contest.

The competition, adjudicated by Kingdom's Musical Director, Andy Duncan, saw 22 brass and percussion players perform solos in front of a packed hall of parents, friends and supporters, as well as members of the Senior Band.

Andy had no problem with the eventual winner, euphonium player Ross Bahlaj, who performed his piece, Carnival of Venice, with great maturity and style. Following that he found four soloists who were very close in standard, and decided to award join second place to horn player Emma Miller and trombone player Michael McLaughlin. Joint third place went to horn player Ryan Bathgate and trombone player Liam Mullan.

This year also saw the first competition for percussion players, with a new trophy for members of the Kingdom Percussion Academy to compete for. The first winner, performing a xylophone solo, was Sally Cain.

added 18th January 2010