The band embarked on an exciting  journey overseas this weekend to partake in the 19th Festival: Open de France de Brass Band set in the beautiful French town of Amboise where we were delighted to return as WINNERS OF THE 2ND SECTION!

After several weeks of rehearsals including an intense schedule in the final fortnight, Fulham Band took an overnight coach journey across the Channel to invade the picturesque town of Amboise, which was about a 10 hour journey. Upon arrival and with barely any sleep after sitting quietly to watch ‘Brassed off’, we had a hot and sticky rehearsal in the local Music School, followed by an early night before the big day!

We woke up bright and early on the Saturday to partake in the most important part of the day: The contest. We played ‘Intrada: Eine Feste Burg’ by Ray Farr which featured the cornets and trombones playing in an antiphonal style at the start and led into a beautiful full band arrangement of Luther’s hymn. There was also an excellent heavy percussion feature in the middle of the piece! Our principal cornet player Clare Jenneson then played an excellent rendition of Goedicke’s ‘Concert Etude’ which led into our grand finale of  Kenneth Downie’s ‘Purcell Variations’.

After a brief interlude we then went on to partake in the ‘March Contest’ down the high street of Amboise, which had an excellent turn out of bands and locals with a friendly atmosphere. We were a little excited about following the mighty Stavanger Brass Band down the road, and the sun shone brightly as we marched to ‘Army of the Nile’ and stood to play ‘Punchinello’. It felt like Whit Friday but with better weather!

In the afternoon we completed our programme with a light-hearted concert featuring some of our favourite pieces from the past 18 months and excellent solos by Matt Pitt (flugel) and our conductor Rob Richardson (baritone).

After a fantastic Gala concert performed by fellow Brits Flowers Band we were ecstatic to hear that we were the winners of the Second Section, returning with a large trophy and 900 Euros!

The band had a fantastic trip, a proper celebration and a well deserved win that will hopefully be the start of more good news for Fulham Brass Band. We were grateful to Andy Sladen, Kirsty Loosemore, Alan Duguid, Keith Schroeter, Heather Rowlands and George Adamson for helping the band out and also sad to say goodbye to Yani Arhab and David Belford.

Do come and support us at one of our Summer Concerts and stay tuned to hear about our next contest in Crawley in September. Yani’s departure has left us with a Bb vacancy which is an exciting opportunity to join our ambitious and sociable line up! Therefore please do get in touch to enquiries@fulhambrassband.co.uk if you are interested! TEAM FULHAM!