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Bolt Returns the Baton to Windle

Lindon Bolt joined Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band in 2018 as Musical Director, taking the baton from Richard Windle. Due to increased work commitments, Lindon has now taken the decision to step down and hand the baton back to Richard.

The last three years have seen Lindon successfully rebuild the band by introducing new players to fill a number of empty seats. His hard work and dedication to each player has set them up for successful futures and seen a number of players progress to bands in higher sections.

Lindon said “I’m sad to be leaving such a great group of people and I will miss everyone. I’d like to wish Richard and the band the very best for a successful future”.

Richard last conducted the band in 2017 in the First Section before handing the baton over to Lindon. Since then has conducted Woodhouse Prize Band, Ashover Band and, most recently, Loxley Silver Band. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the band not only as an experienced conductor, but as a successful trombone player; having played for some of the country’s top competitive bands such as Grimethorpe, Carlton Main Frickley, Brighouse and Rastrick and Faireys.

When approached about his re-appointment, Richard stated:

“I’m excited to be starting my second stint as conductor of the Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band. It’s a band that’s close to my heart and one that has tremendous potential for the future. It was the band where it all started for me and as a proud born and bred Spireite it’s a privilege to be leading Chesterfield’s only contesting band”.

ICCBB are excited to welcome Richard back into the band room and wish Lindon all the best.

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Cory (virtually) Comes to Chesterfield

Saturday 27th March 2021 saw the premier of the band’s first ever virtual performance where they took part in the Kapitol Cory Band Online Championships.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bands haven’t been able to meet for rehearsals or performances in over a year. This has also meant that the annual Area Contest, which takes place nationally up and down the country in March, has not been able to go ahead. This is where Cory Band came to the rescue!

Throughout March as a replacement for the Area Contest, the Cory Band hosted an online competition live on their YouTube channel where pre-submitted video performances were premiered. Bands submitted a video entry in which players would record their parts at home and stitch them together to make a full performance, with one of the entry requirements being that you must follow the restrictions in your area at the time of recording.

You can watch ICCBB’s performance and read the judges comments below. 

Judge’s Comments

Sion Rhys Jones

Yeah, as they said in their introducion – a first attempt at making these kinds of videos and it’s also quite a daunting challenge that first time. Great, great first attempt; or a great first three attempts really. Some good choices of programme. I wasn’t 100% of the order – I might have switched Iron Man and North Country Pastorale around so you have the slower piece in the middle followed by Iron Man which is obviously a bit more up beat. But, you know, it’s up to you what order you play it in. I thought the ensemble could have been a little tighter at times. You know, starting notes together, ending notes together, things like that. But again, small points. I thought the soloists, Alex and Bronwen, both were really good. I would have liked to hear more of them personally – just put them up in the mix potentially. Great sounds from the euphonium player Bronwen in particular, I thought. And then going beyond that, I just want to say from the video itself – I’ve just finished watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe from start to finish (I’m a massive comic book nerd) so it was great to see Iron Man back on screen. And in the third piece they had dogs on the screen and I’m obsessed with dogs, so thank you very much.

Philip Harper

Managed to tick two of Sion’s boxes there – Iron Man and Dogs. There we are. Well Steve, let’s move to you. I mean, we were given a kind of a history lesson on Chesterfield in that first item, weren’t we? We’d heard everything about the leper colony to the plague village and to even the cucumber straighteners. So, what did you think of all of their extra musical elements that they added in because there was a lot in there, wasn’t there?

Steve Jones

There was. Well, first of all I’ve got a fascination with the spire of Chesterfield – it’s absolutely bizarre isn’t it? It’s a unique selling point that Chesterfield have got there. It’s really, really good to see that in the video. It was a good opening, I thought. It was a dramatic start, balanced band sounds. It was a nice intro – it gave us a slice of Chesterfield I thought. Yeah, really good. And nothing too overdone, nothing too overstated so it was a nice little opener. Like Sion said, I would personally have swapped the second and third piece around to give us that bigger ending so to speak. But Iron Man 3 – good to open. Not quite together rhythmically in places. You know, just watch for the end of phrases and come off at the end of bar lines to make it neater and tidier – so don’t overhang. But it was a good effort, I thought. Yeah, a really good effort. Good visuals as well to go with Iron Man 3. And North Country Pastorale – I’d like to have had a lot more dynamic contrast, I think. Just to give it a bit more feeling really, I think. But there were some good points in there – some good Euph. And some lovely views of the North Country there in the video which took you on a little journey which was very nice to see.

Philip Harper

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, one angle to this contest is the regional element and I think we all fancy a trip to Chesterfield after seeing that, don’t we? Absolutely. So, well, congratulations on your first virtual distanced video performances to the Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band. You’re getting some real thumbs up in the studio from our judges here so good luck with the competition and thank you very much indeed for supporting the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships.

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#saveourbrassbands

Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band is part of a national initiative launched by Brass Bands England to save the many UK brass bands who are struggling to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic. Brass bands are a core of their local community, and many risk disappearing altogether without your help. 

Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band and Junior Band are trying to raise funds to help keep our bands running. We need to find income not only for general running costs, but to make our band room COVID safe. We would normally be preparing for our busiest time of the year now when we earn most of our revenue.

Crowdfunder, Brass Bands England and baritone player, Melanie Sykes, have teamed up to launch #SaveOurBrassBands, a new national campaign to save hundreds of UK Brass Bands struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before Covid-19 hit, communities would come together to enjoy Brass Band performances in towns and cities across the country. But Brass Bands have seen their main source of income disappear in an instant when they had to stop putting on performances in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A significant loss in income over the Summer months, paired with necessary expenditure needed to make rehearsal spaces Covid compliant means that many Brass Bands are in a perilous financial situation.

Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s talented Brass Bands. Please help us to make sure our bands survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.

You can read more about how to support us through this movement on our Support Us page.

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Ireland’s Visit from Brass on the Mind

Last night the band had a break from it’s normal pre-contest preparations, as we welcomed the inspiring Tabby Kerwin into the bandroom to talk to us.

After a busy weekend at the NEMBBA contest, where we didn’t quite get the performance we would have liked, doing something a little bit different has given the band a rest and renewed the determination amongst players.

Tabby spent the evening discussing and addressing mental health (good and bad) both in and out of a band setting, and was also able to spend some time with us on related matters such as anxiety, nerves and how to approach and deal with these. There was plenty of opportunity for players to be involved and offer their input and thoughts on the bands performance and playing.

It really was an inspirational evening with loads of great feedback from players who felt it was a very worthwhile evening.

Tabby has recently spent time with AoBBA discussing mental health in brass bands, and has written a number of articles in the brass band press about the subject, and we were grateful for her time and input tonight.

To any band considering getting Tabby along to discuss mental health & brass on the mind matters we at Ireland would strongly recommend you book her sooner rather than later as we have no doubt she will be in great demand.

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New Signing at Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Brass Band

Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band are delighted to announce the signing of Bronwen Buttery who is joining the band on solo euphonium. The signing comes following the departure of the Oke family.

Martin, Liz and Emily Oke joined ICCBB a year ago with Martin playing solo euphonium and Liz taking the solo horn seat, accompanied by their daughter Emily on first horn. The year saw great improvements from Emily with her eventually stepping into her mum’s shoes as solo horn. With the progression of their daughter’s playing in mind, the family have made the decision to return to Thoresby Colliery Band in the Championship section.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Liz says “The past 12 months at ICCB has been great fun and has enabled Emily to continue to develop her skills as a player and improve her confidence as the solo horn player for the band.  This has been achieved through the support of Lindon and everyone at the band.  We would like to thank everyone for their support and in making us feel extremely welcome during our time at the band.

We are extremely sad to be leaving ICCB, however our aim as a family has always been to play at championship section level together, so when we received an unexpected call from Thoresby Band asking all 3 of us to join, we felt it was too good an opportunity for Emily in particular not to join.

We will miss everyone and wish the band well for the future. “

The solo euphonium seat will be filled by Bronwen Buttery. With over 30 years of brass banding experience, Bronwen is joining from Whitwell Band. Bronwen initially started playing cornet as a child and during school moved onto playing trombone with numerous bands including ICCBB’s Youth Band. Most of her playing years were spent on trombone up until around six years ago where she moved onto euphonium.

The band are inviting expressions of interest to fill the solo horn seat and can be contacted via social media or by email at iccbbmedia@gmail.com

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Armistice 2019

The band were extremely proud to take part in their two annual services of remembrance today. Firstly at Staveley in the morning, then later on leading the procession through Chesterfield for wreath laying at the memorial outside the town hall.

It was great to see both services so well attended and a huge well done and thank you to our ‘bugler’ Alex Cummings for his moving last post this morning.

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Crossley Park, Ripley Summer Concert

The band continued with their summer concerts this weekend at Crossley Park, Ripley where they were joined with a happy audience, sun and an ice cream van!

Click here to see the band performing The Essence of Brass for BrassfestUK.

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Charity Concert in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

The band played their first concert of the year last night to a packed audience in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. They were also supported by jazz duo Cool Sax and Sue.

We’ve had confirmation from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice that the joint concert with Cool Sax and Sue raised £543 for the charity!

You can see a short video of how much fun the audience had here.

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Ireland’s Angels

The band are delighted to introduce our very own angels! Katherine Shaw, Emily Oke and Zoë Shaw (from L-R).

Katherine and Zoë have both joined the band on front row from Rockingham Band. They started music lessons at the age of ten through school and chose to join the brass banding world through Whitwell Training Band. Three years later, they were progressing so well that they were added to the front row line-up of Whitwell’s main band. After a short break from contesting with Creswell Band, the twins returned to the contest stage with Rockingham Band. Both are still playing for Creswell Band and we at Ireland are delighted to welcome them to our recently-evolved front row. 

We are also delighted to welcome back Emily who joins us on first horn. Emily originally joined the training band in 2014 and moved to Pleasley Colliery Training Band where she worked her way up the seats, eventually sitting on first horn within the main band. Emily’s parents have played a huge role in her development as a player and have recently made the decision to take a back seat in their own playing so they can focus on Emily’s, leaving their seats at Thoresby Colliery band and also joining Ireland.

All three of Ireland’s Angels joined the band at the beginning of the year, giving them plenty of time to get stuck in with the test piece Rise of the Phoenix. Each one delivered an outstanding performance at the recent Area contest in Bedworth which has fuelled our excitement at what is to come from this promising trio.

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Area 2019

After weeks of hard work and home practice, the band took part in the Midlands Second Section championships yesterday. After very early alarm call’s we arrived in Bedworth at 8.30am. 

Drawn to play first out of 13 bands we gave a performance we were very pleased with, and come results time were delighted with our 6th place – securing our place in the second section for another year. It was a great day out rounded off by a lovely meal enjoyed by all members on the way home.

The band look forward to working on the programme for our upcoming concert on April the 6th at the Speedwell rooms in Chesterfield.