January spells out one thing for a growing number of brass bands around the UK; the Butlins Mineworkers Festival. Once the mince pies have been polished off and the party popper streamers have clogged up the vacuum cleaner, rehearsals begin in earnest to ensure a healthy pay day for competitors in all sections.
Foresters Brass, having already giving the First Section test piece a run out, at last years Leicester Contest, delivered a highly musical Renaissance (Peter Graham) on a 21st draw and finished with a commendable 11th place. A performance that warranted a higher placing, we will now look to take on the difficult task of Brass Metamorphosis (James Curnow) at the Midlands Area Championships in March.
The contest also gave Foresters a chance to say a fond farewell to some of our fantastic players.
3rd Cornet Beth Turland leaves the band (temporarily at least) for the birth of her 2nd child, due February. The returning Claire Seward will take Beth's place.
2nd Cornet Nick MacDonald leaves to join up with another Midlands band, with Phoebe Snook joining the band for the first time whilst she studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC).
Front row player Chris Warner also takes a step back due to his increasing study and work load as he pursues a medical career. The signing of Ethan Hall, also of the RBC secures the line-up.
One more move sees Sarah Kilgour move from 2nd Horn to Contest Secretary and relinquish her seat. Lucy Smith joins her dad Jason and her brother Ben at Foresters. Welcome to the band newbies!
Foresters would like to say a huge thank-you to Neil Orton, whom stepped in to cover 2nd Baritone at the Butlins weekend due to a family illness. Cheers Neil!