The band are pleased to announce that John Williams is back as musical director of the band. He has already taken the band to play at fetes and concerts and the audiences have welcomed him back and enjoyed listing to his choice of music and his unique sense of humour!!

Our first contest together produced a rather disappointing result however there were some positives to take from the performance. This is the first contest the band has taken part in for quite a while and for a few it was their first ever contest, with this in mind it was not a bad showing.

Lawrence Butchart has taken over as the new conductor of Chichester City Band. Lawrence started playing euphonium at the tender age of 8. It was not long before he discovered a real liking for all things brass and eventually, when he left school, he joined the regimental band of the Scots Guards under Major Duncan Beat. After leaving the Guards, Lawrence went seeking fame in the coalfields of Yorkshire where he spent time as principle Euphonium at Markham Main Colliery Band.

Since moving to the South Coast, Lawrence spent almost 10 years as principal Euphonium at Bournemouth Concert Brass, following which he was heavily involved in the reforming of Poole Borough Band, before joining the SWT Woodfalls Band. He spent 15 years at SWT Woodfalls, the last five years as Bandmaster and 9 years as MD of the Woodfalls Junior Band.

A short stay
It is with great sadness that I have been asked to write my first and final contribution to the newsletter. As you are in no doubt aware, I will be leaving the post of MD at the end of the year due to relocation to Plymouth. I have been asked on many occasions what I am likely to miss the most about my time in Portsmouth, it is of course the men women and young adults that make up Chichester City Band. Their commitment and enthusiasm is second to none and as for their musical standard, that speaks for itself. Chaired by Chris Hatton, the committee has also been a pleasure to work alongside, always supportive, never critical and totally professional.

As all brass bands there will always be ‘ups and downs’, but I leave happy in the thought that should a problem arise their qualities and assets will ensure that their future is secure, I am disappointed however that I will be unable to be a part in this.

Finally, I’d like to thank the band for their friendship and wish them and the new musical director. Every success. I shall continue to follow the band and I look forward to hearing them perform whenever time allows. (Dean Farrah, Musical Director)

The band would like to thank Dean for all his hard work and we all wish him every success for the future and hope our paths will cross again.

2003 Chichester band was a mixed year in many respects. The band performed a variety of different concerts, continued their fine contesting performances and also saw some comings and goings in the band’s personnel.

The Area qualifying contest at Stevenage for the National Championships were disappointing for the band as they thought that their performance of “Passacaglia” deserved a higher placing. However, their 9th place in the competition cemented their standing in the 1st Section and provides a realistic chance of promotion to the Championship section in 2004.

It was an unusually quiet year for the band in terms of contesting as the only other contest in which the band competed was the Crawley Entertainment Contest. The band were the highest placed 1st Section band for the third year running, however the band had hoped to improve on 4th place which they had also achieved the year before. The contest was notable for the band performing in a “big band” formation with snazzy shirts to match! This style of concert was repeated during the year at concerts and proved to be very popular with audiences.

New faces to Chichester City band this year have been Simon Saville (brother of Mike who plays trombone) on Solo cornet. Jo Causer on Repiano Cornet. Roy and Linda Taylor who are husband and wife have joined on Solo Cornet and Second Baritone respectively. John Bailey and David Tutty have come in on EEb and BBb bass and at the end of 2003 father and son Euphonium team Jeff and Gez Penfold joined.

While these changes to the personnel may have been unsettling at times it is generally thought that the band is now in a very strong position to make the next step up to the Championship section.

Chichester City Band started 2001 as a First Section Band. To climb the final step, we travelled to Stevenage on March 18th to the Regional Qualifying Contest for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. Although we were not successful in gaining a place at the finals this year, we have consolidated our position in this highly competitive section.

We were on winning form at Hove Town Hall for the Southern Counties Spring Contest. We won almost every prize on offer, best march, best bass trombonist (Mike Saville), best horn section (John Kidby, Jo Eddy, Irene Boyall, Jane Bourne), best bass section (Bob Ainsworth, Dawn Sturgess, Ian Frost, Colin Bourne) and best conductor (John Williams).

Once again, members of the training band were to the fore at this year’s Chichester Music Festival. Six CCTB members won their respective solo classes; Ruth Hartley (flugel horn), Rebecca Williams (tenor horn), Nicholas Bishop (euphonium), Gary Booley (tuba) Jonathan Pett (trombone), and Ashley Bill (trombone).

In collaboration with the Selsey Operatic Society, we recorded a CD of Christmas Music in aid of St. Wilfrid’s Hospice. All proceeds from the sale of the CD went directly to the Hospice.

John Williams’ service to Chichester City Band was recognised by Chichester City Council at a special ceremony at Chichester College of Arts, Science and Technology on Wednesday 6th February. John was pre- sented with a Civic Award in recognition of the contribution he has made to the life of the City.

The big news for the band this year was that we qualified for the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 21st October. We won our place at the qualifying contest at the Gordon Craig Theatre Stevenage on Saturday 18th March. This is the first time in the band’s 103 year history that we have qualified to play at the Royal Albert Hall.

After qualifying for the finals of the National Brass Band Championships, we notched up one win and a second place. At the Southern Counties Entertainment contest we came second, this was the first time that we had competed against championship section bands. At the Southern Counties Spring Contest we not only won but came away with the march prize and a further three trophies. Our musical director John Williams was awarded the conductor’s trophy, John Kidby, Irene Boyle and Mary Williams won the best horn section and our bass trombonist Mike Saville walked off with the prize for the best trombonist.

We emerged as one of the top bands in our section in the country after finishing eighth in the National Brass Band Championships. The band was competing in the final against sixteen other bands that had qualified from eight different local area qualifying contests giving a total of one hundred and eleven bands across the country. Musical Director John Williams was happy with the way we played and all band members thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic experience of playing in such a famous venue.

Adjudicators Alan Hope and Tony Swainson gave some very positive comments on the band’s performance, giving particular credit to John Williams for his stylistic interpretation of the set work Abstractions by the Norwegian composer Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen. Soloists within the band were also complimented and both adjudicators felt we created a good atmosphere in our performance.