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Sovereign Brass News

Saturday 6th April 2024

We're Sorry to Lose You Kerr!

Perhaps one of the main reasons behind the recent success of Sovereign Brass is that the band has been very stable personnel wise during that period.  With that in mind the departure of Front Row Cornet Kerr Ross back to his native Scotland comes as a real loss.  Kerr has been an ever-present smiling face on the front row  for the last three years and as well as being a great player he has always been the voice of calm reason as well as an excellent bandsman.  His generosity in terms of investing time and thought into his playing is an inspiration.

Sovereign Brass wish the very best to his family on their relocation and continued success with his banding.  We look forward to hearing of his musical journey-maybe a Sovereign Tour to the Highlands?

Lots of love Kerr from all your mates at Sovereign Brass.

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Saturday 6th April 2024

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire CONSTEST 2024

Sovereign Brass defended their title with aplomb today at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoires CONSTEST 2024.  Receiving the Newmoon Insurance Trophy and an award for the highest placed Championship Section band, the prize money gained on the day totalled £475.

Playing Derek Bourgeois "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"  MD Alan Gifford chose a piece that is widely regarded as being one of the most difficult pieces to play and which would also stretch the abilities of each player.  Adjudicators Ian Porthouse and Ryan Watkins praised the playing of Baritone Annabel Whitmore, Soprano cornet Vicky Flint, Bass Trombone Ian  Smith and Flugel Josh Pope.  They also agreed that choosing to play such a different piece in such a short space of time following the Area Contest showed what progress can be made by a committed group of musicians.

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Sunday 3rd March 2024

4th Place at the Midlands Area

Representing a wholly satisfying day in Corby, Sovereign Brass achieved 4th Place out of 12 in their first competition since being promoted  back to the Championship Section.  'Variations on an Enigma' by Philip Sparke was the chosen Test Piece which was described by adjudicators Sarah Groarke-Booth and David Hirst as more than a challenge for a lot of the competing bands. We're absolutely delighted to have cemented a foothold in the Championship Section with this result and to have such a hard working MD in Alan Gifford backed by an equally enthusiastic set of players.

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Friday 15th December 2023

Soprano Cornet and Band Manager Vicky Flint and Principal Cornet Karl Slater were caught unawares last evening whilst Sovereign brass were playing as guests of MSH Choir in aid of Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge.  They received awards for the Player of the Year and Bandsperson of the Year respectively.  Neither knew anything about the awards-which is always a nice surprise!

Playing to a capacity audience at St Mary's Church and accompanying MSH Choir and friends, all participants received a standing ovation at the end of the Concert where Sovereign performed tracks from their Christmas CD 'Festive Gold'.


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Friday 1st December 2023


Yes, Christmas is finally here.  The Christmas CD that you've been waiting for is now on sale.  Recorded  in July this year,  our compilation of brass band favorites, some with uplifting re-scorings, is guaranteed to put  you into a festive mood.  Please get in touch with any band member or contact us through the website to arrange your copy.  Here's a taster from the pen of John Barber-Happy Christmas from Sovereign Brass!

Little Donkey

12th November 2023

Sovereign Lead Remembrance Service

Remembrance Sunday saw Sovereign Brass lead the West Bromwich tribute to the Fallen of two World Wars.   A fantastic 23-strong band led the procession from the muster point to the War memorial and return-never an easy task especially in inclement weather.  By all accounts the service was attended by over 300 and the band are proud to feature in such a moving acknowledgment of the sacrifice given by so many.

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10th November

Dudley Remembers The Fallen

Sovereign Brass were privileged to help the Borough of Dudley remember the fallen of two World Wars at its annual Remembrance Concert on Thursday 9th November at Dudley College.  As guests of The Gentlemen Songsters and performing to a capacity audience they accompanied the hymns during the Remembrance Service and performed two sets during the concert in the second half.  Its always an honour for the band to be involved in remembering the sacrifice that was given by so many on our behalf.  Bravo Dudley.

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5th November 2023

Sovereign do it again at Wychavon!

Sovereign Brass rounded off their contesting year with an almost clean sweep of the prizes at in the First Section at Wychavon Brass Festival.  Winning the Section overall they received prizes for the Most Entertaining Program , Best Percussion (Noa, Emma, Charlie and Roy) and  Best Euphonium (Steve Parsons).  In addition their MD Alan Gifford received the Best Conductor award.  The band also achieved 11th place in the Championship Section with the same 'Guy Fawkes-The Plot To Blow Up Parliament' program. 

With three first prizes, the runners up prize at the National Finals and an 11th place in their inaugural Championship Contest, Sovereign Brass truly have had an amazing 2023.  Way back in January we would not have dreamed of having such a run of success.  Thanks Alan and well done everybody.

Bring on 2024!

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2nd November 2023

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Sovereign Brass announce the appointment of Fendall Hill as Associate Composer!

Based in New Zealand, five times National Soprano Champion and twice Australian Champion Fendall Hill is welcomed to team Sovereign as Associate Composer.  His compositions have already been featured at the New Zealand and Australian Soprano Championships and most recently his major work 'Mind Dances' was selected as the A Grade set-test for the Victorian State Championships.

Sovereign Brass have already experienced a few of Fendall's original works this year and they will be featuring the premiere of 
his composition 'Fawkes' as the finale to their Guy Fawkes themed  performance at Wychavon Festival of Brass on November 4th.  Full of atmosphere and drama, Sovereign have really enjoyed shaping this piece and it bodes well for the bands future relationship with such an accomplished composer.

Welcome Fendall!


31st October 2023

Sovereign Brass climb the Rankings after Contest Results!

Sovereign Brass band have leapt 129 places-yes 129!-in the latest publication of the Grading Tables on 4 Bars Rest.  This follows the Regional 1st Section win, the inaugural Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Constest win and lastly second place at the National First Section Finals.  Sitting in 68th position overall it truly has been a splendid reward for the hard working musicians of Sovereign Brass and their MD Alan Gifford.

Click on the link below to see the full Grading Table.

World Rankings — 4barsrest

30th September 2023

We would like to welcome Russell Evans as the newest member of Sovereign Brass.

Russell started playing at school, and in 1980 joined the Walsall Servis Band - now known as The Staffordshire Band - on 3rd cornet. He was soon promoted to Baritone in the mid 80’s - and the band were promoted to The Championship Section, and got to perform at the Albert Hall a few years later when they won the area.

He’s also had a spell with the Langley Band for a number of years including winning a 1st section area and playing the finals with them - he’s obviously a lucky charm! 

Russ lists a few other career highlights such as playing under the great Richard Evans, two tours of Germany in the mid 90’s, playing alongside World Famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band in a joint concert with Langley in 2018.

Russ said about joining the Sovereign Brass family: “Thrilled to be playing with a quality band like Sovereign who have a great future ahead of them.


27th September 2023

We're pleased to welcome Hannah Ockford as a member of Sovereign Brass.


Playing since the age of 8 through her local music service, Sandwell Music and Arts, Hannah was one of the privileged few to be a performer at the opening ceremony of Birmingham Tram Station, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II.

She has just started her 3rd year of the undergraduate course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying under Ian Porthouse and Richard Marshall.

Hannah doesn't limit herself to Cornet though - if you were at the National Finals in Cheltenham recently, you may have spotted her with a pair of drumsticks in her hand, helping out in our percussion section!


Hannah will be joining us on Repiano Cornet and said "I'm looking forward to developing my abilities alongside my studies, with the support of the band".


16th September 2023

Sovereign strike Silver at the Nationals!


You can' t make a statement much larger that the one displayed high above the stage at the Centaur, Cheltenham!  Today saw Sovereign Brass confirmed as the Runners Up in the National 1st Section Finals, 2023.  Already promoted to Championship level as of next year, Sovereign beat 18 other Regional 1st Section Champions and narrowly missed out on Champion 1st Section band of the Year.  After their rendition of the Test Piece 'St James-A New Beginning' by Philip Harper, Contest Secretary Gary Linford accepted the Trophy and £750 prize money from Paul Holland at the results ceremony.

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15th August 2023

Sovereign Brass Welcome Mark Wilkinson


The cornet section of Sovereign Brass welcomed Mark Wilkinson,  Principal cornet of Fodens Band to cast his eye over our preparations for the forthcoming National Finals where we  will be playing Philip Harpers ' St James -A New Beginning'.

As ever Mark it was great to have you here and give us the benefit of your expertise.   Thanks!

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25th July 2023

Soprano player Vicky Flint becomes the new Band Manager at Sovereign Brass.


Sovereign Brass, the current First Section Midland Regional and ConsTest Champion, has appointed their soprano player Vicky Flint as their new Band Manager.

Vicky, who has played a central part in the band's recent successes, takes over from long serving Steve Parsons. With extensive management experience, Vicky will spearhead the administration of a band that will be promoted to the Championship Section in 2024.

Speaking about her new joint playing and admin role, Vicky said: "I'm very excited to bring something different and fresh to this role and look forward to working with MD Alan Gifford and the management team to continue the momentum of the band."

The band has extended its thanks to Steve Parsons for his tireless work over many years, and for being a key part of the management team.

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3rd April 2023

Constest Champions!

Another First place achieved at the Inaugural Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Constest!  Following on from our Area Contest victory the band were a class apart according to adjudicators Ian Porthouse and Alan Morrison with their rendition of 'Diversions on a Bass Theme' by George Lloyd.

Image of Sovereign Brass after the results of the Birmingham ConsTest in 2022

25th March 2023

Phil becomes a Denis Wick Ambassador

Is there no end to our Chairmans'  accomplishments?

Image of Phil Green with his tuba

5th March 2023

Worthy Champions!

Celebration as Sovereign Brass became Midlands Area 1st Section Champions on 5th March 2023!  In addition, our stunning performance of "A Day in the Life of a Knight" by Philip Lawrence managed to secure the band a place in the National Finals that take place in October as well as promotion to the Championship Section. Not a bad days work!

Image of Sovereign Brass after the results of the Area 2023
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