Sovereign Brass News
Friday 1st December 2023
CHRISTMAS CD NOW ON SALE!
Yes, Christmas is finally here. The Christmas CD that you've been waiting for is now on sale. Recorded in July this year this compilation of brass band favorites, some with uplifting re-scorings, is guaranteed to put you into a festive mood.
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.
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.
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!
2nd November 2023
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
3rd April 2023
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.
5th March 2023
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!