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The Amazing Grace Notes

Newsletter for Olney Brass and Friends
including Beginner Band and Open Band

Olney Brass's Annual Summer Showcase, where all of our bands, along with guests from

Tickford Primary School, came together to perform to each other and an almost packed

Ousedale School hall, a selection of music.

Kate from senior band performs the Acrobat in front of her peers!

There were also solos and duets by some of the musicians involved of a wide variety of

standards, some playing in front of an audience for the very first ever time!

The event was new to the Olney Brass calendar, a concept devised and orchestrated by David Rose, and was a huge success and is sure to feature again next year and beyond.

Obviously a favourite solo as we see Philip Peake former player in an earlier rendition under the direction of David Greig (late 70's)

Busy Summer season always comes with the prospect of a March

Here are a few images depicting how we fared over the years!

This event in Old Stratford was the Palm Sunday parade, leading the congregation around the town. Hymn 'All Glory Laud and Honour' for the 14th time!!!

Leading the Newport Pagnell Carnival for several years

This year, however, we had to resort to playing on the back of a low loader!

Upcoming Events
Where to see the band

Sunday 3rd September -

Emberton Fete, Playing

Field, Hulton Drive

Saturday 9th September -

Joint concert with Oxford

Welsh Male Voice Choir

St |Peter and St Paul

Olney 7.30pm

Saturday 4th November

Autumn Concert - details

in next issue


This month we welcome past members to our readership - we have opened up

our mailing list to allow communication to everyone who is hoping to attend

this celebration - Provisionally the date is 28th September 2024 in Stantonbury

Theatre. If you know anyone who would like to be added please contact us by

email, facebook, website etc

Brothers in Brass

These two brothers started playing

in Open Band last September 2022.

Kit is only 6 and won a talent show

at school playing ‘We Will Rock You’

and Rory, the elder played a Jazz

piece at School. The first time he’d

ever performed in public doing


These two brothers started playing

in Stantonbury Brass in 1974 - Keith

has previously been Principal,

Euphonium, percussionist and now

plays 2nd Baritone, Dale has retired

from Horn playing, but is looking

forward to the 50th!

These two brothers started playing

in Stantonbury Brass in 1974 -both

continue to be stalwart members of

Olney Brass - Andy is our esteemed

chairman and Simon has registered

more players for contests than he

has had pints in the Bell and Bear!

(Fake news!)

An exceptionally well-received Proms concert at Newton Longville bringing their coronation celebrations to a rousing conclusion.

Brilliant beginners helping to brighten everyone's day at a local street party, during the Coronation weekend in Newport Pagnell Well done!

Band Weddings

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Matthew Atkinson (Principal Cornet) on the occasion of their wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month. Matt married Rebecca Stoneman (ex baritone player) before flying home and playing at the Proms Concert whilst suffering jet lag!

More Nostalgia - just to see if everyone is still reading this!

I don't think anyone will thank me for these!

Dale Underwood (tenor horn) married Sharon Nicholls (tenor horn)

Tim Spencer (Eb Bass) married Helen Adams (trombone)

Andy Harris (BbBass) married Sue Drury (Flugel Horn)

It was good to meet up with ex conductor Ed Keeley and two ex euphonium players Vaughan Bower and Dominic Sheehy

Tony Moroney

Several band members attended the

funeral of Tony ex Chairman and first

trombone player with the band on 28th

March. He will be fondly remembered for

moving the band forward during a

difficult period.

He threw himself into band life and this

message from the inaugural concert

program shows what he achieved during

his time with us.

We extend our sympathy to his son

Daniel, also an ex player and all of his

family at this sad time


Updated: May 7, 2023


David Rose's work with our feeder bands really paid off this month, we thank him for his dedication and hard work, and for Sara's assistance!


The Band had two groups playing at the Festival this year and both had excellent comments from the adjudicator. OB1 played ‘German tune’,’Welsh Tune’ and ‘When the Saints’ where the solo cornets finished on a high C (3rd space!) - impressive! The adjudicator commented positively on their deportment and contrasting volume control as well as their tight ensemble playing. OB2 played, ‘Yma o Hyd’ an arrangement of a song by the Welsh singer Dafydd Iwan that is heard on the terraces sung by fans at Welsh Football games, ‘A Lan y Môr’, a beautiful Welsh Folk Song (spot the theme?!) and ‘Call Me’ as sang by Blondie. Again the adjudicator commented positively and “loved’ the drum introduction to the first piece well played Barney who, due to circumstances beyond our control, had to play a much longer introduction then rehearsed!! Both Bands received a commendation certificate - Well done OB1 and OB2


Ten members of OB2 (Open Band) joined forces with players from the MK Music Hub to perform as MK Brasshoppers at these Championships. Held at Stockport Grammar School, it was a long journey by coach but worth it to experience the buzz of playing in the same venue as the cream of youth bands from across the country. The adjudicators were the Fodens principal euphonium player, Gary Curtin and the composer Darren Hall. They comment positively on the programme and the quality of playing, especially considering that the band had only met for two rehearsals. The Band even got a fantastic write up on 4Bars Rest! It as a long day but the smiles of the young players’ faces said that it was an enjoyable one.

Olney Brass

Played for the first time in the 2nd section at the London and Southern Counties Regional Competition and were placed a very creditable 5th out of 17 bands. Drawing inspiration from John Bunyan's Christian allegory, 'The Pilgrim's Progress' and Eric Ball's setting of Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Hymn', Rodney Newton has expertly crafted a set of variations, each outlining a chapter in the Pilgrim's journey to the Celestial City.The work was written in 2003 (Eric Ball's centenary year) for Bandmaster Stephen Cobb and The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army to whom it is dedicated.

Farewells and Welcomes!

After the area contest, two of our long standing members decided to hang up their instruments.Henry, has been in the band since 2014 mostly on Solo Cornet, and is pursuing other hobbies.Laurence, after a 20 year 'temporary roll' on Flugel has decided to retire from playing afterdoing a sterling job over the years. His whole family has been involved at some point - his wifeTess taught many of our horn players and his two sons Peter (Euphonium) and Tim (cornet)played for several years. We are hoping to twist his arm to join us occasionally so we don't losetouch completely. Both players were presented with gifts and a momento of their time with theband. Welcome to Charlie Harris who joined Olney Brass back in December - since then he has played both Solo and Repiano cornet and played in his first contest with us. The test piece called for three percussionists and we were delighted to welcome Borta Jones who has decided to stay with us.

Anthony Victor Moroney 'Tony'

The band were saddened to hear of the death of former Bass Trombone player Tony A full appreciation of his work with the band will appear in May

A look back at some contesting origins

It would seem that the band is no stranger to contesting, checking out the Brass Band Results website here are some off the earlier successes of our namesake. Northampton Mercury Friday 26th July 1895 'The presentation of new silver instruments, which have been purchased at a cost of £300, was made on Saturday afternoon. Mr Attenborough officiated. The affair was arranged to take place in a field off the Weston Road, but owing to the inclemency of the weather a retreat had to be made to the British School. The band has since its inception in 1892 obtained prizes to the value of £43.00, has secured four second and three third prizes and never competed without taking a prize.......Attenborough said he thought it was a great credit to the members that they should have arrived at such a state of efficiency in so short a time. He would give them a little advice, being a bit of a musician himself. He urged them not only to practise together, but to practise at home, and then probably they would not only gain second and third places but first also. He then presented the different members with their instruments, and after doing so he recommended them to keep their instruments in as good a condition as they were at the time.

OLNEY TOWN BAND - Early 1900s

James Hager was born in Earls Barton in February 1870 and so was only in his twenties when he had these successes with the band. He also conducted Newport Pagnell Band, Stony Stratford Band, Woburn Sands, Northampton Town, Berkhamsted Volunteer and Excelsior Bands and Oswestry Excelsior. 20th July 1893 Bedford Contest 2nd Luisa Miller (arr Round) J. Hager 14th May 1894 Aylesbury Contest 2nd Verdi (arr Round) J. Hager 18th August 1894 Luton Contest 3rd Elixir of Love J. Hager 18th August 1894 Luton March Contest 2nd Hero of the South J. Hager 25th August 1894 Wolverton Contest 3rd Elixir of Love J. Hager 22nd June 1895 Agricultural Contest 3rd Maritana Geroge F Birkenshaw London 2nd Class 15th August 1895 Leighton Buzzard 2nd Maritana George F Birkenshaw 24th June 1896 Bletchley Contest 1st Lucrezia Borgia J. Hager

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