Christmas kicked off in style.

The weekend of the 9th and 10th of December saw the Senior Band kick off Christmas in real style. First of all a small group of players headed off to Bishopthorpe Club on December 9th to play carols at the annual Lollipop Christmas Party.

Lollipop is a charity supporting d/Deaf children and their parents and offers them a social environment where they can get together. The band have joined with the NCEM I Can Play programme over the last year to offer places in Brass Roots where d/Deaf children can take up playing a brass instrument. We are so excited to be part of this initiative and many members of the band have started learinig to sign using BSL as part of this. More on that Later!

December 10th saw the senior band head to the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York where we put on three performances of The Snowman live. We were pleased to welcome Buffy Breakwell who accompanied us on the Grand Piano and Sophie Sylvester who provided stunning vocals in the iconic Walking in the Air. Thanks also have to go to York Concerts who partnered with us on both this and the recent Cory concerts and withouth whom we would have found this much harder to do.

We couldn’t just leave things there though and we added in a couple of extra pieces, the first was Into the Unknown from the film Frozen II and then we introduced something really new for the band. As we move into 2024, we are going to build on the work we have done with Lollipop and I can play and we are making our concerts more inclusive for our d/Deaf friends. The first step here is going to be the introduction of signing at our concerts. With this in mind our Principal Cornet player Sean Chandler, who is himself d/Deaf, taught the audience the BSL words for Merry Christmas Everyone having first explained the challenges faced in selecting the correct cutlery.

The feedback we have had was that the audience participation in this number was a real highlight for everyone who was there, and Sean has confessed he was quite choked up to see the players in the band not only getting involved in the signing themselves, but also giving a round of applause using signing at the end of the piece.

Sean teaching the signing for Merry Christmas Everyone

Thanks to Jenni Chandler for ther video clip.

The Snowman Returns

Following the success of the live production of the Snowman last year. We will be returning to ths nightime world of snow and magic again this year. On December 10th the band will be at the Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York where we will reprise the performance for a new audience. We learned last year that many more wanted to see us and therefore there will be 3 performances in the afternoon.

Tickets will be available through the York University Ticket System and once they are available we will post an update.

A chilly success!

On December 10th, the Senior Band took on a new Christmas Challenge at St Andrews Church in Bishopthorpe when they performed the live soundtrack to a showing Raymond Briggs’ animated film “The Snowman”. This was a new experience for the band, playing film music is a very different performance to a concert performance and the build up to this has been quite intense.

The band was joined by Buffy Breakwell who played keyboards with us and Sophie Sylvester who provided the vocals for the iconic song “Walking in the Air”. Everyone in the band was really impressed with the professionalism and superb musical ability of both our guests for the day. We can only hope this will not be our last collaboration.

We could have sold the tickets for this ten times over so next year we will be back to do it all over again. Watch this space!

That wasn’t the only thing we did on the day though!

In the interval between performances, the band went along to Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club to play Christmas Carols for the Lollipop children’s Christmas party. Lollipop is a charity for D/deaf children and their families in York and the band’s Principal Cornet player Sean Chandler is involved in making music with the children the charity works with.

When Sean asked if a few players could go, the whole band said yes. Playing “Away in a Manger” with a choir signing the words was such a powerful moment.

If you want to know more about Lollipop and want to support their work, check out their website.

The Snowman Live!

Snowman Poster

If you were at the Christmas Concerts last year, you will remember the announcement that the band would be performing a live soundtrack along with the whole film of The Snowman. The classic Christmas story by Raymond Briggs.

Everything is in place for this now and there will be 2 performances taking place on December 10th 2022 at St Andrews Church Bishopthorpe, the first at 2pm and then a further performance at 6pm.

Do get your tickets ordered early, this is going to be a great experience for familes as well as for the band. The tickets can be bought from Eventbrite usung the following links

2 pm Performance
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sgbb-presents-the-snowman-live-2pm-tickets-408059606267

6pm Performance
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sgbb-presents-the-snowman-live-6pm-tickets-408085614057