Tendring Brass Band

Tendring Brass Band rehearse at our own comfortable and licensed premises of Wix Ex-Services Club,  Harwich Road, Wix, Essex, CO11 2RY on a Monday evening at 7:15pm until 9:45pm. The first part of the evening is dedicated to our Concert Band and the second part to our Contest Band.

Antony Sanders was appointed as band Musical Director in 1999, and is now ably assisted by David Rowland, our Assistant Musical Director. We also have professional help and guidance from our own musical advisor – David Johnson.  

What sort of concerts do we give? We play a variety of events and concerts each year, mostly in the Tendring peninsula. Our audiences are increasing, with many concerts now selling out.

Every few years we go on tour to a European destination, with past visits to Spain, Belgium, France, Denmark, The Netherlands and the USA.

How can I join? The band always welcomes new players. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about Tendring Brass to contact us. We have various options for new members.

If you are relatively new to Brass banding, you could come along to our Academy, where you will find an environment of development and learning.

If you are already an established player, you enjoy social playing without the level of commitment of a contesting band, you could come along on a Tuesday evening to the Community Band rehearsal.

For those who enjoy more challenging pieces of music to a contesting level, perhaps the Main Band is a possible option for you – subject to vacancies.

If, after several visits, you decide to join us you will be required to fill out membership forms. There is also a £15.00 monthly membership subscription (payable by standing order.)

Please contact us so that we can discuss the options available to you.

Musical Director – Antony Sanders CT ABRSM

Born in Kingsbury, London in 1961, Antony started playing trombone at school in St Albans aged 15, before moving on to euphonium two years later while playing for a band in Luton, where in 1977 he also met his trombone playing wife-to-be Caroline. They married in 1981 and have two children, Louise & Craig.

Antony has played in every section of the National Brass Band championships with: Longland Brass (Luton), Herts County Youth, South West Herts (Watford), St Albans City and the Hitchin Bands, before being invited to join the highly renowned Championship Section Clacton-on-Sea Co-operative Band in 1984 where he played Solo Euphonium for 16 years, winning the title London and Southern Counties Euphonium Champion in 1988. During this period the Clacton Band was always very consistent in competitions, featured on national television / radio broadcasts, recorded two albums, undertook many tours (including being the second only Brass Band to visit Hungary), as well as playing their popular summer season concerts and seasonal beer nights at the Princes Theatre, Clacton, where Antony was a featured soloist.

In 1996 he was appointed Assistant Musical Director of the Clacton on Sea Co-operative Band before, in 2000 being invited to take on the Musical Directorship of Tendring Brass, who were then known as ‘Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band’. Antony undertook & completed an ‘Associated Board of the Royal School of Music’ CT-ABRSM diploma in Music teaching, being presented with his Certificate by HRH Prince Charles in July 2005. This qualification is being put to good use within Tendring band’s Music Academy which he feels is a crucial part in securing the band’s long term future.

In January 2007 Antony embarked upon a new career when accepting the position of specialist music teacher at Chase Lane Nursery & Primary School, Dovercourt, Harwich. In addition to delivering curriculum music throughout the school, from nursery to year 6 level, this position included leading the first ‘Wider Opportunities’ brass project to be undertaken by any school locally. He now teaches over 60 children to play a mixture of cornets, flugel horns, tenor horns, baritones, trombones, tubas & clarinets within the school. The Chase Lane school band has won both the Manningtree & the Colchester Rotary Music Festivals, performed at the Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of the ‘Music for Youth National Festival’ and also Ipswich Corn Exchange as guests of the Ipswich Symphony Orchestra. Many current & past school pupils are now feeding through into the Tendring Brass Academy, and some now play in the main band too, a huge achievement!

In 2015 Haverhill Silver Band invited Antony to play Solo Euphonium at the 1st Section Regional Championships, an event they subsequently won, gaining promotion to the Championship Section, where they remain today.

Antony continues to conduct Tendring Brass as well as playing Solo Euphonium with Haverhill. He is enjoying the challenge of competing at the top level once again.

Assistant Musical Director – David Rowland

Locally born, David Rowland began his musical journey at the tender age of 5, when he started to learn violin and drums. At the age of 7, he started learning the Cornet in the Salvation Army band, where his father conducted. From that early age David developed a keen interest in conducting. He played in the Territorial Youth Band of the Salvation Army under the baton of bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb. In 2007 David joined the Essex Youth Orchestra as a Trumpeter, expanding his musical knowledge with performances of symphonies by Mahler, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky and many others. While performing with the Youth Orchestra, David was inspired by the conductor Robin Browning with whom he later had master classes. From 2009 David studied music at Leeds College of Music graduating with a Bachelor of Arts where he gained a 1st for his conducting recital. 

In late 2017 David took over as music director of ‘Blow the Dust Off’, Clacton Concert Orchestra’s training group. He was then invited to take on the role of conductor of Clacton Concert Orchestra for their 2018 summer concert. David’s musical career has encompassed a reggae band, cruise ship entertainment, jazz bands and countless shows throughout Essex and beyond.

David is currently Soprano Cornet player and Assistant Musical Director of Tendring Brass and freelances with orchestras, jazz bands and indeed anywhere a trumpet is needed!

Professional Music Advisor – David Johnson BMus (Hons) LLCM LRSM

Born and raised in Sennen Cove near Lands End in Cornwall, David began his playing career on baritone with Penzance Silver Band before moving to Solo Euphonium at Lanner and District Silver Band, playing until he joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1990. During the last 26 years as a professional musician in the Royal Marines, his career has taken him all over the world, performing as a soloist in the USA, Canada, Russia, Ethiopia, Japan and Australia.

In addition to his talents as a performer, David is also a prolific arranger for wind and brass bands. For the past 11 years his music has been featured at the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall and his more recent works include arrangements performed at the world premiere of the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ and for Classic FM chart-topping saxophonist, Amy Dixon. In recognition of his achievements in this area, in 2013, 14, 15 & 16 he was awarded the prestigious Herbert Lott Award for Innovation and Invention in Orchestration.

David started his conducting career with Torbay Brass and in 2006 moved to Verwood Concert Brass where, over the course of three years, the band was promoted from Third to First Section. In 2010 David took up the position of Musical Director at Aldbourne Band and in 2011 steered the band to victories at the West of England First Section Regional Championships, Senior Trophy at the Spring Festival and the National Finals in Cheltenham. As recognition of his achievements with the band, he was nominated as ‘Conductor of the Year’ in the 4BarsRest Awards in 2011. Since Aldbourne’s meteoric rise to the Championship Section, David has achieved 3rd placings with the band at the Regional Championships in 2013 and 2014 respectively. These successes were also mirrored at the Spring Festival with promotion into the British Open’s Grand Shield in 2013.

Having spent most of 2014 in the euphonium section of Cory Band, David picked up the batten once more with Aldbourne, helping the band secure a place at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in 35 years.

David was appointed as the ‘Professional Music Advisor’ to Tendring Brass in January 2020.

History

The band was formed in 1958 as an adult further education class and was named the Grange Band, after the education centre. From the outset the school authorities provided the practice facilities and instruments, but slowly as the band became ever more popular and successful, it started to raise sufficient funds to purchase it’s own instruments.

The Harwich Concert Band

In the early 1970s the band became independent from the education authority to allow younger players to join and was re-named the Harwich Concert Band. With a larger spectrum of players the band now enjoyed greater success, and won many prizes in regional brass band competitions. During this period the band purchased its familiar blue concert jackets that are still worn today. Unfortunately during the 1980s the popularity of the band started to decline and it struggled to keep many of its players, and by 1989 there were only 6 players remaining.

Back row (left to right) – Ernie Smith, Reg Grimshaw, Jack Spratt, Alf Simpson, Ben Simpson.
Third row (left to right) – Matthew Sharp, Alan Thomas, Ernie Cawdell, Eric Whyte, Malcolm Hook, Bernie Pells, Charlie Carter, Terry Shelby, Michael Dunn.
Second Row (left to right) – John ?, Debbie Monday, Len Whent, Joy Whyte, Sue Branch, George Earey, Ivan Monday, Geoff Banks, Clive Easter.
Front row (left to right) – Geoff Smith, John Branch, Tony Page, David Cawdell (MD), David Watson, Jack Quaintance, David Shelby.
** Please Help ** Can anyone identify John from the second row? If you can, please get in touch with us. Thank you.

The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band

In the latter part of 1992 efforts were made to rejuvenate the band and a vigorous recruiting campaign started. Keith Watson was appointed as the new musical director and many new players were recruited, allowing the band to develop once again. During 1994 the band became affiliated to the Harwich branch of the Royal British Legion, and thus adopted the name The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band.

This affiliation with the RBL gave the band much needed stability and yet again it grew in popularity.

During the summer of 2000 the band appointed its current musical director, Antony Sanders. The band is continuing to go from strength to strength. Over the next few years it undertook many overseas tours, including Southern Spain, Holland and three Europeade Festivals in Belgium, France and Denmark. In 2002 following the Declan Heath Memorial Concert, a training band was formed, which led in November 2004 to the launch of a ‘Band Music Academy’ aimed at complete beginners of any age who would like to learn a Brass instrument or percussion.

June 2007 saw the band join with Clacton Amateur Dramatic Society to present a stage version of the hit film ‘Brassed Off’, winning many awards locally.

The recording and subsequent release in 2009 of its first CD ‘Brassed  Off in Harwich’ was yet another phase in the development of the Band.

2011 saw the band, along with its friends from Victory Brass in Portsmouth, undertake a sixteen day tour of the eastern seaboard of the United States, visiting Harwich (MA), Portsmouth (NH), Boston, New York and Washington DC, playing many concerts along the way.

The A120 Ensemble was created in 2012 from within the band’s Academy. This group is run for, and by the band’s youth, and gives many independent performances around the local area.

The band has achieved many contest successes in recent years. In March 2011 it finished 2nd at the Fourth Section Regional Championships gaining promotion to the 3rd section and also qualifying for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Finals for the first time in its history, where it finished a very creditable 7th place out of the 24 competing bands from around the country.

Tendring Brass Band

Following changes in the Royal British Legion’s band licensing policy and regulations, the band decided to divorce itself from the RBL and in the spring of 2015 was renamed Tendring Brass Band.

In 2016 under its new name, the band again finished 2nd at the Regional Championship, but this time in the Third Section, once again qualifying for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain Finals in Cheltenham, where it finished with a highly notable 3rd place, in a field of 22 competing bands, gaining great acclaim with its performance of ‘Lake of the Moon’ by Kevin Houben.

Promotion to the 2nd section from January 2019 is now confirmed following a 4th place at the 2018 Regional Championships back in March. This is the highest level the band has ever been graded in its history.

Today the band consists of over 35 players of all ages ranging from twelve to over eighty years old. Most of our concerts are performed locally, including the very popular ‘Tendring Brass on Tour’ series which aims to take live band music to all corners of the Tendring Peninsular. Around 50% of the band’s current players started their musical education at the Band’s Academy, which is a remarkable achievement.