Pheonix Brass Band dedicate virtual performance

Phoenix Brass performed their first virtual recording with 18 players playing Loyal & True, which they dedicated to David Watson in celebration of his 75 years to brass banding. David features on GBBA's Roll of Honour page.

David Watson was awarded for his 75 years service to brass banding in January 2020. David Watson was born in Dovercourt a suburb of Harwich in Essex to a musical family. His grandfather played the cello and euphonium for a small Royal Marines band, while his mother was a songster with the Harwich Salvation Army. David Watson’s full-time involvement in Brass Bands began 75 years ago at the age of seven when he played cornet in the Harwich Salvation Army Band. At fifteen, he had to stop playing following an operation and moved to percussion instruments and then the drums. David later resumed playing the cornet with the Grange Brass Band where he learnt about conducting and band management. The Grange Brass Band became the Harwich Concert Band of which he became band secretary for 15 years. David moved to Kennet Vale Band on cornet but soon became the conductor of the youth band, and later became Musical Director of a re-formed Hungerford Town Band, working hard to ensure its survival. David started a learners' course and raised enough money to buy instruments and a library of music. But then, David decided to do it all over again and started a completely new brass band, with no music, no instruments, and no money! In 1993 he helped form Phoenix Brass, at the same time becoming its first Musical Director. Thank you David for a life in music, teaching, and service!

Friendly Phoenix Brass, a 4th section band is based in the village of Froxfield, on the Wiltshire/ Berkshire border. We provide facilities for brass band players to participate in musical activities of many types, provide educational and training facilities for persons of all ages to learn to play a brass instrument and also assist other organisations, charitable and community, in achieving their goals whenever possible, by making use of the Band's abilities. Pheonix Brass' rehearsal nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, with beginners and junior players practice & lessons on Saturday mornings from 10am. Richard Fradgley (Secretary) Email: r.fradgley@btinternet.com


Phoenix Brass is committed to giving players of any age or ability the chance to perform and will supply instruments, group tuition and ongoing support to anyone interested in learning. The Pheonix Brass Training Band has trainee members of ages 7 to 60+, with members either reigniting an old hobby or learning from scratch. There is always something for everyone to get involved in and to suit most tastes. Many of the tutors are are 'home grown' from the training band themselves, and so their understanding and empathy enables them to draw out the love of music and the ability to read and play, from even the most nervous trainee. Training Band members are encouraged to perform at two or three small concerts a year. More experienced trainees may join the Main Band at rehearsal too. The Training Band meet each Saturday in the Froxfield War Memorial Hall. Currently, Training Band is split into two sessions, the Beginners Group from 9.45am until 10.30am and the Advanced Group from 10.45am until 12 noon. Membership is just £1 for children and £2 for adults with tutor sessions free of charge and instruments provided on loan. Marilyn Mason Tel: 01672 512 634 Email: marilynmason1@yahoo.co.uk


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