Band News

Looking forward to another great year

Let me start by thanking you all for the wonderful support you have given the Band over the last year. The Big Band concert was wonderfully supported and tickets for our Christmas Crackers Concert were all sold some 4 weeks before the concert.

As usual, December was a busy month, we played at 2 Church services, presented 2 small Band Concerts and our final full Band concert. During this time we were pleased to offer our support to community events, as well as helping to raise the best part of £1,000 for various charities.

As we enter our 56th year since being formed, the Band is now hard at work preparing for contest life in a higher section, which will be a challenge. We are pleased to be holding another workshop lead by Michael Fowles (Resident MD of the Foden’s Band – now rated the number 1 Band in the world) before we head off to Stevenage for the National Brass Band Qualifying Heats in March.

We will be staging two concerts in the Spring/Summer season:

Baking with Brass – Sunday 28th April - 3pm at St. Francis Church (all funds raised go to the Church) – Brass Band music and home-made cakes on a Sunday afternoon – sounds like bliss!

Brass on the Grass – Saturday 29th June – 3pm - St Nicholas Church – Kelvedon Hatch

Bring your deck chairs and picnic and sit in the glorious sun listen to this outdoor concert (just in case the weather is not kind the concert will take place in the Church)

Ticket details will appear on the website closer to the performances.

Preparations are well underway for us to go to the Netherlands in August, a party of just under 40 people (players and supporters) will head off to play two concerts, the details of which are currently being finalised.

Finally, a thanks to all those that are renewing their 100 Club share for another year, this is the Band’s longstanding fund raiser. There may be a share or two still available so if you can spare £1 a month to support the Band (and maybe even win one of the monthly draws) please contact us.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

Winter 2023

A big thank you to all those who came along to our recent Big Band Concert, we very much appreciate your support. From the feedback we have received the concert was a big success.

As we come towards the end of the year and head into our busy Christmas season it is a good time to look back on what has been a wonderful year.

2023 saw us:

• Play at the Royal Albert Hall

• Qualify for the National Finals

• Promoted to the Second Section

• Taking part in the Whit Friday Marches

• Play at the National Finals

• Help to raise a considerable amount of money for charity and good causes.

It is a list that a small Brass Band based in Essex can be so proud of.

In addition, a group of 15 “boys” from, or associated with, the Band recently enjoyed a great historical tour to the site of the Battle of the Bulge, a great opportunity to socialise.

Our Christmas programme will, once again, see us support local community activities by raising money, and we hope you will be able to join us at one of our events. After a short break we will be back in the New Year with a one-day workshop with Michael Fowles (resident Musical Director of the number one Brass Band in the world; Foden’s) followed by our appearance in the Second Section for the Regional Qualifying heats for the National Brass Band Championships.

We have still to arrange dates for our annual Baking for Brass and Brass on the Grass concerts but have already agreed a date for our autumn concert at Theydon Bois (20th October). At the centre of our 2024 programme will be a tour to The Netherlands. We will be staying around 30 minutes from Amsterdam; the hotel and travel arrangements have been made and we are currently looking to arrange our two performance dates and venues.

We could not do all we do without the fantastic support we receive from you, whether it’s by attending concerts or holding a share in our 100 Club – you make it all possible, so A BIG THANK YOU to you all.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

August 2023

The Band are currently hard at work preparing for our appearance at the National Finals, which are being held at Cheltenham Racecourse in mid-September. In preparation for this we are looking forward to spending a day with Mike Fowles, Musical Director of the National Brass Band Champions: Foden’s. Qualifying for the finals is a fantastic achievement for the Band and we are doing all we can to give a good account of ourselves, we know we will be up against sponsored Bands, some of which will bring in a Professional Conductor for the day but it will be a day to remember.

We had a very enjoyable and productive summer season. In May we presented our annual “Baking with Brass” concert at our home (St. Francis Church). A good-sized audience enjoyed the afternoon and the cakes, and we were delighted to help raise over £500 for Church funds.

In June we made our first appearance at the legendary Whit Friday Marches. We travelled north on the Thursday and met in a Travelodge Car Park in Ashton-under-Lyne where we entertained the locals with our final marching practice (only the second time in our history that we have marched!). We boarded the coach and headed to the first village to undertake our first March and performed at around 4.15pm. At 11pm, after 8 villages, we ended our day tired but very satisfied to have been part of this great spectacle (at some villages over 60 Bands performed).

We then performed at “Brass on the Grass” at St. Nicholas Church in Kelvedon Hatch. Another excellent crowd enjoyed the sunny afternoon with their picnics, local beer and strawberries and cream and, whilst we had to battle with the sounds from a local outdoor Dance Festival, the music was well received.

Once we are back from the National Finals, we will be preparing for our Big Band Concert at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Sunday 5th November. We are starting this concert at 2pm to allow everyone to get home for their own firework celebrations. The hall will be set out with tables to enable you to bring your own food and drink and enjoy what is our most popular themed ‘Big Band Concert’. Tickets are available so book now (See link below this article to our Ticket Office)

Another date for your diary is our Christmas Concert at Theydon Bois on Tuesday 19th December. Again, you can bring your own food and drink and join in with the Christmas Carols, this is a very popular concert so we would urge you to book early. See our Events Page in the link below for more details.

Theydon Bois Village Hall is a great venue with plenty of onsite parking as well as being a very short walk from Theydon Bois Underground Station (Central Line).

We have a very busy Christmas programme and will let you have full details in the autumn.

Finally, news for next year, we are in the finishing stages of arranging a tour to the Netherlands in 2024 so Belgium clearly wasn’t our ‘last ever tour’!

Thank you for your continued support.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass Band

April 2023

This is turning out to be a very eventful and exciting year for the Band.

We started in January with an all-day workshop with Michael Fowles, who is the Musical Director of National Brass Band Champions Foden’s. We have worked with Mike for a few years now and really enjoy the opportunity of working with one of the leading conductors in the brass band world.

We have already updated you on our wonderful achievement of qualifying for the National Brass Band Championship Finals, and plans are now well underway for our trip to Cheltenham to compete in September, however, before then we have so much else to look forward to.

Just prior to the Nationals, 18 members of the Band had the thrill of being part of a massed Band that played at the Royal Albert Hall in the Redbridge bi-annual Schools Choral Festival. We joined forces with members of Redbridge Brass and some 150 young brass players from the Redbridge Music Service and played to a packed auditorium – an event to be remembered for a long time.

In May we stage our annual fund-raising concert for our home Church, St. Francis. Normally entitled Baking with Brass but because the concert is being held amidst the coronation celebrations of King Charles III, we have altered the title to “Coronation Brass” but, rest assured, home made cakes will still be available during the interval. Tickets for the concert, which starts at 3pm, will be available on the door, see the details on our events section of the website.

In June we make our debut at the famous Whit Friday march contest. Billed in the North West as “the greatest free show on earth” this event brings large areas of the north west region to a standstill. We will travel by coach to around 8 to 10 villages and at each will encounter a deportment contest (we have very low expectations here as we do not usually march) and a music contest. After our performance at each contest, where there can be some 60 to 70 Bands competing, we jump back on the coach and head to the next village. This should be a day to remember and fingers are crossed for good weather.

We then have to prepare for our annual Brass on the Grass concert at St. Nicholas Church in Kelvedon Hatch on Saturday 1st July at 3pm, details of how to obtain tickets will be notified soon. Only 100 tickets for this concert are pre-sold as this is the most people that can be fitted into the church should the weather be unkind, but there will be plenty of tickets available on the gate on the day where we hope for our usual sunny afternoon of picnics and music.

Work is already starting on the Band’s Big Band Concert to be held at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Sunday 5th November at 2pm. The hall will be set out with seats around tables as it is for our Christmas concert, and you are welcome to bring along your own food and drink for what should be a wonderful afternoon.

It seems early to talk about Christmas – so I won’t, but we are already well advanced with our December performance schedule.

One other event of note will a be group of 18 members of, or associated with, the Band going on a Battlefields trip to the site of the Battle of the Bulge in October. This cultural trip will, I am sure, produce more great memories and stories.

Thank you for your support.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

19th March 2023 - Contest Success

We are delighted inform you that Fairlop Brass have qualified for the National Brass Band Championship Finals being held at Cheltenham Racecourse in September, where we will represent the London & Southern Counties Brass Band Association.

In a very tight Contest in Stevenage last Sunday the Band (from the dreaded No. 1 draw) were placed 3rd in a field of 18 Bands and thereby qualified for the finals.

As well as praising certain individual players the two adjudicators were fulsome in their praise of the Band’s rich warm sound and very musical interpretation of Stephen Bulla’s Chorale & Toccata, which represented a tough musical challenge for all Bands.

All at Fairlop Brass were delighted with the result which was further improved when we discovered that we have now been promoted to a higher section.

2022 - Getting Back to Normal

Whist we are looking forward to a busy 2023, I thought this would be a good time to let you know of all our activities last year, and to thank you for your support throughout the year.

We started the year in January with a great all-day workshop with Michael Fowles (Musical Director of National Brass Band Champion Band, Foden’s). In March we presented our annual Baking with Brass Concert, where an excellent sum was raised for St. Francis Church.

Just a week later, in late March we competed in the qualifying round of the National Brass Band Championships in Stevenage. After three years away from the contest arena we feel we did not do ourselves justice but still only missed a place in the finals by one place!

In June we were pleased to play at the Doddinghurst Jubilee Pageant to help celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign, the weather was thankfully dry, and the Band played a range of popular music, ending with patriotic songs which enabled the crowd to sing-along.

Our tour to Belgium later that month has provided memories that will last for a long time. We presented a concert in Ypres Town Square and closed the prestigious Ghent Music Festival with a concert at the magnificent St. Michaels Church in the center of the city. The highlight of the tour was without doubt our participation in the daily service of remembrance at the Menin Gate in front of a crowd of around 700 people.

Brass on the Grass in July enjoyed fantastic weather and a best ever crowd thoroughly enjoyed the Band’s performance, whist raising a fantastic sum of money for the Church.

November saw us present our first formal concert for many years at Forest School, and whilst the crowd was only modest, they gave the Band great support and it was really pleasing to present a more formal concert once again.

December was, as usual, very busy for Band members. We supported community events by playing at Church Services at both Holy Trinity and St. Francis and gave small Band concerts at Chigwell Golf Club, St. Nicholas Church and a private party in Arkesden. We signed the year off with a near full house at our Festive Crackers concert at Theydon Bois. December saw the Band raise considerable funds to help towards our running costs, we were also able to support community events and helped to raise over £1,500 for various good causes, this brings our total fund-raising total to more than £4,000.

On behalf of the Band, I would like to thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at one, or more, of our events in 2023, details will be available soon.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the Band for their hard work and dedication throughout another successful year, and for the support given to us all by our families.

Happy New Year to you all.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

Fairlop Brass – July 2022

A party of 35 left their Hainault base and headed for Dover for a ferry crossing to Dunkirk. On arriving in France, a short coach journey took the Band to its base for the Tour, the seaside town of Blankenberge. Just enough time for a short rehearsal before dinner and a free evening exploring our new surroundings on the Belgium National Day Bank Holiday; ending in an excellent fireworks display (nothing to do with us arriving!!)

Next day an early start saw the group travel to Ypres. The morning was spent on an organised tour of three local War Cemetery’s (Commonwealth sites Essex Farms and Tyne Cot and German site Langemark). There was a short period of free time before the Band presented a concert in Ypres town square next to The Flanders Field Museum. The concert drew a sizable audience including those in local bars and restaurants and included well know pieces such as March Star Lake, Pastime with Good Company, and Radetzky March.

After more free time the Band assembled to have the honour of performing in the nightly Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. The Menin Gate contains the names of nearly 55,000 soldiers who died during WW1 but their remains have never been discovered. The ceremony started in 1929 and is held every night of the year with the Last Post being performed by members of the local Fire Brigade. A crowd of around 800 people assembled for the service during which the Band played Abide with Me and Nimrod. The positive feedback was phenomenal from both audience and organisers, with many people shedding tears during the performance. Fairlop Brass were so honoured to be part of the ceremony, and never has 6 minutes of playing meant so much to the Band and its supporters.

The next day was spent at leisure in Bruges. A Canal Boat trip and Chocolate making demonstration were arranged for the morning. The afternoon was spent browsing this beautiful city with some members of the Band attending a Brewery Tour, before we all headed back to our hotel for dinner and an evening at leisure.

The next day was another prompt start as we travelled to Ghent for the final full day. The morning was spend wandering the medieval streets before the Band assembled to give a concert at the fabulous setting of St. Michielskerk Church. The concert had been advertised as the closing musical performance of the famous Ghent festival (the largest Music and Arts festival in Europe). An audience of over 200 found the Band in top form presenting a varied programme including A Little Prayer, In Flanders Field, Highland Cathedral with Solos from Principal Cornet Adam Cuttell (First Light) and Tenor Horn Alan Poultney (Over the Rainbow). The Dean of the Church compered the Concert alongside MD Kevin Jordan and closed the event with glowing praise for the Band, enforcing the positive impact musical groups have in these troubled times.

The Band travelled back to its hotel for a final dinner together before the end of tour celebrations started. The next morning saw the Band depart for home, tired but incredibly uplifted and proud of their achievements.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

Fairlop Brass – March 2022

After our very disjointed 2021, this year is already seeing the Band getting back into full swing.

The year started with an excellent workshop lead by Mike Fowles. Mike is the Musical Director of the current Brass Band National Champions (The Legendary Foden’s Band) and our day with him is very important in the development of the Band.

After raising over £4,000 for charity last year the Band were back fund raising for St. Francis Church, the Church where we rehearse. Baking with Brass is now a firm fixture in the Band’s calendar and combines an afternoon of music together with homemade cakes supplied by the congregation of the Church. This year the fund raising was helped by a donation of a three-tiered 20lb chocolate cake from Henry Bird of Bake-off fame. All in all, over £550 was raised during the afternoon and saw the debut of the new set of music stands purchased with money left to the Band by our founder and President Dennis Carney.

The Ukraine situation is something that has shocked us all – the Band were keen to do something and responded to a call for warm clothing by donating clothes, baby nappies and new black band crested wool jumpers to be sent to those in need.

We returned, after a gap of three years, to the contesting stage competing in the National Brass Band Championships Regional Qualifying Heats (London & Southern Counties) against 16 other Bands in the Third Section. With the top three Bands being invited to compete in the National Finals the Band came so close with an agonising fourth place, made more difficult to accept as we felt we did not perform at our best. However, that is contesting, and we have taken great confidence that we came so close whilst not at our best – always next year!!!

The Band is now starting to work on our programmes for our two big summer engagements The Doddinghurst Pageant and Brass on the Grass see the events page for more details for more details. We are also in early conversation about an appearance at another Pageant (watch this space).

We look forward to seeing you at one of our performances and thank you for all the support we receive.

Kevin Jordan

Musical Director

Fairlop Brass

January 2022 Newsletter

The Band would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New year and to thank you for the support you gave us during a very difficult 2021.

We were able to complete most of our Christmas programme, with only one concert cancelled due to Covid concerns and the Band players mainly avoiding any of the variants. We were pleased to be able to offer full ticket refunds for those who felt unable to attend our Festive Crackers Concert but were deeply appreciative of the table that asked for their £68 to be donated to charity.

The Band has worked hard since it returned to full rehearsals in July, and we are extremely proud that we have managed to raise well over £4,000 for various good causes since we returned.

We are hoping that our re-arranged tour to Belgium will take place this year, and this will mean we will not present a main summer concert this year.

We continue to develop ways to make concert attendance as easy as possible for our supporters and in addition to being able to purchase tickets in advance on our website, we can now accept card payments on the door at our concerts.

Once again, we must thank the members of the 100 Club, this long-standing fund raiser is important not only financially, but helps us keep in touch with a wide range of former players and supporters.

We are working hard on our performance programme for 2022 but are able to give you some details for your diary:

Sunday 6th March – Baking with Brass – 3pm St. Francis Church

This popular concert returns with all funds raised going to the Church. An afternoon of popular music with interval homemade cakes and refreshments available. See the Bands’ website for further details closer to the day or buy your ticket on the door.

Sunday 5th June – Doddinghurst Platinum Pageant

The Band have been asked to play at this event to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. See the Bands’ website for further details closer to the day

Saturday 9th July – Brass on the Grass – St. Nicholas Church Kelvedon Hatch – 3pm

This popular outdoor concert will raise funds for the Church. Bring along your deck chairs, picnics, and sit out and enjoy an afternoon of popular music in the glorious sunshine (not guaranteed). Following feedback from our audience this concert is again being held in the afternoon rather than the evening. See the Bands’ website for further details closer to the day.

Sunday 6th November – Autumn Concert at Forest School – 3pm

Arrangements for this concert are in the early stages and more information will appear on our website

Christmas Concerts:

Thursday 15th December – Brass at Christmas – St Nicholas Church Kelvedon Hatch – 7.45pm

Tuesday 20th December – Festive Crackers – Theydon Bois Village Hall – 7.30pm

We do hope you will continue to support the Band, and I can assure you that any Covid related restrictions are always strictly adhered to at all our concerts.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass Band

Patricia Barber – 1944 – 2021

We are sad to report the passing, after a long illness, of percussionist Patricia Barber.

Tricia, as she was known to us, had wanted to join the Band for many, many years, but her other activities would not allow the time required to attend regular rehearsals. Things changed a few years ago and she was able to join us. With previous experience of playing in a Drum Corp she had the required skills to play side and bass drum but had limited experience of reading percussion music and no experience of playing tuned percussion.

She enjoyed, under the guidance of our existing percussion team, the challenge of learning new skills. However, Tricia really endeared herself to all members of the Band by her commitment to attending rehearsals, even when she was obviously unwell. During the Covid lockdown her efforts to join our weekly Zoom meetings will be remembered by us all.

Tricia was such a humble person that it was not until after her passing that we found out that she had been awarded an MBE for the research she undertook to produce three volumes of “History of the Victoria Cross and George Cross”. Also, that she was an expert marksman and Captain of the Royal Navy Reserve Ski Team for some 20 years.

We offer our sincere condolences to her husband John, and her family, and thank them for the very generous donation they have made to the Band – at present we are deciding how best to use this.

Back on Stage

The Band gave its first formal concert for two years when it presented “Brass Unlocked” at the Deaton Theatre within Forest School on Sunday 7th November.

The audience enjoyed a varied programme of music which included solos by Cornet players, Adam Cuttell and Lynne Hunt and Tenor Horn player, Alan Poultney. Centre piece of the concert was a tribute to our founder and former Life President Dennis Carney who passed away last year. Three pieces very specific to Dennis were dedicated to him, and we were very happy to see a good number of Dennis’ family and friends in the audience to share this important tribute with us.

This was the Band’s first concert at the wonderful Theatre within the School, and both audience and Band enjoyed the excellent facilities. We will develop our use of these as we gain more experience of the venue. We are already close to agreeing a date for November next year.

The Band will now focus its attention on the usual hectic Christmas period, which will see two full Band concerts at the Old Parkonians and Theydon Bois Village Hall, as well as smaller groups playing at Church Services, a Golf Club and Charity Fund raising event (by the end of the year we hope to have raised some £4,000 for various good causes). We hope you see you at some of our festive events.

We appreciate that some people are still not ready to return to crowded enclosed spaces, but we hope that audience figures will start to gradually rise in the New Year. Details of all our Christmas events are on the website and the 2022 concert dates will be published as soon as they have been agreed.

Next year will be the last time we send out our paper newsletter. With the ever-increasing costs of publication and postage, and with most people obtaining details via our website, it is no longer cost effective. However, if you would still like to receive a diary of our events each year you will have the opportunity to carry on receiving concert dates by post.

Thank you for your support

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Fairlop News

The Band returned to public performance on Saturday 14th August with a very successful Brass on the Grass concert which helped to raise funds for St. Nicholas Church in Kelvedon.

A crowd of over 200 people enjoyed a concert of popular music in glorious weather, it was so warm the Band performed without uniform jackets for the first time in many years. With only four rehearsals behind us, we restructured the programme to be presented in three sections and this gave the Band a bit more time to recover throughout the afternoon.

The concert raised over £2,000 for the Church and they look forward to welcoming the Band back for Brass at Christmas in December.

If you want to hear the Band why not come to one of the following Concerts:

Baking with Brass

– raising money for St. Francis Church with home made cakes available during the interval (usually extended to give time for a second slice)

Sunday 24th October – 3pm – St. Francis Church Fencepiece Road Barkingside IG6 2LA

Tickets: £5 Adults £1 Children – available on the door

Brass Unlocked

The Band make their debut performance at the excellent facilities at Forest School

Close to transport links and plenty of onsite parking

Sunday 7th November – 3pm


Adult £10 U16 £5 U12 £1

Pay in advance via our recently opened Ticket Office (see menu)
Adult £9 U16 £5

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 17 – 12th June 2021

As I write this, we are all waiting for the government announcement on 14th June about the potential relaxation of lockdown regulations from 21st June. Within a day or so of that we will receive guidance notes from Brass Band England as to how we may, or may not, return to rehearsals.

As the crucial date approaches it would appear likely that the relaxation from 21st June will either not take place or will be less than we hoped for. We currently have a small group of band members working on protocols for us to follow when we are allowed to return, and I have every confidence that our plans will exceed the minimum requirements. At the moment we are busy looking at the provision of sanitiser, bell covers and a revised seating plan. The final decision is out of our hands, but whatever it is we will be ready and able to move swiftly.

I trust you have enjoyed looking at our new website and Andy Carter’s insight into how our Virtual Performances were put together (I bet this involved more work than you thought). You will now be able to put concert dates in your diary. Whilst we are looking forward to Brass on the Grass on 14th August, it will be dependent upon us being back to rehearsals in time to put on a decent performance (and of course, good weather). We are all hoping Baking for Brass in October is a certainty.

We have used this time away from rehearsals to undertake several housekeeping tasks, including how to spend a legacy given to the Band from our founder Dennis Carney. We have enjoyed the Virtual Rehearsals, but we are now desperate to get back to playing. However, uppermost in our minds is the safety of our players and our audience and this will not be compromised.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time and we look forward to meeting, and performing for you, again very soon.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 16 – 8th May 2021

With the Government restrictions continuing to lift we are preparing to resume full rehearsals in June. We have also started to make arrangements for concerts, and the final details of these are now being confirmed. You should look out for announcements about Brass on the Grass in August, Baking with Brass in October and our main autumn Concert at our new venue – Deaton Theatre, Forest School – in November. In addition, our Christmas programme is starting to take shape so, whilst we are not rehearsing, a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation is going on.

Our presence on social media has kept the Band in touch with so many former players and supporters, and it has been good to receive feedback on our Virtual Performances from as far away as Australia.

Our website and Social Media are now core elements of the Band's communication, and this continues to attract contacts from various people. The latest has seen two trombones being donated to the Band and we have been pleased to pass these on to one of our Band members, a teacher, who will use these to encourage a couple of new brass players. Old instruments are usually of good quality (that is why they have lasted so long) so if you know of any, we can always put them to good use.

Recently, we have been undertaking a review of our postal mailing list which costs us in excess of £100 to produce. When we send out our next Newsletter, by post, we will be asking people to contact us if they still want to receive this annual publication. If people can switch to e-mail this will help save valuable Band funds, but rest assured if you still need an annual paper copy, we will continue to send one to you.
Our Nimrod virtual performance has been very well received and I know many people are looking forward to Andy Carter's “behind the scenes” release, which will be available in the next few weeks.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us during these difficult times, and hopefully this time next month I can end these updates with confirmation that WE ARE BACK!!!

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 15 – 17th April 2021

I hope you are starting to enjoy the small relaxation in the lockdown restrictions, but as a Band we hope that everyone continues to follow the Government Guidelines. Amateur Brass Bands are at the back of the queue to return to rehearsals, so we do hope there will not be an increase in the rate of infections forcing a delay of the key dates.

Work is well underway on our next Virtual Performance (which we sincerely hope is our last) and once again thanks to all those who took part. We will let you know the release date soon.

Following our successful “Baking” Zoom chat last month, we had an even more successful “Cocktail” Zoom call last Monday. These themed calls along with the regular 100 Club draws do help to invigorate the chats, but I have warned all the Band that these relaxed Monday nights will end soon. To looks of horror, I did say that with 15 months to practice at home, alongside the regular Master Class and rehearsals videos I have sent out I am expecting great playing when we get back together!

Plans are underway to re-arrange our cancelled Tour to Belgium, and we hope the summer of next year will see us head off for what will, I am sure, be another great adventure.

We are always keen to support the wider Brass Band community and have been able to add our support to a close friend of the Band, Nigel Bennett, who is launching his own publishing website very soon. We were recently contacted by a new composer to Brass Bands who has asked us to play a piece of his music when we are back. He has supplied us with the music and a sound recording and I am pleased to say that we will be playing it on our return. We referred the new composer to Nigel, who is initially looking to promote his own arrangements and compositions, but once he has launched, he will now be looking to use his website to promote music from a wider range of composers.

I hope there will only be another one of these updates before I am able to confirm that we are back to rehearsals, in the meantime keep safe!

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 14 – 13th March 2021

Sunday 15th March 2020 was the last time the Band performed in public presenting a “Baking with Brass” concert to raise funds for St. Francis Church. As we ended, what was a very well received concert, little did we know what was ahead of us.

Throughout this whole pandemic the Band has remained very positive and to “celebrate” the anniversary of our last performance our weekly Zoom chat on Monday 15th March will be a “Baking with Zoom” affair, with each member of the Band having to present their best bake!! Being Fairlop there is always a complication. I gave everyone plenty of time to arrange this by sending out the information to the Band during early February. Needless to say, on Monday 15th February 3 of the Band members (names withheld to spare blushes) tuned into the Zoom chat with their bakes!!

Our last Virtual Performance, The Way We Were, has received fantastic feedback, not only for the excellent playing but for the masterful visual work and sound editing by Andy Carter. During lockdown we have created an excellent body of work on our YouTube channel which rates positively alongside anything else we have done, in fact, we can nearly present a whole concert of our recordings without us being there!

It would appear that Brass playing is at the end of the queue for the lifting of lockdown measures, so it will be the end of June (at the earliest if other relaxation dates do not slip) before we are back to full Band rehearsals. With so much uncertainty it is difficult to plan our next performance as we know it will take a lot of time, work and maybe a few tears before we are back to playing at the level we want. We may be able to squeeze a concert in during the summer, otherwise we hope to be back performing in the autumn.

Thank you for all your messages of encouragement and thanks, it is so pleasing to know that people are enjoying our virtual performances. We have just started the planning and preparation work for our next one which we truly hope will be our last.

Keep safe.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 13 - 3rd February 2021

Never did I think that these updates would number 13, but we are where we are.

As the Band now approaches a year without rehearsing we still do all we can to keep positive.

2020 was a year we would like to forget, but never will and we decided to end it with a special Festive Zoom meeting. Christmas attire was compulsory and we were entertained by a Mandolin Solo from Solo Tenor Horn, Alan Poultney (quite a few of the Band have taken up or advanced their playing of stringed instruments during the pandemic), a Music Quiz set by Solo Cornet Lynne Hunt as well as the grand end of year draw with Gary “Mr 100 Club” Thwaites and his random number generator.

This was also a time to virtually hand out some awards, and congratulations go to new Fairlop Bandsman of the Year, Andy Carter (Percussion), in recognition of the fantastic work he has undertaken in pulling all of our virtual performances together. The Fairlop Fool Award (Toilet Seat) was this year presented to Sarah Rogers for her comment that Christmas Twins contained 3 Christmas Tunes! Special awards were also made to previous winners, all receiving a medal of a tiny wooden dolls house toilet seat, with small toilet brushes as bars, for those who have won it more than once.

After a break over the festive period our Zoom calls have resumed every Monday evening and we have been busy preparing our next Virtual Recording, which we hope will be on the website very soon.

We have also used our time away from Band to make some improvements to our website which, thanks to our webmaster Alan Rogers, now has more space to hold our digital archive and a better procedure to contact us.

We have no idea when we will be able to start rehearsals, but we have already taken bookings for next Christmas and are having tentative conversations about the summer, despite this it will be a while before we can confirm anything.

In the meantime, we welcome your comments via the web or our Facebook page, which is expertly managed by Rachel Moulton (Cornet). In addition, we thank all those of you who have renewed their 100 Club Subscriptions.

Please keep safe and follow the government guidelines.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 12 - 2nd January 2021

Well, how wrong can you be? As we ended the year, we were plunged into Tier 4 which stopped us being able to fulfil our few planned Christmas performances.

In the end we managed to play carols in a quiet Barkingside High Street on the 19th December, during which we started to hear whispers about Tier 4. We managed, via various means, to raise a reasonable sum for our two chosen charities, but the main plus was that we were able to perform together again – even if it was only six players at a time. The sight and sound of us playing In the Bleak Mid-Winter as the rain bounced off the floor whilst I conducted from under an umbrella was a first!

We were forced to cancel our appearance at the St. Francis Church Carol Service and a planned performance for the residents of a Chigwell Care Home. However, I am pleased to report that many people have already started to book us to play next Christmas.

With the new vaccine signed off there is hope that it will not be too many more months until life starts to return to normal, and we will keep you posted regarding developments with the Band.

In the meantime, thank you for your support and your continued interest in Fairlop Brass Band and may I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 11 - 2nd December 2020

At last, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and if Redbridge is not moved up to Tier 3 in the review on 16th December, we hope to be able to;

• have small groups of players performing Carols in Barkingside High St on 19th December from 10.00am

• be part of the St. Francis Church Christmas Service on 20th December at 4.30pm

• play at a residential care home in Chigwell on 22nd December

I still think it will be several months before full Band rehearsals re-commence but, in the meantime, we are grateful for any group playing.

During the various restrictions we have kept in contact via our weekly Zoom chats, but it has been the virtual performances which have been the focal point of our music making. It will come as no surprise that a great deal of work is required to produce these.

In the first instance we have to select a piece. The whole Band takes part in this and once a piece is selected, I have a good look at the music to check that I feel it is achievable. We then have the task of getting a copy of the music to all the players, whist at the same time a click track is sent out to give everyone the tempo, together with a tuning note – then the fun starts! If we have time, we record a few players performances and then send these out to the rest of the Band to play along to, but that is not always possible or practical.

The click track is like a metronome and sets a relentless tempo, but music is very rarely performed this way. Tempos usually ebb and flow as set by the MD, and this is what real makes music musical. Playing on your own with a relentless tempo is not easy, particularly with a Brass Instrument when you have to create time to breathe. Also, as Brass Band players we are not used to playing on our own and sitting there counting bars rest in complete silence and isolation is a strange sensation. For this reason, it is sometimes a tough task and it will come as no surprise that not all recordings are completed on the first take – if fact some take many, many recordings to come up with an acceptable version.

All the recordings are then sent to Andy Carter (our sound engineering expert) and his partner Rachel Moulton who then have the unenviable task of stitching all the performances together to make it sound like a full Band performance and add all the graphics and get the recording ready to load on our YouTube channel. Once complete we have a quick “sense check” to make sure all is OK before we go live with the recording and make it available on our YouTube channel and via our website.

Whilst these projects involve many members of the Band, it does require a huge amount of work from just a few people, and we do thank them all for their efforts.

We would like to thank you for maintaining your interest in Fairlop Brass, and we hope it is not too long before we can get back to performing music for you.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 10 - 5th November 2020

As we enter our second National Lockdown life within the Brass Band world remains pretty much the same as it has been for many, many months.

Last month we were hopeful of starting small ensemble rehearsals (no more than 6 players), but just before we were due to start the tiered restrictions came into force, and with both Essex and Redbridge at Level 2 there was no chance of playing re-commencing.

This weekend would have seen a number of the Band members playing 'The Last Post' at numerous memorial services. However, as nearly all of these have been cancelled, we just have a couple of players performing at private services. The Band has had a long association with Remembrance Day and felt we could not allow this day to pass without paying respect to those men and women who gave their lives so that we might enjoy freedom today. 'In Flanders Fields' was a piece we came across fairly recently, further research lead us to the poem. This piece will appear on our website for only a few days so please take the time to listen to the wonderful music and take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on the tragic events that require the act of remembrance.

We are pleased that we have, Covid restrictions permitting, obtained agreement from Redbridge Council to play Carols in Barkingside (Ken Aston Square – between the Library and Swimming pool) on Saturday 19th December from 10am. We will be collecting money for two charities (Maggie's and St. Francis Hospice) as well as for Band funds. If you are in the area, please pop along and see us.

In addition, a few days later, we are hoping to take a small group to play festive music for the residents of a Care Home in Chigwell. We have also provided audio recordings of Carols and Festive music for Holy Trinity Church to use at their Nine Lessons and Carols Service which they are streaming live.

I am very proud that during these difficult and frustrating times we are doing all we can to carry on supporting our local community events.

Stay safe and why not contact us about buying one of our Christmas CD's, that way you can still enjoy a Festive Fairlop Christmas!

Stay safe

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 9 - 25th September 2020

A few weeks ago, I was hopeful that this update would bring good news. Pressure was being placed on the Government to let music groups start to meet again, and a significant piece of scientific research had been undertaken to show that a simple thin cover over the bell of the instrument would reduce the risk of infection spread to acceptable levels – unfortunately the Government's briefing this week pulled the rug from any good news announcement, and now we have the possibility of rehearsals not starting until March next year – that would be a whole year without us playing!

Whilst we appreciate that these decisions are taken for the best of reasons, it does not reduce the frustration of not being able to meet to make music, and perform. Our weekly Zoom chats are still well attended and we should have another virtual performance released within the next few weeks on our YouTube channel; one which will have a great deal of meaning to the Band.

With no concert programmes to produce our very creative Eb Bass player Cliff Murry has turned his talents elsewhere and has produced a 1,000-piece Fairlop puzzle. This professionally produced item was so popular that he has had to arrange for around another 30 to be produced for Band members.

Attention is now turning to our Christmas virtual performances, and we aim to release a Christmas piece and a couple of Carols in December. We are also taking the first steps in arranging for us to play Carols in Barkingside High Street to raise funds for the Band and designated charities, but this will be dependent on Government restrictions at the time, and the issuing of various permits from Redbridge Council and the Police.

We know our Christmas performances are very popular with our audiences, so if you are worried about missing us why not buy one of our Christmas CD's and you can have the whole Band in your living room for the entire festive period.

Keep safe.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 8 - 27th July 2020

These remain very difficult times for us all, and we hope you are all keeping safe.

It is with huge regret that we have postponed our Autumn Concert at Forest School which was scheduled to be held on 1st November.

We had started detailed planning on how to stage the event, and felt that if we were back rehearsing by Mid-September, we could stage a concert. However, after speaking with the venue Manager he said that current legislation would not allow the concert to go ahead, but that might change! We started to look at all the risk assessments we would have to complete, and the very high level of stewarding on the day to ensure Social Distancing was observed and cleaning of the toilets and common areas, and came to the conclusion we could not guarantee the safety of the audience.

Needless to say, we did not take this decision lightly, but would like to thank Forest School for their support and understanding and we are now talking to them about dates for 2021.

Focus will now be on our Christmas performances, but even at this early date there are severe concerns about the Full Band events. However, we do have a number of smaller group events that we might be able to stage.

We trust you are enjoying our Virtual Performances, and work has just started on another one. These are proving vital for the Band as it does gives us something to focus on. Also, the planning for these is a good topic for our weekly Zoom call but we are limited in what we can perform due to access to music and the technical challenges Andy Carter faces in linking all the individual performances together.

Keep well.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 7 - 8th July 2020

Whilst the relaxation of lockdown regulations continues, there has still been no indication as to when Brass Bands may resume full rehearsals.

There has been an increased level of lobbying for professional musicians to resume rehearsal and performance, and once this has been agreed then there may be some hope for the huge amateur music population. However, with a possible “spike” in the number of Covid-19 cases following the relaxation of regulations, it is still a case of wait and see.

The Band remain active with a weekly Zoom meeting, and we have just finished recording another virtual performance. This is currently being edited and should appear on our website within the next week or so. A further recording is planned and we are now starting to look at placing our First CD, (Collection) which has sold out, on our YouTube channel.

Last Monday we also held an “online” 100 club draw, as we felt we could delay these no longer as we were running 5 months behind. Our 100 Club Organiser, Gary Thwaites, has sent out details of the winners.

Nevertheless, nothing is a substitute for making music together and we are all desperate to get back to playing as a Band.

You may be interested to know that donations to St. Francis Church in memory of our founder, Dennis Carney, amounted to £500. The Church, and the Band, would like to thank all who contributed.

Our thoughts are currently with our Principal Cornet Adam Cuttell, and his family following the passing of his wife, Diane, after a long and brave fight against illness

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 6 - 3rd June 2020

Whilst there has been some relaxation in the lockdown regulations, these have had little impact on the Brass Band world and we still have no idea when we can resume rehearsals.

The return of full rehearsals for Brass Bands may be some time off. Covid-19 is easily spread via minute droplets of water and these do emerge from the bells of brass instruments, many of which are pointed at other players within the Band – and a lot at me as Conductor!!

So, we are still in a “wait and see” mode. The Band has a weekly Zoom call on a Monday evening, which are fun but no real substitute for meeting up for a full rehearsal.

We have been busy putting together another “Virtual Performance” which you will see on the website. Why not take the opportunity to click on the YouTube icon and go to our YouTube channel to see all our efforts. The latest piece typifies the fun within the Band and in music and, once again, our thanks go to Andy Carter for the immense amount of work he puts in to bringing these things together.

The funeral of Dennis Carney took place yesterday, and despite the limitation in numbers attending the Band were very well represented. A full memorial to Dennis and how to make donations in his name or an entry into his online Condolence Book can be found at.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 5 - 11th May 2020

Yesterday's announcement by the Government has seen us cancel all rehearsals in May, with the likelihood that it will be sometime before full Band rehearsals can resume.

As you know we recently lost the Band's founder Dennis Carney. His family have set up an online Condolences Book, so if you would like to pay a tribute to Dennis please see the following link. It would help the family if as well as quoting your name you also state how you knew Dennis as they are aware there are a vast range of people they do not know.

Following the cancellation of so many of the VE Celebrations, Brass players were asked to help mark the event by performing the Last Post at 2.55pm on VE Day. Along with hundreds of other Bands we signed up to do this, and you can see our efforts on this website.

If you missed any of our other “Virtual Performances” just click on the YouTube icon and this will take you to our own YouTube Channel. As you can see whilst we are apart, we are still busy. Plans are now underway for our next performance!

The Band keeps in touch via a regular Zoom Meetings on a Monday evening but we are all yearning for the day when we can start making music again.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 4 - 2nd May 2020

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Dennis Carney who was the founder of the Band, our first Musical Director and Life President. Dennis passed away quite suddenly at home a few days ago.

We will publish a full obituary in due course, but most people will know the incredible part he played in Fairlop Brass.

Dennis was just a couple of weeks short of his 84th birthday and devoted his life to education and music. He had the rare distinction of starting two Brass Bands, Fairlop Brass and Gaynes School Brass Band, which unfortunately is no longer in existence.

We will publish details of his funeral when it is known, in the meantime our condolences go to his family and the wide circle of friends, colleagues and former pupils that this wonderful man touched.

To Dennis, the most important thing was to meet to make music and he was very impressed with the efforts Fairlop Brass are undertaking to carry on making music during these difficult times. With this in mind we have dedicated our latest virtual performance (Aces High - which is on our Youtube channel) to him – he would have been so proud.

Hopefully you will have attended one of our Christmas Concerts and understand the link between Aces High and Bavaria.

Keep safe

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 3 - 24th April 2020

The Band remains in lockdown, and we have this week taken the very difficult decision to cancel our Summer Concert at Forest School on 7th June.

Over the last week the members of the Band who take a major role in staging concerts have been exchanging e-mails and last night we had a video conference call where the difficult decision was made. After taking all the relevant factors into account, player and audience safety, logistics, financial implications and significantly, musical standards, coupled with the current unprecedented conditions it made good sense to take this decision. This was made easier by the very reasonable approach of Forest School who are allowing us to cancel this concert and re-book for 2021 at no financial cost to us. We have been very impressed with the School so far, and can only thank them for their support.

We are astounded that our Singin in the Rain virtual performance now has approaching 9,000 views on Social Media, it is now also available on YouTube as well as our website. Such was the success we have undertaken another, more ambitious project, and hopefully you will see the results soon.

The Band has recently had two very successful video conference calls with over 20 players on each, which made it very chaotic but good fun and a great way of keeping in touch.

We have players who are giving impromptu performances as part of the “Clap for Carers” each Thursday, and we hope many will be involved in a project we have only just been made aware of. At 2.55pm on 8th May players are being encouraged to play 'The Last Post' as part of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of VE Day. We hope to have videos of these performances on our website

We are aware that these are very difficult times for all, so we are pleased to have made a small donation to our Charity Partner “Maggies” who care for people living with Cancer and with whom the Band have a long association.

Please follow government guidelines and keep safe.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 2 - 15th April 2020

As you can imagine we are still not rehearsing and have cancelled all rehearsals until 11th May, this is quite a critical date for us, if we are not back rehearsing by then it will be difficult for us to stage our concert on 7th June at Forest School. The prognosis is quite bleak as we are not expecting the existing lockdown to be reversed when it is reviewed later this week. Even once restrictions start to lift, we feel that it will be some time before rehearsals and concerts can be held. However, we are always hopeful and will not cancel anything until we have to.

Brass on the Grass is due to be held on 18th July. The good news is that the new Vicar has said she is happy for her garden to be used to stage this event. We have spoken to the organisers at St. Nicholas Church and they have said they will make a decision about the feasibility of staging the concert at the beginning of June.

During this strange period, I have been sending the players links to practice and technical tips to help them keep their lips in shape. Last month Gary Thwaites (Trombone) had the idea that we could give a “virtual performance” with each player recording their own part and then submitting it to be mixed together. What an undertaking this turned out to be. It is very difficult to play your own part in time to a metronome beat and the task of stitching it all together was immense. Enormous thanks to Andy Carter (Percussion) who took on this unenviable task, but if you look at the video on the website, I think you will agree it was worthwhile.

Singin in the Rain seemed an apt piece as it is about making the most of difficult circumstances and after being on our Facebook page for less than a day it has already had over 6,000 views – not a bad effort for a local lower section Band. It appears to have been so popular we may do another!!

We will issue a further update once we have more information, in the meantime, please keepsafe.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass

Virus Update 1 - 29th March 2020

We thought now would be a good time to update you on the impact of the current situation on the Band.

We had our last rehearsal on Monday 16th March. Brass players are particularly vulnerable to spreading the virus, whilst playing, microscopic droplets of water can be projected from the instrument. We followed the advice given by the various Brass Band associations to cease rehearsals a week before the Government issued advice not to have large social gatherings.

The London and Southern Counties National Brass Band Championship qualifying heats were due to be held over the weekend of 21st & 22nd March, they were cancelled resulting in no Bands from this region being put forward to attend the National Finals.

We fully expect our programme of events to be severely restricted for many months to come. A performance at a VE Day celebration event on 8th May has been cancelled, and whilst still currently scheduled to go ahead we fully expect our Concert on 7th June at Forest School to be cancelled. Once a firm decision has been made, we will let you know. Rest assured that if anyone has already purchased a ticket for this event, we will provide a full refund.

Our quiz night on 16th May has been postponed and we will publish a new date for this, later in the year.

A decision regarding our performance at Brass on the Grass on 18th July has yet to be made. This event is not organised by the Band, so we will abide by the decision of the organisers.

At the moment we are not scheduled to rehearse again until Monday 20th April however, we are not optimistic that this will be the case and expect further cancellations to take place.

On a brighter note the Band are pleased to announce that they will undertake a tour of Belgium next year and are hopeful that this will include performances at the iconic Ghent Music Festival and at the daily memorial service at the Menin Gate at Ypres.

This is a difficult time for all, and while we appreciate that music is not a major concern for everyone we do know that it does bring a great deal of pleasure to many people, we will keep you fully updated of events as and when decisions are known. In the meantime, thank you for your support and keep safe.

Kevin Jordan
Musical Director
Fairlop Brass Band