Unite's 'Full Monty' win at Bolsover Festival

In full flow with March Slaidburn                         The 'Old Monteenys'

It was a long day for the band at Heritage High School competing in both the 1st section and Championship section contests at Bolsover Festival of Brass. The 1st section contest combat of 12 bands began at 9.00am.  An early start and rehearsal at 9.30am on a Sunday morning is never a good start for some, however the band were in fine form and at 11.30am performed their innovative Full Monty ‘set’ with aplomb to the thrill and delight of a full audience. They obviously liked and appreciated the unusual approach and responded well to the background film and story portrayed, which included both serious and comic ingredients, with rapturous applause, laughter and by one very moving piece, a small tear in many an eye.

Such was the  atmosphere created in the hall during the septet performance by “the Old Monteenys” led by flugel soloist John Lee, who played the solo part for ‘Lomper’ Steve Huison in The Full Monty film (whilst stood in a grave), you really could feel it and definitely hear a pin drop!  

The performance and idea also found favour with adjudicator Mr Thomas Wyss who awarded the band 1st place overall plus Most Entertaining Band trophies.

Then it was a seven hour gap before the band had to do everything again. this time in the much more challenging Championship section. Here 13 bands would spar for the prizes on offer.

Once again the band performed well and even played some pieces better than the morning performance. There were some difficulties encountered with the film projection onto the wall and unusually there appeared to be more light reflection onto this wall than experienced in the morning, even though by now it was dark outside, which distracted and made viewing the film much more difficult for both the audience and even mentioned a couple of times in the remarks by the adjudicator who commented “I would have liked to see more." Requests to lower the lighting prior to the performance were dismissed by the organisers so the band had to soldier on.

Results time came and the band had been awarded a very creditable 4th place overall.

So that was Winners of the 1st Section trophy together with Most Entertaining Band trophy in 1st section and 4th place overall in the Championship section. The band would have liked to have found a little more favour with adjudicator Mr Steven Mead in the Championship section but hey ho, not a bad day's work.

We are very, very happy with both audience responses and the many comments and credits still coming in, just rewards for band member and project idea creator Kim Wear who worked tirelessly for weeks to get ‘the show on the road." Our thanks go to him and also to Mr Duncan Beckley for his cameo appearance in the ‘set,’ and the band’s Musical Director John Roberts for accepting the idea and bringing the concept to performance. 


Championship Section: Adjudicator: Steven Mead

1. Elland Silver (Daniel Brookes) — 92
2. Yorkshire Imperial DUT (Martin Heartfield) — 89
3. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton) — 87
4. Unite the Union (John Roberts) — 86
5. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill) — 81.5
6. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt) — 81
=9. Bedworth Brass (Ryan Richards) — 74
=9. Longridge (Mark Peacock) — 74
11. Fishburn (Michael Franey) — 73.5
12. Foresters Brass (John Davis) — 73
13. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt) — 71

Best Soloist: Ben Jarvis (cornet) — Elland Silver
Most Entertaining Performance: Elland Silver
Winning MD Trophy: Daniel Brookes (Elland Silver)

First Section: Adjudicator: Thomas Wyss

1. Unite the Union (John Roberts) — 96
2. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies) — 95
3. Enderby (Simon Gresswell) — 93
4. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton) — 92
5. Stannington Brass (Derek Renshaw) — 90
6. Foresters Brass (John Davis) — 89
7. Manger Old Stars (Marit Tommermo) — 88
8. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt) — 87
9. Gresley Colliery (Craig Stevens) — 86
10. Wigston Band (Chris Small) — 84
11. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Colum O'Shea) — 83
12. Shirley Band (David Bishop-Rowe) — 82

Best Soloist: Dan Jackson (euphonium) — Skelmanthorpe
Most Entertaining Performance: Unite the Union

Full results: http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=30250


Bolsover Festival of Brass

Unite the Union Brass Band are busy rehearsing for the Bolsover Festival of Brass on Sunday 1st October. The contest day starts at 9.00am with the first bands taking to two stages at the Heritage High School in Clowne.

Bolsover Festival of Brass is one of the biggest brass showcases in the UK and has brought the festival to an international audience by streaming it live on the internet. This nationally renowned festival is broadcast live to brass fans all over the world and is now watched in more than 20 countries. The organisers confirm again this year they will be live broadcasting every level of this 6-section festival of music over two dedicated web channels. You’ll be able to enjoy 48 bands and around 2,000 musicians and over ten hours of entertainment.

It will be on the broadcast tab of their website.

The link: http://www.firstart.org.uk/whats-on/bolsover-festival-brass-live-webstream

Such has been demand for places, that there is currently a waiting list of 15 bands eager to take part and this year the contest welcomes overseas visitors Manger Old Stars Band from Norway.

Each Band will perform  a 20 minute entertainment programme with Un-registered bands presenting 15 minute sets.

The day starts with the 1st section and Unregistered bands at 9.00am followed by the 4th section at 10.15am, 2nd section at 12.30pm, 3rd section at 2.45pm and the battle for honours in the Championship section commences at 3.15pm.

Championship Section: Adjudicator: Steven Mead – 13 Bands

1st Section: Adjudicator: Thomas Wyss – 12 bands

2nd Section: Adjudicator: David Thornton – 4 bands

3rd Section: Adjudication: Mark Wilkinson – 12 bands

4th Section: Adjudicator: David Thornton – 4 bands

Un-registered Section: Adjudicator: David Thornton – 3 bands

The contest will begin at 9am and is scheduled to last until approximately 10pm, with a record of 48 bands performing.

Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band at the Band Club

Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band is a 1st Section band who provide  fantastic 'foot tapping', 'audience participation' entertainment for their spectators playing traditional and modern popular music as well as soloist and duet items which feature different sections of the band.
The band are 4 years consecutive champions (2013,2014, 2015 and 2016) of the North East Derbyshire Brass Band Festival Contest. 

Come along to the band club for an evening of entertainment on Sunday 24th September at Niagara Conference Centre, start time is 7.30pm, doors open at 6.45pm. Entry is £4.00

"Outstanding control and beautiful soft sounds"

Jason Fox receives the 5th place award certificate

There was no Sunday morning “lie-in” for members of Unite the Union Brass Band travelling down to the 2017 National Championships of Great Britain held at Cheltenham Racecourse. The competing bands had to grapple with Eric Ball’s “Tournament for Brass” and it appeared that it was still a very good test, although it was thought that the hall acoustics may have had a major influence on the performance of all the competing bands, resulting in a plethora of clips and slips. Not a single performance escaped unscathed.
Unite the Union Brass Band played well and special mention should be given to all the soloists who “nailed it when it mattered!” The band and conductor John Roberts were happy with their performance which finished in a very creditable 5th place by adjudicators Michael Fowles and Paul Holland in a field of 17 riders and runners.  
One 4barsrest critic on the day Mr Steven Mead had the band down to finish 4th with marks of 8, 8.5 and 9 across the critic sheet and commented: 
“A very fine performance, with some outstanding control and beautiful soft sounds. It had the rhythmic vitality when necessary and soloists mostly deliver perfectly”

We extend our 'Congratulations' also to our two “Preview Night” bands Worsborough who came 6th in the 2nd section and Shirland who were placed 5th in the 3rd section, well done all.

The Unite band now turns its concentration to preparations for Bolsover Entertainment Contest on Sunday 1st October in a couple of weeks time.



Full Monty celebrate 20 years !

Members of Unite the Union Brass Band were out in force together with Hugo Spear and William Snape to celebrate the 20th anniversary at a Showroom cinema screening of the critically acclaimed film, the Full Monty. Former and current members of the band gathered at the cinema to recall their role in the story of former steelworkers who sought alternative employment.

Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to former band manager John Lee.

Must watch: http://web.sheffieldlive.org/full-monty-celebrate-twenty-years/


Lunchbox (& Nathan) has landed to unite with Unite

Nathan (William Snape) and Lunchbox (Hugo Spear) appeared together with Unite the Union Brass Band at a special viewing of ‘The Full Monty’ at a “Full House” Showroom Cinema last night in Sheffield.  The Band firstly played outside the cinema to welcome ticket holders to the cinema with music from the film sound track and received loud applause from a very enthusiastic audience. A further performance of ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘The Stripper’ inside the cinema in front of the screen certainly got the cinema-goers in the mood before viewing the film. Band members took the opportunity to reminisce and get keepsake photos with William and Hugo before the two stars were whisked away to do a Question and Answer session at the end of the film.

No regrets” says the band “we had a fantastic time filming and it did wonders, naturally, for the group's profile.”

Read more at:

‘Monty’ mania hits Sheffield …….again !

Unite the Union Band recently performed at a special 20th anniversary screening of the film 'The Full Monty' at the Light Cinema in Sheffield. Unite, then known as British Steels Stocksbridge, was featured in a cameo role in the 1997 release, and returned to perform a number of its soundtrack hits. The film was set in the city, and told the story of a group of unemployed men who decide to form a striptease act in order to escape the drudgery of lives of workless despair. It was a huge worldwide hit grossing over $250 million and nominated for Academy Awards for 'Best Picture', 'Best Director', 'Best Original Screenplay' and 'Best Original Music Score,' winning the last category. On the night they were also joined by one of the film's stars, Paul Barber, who played 'Horse', as well as a host of celebrity guests.

Band spokesperson Kim Wear remarked "What 'Brassed Off' did for the story of the industrial decimation of coal mining, 'The Full Monty' did for steel working. It has spawned so many stage play revivals that we have lost count and there was even a version in Portuguese premiered in Brazil. We are of course very proud to have been part of the success and it is incredible that the story still has such an impact 20 years later. As a result we are delighted to announce that we will also release a special CD entitled '20 Years On' to celebrate the anniversary." Kim revealed that more celebrations are planned with a further special screening at Sheffield's Showroom Cinema on Tuesday August 29th, where the band led by MD John Roberts and more cast members will once again be on hand to perform hits from the film.

To enjoy a taster of the night go to: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dodeos9blsu3pxw/Full%20Monty%20Screening%20for%20Band.mp4?dl=0

Area Success at Huddersfield Town Hall

Unite the Union band under the baton of their Musical Director John Roberts were awarded runners up spot at the Yorkshire Area Championships in Huddersfield in March. Beating off challenges from a strong field of 12 bands, Unite not only secured promotion back to the Championship section, but also booked their place at the National finals to be held at Cheltenham Racecourse in September. Described as a fantastic result for John’s first Area contest with the band, expectations are now really high for a good result at the Nationals. In the words of one of the adjudicators in his analytical pre-results address, .........’’the top two bands were clear winners and with their vastly experienced Musical Directors, were the only ones who managed to fully understand the score and brought the music to life."


An extract of live commentary from the acclaimed 4 bars rest website stated.......... ‘Unite the Union gave the judges and audience a colourful and musically invigorating rendition. Full of flair, clarity and detail, there was no shortage of belief on show here. The New Zealand vistas were alive with energy and colour. John Roberts gave his players the freedom to bring the music to life and they certainly did that. The clarity was obvious and the tempos, whilst pushed at times, were not beyond their capabilities’

Butlins Mineworkers 2017

The band have returned from a cold, yet extremely enjoyable and successful weekend on the East coast at the annual Butlins Mineworkers contest. We performed the fantastic set work by Malcolm Arnold "Fantasy for Brass Band", and earned a creditable 4th place our of 24. With such a strong field of bands from all over the country, the adjudicators found favour with our performance, but it wasn't quite good enough to retain the trophy we won 2 years ago. Congratulations also need to go to our two yorkshire neighbours Skelmanthorpe and Stannington for their 1st and 2nd place respectively. The band now look forward to next weekend where we perform the three set works at this years regional championships for a selection of conductors from across the country. Preparations then move to our own test piece Land of the long white cloud, which we will perform at Huddersfield town hall to try and retain the trophy we won back in 2015.  

Bolsover 2016 success!

Following on from the disappointing result at the Doctor Martins contest, the band finished the contesting year in excellent fashion by coming 2nd in the Championship section, and being named as the 'Most entertaining band'. Bolsover is a contest in which the band have had a fair amount of success of the previous 3 years with wins in the 1st section and a notable 2nd in the Championship section last year. So to regain that prize and to come away as the most entertaining band of the day was especially pleasing for new MD John Roberts.

John, who adjudicated the band for their 1st section victory last year, built on that successful programme and injected his own ideas as well. The programme started with 'Children of Sanchez' which was arranged by and featured our very own soprano player Mike Kilmartin. This moved straight into Jonathan Bates' Ride to conclude the opening section. The band then turned to Maria Beazer on flugel who delivered an excellent rendition of 'Magh Seola' which adjudicator Roger Webster said was delivered with 'warmth and style'. No entertainment programme would be complete without an injection of fun and this came in the form of Phillip Harper's Salsa tres prado, which features a number of the bands soloists. The programme was concluded with an excerpt from the Stephen Ponsfords Turris Fortissima. Roger clearly enjoyed the programme, and rounded off his remarks by saying 'this band has both power and class'.

The band would also like to thank Carole Crompton and her team for yet another fantastically run competition, and we look forward to competing again next year.