Helston Town Band will greatly miss the work carried out by Mr Lionel Endean over his 21 years as the bands’ secretary. Lionel, a Helston boy through and through, spent many years in the army where he met his wife Hilda whilst serving in Germany.
On leaving the army, Lionel and Hilda bought a house in Four Lanes where they still live. Although Lionel has never played an instrument, Helston Town Band had a very big influence on him when growing up, so, when there were a number of relatives playing for the band who asked him to join the committee, he gladly agreed and soon became the secretary.
Throughout his time with the band, Lionel has worked tirelessly behind the scenes organising events, collectors, buses and everybody he bumped into. He travelled with the band when they toured Holland and proved that although he does not play an instrument, he is musical by singing “Going up Camborne Hill” to whoever would listen. He was even recorded singing the Chubby Brown hit, “Living Next door to Alice,” when the band were in Italy.
At the band AGM on March 26th, Lionel stood down as secretary and in appreciation of his hard work over the years, band cahairman Alan Trewhella presented him with a silver salver inscribed –
‘For 21 years’ service as Secretary’
We are pleased to say that Lionel is not leaving the band altogether as he will remain on the committee and will continue his vital role as organiser of the HTB solo contest.
Helston Town Band held their annual Lismore Proms on Saturday 24th August and what a fantastic evening it was. Once again the event was held in the beautiful surroundings of Lismore Gardens, by kind permission of the band's President Mr Michael Jay, who unfortunately was not able to be there in person but sent his best wishes. The huge audience were again part of an unforgettable evening.
The band, under new musical director Derek Johnston played a varied programme with pieces ranging from the overture ‘Rule Britannia’ to the lighter hearted ‘Tuba Smarties performed by Nathan Toothill.
The band began the evening with a fanfare version of the national anthem, followed by renditions of Fanfare and Flourishes and Finale from Faust.
As well as the afore mentioned ‘Tuba Smarties’ where Nathan had issues with too much water in his tuba, ultimately causing the front two rows of the audience to get rather wet, the band also performed the Post Horn Gallop featuring Sean Sjoholm and Kevin Johns. The piece proved somewhat problematic for Kevin as his post horn was not to the same standard as Sean’s and he was unable to produce a note. After several attempts on several horns Kevin finally lost it and walked of stage, only to return with a 3 metre long custom made ‘euphonihorn’ and completed the piece along with Sean to a huge ovation by the packed crowd.
The Band then finished the first half with a rousing performance of Riverdance.
The band was delighted to once again have as their guest soloist the internationally acclaimed Tenor John Treleaven. He performed solos throughout the evening as well as a special performance of the recently recorded 'Floral Dance' with the band, which was met with a huge ovation. John's singing was outstanding and the band were truely delighted to have had him back for a second year.
The second half on the concert began with the band, joined by members of our B Band marching through the gardens to the familiar tune of the Flora Dance, followed by a version of the Great Escape featuring the band’s percussion section.
HTB then rolled back the years when formed musical director Edward Ashton took to the stage for the first time since his retirement in 2001, conducting the Radetski march
The band then moved on to the traditional proms format featuring 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', Jerusalem' and 'Pomp and Circumstance No.1' where John Treleaven led the singing and of course Trelawny. The band then played an encore of the Can-Can followed by another performance of Trelawny.
The whole evening was a massive success and thanks must go to everyone that contributed to making it another memorable evening.
Helston Town Band held it's annual summer fete on Saturday. The large crowds that were out enjoying the weather were treated to concerts by Helston Beginners, Youth and Senior Band as well as a large range of stalls to peruse.
The event was described as a great success with many people in attendance supporting and raising money for the band.
The afternoon also marked the announcement of the soon to be launched 'Helston Town Concert Band' - keep an eye on the news page for more details on this!
Everyone at HTB would like to thank all those who attended and supported the event and also special thanks to the Ladies group and all the supporters who run this event.
Helston Town Band once again played an integral part in another successful Flora Day. As always thousands of people descended on the town for this famous day. The band, resplendent in their new uniforms, performed brilliantly throughout the day, even through the heavy rain showers which dampened proceedings part way through the children's dance and part way into the midday dance. Fortunately by the five o'clock the rain had stopped and the sun came out. The senior band were ably assisted by the youth and B band during the middle two dances, some younger members playing for the very first time. The band would like to thank those players who came to help during the children's and midday dances. Also, they would like to sincerely thank all the collectors who worked so hard during the day, walking just as far as the band and getting just as wet in the process!!
The band once again received a massive cheer from the hundreds of people waiting for the finale of the five o'clock. John Hitchens was visibly moved by the huge ovation and the dozens of complimentary comments he received at the end of what was his final flora day as Musical Director of the band.
After more than ten hugely successful years in charge, John Hitchens, the well- known Musical Director of Helston Town Band, is to take a well-earned break from the world of brass banding.
Following the retirement of Edward Ashton, John Hitchens was appointed as the new Musical Director in November 2002. Under his direction, the band continued to flourish: in 2003, they were crowned Cornish First Section Champions and in 2004 they gained promotion to the National First Section.
2006 saw the band crowned West of England First Section Champions and receive an invitation to compete in the National First Section Championships of Great Britain. They went on to achieve third place at the West of England First Section Championships in 2007 and regained the title West of England First Section Champions once again in 2008, followed by another appearance at the national finals that year.
These excellent results meant that under John, Helston Town Band earned promotion to the Championship Section in 2009 for the first time in its history. The band enjoyed the challenge of competing within the Championship Section until their return to the National First Section in 2012.
In total the band has competed in 31 contests during John’s tenure, earning 10 victories, an additional 8 podium finishes and a further 12 top 5 placings. On top of this, the band also earned 4th and 7th place finishes at the aforementioned First Section National Championships.
John was also responsible for coming up with the original idea and concept of the now popular‘Lismore Proms,’ an annual ‘Last Night of the Proms’ themed event, held in Band President Michael Jay’s beautiful gardens and attended by hundreds. As well as this, under John’s leadership, the band has also enjoyed multiple high profile concerts and appearances both in Cornwall and further afield.
Band Chairman Alan Trewhella commented 'I have been involved with Helston Town Band for many years, latterly as Chairman. The last 10 years with John Hitchens at the helm have been exciting and very positive with the band enjoying many prestigious contest results and performing a vast array of excellent concerts. John has become a good friend and I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with him. I would like to thank him for all he has done and wish him good luck with his musical career in the future'
John Hitchens commented ‘It has been an honour and a privilege to conduct Helston Band over the last 10 years. Over that time the band have put on some truly wonderful performances, and to be part of the band when we competed in the Championship section for the first time is something that will stay with me for a long time. I’d like to say a massive thanks to all the members of the band; the players, the committee and the ladies committee for all their hard work and commitment over the last decade, it’s been remarkable. They are the reason this band is, and has been so successful and long may that continue.‘
Everyone involved with Helston Town Band would like to express their heartfelt thanks to John for everything he has accomplished during his decade with the band and wish him well for the future. It will surely go down in the band’s history as one of the most memorable eras.
John will finish with the band at the end of June, but fittingly his final official engagement at the helm will take place on the day which is perhaps most synonymous with the band… Flora day.
Helston Town Band competed in the West of England championships on Saturday 9th March held at the Riviera Centre, Torquay. The band put up an excellent performance of the test piece ‘Brass Triumphant’ and was placed 5th out of the 13 competing bands. It was a new piece of music and particularly showed off the band’s fine array of soloists. The contest was won by Filton Band from Bristol, with Lanner and District coming second.
The day was a particular success for the increasing number of young players in the band who all performed to a very high level, some of which were only playing in their second or third contest. They will have been encouraged by the large number of favourable comments from the extremely appreciative audience.
The full results were as follows:
1. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren) 2. Lanner and District Silver (Stuart Chappell) 3. Verwood Concert Brass (Kevin Smith) 4. St. Austell Town (Richard Evans) 5. Helston Town (John Hitchens) 6. Michelmersh Silver (Melvin White) 7. Hyde (Helen Kinder) 8. Yeovil Town (Ian McElligott) 9. Forest of Dean Brass (Chris Howley) 10. Shrewton Silver (Michael Dunford) 11. Lympstone South West Telecoms (Charles Fleming) 12. Otterbourne Brass (Gareth Pritchard) 13. Poole Borough (David Evans)
Helston Town Band is making its final preparations for this years annual Lismore Proms. The concert will take place on Saturday 25th August at 7.00pm in the beautiful surroundings of Lismore Gardens, by kind permission of Mr Michael Jay.
This year the band is extremely fortunate to have as their guest soloist, the internationally acclaimed tenor John Treleaven. John will perform solos in both halves of the concert as well as leading the finale of Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. As in previous years this will take place with the back drop of a stunning firework display. John is looking forward to being part of the annual Proms concert, and is excited to be performing in his native County, after his illustrious career has taken him to all the major opera houses around the world. John is in huge demand as a soloist and the band is excitied at the prospect of working with him.
Once again the band is also very fortunate to have Phillip Hunt as compere for the evening. Phillip, who presents Sounds of Brass on BBC Radio Cornwall, has worked with the band at various concerts over the years, and the band is delighted that once again he has kindly agreed to compere what will hopefully be another memorable evening.
The concert, and particularly the appearnce of John Treleaven is attracting a lot of attention and is sure to be an evening not to be missed. Tickets are still available from the following outlets: Cancer Funding for Cornwall, Christophers Estate Agents (Helston and Porthleven) and Pictures and Things Gallery.
For more information please visit www.helstontownband.co.uk or call 01326 561153.
On Sunday 13th March Helston travelled to Torquay to participate in the Area Qualifying Contest at the Riviera Centre, Torquay and achieved their best ever result in the Championship Section by coming 7th. There were 11 bands competing in the section playing the set piece Paganini Variations by Philip Wilby. Having been drawn to play number 1, Helston Band played a great performance setting a high standard for the rest to follow. The eventualy winners were the Woodfalls Band, followed by Flowers Band, with fellow Cornish band Camborne coming 3rd.
The band received an excellent ovation from the large appreciative audience, and rightly so for such a performance and featuring some of the bands excellent soloists, in particular Kevin Johns on euphonium and Demelza Christophers on principal cornet who was on outstanding form.
Despite an excellent performance it wasn't enough to maintain their Championship status and as from next year will be competing in the First section. Whilst this is disappointing, it will not deter the band from striving to return to the Championship section as soon as possible.
Musical Director John Hitchens was very pleased with the performance on the day and was full of compliments for the players and the work they had put in leading up to the contest. The band thank John Hitchens for his hard work in preparing them for the contest over the last few weeks.
The band will now be rehearsing for a series of concerts throughout the summer months.