BALLYGOWAN FLUTE BAND
OLDER BAND NEWS
On 17 April 2014, the Band was invited to a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour to celebrate our success in retaining the World Championship for a third successive year. In the process the Mayor, Councillor Stephen McIlveen presented Chairman Stephen Carse with a plaque and a recently published book on Newtownards.
Click for photo -
Calling all flute players young & old, novice & professional, active or retired for THE BIG FLUTE CHALLENGE on 13 September 2014 in the Kings Hall Complex, Belfast. For charity, the plan is to set up a new world record for the largest flute ensemble ever assembled.
The 2014 Flute Band Association Own Choice Contest was held in Lisburn on Saturday 01 March, and the audience were treated to a fine day of music. The adjudicator Dr. Windsor Hylands thanked the Association for the invitation, adding that the players and conductors deserved great credit. He said he had been looking for all aspects of musicianship including good percussion, tone production, tuning, intonation, balance and phrasing. He also wanted the bands to be operating as a team, playing with flair, interpreting the composers’ wishes, and making the hair stand on end.
Dr. Hylands reported three very good performances which were difficult to separate because they were not like for like in terms of the different choices of music. Having said all that, he announced Ballylone the winners with Ballygowan a close second and Kellswater a close third.
2013 World Championship Adjudicator’s Remarks are now on the Scrapbook page.
We’ve been asked to advise a change at the Scottish Amateur Flute Band Association. Sadie Houston has stepped down as Secretary; the new secretary is Yvonne Allan who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sadie continues as Registration Secretary.
On Friday 10th & Monday 13th January 2013 an ensemble from the Band played at Masonic dinners in Comber & Killyleagh resp. Both concerts went down very well.
On Sunday 29 December 2012 we played carols for the Rotary Club of Comber’s annual Christmas Tree service., and the Reverend Lesley-
On Monday 09 December we played for the Ballygowan Community Association at their children’s Christmas party. It was a very well attended and lively evening, and the kids particularly enjoyed themselves with some raucous singing. Click for photo.
Next engagement before Christmas is on Sunday 29 December from 2:45PM in St. Mary’s Church in Comber Square. We are responding to a request from Comber Rotary Club to play at their annual Christmas Tree Thanksgiving Service (everyone welcome) .
Message to our former musical director, Colin Fleming, via our website:
“I never miss tuning in to Strike up the Band. I want you to know that last Tuesday night was the best programme ever. Huge congratulations to you and The Band, Colin. Beautiful expressive playing, lovely soloists, a great overall tone and what a well chosen repertoire with great arrangements. Also, Colin, they do not take their eyes off the conductor for a nano second. (Just as well!) Many thanks to you and The Band, Colin for a great broadcast. I loved every minute, especially Pavane in Blue and Cavatina. So Colin, be sure extend my well wishes to The Band.”
On Sunday afternoon Sunday 27 October we joined up with Ballylone and Cahard for a Massed Flute Band Concert in Saintfield’s Harvest Music Festival. The concert was in Second Saintfield Presbyterian Church, and was enjoyed by a good sized audience.The varied programme included readings by Edward Craig and Phillip Poots. Edward conducted the Grosvenor Chorale who also lead the harvest hymns. Richard Douglas accompanied the singers on the concert flute in a special arrangement of “Last of the summer wine”, and Richard conducted the massed bands -
Our Night at the Races on Saturday 26 October -
The Band won the World Flute Band Championship in Armagh on Saturday 12th October 2013, and in so doing completed our first ever hat trick of wins in this competition.
The adjudicator was Richard Evans who was making a return to these Band Championships after almost 30 years. Born in Aldershot, he is one of the best known and most respected of Bandsmen, and he has played, conducted and adjudicated all over the world.
Richard opened by hoping that the audience had been in the hall to hear all the bands. He said he was knocked out by the winning performance – referring to the Band as “worthy World Champions”.
He then chose to read out each Band’s remarks and scores; Hunter Moore were third 191 points, Ballylone were second with 194 points, and Ballygowan finished with 197 points.
Ballygowan also took a clean sweep on all available prizes – winning Band, Conductor’s interpretation, best piccolo player, best percussion and the City of Dublin International Festival Trophy for the best overall performance of the day.
We wish to express our sincerest thanks to Steven Cairns who stepped in as Conductor for this contest. It has been a privilege and pleasure to work under Stephen’s baton.
The test piece was Berlioz’ Roman Carnival, and is one of several of his works chosen as test pieces in past years – including Benvenuto Cellini, Le Corsaire and Les Francs Juges (the latter was a failed opera of which little other than the overture survives). He based Le Carnaval Romain on his opera Benvenuto Cellini, and it includes music from the carnival scene. Written as a stand-
Hector Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803 near Grenoble in France. His father was a doctor and had a family of six, three of which sadly did not reach adulthood.
Unlike many of the great composers, he had not been a child prodigy, and had not shown much interest in music until he was twelve. He was not formally trained in his early years, and learned music from books; he played guitar and flute and flageolet but not piano.
He was once blown away at a performance of Beethoven’s 5th symphony, but in his own turn he was to make a massive contribution to the classical scene, influencing people like Wagner, Lizst, Mahler, Richard Strauss and Rimsky-
Initially he started to study medicine but had no interest in anything other than music. He regularly read through scores in the Conservatoire, and by twenty years of age, was a keen writer and composer. In spite of his father’s advice, he abandoned medical studies and studied music privately under Lesueur. In 1826 he started attending the Conservatoire. Here he won the Prix de Rome at his fourth attempt; this gave him much needed income, with a commitment to study in Rome – something he did not particularly enjoy.
He was to become a well respected and well travelled conductor although, strangely, he never held a permanent post. He was also a successful writer and critic -
His best known work was his Symphonie Fantastique which he finished in 1830 – believed by many to be the best first symphony of all time, it is apparently autobiographical. Franz Lizst later transcribed it for piano so more people could hear it.
Generally, in his own country he found success and recognition hard to come by; indeed, in his life time, he received much more criticism than praise from French commentators. No doubt this caused him to say on his deathbed “At last, they are going to play my music”. He died on 08 March 1869.
We are delighted to have secured the services of Steven Cairns as conductor for the approaching N.I.B.A. World Flute Band Championship. Stephen is well known and highly regarded in banding circles, and we are already enjoying working under his baton.
On Sunday 01 September, the Band gave a concert in Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park, Belfast. The park is a great favourite with walkers, flower and dog lovers, and a nice crowd gathered to listen to a wide range of music. All efforts now will be applied to this year’s world championship test piece (more detail down this page.)
We had a great day in Banbridge on Saturday 31 August. The occasion was “Black Saturday” and the streets of the town were well lined with people. The weather was great and the music went down well.
We have received a plea from a band enthusiast in Germany (Scottish born, former British Army bandsman)
His set of old system flutes were accidentally dumped and lost forever, and he is keen to buy (or have donated) any flute(s) currently surplus to requirements. e.g.
Boosey & Co... F flute & F Piccolo. (Also Bb bass with curved head)
Henry Potters... F & Eb Piccolos. (Also Bb Bass flute curved head)
Rudall Carte... F flute, Eb flute & Eb & F piccolos. (Also Bb Bass curved head)
Hawkes Crown AZ... Bb Bass flute (curved head), Eb Bass flute & Eb Piccolo.
Even broken bits can be utilised
Any band or individual wishing to help, please contact us at email@example.com or use the contact us link on our home page.
The Band gave a concert for Ards Borough Council on 18 August in Comber Square. This was one of six summer band concerts organised by the Borough Council. A large crowd gathered on a fine Sunday afternoon, and the music was very well received. -
We are currently on the look out for a musical director or guest conductor, after Colin Fleming informed us that he did not wish to continue in the role. There was general agreement in the ranks that Colin’s commitment to improving flute playing could not be understated, and we regret losing his services.
On Thursday 21 June the Band honoured a commitment to play at the Drumbo Ulster Scots Champions concert. It was a very enjoyable evening, and we trust the remainder of the concert and the barbeque went well.
The Park season is upon us again, and the Band played in Lord & Lady Dixon Park on Sunday 12 May. Congratulations and thanks to those members of the public who braved the weather -
We also enjoyed a couple of social evenings in Ballygowan recently, recently won medals were presented, the annual BBQwas held at Dougie’s farm on 14 June.
Flute Band Association Solo & Small Ensemble Contest 2013
Well done to all our members who took part in the Solo and Small Ensemble Competition in Newtownards on 27 April:
Benjamin Gourley (3rd in U13 Concert), Andrew Douglas & Tori Watson (2nd in U21 Duet), Andrew Douglas (1st in the Own Choice Open Solo), Drew Vincent (1st in the Open Solo Side Drum), Andrew Douglas, Laura McBride, Tori Watson, James Gourley & Mark Douglas (1st in the Senior Trio-
Thanks to all the competitors for your hard work and also to the Flute Band Association for organising another great event.
At our 2013 AGM, Stephen Carse was re-
Two good friends of the Band were elected as honorary members. Further down this page you can read about the Band having played in the world première of the march “Flags and Emblems” at the Belfast Festival at Queens in October 2012 -
The 2013 Flute Band Association Own Choice Contest took place in Lisburn on 23 February. Bandsman, flute player, tutor conductor and adjudicator Drew Rowan was in the box for the Championship section, and he opened with his thanks to the Association for asking him back. He said he was thrilled with the wide range of music and terrific playing.
What, by personal choice, he said he was looking for was a good overall balanced sound with a good bass end, good intonation and tuning -
Ballylone won, Ballygowan were second and Ballymena were third. Ballylone lifted all the available prizes -
The test pieces were Slavonic Dances (Dvorak), Morning, Noon & Night (Suppé), The Sorcer’s Apprentice (Dukas), Ballet Music from Zemirz et Azor (Gretry), Night on the Bare Mountain (Mussorgsky) and Dvorak’s Carnival Overture.
For Ballygowan, this was the thirteenth successive year of top-
Andante Festivo (Sibelius):
Carnival Overture (Dvorak): http://youtu.be/fQR7cvmPt3k
On Monday 11 February, an ensemble from the Band played at a Masonic function in Killyleagh.
In October 2012, the Band played in the Belfast Festival at Queens with the Ulster Orchestra. This was a world premiere of the march “Flags & Emblems” by Belfast Composer Ian Wilson, and was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday afternoon 22nd January.
An ensemble played in Crawfordsburn on Saturday 12 at a masonic dinner. We were made very welcome, and the music was very well received (some photos in our Photos & Trivia page).
The Band fulfilled a long standing engagement for the Ballygowan Community Association on Wednesday 05 December by playing carols and other items after the kids had their party and had seen Santa.
On Wednesday evening 28 November, the Band played carols for the Castlereagh Borough Council at the switch on of their Christmas Tree lights. Very enjoyable (the Australians have warmer evenings in late November!!)
The 2012 NIBA Dinner and prize giving took place in Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena on Saturday evening 10 November. Ballygowan were there to collect the Championship Section winners trophy, the Best of the Day Trophy and the Interpretation Trophy. The Band was well represented and a number of ballot prizes also made there way back to Ballygowan.
As usual, the adjudicator’s remarks were available on the night, and to Ballygowan eyes, they made good reading -
Some of our members joined other bands-
World Champions again:
In the Market Theatre in Armagh on Saturday 20 October 2012, Ballygowan retained the N.I.B.A. World Flute Band Championship playing Brahm’s Academic Festival Overture.
The adjudicator was Sandy Hay, a flute player himself who had officiated twice before. As expected he talked about having a fantastic day, he enjoyed himself very much and enjoyed the fantastic music making, He also added that flute playing is very vibrant in this country. Mr. Hay complimented the arrangement which exposed every section of the bands, and he was especially looking for how the players coped with the dynamics -
Ballygowan were placed first with Ballylone second, and Ballymena Young Conquerors third. Ballylone took the percussion and piccolo prizes, and Ballygowan were awarded the interpretation and best of the day.
The Band plays with the Ulster Orchestra as part of the Belfast Festival -
Our bandroom has recently benefited from an insulation grant from the Big Lottery -
However we are deeply shocked and hurt at the wanton vandalism on one of our new doors. We appeal to all our friends and neighbours to please be vigilant, and have no hesitation in calling the PSNI if you see or hear anything suspicious.
We were saddened to hear recently of the passing of Fergie Cobain. Fergie was a life-
The Championship test piece this year was the Academic Festival Overture by Johannes Brahms, arranged for flutes by Philip Walton. We are delighted to have the services of Colin Fleming as conductor.
Brahms composed the overture as a means of thanking the University of Breslau for awarding him an Honorary Doctorate. Apparently he had planned to write a note of thanks, but was advised that protocol demanded much more.
Brahms conducted the premier himself in January 1881, and the piece has been a regular concert favourite ever since. The composer was well known for his sense of humour and he included a number of student drinking songs – which didn’t go down well with some of the “stiffer” academics present in the audience.
Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg in 1833 as the second of three children. His father was a double bass player, and Johannes was introduced to the piano at the age of seven. In a very short time it was realised that here was a child with a musical gift.
As a young lad he played for pocket money in Hamburg bars – an unpleasant experience considering the typical clientele in the pubs of such a large port. By the age of seventeen he was already an accomplished musician, and while still twenty he visited and played for the composers Robert and Clara Schumann. This was the beginning of a great friendship which was tragically affected by the loss of Robert Schumann’s mental health and his premature death.
In 1857 he was appointed Director of Music to a princely court near Hanover, and in his time there he composed his first piano concerto. By the time he was thirty he was living in Vienna, and his music was selling well (no small thanks to Clara Schumann who played his piano pieces). Brahms completed his first symphony in 1876, and his 40s and 50s were recognised as his golden period.
Johannes himself was a shy person and led a simple life; he rarely expressed his inner feelings except in letters to close friends and through his music. He died of cancer in April 1897.
Disappointment in Troon:
A party of over thirty made the trip to Troon for the Scottish Amateur Flute Band Association Spring Contest on 12 May 2012. The Band played the march Eagle Squadron, and the test pieces Irish Washerwoman, Aranjeuz mon Amour (Rodrigo) and the William Tell Overture (Rossini). The general reception in the hall was that the performance was the best of the day, but as all bands people know, there is only one opinion that matters -
No prizes on this occasion in spite of the many compliments -
Our congratulations go to our solo “G” player Richard Douglas, who scored his first win as a conductor of a senior band. Ballymena Young Conquerors under his baton won the march, the best Band and the interpretation prize.
If you’d like an impression of how good the others must have been, just tune into the following:
Aranjeuz mon Amour (Rodrigo)
William Tell Overture (Rossini)
Ballygowan quintet won the Trio to Octet section of the 2012 Flute Band Association’s Annual Solo & Small Contest.
From the left: Mark, James, Tori, Laura & Andrew. Tori and Andrew won the Duet and Andrew won the Open Solo (he first won it as a promising 12-
The Barber of Seville (Rossini)
The adjudicator’s remarks for the 2012 Flute Band Association Own Choice Contest were released at the Annual Dinner on 31 March. From a Ballygowan perspective, these made excellent reading. Mr. Sandy Hay used terms like very moving, very, very stylish, a huge palette of colours that you exploit, impeccable and effortless, your playing is so enjoyable that I find myself forgetting to write, your band can articulate as a unit like no flute band I have heard before, a dynamic and stunning performance. He also found space to record that we have an astounding conductor. There are a couple of photos in our Photos & Trivia page.
On 21 March 2012 members of the Band gave a concert in the Village Hall for the Ballygowan Community Association. The idea was to help raise funds for the Fun Day in June. Acoustics are very good in the hall and the concert went down very well with those present, and there was a special reception for Northern Ireland’s Young Musician 2012 when he played the solo in Sousa’s Stars & Stripes Forever, and the piccolo solo Bourré.
Band invited to a reception in The Mayor’s Parlour
On Tuesday 06 March 2012, members of the Band with Musical Director Dr. Windsor Hylands and his wife Isobel -
Click for photo -
John Douglas, Brian Kerr, Dougie Gourley, Windsor Hylands (Musical Director), Alan Robinson, David Mays, Mark Douglas, Benjamin Gourley, Audrey Spratt, Robert McMurray, Stephen Carse (Chairman), James Gourley, Sarah Bass, Jim Gourley, Johnathan Gourley, Mayor Mervyn Oswald, Geoffery Gourley, Andrew Douglas, Tom Gourley, James Douglas, John Dawson, Stephen Gibson, Councillor Robert Gibson
Andrew is Northern Ireland Young Musician of the year 2012
In the impressive surroundings of The Harty Room of Queens University Belfast on Saturday 3rd March, Andrew Douglas won the competition for the title of Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year 2012 -
Ballygowan win the 2012 Flute Band Association’s Annual Own Choice Contest.
Entries for the day’s playing was the best for several years with 25 bands participating -
Seven bands competed for the Championship title, and Adjudicator Sandy Hay expressed his delight at the “fantastic day of music making”. He said that the standard of musicianship (in Northern Ireland) was second to none, and he was especially pleased with the differing styles of playing, which demonstrated how the bands here are prospering. He also commented on bands reaching such standards outside of formal musical training (of course this can only partially be applied as most bands do benefit from the musical education available to young people nowadays -
Kellswater were placed third with their performance of Verdi’s Silician Vespers, Ballylone were second with Tchaikovsky’s Cappricio Italien (they also won the piccolo prize). Ballygowan won with Rimsky-
Once again our thanks and congratulations go our music maestro Dr. Windsor Hylands.
You can listen to the winning performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9dPXNByioc&feature=youtu.be
* Quote of the day (Erne Music): “SUPPORT THE BRANDS WHICH SUPPORT THE BANDS”
On Sunday 11th December a group of band members played at La Mon House hotel, entertaining families arriving for Christmas dinner with carols and festive music. Turned out to be a great afternoon!
On 07 December the Band filled a long-
The Band also went down very well, and one little boy, Samuel Walker, got a pleasant Christmas present. After requesting if he could have a go with the baton, he was chuffed to be allowed to conduct “Rudolf the Red-
Before the finale, the Mayor of Ards Councillor Mervyn Oswald spoke to the gathering. He thanked the Band members for their very enjoyable music and he congratulated the Band for their clean sweep at the recent World Championship. He also added that we would be invited to the Mayor’s Parlour for a reception at a suitable date in the near future. At the outset he did jokingly say that he was a tad disappointed not to have had the chance to conduct, and he had not quite made it to his seat when Conductor Mark Douglas handed him the baton. After a very brief lesson he made an excellent fist of conducting the famous Radetsky March -
The Band led the praise at the Annual Lisburn Area PSNI Carol Service on the evening of 06 December. This was a very successful and very well attended event, and we were indeed privileged to be asked to play. Also contributing were the Central Primary School Choir and the Choir of Christ Church, Lisburn.
Musical Director Dr. Windsor Hylands receives the trophy for Best Interpretation at the 2011 World Flute Band Championships. NIBA President Margaret Campbell made the presentation -
Some members of the band played a short programme of music recently at a function in Ravara Orange Hall. We received a warm welcome and think our music was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Ravara Pipe Band for the invitation.
The first day of the 2011 Northern Ireland Band Championships was held on Saturday 15 October , and it was a great day for Ballygowan with a clean sweep of all available prizes.
The adjudicator was, as last year, Donald Finlayson, a music graduate from the University of Glasgow and a flute player. He claimed he had an absolute ball of an afternoon, and added that the flute players of tomorrow want to come and hear the standard at this contest. He also commended Sir James Galway as a product of our system, who had listened widely to musicians across the world, and had transformed flute playing. The adjudicator went on to commend the arranger of the two pieces, John Bryce. He then said that he had been listening for the “Wow” factor, and that he had never heard as much double tonguing in a single day. In his closing comments he said the winning band had outclassed the rest – a professional performance in all sections.
Special congratulations to Andrew Douglas who won the piccolo prize (that’s a double as he also won it at the Own Choice Contest in February). We owe our thanks and congratulations to our musical director, Dr. Windsor Hylands, who won the interpretation prize -
The music consisted of two pieces: Liebesverbot (The Love Ban – or The Novice of Palermo) by Richard Wagner, and Speedy Gonzales by Henry Mancini.
Liebesverbot is a comic opera in two acts by Richard Wagner based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. It was set in Palermo in Sicily in the 16th Century, and is rarely played nowadays – indeed it had an ignominious start. Under-
Richard Wagner was born in Brühl, near Leipzig in Germany on 22 May 1813. His father died of typhus when he was only six months old and his mother subsequently remarried and they moved to Dresden. Sadly, his step-
His best known works are The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. He also had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which has been a Mecca for opera lovers ever since.
In his personal life Wagner had his problems: his personality, money shortage, outspoken views on music, and his political views are well documented. He died on 13 February 1883, leaving the world, in musical terms, a much richer place.
Speedy Gonzales was an instrumental number in Henry Mancini’s 1961 album Mr. Lucky Goes Latin.
Henry Mancini was born on 16 April 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA to Italian parents. He received flute lessons from the age of eight and piano lessons from twelve, and at 19 joined the Juillard School of Music. His musical career had to take a break when he was drafted into the army and he joined the famous Glenn Millar Orchestra. He later went into films and wrote a great number of songs and scores including The Glenn Millar Story and The Benny Goodman Story, and songs for most of the American Artists of his time e.g. Connie Francis, Trini Lopez, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, Andy Williams and Matt Munro.
Mancini also performed in hundreds of symphony performances and conducted nearly all the leading symphony orchestras of the world.
He died on 14 June 1994 and left this world with a legacy of wonderful music. In his life time he received 4 Oscars, 20 Grammy Awards and 9 Academy Awards.
Congratulations to our senior percussionist John Presho who celebrated his golden wedding anniversary on 18 October 2011. He and Sylvia were treated to a surpize (call that shock) party in La Mon to which band members were invited) -
A large ensemble from the Band played in Carrickfergus on 30 September at a Masonic dinner. We were very well received and the guests, who by their own admission, left with a new perception of Flute Bands.
The Band played in Botanic Gardens, Belfast on Sunday afternoon 18 September. We were the third of four bands to play at the annual end of season park engagements -
We sold a few CDs on the day, and one satisfied customer wrote to us saying: As a lover of flute bands. I had the pleasure of listening to Ballygowan FB on Sunday in Botanic Gardens. The music playing was the best I have heard in a long time. I was only sorry when it ended. I also bought your wonderful CD of favourite marches which I play constantly. Thank you all for such a musical day. Wishing the band every success in the future.
Thank you very much to our conductor, James.
The Band gave a concert in Lord & Lady Dixon Park on Sunday 04 September. They say most things come in threes, and this was the third successive time at this venue that the weather was less than kind. Unfortunately there was no marquis on this occasion and rain stopped play. Our apologies to those who braved the weather, but our flutes are expensive and do not benefit from a good soaking!
On 17 June the band played a short concert in Saintfield High School. The concert also featured the Ravara Pipe Band and the School Choir. The event was organised to mark a staff retirement, and a voluntary contribution was requested from the attendees for school charities.
Our Night at the Races at Dougie’s Farm on Friday 2nd September turned out to be great evening’s craic, even if the attendance early on was a bit low (the Northern Ireland match was a distraction). Dougie himself bought the last horse, and no doubt the Band funds were boosted somewhat at the end of the night.
On Sunday 17 July the Band played in Lord & Lady Dixon Park to help celebrate the end of Rose Week. Unfortunately the weather was not good and attendance numbers were restricted to the dedicated -
The Band had a great day in Comber at the 12th of July celebrations. The weather was fantastic, the public were out in force, and the Band was playing exceptionally well -
Band plays in Stormont
On 9th June a large ensemble from the Band played in The Great Hall in Parliament Buildings -
No matter how brilliant a document we politicians produce as a framework for peace, it will not stand long unless it is embraced in the hearts of the people. That requires trust, and a belief that the 'other side' is willing to meet you halfway. And things like Friends Forever are how you get that done -
Susan Rigby, Andrew Douglas, David Mays, Victoria Gibson, Audrey Spratt, Victoria Watson, Laura McBride, Stephen Gibson, Taylor Ross, Johnathan Gourley, Matthew Gourley, John Dawson, Stephen Carse, Jim Gourley, John Douglas, Robert McMurray, Geoffrey Gourley, Mark Douglas, Brian Kerr, Darren Canmore
Our annual BBQ was held on Friday 10 June and a grand time was had by all. Visit our scrapbook page or our Facebook for some photos
Annual General Meeting 2011
It's as you were after the AGM with Dougie Gourley continuing as Chairman, Victoria Gibson as Secretary and Robert McMurray as Treasurer.
The Flute Band Association's annual Own Choice Contest was held in The Island Civic Centre, Lisburn on Saturday 26 February 2011, and seven bands competed in the championship section. The adjudicator was John Bryce who was not a stranger to flute ensembles, and in his remarks he referred to the "absolute stunning and amazing" standard of the bands in the top section. He also picked out the arrangers of the music and commended their commitment. He advised percussion players not to forget that they had to complement the flute playing which demonstrated "loads" of cracking players, and he had a fun poke at the thankless task of conductors.
His adjudication produced a third place for Ballyclare, a close second for Ballylone, and he placed Ballygowan first.
Ballylone won the percussion prize, Ballygowan's young Andrew Douglas won the piccolo prize, and the interpretation prize went to Ballygowan's conductor Windsor Hylands. Mr. Bryce's parting comment was that he had never heard a performance like that of the winning band.
The success meant that Ballygowan had earned a top-
Congratulations to our solo G-
The bands' test pieces were Capriccio Espagnol ( Korsakov), Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo (Copland), Sheherazade (Korsakov), Polovtsian Dances (Borodin), William Tell (Rossini), Capriccio Italien (Tchaikovsky), Morning, Noon and Night (Suppé).
Ballygowan played Capriccio Italien by Pyotr Ilvich Tchaikovsky.
Tchaikovsky composed Capriccio Italien in 1880 after a visit to Rome. Apparently he was very taken with much of the music he heard there, especially the folk music, and the fanfare at the beginning reflected an army bugle call heard from his hotel. It is also said that he found inspiration in Glinka’s Spanish Pieces.
The work was initially well received, but the composer is reported to have later doubted if the work contained any musical merit. He subsequently arranged it for piano.
On Saturday 11th December, the band led the praise for the carols at the Christmas Tree Party for the Community Association and more especially for the younger set.
On Friday evening 3rd December a large ensemble from the band played in First Comber Presbyterian Church to entertain visitors during their Flower Festival -
In spite of the icy weather the project was a huge success for First Comber Presbyterian and they will be forwarding several thousand pounds to the World Development Appeal, which provides support to very poor people in far-
We wish to express our thanks to Bandsman, Arranger & Composer Alex Abbott for his score of the sacred song "The stranger in Galilee". Our Vice-
The 2010 World Championship has again come and gone. The music for the 2010 World Flute Band Championship section (arranged by David Heaney) is The Three-
Manuel de Falla was born in 1876 in Cadiz in Spain and studied music in Madrid. He became very interested in native Spanish music, and the Three Cornered Hat started life as a ballet called The Magistrate & The Miller's Wife. Falla made a major contribution to his country's music and appeared for a number of years on a Spanish bank note.The Adjudicator Donald Finlayson, himself a flautist, commended the high standard of flute playing -
He also commented on the arranger (David Heaney) of Manuel De Falla's set of dances "The Three-
Congratulations are also due to our conductor Windsor Hylands (back from retirement) for winning the interpretation prize -
The only two people who at twelve years of age won the Flute Band Association's competition in Under-
Sunday 05 September was the 2010 final day of Band Concerts in Lord & Lady Dixon Park, Belfast. In earlier years the event would have been spoiled by the weather, because as Blaris Accordion were finishing their performance, the rain started. This year, however, the organisers had a lovely marquis for the bands and Ballygowan set up at the back leaving just about enough room for most of the listeners -
The 2010 annual barbeque band photo (click here) at Dougie's farm. A good time was had by all, and some money was raised for Band funds.
This year's away day was back to Troon for the S.A.F.B.A. 2010 Spring Contest. It was a good day for Carluke Primrose, who claimed the two first prizes and best overall. Ballygowan were second in both. Click here for photo.
Standing (from left): B. Kerr, M. Gourley, J. Gourley, J. Gourley, D. Canmore, L. Gourley, S. Carse, S. Rigby, R. McMurray, L. McBride, J. Gourley, A. Spratt, M. Douglas, S. Bass, V. Gibson, C. Kerr, D. Denvir, A. Douglas
Seated (from left): S. Gibson, G. Gourley, T. Gourley, D. Gourley, M. Smith (Conductor), J. Douglas, J. Gourley, D. Mays, R. Douglas.
On 12 March 2010 the band played in a concert in Drumilly Church hall, Hamiltonsbawn, County Armagh. The Presbyterian Church there run a charity concert every year and we were delighted to accept the invitation to contribute. The concert also featured the local Silver Band.
The Civic Centre in Lisburn was the venue for the 50th Annual Own Choice Contest on Saturday 27 February 2010. For most flute band people this is the best day of the year, because of the variety of music on offer, but for some, nothing much changed other than the date, since last year's result was repeated exactly (Kellswater won it, Ballygowan were a close second and Hunter Moore finished third).
The adjudicator, Hughina Naylor was very well qualified for the job -
We would like to invest a few lines in appreciation of our Solo G-
Some examples of the music on offer: Sicilian vespers (Verde), The Accursed Huntsman (Franck), Fingals Cave (Mendelssohn), Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Liszt), William Tell (Rossini), Rodeo (Copland), Slavonic Rhapsody (Friedman), Poet & Peasant, Light Cavalry (both by Suppe).
Ballygowan played Copland’s Rodeo.
On a snowy Friday evening of the 29th of January 2010, members and friends of the Ballygowan Flute Band met in La Mon House Hotel for a nice meal and an evening's fellowship, and in particular to say "thank you" for the contribution over 15 years of our recently retired Musical Director Dr. Windsor Hylands. During this period the band returned 33 wins in various competitions -
Lots of very nice things were said after the meal. Windsor talked about the enjoyment and pleasure of his time with the band and thanked everyone for their cooperation and friendship. He also reminded us that he would willing to step into the breach at any time in the future. He picked out James Gourley, Darren Canmore and Mark Douglas for their input in sectional rehearsals, and for Mark's contribution with his excellent arrangements. Band Chairman Dougie Gourley reflected on Windsor's legacy from 1994 to 2009 -
World Flute Band Championship 2009 Winners
Ballygowan players and followers were delighted on Saturday 24th October evening to hear the adjudicator call our name as 2009 winners. The test piece was not a popular one, but none the less a good test. The top three bands made an excellent fist of it, but the proof of the pudding surely came within the adjudicator's remarks. Because the music was not at all well known -
The success was all the sweeter because it was our conductor, Windsor Hylands' last contest before he retired from active banding. Windsor worked very hand -
Theme and Variations (S. Taneyev)
The test piece for 2009 was Theme & Variations by Taneyev, a piano piece arranged for flute by P.Walton. The arranger actually composed the finale specifically for this contest.
Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev was born near Moscow in 1856. He began taking piano lessons at age five, and when he was nine entered the Moscow Conservatory -
He graduated in 1875, the first student in the history of the Conservatory to win the gold medal for both composition and performing (piano). He was also the first person ever to be awarded the Conservatory's Great Gold Medal.
Taneyev was an accomplished performer and composer, and Tchaikovsky came to respect his professional opinion above most others (even though his frank opinions sometimes hurt the sensitive genius!) He was the soloist in the first Moscow performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, and he was to perform other Tchaikovsky works for piano and orchestra. His pupils included Rachmaninov.
CCEA / GCSE
The Officers and members of the Ballygowan Flute Band are delighted and proud to have been chosen as part of an optional area of study for those sitting their GCSE Music in 2011. Students will be expected to develop their knowledge and runderstanding of the musical traditions in Ireland through a study of a number of pieces -
Click here for more information.
A Night at the Races in Comber Rec. on Friday 25 September 2009 was a successful fun night, even if there was room for more punters! This was the first stage in building funds to replace our marching uniform which has stood us in good stead for over 25 years. The race was won by Tom -
Last away day for the band was in early May 2009 when a fairly large group from the membership travelled to Troon to compete in the Annual Spring Contest organised by the Scottish Amateur Flute Band Association -
Eight bands participated, each playing a march and a test piece, and there were prizes for the march, for the test piece and prizes for entertainment. At the end, all points gained by each band were added up and there was a best overall prize.
It was a good day for Ballygowan winning the march (with Bolts & Bars) and the test piece (Irish washerwoman, Champions Theme and Dvorak's Carnival Overture). We also collected the prize for the best piccolo performance as well as the entertainment prize -
Highlight for everyone in the hall including the adjudicator was our solo G Treble player Richard Douglas' performance of the Champions Theme. All-
Jimmy Greenaway passed away earlier this summer after a period of illness. Jimmy started his banding career with the 39th Old Boys but moved soon afterwards across the city of Belfast to The Ravenhill Temperance -
Clicke here for photo -