St Albans City Band's Musical Director Phillip Littlemore stood down from his position at the end of June 2017 after 8 years at the helm of the Band. Originally asked to cover only one engagement in the Summer of 2009 Phillip had led the Band since that time with great enthusiasm and commitment. Phillip has now moved to the Isle of Wight where he says he intends to have nothing to do with brass bands - but we struggle to believe that!
Phillip conducts the Band in one last chorus of 'Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines'...
Band Chairman Simon Wilson presents Phillip with his leaving gift.
Phillip shows off his new glass paperweight to be used to stop all those new arrangements he'll be doing in the Isle of Wight from blowing away in the sea breeze!
Come and hear St Albans City Band, plus other bands and musical groups at Bayford's Musical Gardens Day on Sunday June 19th.
This bi-annual event combines amazing gardens, good music and plentiful food and drink all with the backdrop of a picturesque Hertfordshire village. Numerous houses open their gates for the public to walk around their incredibly well kept gardens. Bands of all shapes and sizes feature in a number of the gardens which promises to be a very enjoyable day.
More details can be found at: www.bayfordgardensday.org
Current and former members of St Albans City Band came together on Friday 11th March to provide a fitting tribute at the funeral of former band member Len Smith, who played with the band for 67 years. Players who had been with the band from the 1960's, 1980's and 90's up to the present day joined together to play for Len's cremation service at Garston Crematorium. The band's current Musical Director Phillip Littlemore played the solo 'Trumpeter's Lullaby' and the service was finished off by the rousing march 'Death or Glory' which was a personal favourite of Len's.
Born in October 1927, Len joined the band aged 11 in April 1939 and was taught to play cornet by the then Bandmaster, Herbert Warwick who had been the band's original Solo Cornet player when it was formed in 1892. Following National Service in 1945 Len started playing the BBb Bass, an instrument he continued to play up until his retirement from the band in January 2006.
Latterly he had struggled with a number of health issues before losing his battle with throat cancer on 25th February 2011.
You can read Len's own recollections of his years with St Albans City Band here.
It is our sad duty to announce the death of George Wright, formerly G (Bass) Trombone player with the St Albans City Band, on 12th July 2010 aged 88, after a long illness.
George was the oldest surviving ex-St Albans Band member and also was believed to be the last surviving member of the St Albans British Legion Band, which amalgamated with the City Band in 1945. George started in the British Legion Band in 1934 aged 12 on Tenor Horn and was given his first music lessons by Derek Brett, the Solo Horn player at the Legion Band, but George quickly moved to the 'G Trombone' (Bass) position after learning Bass Clef whilst playing with the St Albans Light Orchestra. In his recollections George vividly remembered picking up the 'G' for the first time, and getting to grips with the handle on the slide that was a feature of that particular type of trombone. George's father, Jimmy Wright played drums in the City Band in the 20's and 30's, and although there were two bands in the city at the time, there was no rivalry between the two, and the bands helped each other out when the other was short of players for a job. Following the war, the remaining members of the British Legion Band came and joined the City Band, with some players transferring from woodwind instruments to brass, such as clarinet player Harry Johnson, who became a trombone player. With this new setup the Band went on to see a string of contest successes in the '50's and '60's under the auspices of Conductors Ted Longland, Tommy Boyes and latterly Nelson Morris. During these years, the band often employed a professional conductor for Contests, the most regular being Albert Coupe who normally conducted The Luton Band. George continued to play with St Albans City Band until a change in his personal circumstances forced his retirement from playing in 1971. He was one of the last of a dying breed, a man who grew up, lived and worked in the City and played with the local band simply because it was 'the local band'. Too often now we see players who are soley motivated by the successes and failures of a particular band, and we as players should take note of the dedication and commitment to one band of players of George's generation.
George had a distinguished military career, having served in the Royal Marines during the Second World War and spent time as a Prisoner of War. In civilian life he was a plumber and was a well known local tradesman as well as having been known to effect a temporary repair on instruments with materials that were to hand on more than one occasion!
George very kindly allowed himself to be interviewed for this website in 2005, and the resulting article is published here.