Godalming crest

Godalming Band

Brass band in Godalming since 1937

Band news

Crowdfunder launch

Posted on Wednesday 18 November 2020

Godalming Band is joining the national #SaveOurBrassBands initiative launched by Brass Bands England to save the many UK brass bands who are struggling to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic. Brass bands are a core of their local community, and many risk disappearing altogether without your help.

We are asking for donations to help ensure the future of Godalming Band and Godalming Youth Band at this challenging time through our crowdfunding campaign, which will cover many of our costs while the band has been unable to earn money from playing during 2020.

With our own bandroom to run and many recurring costs, losing our ability to host concerts and perform around Godalming has had an impact on our finances. The band very much hopes to be back performing again in 2021, but we’re asking for your support to ensure we can do it on a firm footing and are able to continue to invest in the bandroom, equipment and music that we need.

Our band members have put together some videos which you can find on YouTube, explaining why Godalming Band deserves your support. We’re also publishing regular updates on our Facebook page.

Please take a look at our Crowdfunder page for more details, including a great selection of rewards available in return for your donation: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/godalming-band

COVID-19 News

Posted on Wednesday 14 October 2020

Update on Thursday 17 June 2021

Our main band rehearsals have started back successfully at two larger, temporary, venues and the band is looking forward to playing at the summer’s bandstand concerts. Rehearsals are operating under strict COVID-secure rules, per Brass Bands England and DCMS guidance, with social distancing, spacing, temperature checks, masks, bell covers etc to ensure we keep our players safe.

It looks as if bandstand concerts and other events will go ahead this summer despite restrictions not being lifted entirely, so we’re working with event organisers to ensure that these operate under the same COVID-secure rules and guidance in place for our rehearsals.

Update on Friday 2 April 2021

With Government and Brass Bands England guidance likely to begin permitting youth bands to rehearse as an extra-curricular activity from 12 April, the Godalming Youth Band is preparing to restart rehearsals from this date according to the latest advice. The advice and necessary precautions are being reviewed by the band committee, and our musical director is in touch with parents as we work together to have the band back together safely.

Godalming Band is beginning online rehearsals from April in preparation for a later restart of in-person rehearsals, which is currently expected to be in May. The first performances are being organised by Go Godalming in June, subject to restrictions being lifted. This is all very much provisional, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed to be playing again this summer!

Update on Friday 15 January 2021

No rehearsals or events are currently planned due to the current third lockdown, however the committee continues to work towards securing venues for an eventual restart of rehearsals and activities.

Update on Thursday 5 November 2020

With the reintroduction of national restrictions and a second lockdown, no rehearsals or events are currently planned. We hope to revisit this in due course from December.

Update on Wednesday 14 October 2020

Our band has unfortunately been in a state of hibernation for much of 2020, since we stopped rehearsing together in March. During this time we’ve put together a number of group videos recorded from our own homes with both the youth and senior bands, which we hope you’ll enjoy.

Since updated guidance from the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) and our national body, Brass Bands England in August, we’ve been looking at how we can safely restart our activities.

The Godalming Band committee and trustees have prepared plans to run rehearsals for our youth and senior bands in a fully COVID-secure manner, according to the restrictions and best industry guidance available, and are looking to start this in the autumn of 2020. As you can imagine, there are a large number of changes to our usual rehearsals, from accommodating social distancing, to implementing Test and Trace, through to how we work with our venue to ensure members have as little contact with each other as possible.

A thorough risk assessment has been prepared specific to COVID-19, which is in addition to our general risk assessments for rehearsals, and in addition to our venue’s own assessment and precautions. Mitigations have been put in place for the risks identified in this process. We will also be keeping up with the latest developments at both the national and local level to respond and adapt appropriately to any changes in the situation.

More details will be announced to our members directly about when and how we’ll start rehearsals again, but we hope to be running again in a limited capacity over November and December of 2020. If this is successful, we hope to then look at how the band - or limited numbers of us - can play around the town over the Christmas period.

Please do keep an eye on our Facebook page and this page on our website for the latest information. We hope to see you all again soon.

Youth Band Musical Director vacancy

Posted on Monday 03 June 2019

Godalming Band seeks applicants for the vacant post of Youth Band Musical Director.

Godalming Band is a friendly, hard-working and committed group who aspire to a high standard of music-making whilst enjoying the process. We are proud of our inclusive atmosphere and our commitment to developing all players, regardless of age or ability.

The Youth Band is an integral part of Godalming Band and as such the Musical Directors of both bands work together to ensure transition between the two bands.

Godalming Youth Band rehearses on a Monday evening, from 6pm until 7.50pm, during term time at our own band room in Godalming, Surrey and currently undertake a limited programme of public performances. These performances include the Youth Band sharing with the Godalming Band in the well attended Christmas Concert and also entering the Godalming Performing Arts Festival annually where they have seen success in recent years.

We are currently going through a transition period with some of our older members leaving for university and new players coming in. As well as working to ensure the continued success of our Youth Band, we are looking for someone who can work with the wider band organisation to build the youth and training opportunities available.

We look forward to welcoming you soon as we embark on the next chapter of our band’s story.

Please contact the Band Secretary, Wendy Ball (secretary@godalming.band) in confidence for further information on the position and application process. Closing date for applications Friday 21st June 2019.

scaba Band of the Year 2018

Posted on Sunday 30 September 2018

This weekend saw Godalming Band achieve a fantastic result, coming away with 1st Place, “Band of the Year”, and a clutch of prizes in the new morning competition at the scaba Autumn Contest, against an enlarged field of bands across four sections.

A win at the scaba Spring Contest earlier this year had put Godalming into contention for the prestigious title of “Band of the Year” going into the weekend. The second win sealed the 2018 title for Godalming, and Musical Director James Haigh was delighted to collect the trophy for the band.

“Winning scaba ‘Band of the Year’ for 2018 is a great follow up to our 80th Anniversary last year and shows how consistent the band has become. The commitment and talent of this local group of musicians is fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.” - James Haigh, Musical Director

The band’s chairman, Raymond Pont, added that this was “a truly proud and historic moment in the band’s history” and that it was “a reward for all of the hard work put in throughout the year” by the band and James Haigh.

Godalming chose to play Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Vitae Aeternum (“Eternal Life”), a piece of three parts with a lively and exciting beginning, a tranquil and lyrical middle section featuring a cornet chorale and beautiful flugelhorn solo, then finishing with an energetic buildup. This performance won the band first place in the morning “B” section, prizes for conductor James Haigh, baritone player Sam Honeysett, plus three more prizes for the trombone, bass, and percussion sections.

Godalming Band shines in its new uniforms

Posted on Saturday 16 December 2017

At our annual Christmas concert on Saturday, Godalming Band came on stage for the very first time in their brand new set of jackets and ties, showing off the impressive new black and blue designs.

The band has been celebrating our 80th anniversary with two new concerts held in the spring and autumn, plus a spectacular evening with the Lewes Borough Bonfire Society all to raise money for the uniform replacement project.

In addition, we were grateful to receive a grant from Godalming Town Council, and contributions from Councillors Peter Martin and Penny Rivers, local councillors at Surrey County Council. With these contributions arriving in the past month, the new uniforms were able to be completed in time for the Christmas concert.

After the concert, Dominic Cleal said:

“It was an exciting and proud moment to see the band assemble and walk out in this new set of uniforms, looking very smart and well-fitted. We couldn’t have achieved it without the perseverance of our band members and the support from our supporters and council members in the local community.”

The uniforms used by the band have varied through the years, starting off with double-breasted, brass-buttoned Navy uniforms, and often featuring red piping or lapels throughout the years. The blue uniforms that the band are known for today originated in 1979 and were last refreshed in 1995 to coincide with the opening of the band room at Broadwater Park.

The new uniforms include a smart black concert jacket with blue lapels and gold embroidering, and a brand new tie with the Godalming Band crest featured in the centre of a blue and gold diagonal stripe. The uniform for the band’s prize-winning percussion section adds a new black waistcoat.

Godalming Band and Youth Band’s Christmas concert was a packed evening featuring over twenty pieces and many renditions of traditional carols in both works for the band and for the audience to sing along to. It comes towards the end of the carol season for the bands, as both the youth and senior bands have been out playing carols in villages, and visiting retirement homes and day centres around Godalming, Cranleigh and Guildford.