This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.
Pendennis Brass Band
This year, 2010, had been a special one for Falmouth based Pendennis Brass. It is now 30 years since the band re-formed and a special Extravaganza and Reunion was held in July at Falmouth Rugby Club. In September, they had one of their best ever days on the contest stage when they travelled to Exmouth for the South West Brass Band Association Entertainment contest where they were placed second overall, highest placed second section band, best entertainment programme award for the second successive year and best percussion section for the third year in a row.
For many years, Falmouth, a picturesque holiday town situated on the south coast of Cornwall, boasted a championship section band. After competing at the Royal Albert Hall in 1955, they took part in the evening concert alongside the legendary Black Dyke Mills Band and other top bands. As with a number of bands during the 50s and 60s, the band struggled to survive and after many attempts to keep going, Falmouth Town Band folded. In 1979, with a few ex-players from the old Falmouth Town Band, the band re-formed and, following sponsorship from well-known millionaire entrepreneur Peter de Savary, the band took up its current name of Pendennis Brass.
Finding a permanent rehearsal facility has been an ongoing problem for the band. Over the years, the band has had several different rehearsal rooms. Currently, they practice in Budock Water Village Hall on Sundays from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Musical director for most of the band's 19 year history, has been Glyn Thomas, a well-known local landlord and it is Glyn's pub, the Trelowarren Arms in Budock Water that is regarded as the band's watering hole. Glyn's son Gareth is also the band's principle cornet player.
Glyn stepped down from taking the band to contests and after a progressive period under former player, Gareth Cottrell, the band has reached new heights since Steve Thomas took over in September 2006. In November of that year, the band won the fourth section at the Diamond Jubilee contest of the SWBBA at Torquay and went one better at the same venue in March 2007 when they gained first prize in the regional qualifier which secured an automatic invitation to the national finals at Harrogate in September. After the long trek to Yorkshire, the band attained its highest ever placing of 8th out of 20 competing bands, their best since being placed 12th at Preston Guildhall in 2001.
After their excellent results in 2007, January 2008 saw the band promoted to the third section once again and in their first outing to area qualifiers, secured an excellent third place finish, just missing out on another trip to Harrogate by a single point. The band also made its TV debut by providing the background music for the programme shown on BBC2 about Chalky, Rick Stein's much loved pet dog. The programme was shown in January 2009 and a CD of the "Chalky" Song was also released. Two excellent results in 2008 and 2009 resulted in another promotion and in March 2010 Pendennis Brass made their debut in national section two. Another first for the band came in 2009 when they travelled north and competed in the famous Whit Friday Marches where they came third at one venue and had good results elsewhere on a wet but very enjoyable evening.
In February 2009, MD Steve Thomas arranged for top conductor arranger Ray Farr to take the band in a four hour master class at Penryn College. It was a fantastic experience for everyone and the band look forward to putting some of Ray's ideas in to practice later in the year.
2010 will also be their 30th anniversary year so the band will shortly be compiling a list of events to celebrate this milestone.
Some eleven years ago, Pendennis Brass started a beginner's class of just seven or eight players. In 2002 they had enough players to enter their first contest where they were awarded third prize at their first attempt. Since then, they have entered the SWBBA contest at Torquay and although the top award has still eluded them, they have won the best player award on two successive occasions. In 2007, the youth band took part in Camborne Youth Band's Quartet contest for the very first time and also made their debut at the Cornwall Music Festival where they entered two quartets and the full band in the School/Youth Band class. They also competed in the Training Band section of the Cornwall Brass Band Association contest where they were the only entry but impressed adjudicator, Mr Derek Broadbent. They entered the same section again this year and came away with the top award with trombone player Tom Furse picking up the best player award from adjudicator, Mr Philip Harper.
The success of the youth policy can be seen by the number of young players in the senior band and the band are delighted that a number of their former players have moved on to bigger and better things. Nathan Richards is now studying at the Royal Academy of Music, brother and sister Morrison and Biba Cole are at Wells Cathedral School of Music and Andrew Grimshaw is continuing his musical education at Westminster University.