Baker’s Treat

Strata Brass are pleased to announce the appointment of to the post of Musical Director.

With a lengthy pedigree as a performer, conductor, and composer/arranger in the very highest echelons of banding, Leigh will bring a huge amount of experience and imagination to the post.

“Strata have a great band and a great set up and I’m excited to form a new relationship with them. With an exciting programme of concerts and contests coming up through 2023 I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Leigh Baker

Leigh is no stranger to the band having worked with the South Yorkshire outfit as a guest conductor over the past few years. Band Manager Robert Hardy adds, “Leigh is very well known across the Yorkshire banding community and beyond, and will bring a wealth of experience to the band. His experience and knowledge of how to plan and pull off great concert and contest performances is something that we are really looking forward to.”

Robert concludes, “We would also like to officially thank Richard Marshall for leading the band at last night’s FROM STAGE AND SCREEN concert and in rehearsals in the lead up to the concert. It means a lot to the band that we have such knowledgeable and experienced friends who we can call upon.”

Our first official concert with Leigh is at Wetherby Bandstand on the 11th of June, which promises to be a great afternoon in a beautiful setting. Keep your eyes peeled for future announcements including our latest new signings!

New Home

So today was the day Strata brass said farewell to it’s home after 35 years. With the impending sale of the land which we called home, the band have completed it’s move to the Elsecar Parish Hall 1 mile down the road.

On Saturday, Fuelled by bacon sandwiches and coffee, several of the band arrived to transport the last of the bands possession’s to their new home ready for the start of rehearsals in the build up towards the 2 contests in October.

Behind the scenes, the search for a new Musical Director continues. The band have had several auditionees, but so far no decision has been made.

Elsewhere in the band there have been a few personnel changes. Liz Hatch moves up to Solo Euphonium and is joined by new recruit Davey Webster on 2nd Euphonium. Len Hodgkiss, who only recently joined the band has slide along the bench to Solo Trombone, leaving the 2nd chair waiting for another new face.

With almost a full band, only 4 vacancies, Post Lockdown life for Strata Brass is looking like it will be an exciting time.

Return of the Concert

Strata Brass have been working hard over the last few weeks to prepare for Weatherby Bandstand on the 20th of June and their ‘Return of the Concert’ programme.

With regulations relaxed enough to allow them all back in to a rehearsal room for the first time since the start of the global pandemic in March of 2020, The band very quickly fell back in to the playing habit very quickly, leading the management team to take the decision that a full band performance would be possible.

As much as getting back on the proverbial bandstand is great news and a sign things are getting beter, this performance will be the last with Strata Brass for James Atkins and Riley Anderson.

James has been the bands Principle Cornet for the last two years, but has been offered a seat at the Fairey Band, which is a fantastic opportunity and the band whole heartedly support him in the move. James will feature as the Cornet Soloist on Sunday for the last time before handing over the reins to James Corking who will be making his debut as Principle.

Riley like wise has been the Principle Euphonium also for the last couple of years while he was studying at the RNCM under the fabulous David Thornton and Steve Mead, He is a promising young player and in the last week has completed his final recital. He will be heading back to his native Virginia in the coming weeks, and we at will be interested to watch his progression over the next few years to see where his playing career can take him.

Speaking on behalf of the Management team, Band Manager Robert Hardy said “Both players will be missed by the band, but we want to thank them both for being a part of the band, especially for their hard work on the Lockdown Videos. We wish them both the very best in the future.”

Whit Friday

After the (hopefully) last of our long list of Virtual videos, Strata Brass came full circle with its entry to the Fodens Online Whit Friday Championships. Against a strong field of 24 bands the band once again showed its class and ability with an excellent second place. The band is now looking forward to Wetherby on the 20th of June and once again being able play together live.
David Heiland of the media team at said “Our congratulations go to all the bands who took part and especially the Prize winners in all sections. A big thank you also go to the team at Fodens on such a well run contest once again.”

American Dream

So here is the teaser for our Fodens Online Whit Friday Championship video. We can only wonder what march the band are playing and wait with bated breath to find what the video will bring. All will be revealed on the Whit Friday Weekend.

Centre Page

Hot on the heels of their win in the First Section of the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships, Strata Brass are honoured to be featured as the Centre Band in the April edition of Brass Band World magazine.

Getting all the band together under current circumstances wasn’t a possibility, but the technical wizard behind the competition winning performance, our vwey own Jonny Bates, found a way to show the band as we hope it will be again in the near future.

The band’s management team are hard at work in the background preparing for a return to rehearsals in a couple of weeks, and the latest Strata Brass virtual video has been submitted for the Fodens Online Whit Friday Competition on the 28 & 29 of May. The band are showing no sign slowing down and are looking forward to the rest of 2021 and beyond and being able to get back to live performance and hopefully find a way to incorporate a new way of entertaining at our concerts.

Strata Meets The Beatles

Following on from the exciting news of our First place in the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships, here is our winning entry for the competition.

Our thanks again to the Cory Band for organising such a great 3 weekends of brass band entertainment – making us all realise just what we’re missing and can’t wait to return to!

Video & Audio production – Jonathan Bates
(Lennon/McCartney arr. Jonathan Bates)
2. SOMEONE LIKE YOU (from ‘Jekyll & Hyde’)
(Lesley Bricusse arr. John Barber)
Trombone Soloist – Elliot Gray
Piano – Ruth Hollick
Bass Guitar – Gary Williams
(Lennon/McCartney arr. Jonathan Bates)
*performed and arranged with kind permission from Hal Leonard Europe/SONY BMG