Front row cornet

Eb Bass

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Our next engagement is : Sunday 13th July - Stisted Hall Summer Fete

The band has been established in South Essex for almost one hundred years and at the moment has almost full membership. We play a varied programme to a high standard and have a reputation for a progressive and changing repertoire of music. Under our musical director Alan Thorpe, we play mainly concerts but also perform at fetes and other functions.

The band is able to deliver high quality and entertaining concert programmes at the same time as maintaining a very friendly and inclusive atmosphere.

Rayleigh Brass do not enter contests like many bands, but seek instead to broaden the appeal of the band beyond the traditional brass band image, playing a wide and challenging repertoire, at the same time trying to relate to their audience.

Rayleigh Brass acknowledges its role in the community, and has raised funds in the past for BBC Children in Need and local hospitals, and is always willing to consider appearing at charity fund-raising events. In the weeks preceding Christmas the band fields several groups each day at locations throughout southern Essex, playing carols for shoppers, and at social functions, as well as maintaining a busy concert schedule.

Further from home, they have played on several occasions in Ypres, Belgium, culminating in a moving experience for the band and audience when they performed at the famous Menin Gate - the monument to the many thousands who lost their lives in the First World War at Flanders Fields.

All dressed up! Our magnificent percussion section pose for a picture after wowing the audience at our Latin-American themed concert, Tequila! April 2014

It is with deep sadness that I have to inform all that Peter Hammerton passed away on 16th April.

I cannot express the depth of love and affection that was felt towards Peter by all members and friends of Rayleigh Brass. Peter was ‘Mr Rayleigh Brass’ and the thought of the band without Peter is almost inconceivable.

Peter was never one for contests or music indecipherable to an audience. His simple mantra was ‘Would it entertain?’ As such he fronted our concerts with an inimitable style that became almost important as musical content. As such it seemed appropriate that he won our only silverware in recent history at the 1999 Southend Entertainments Contest for best compere.

Only last October did we celebrate 50 years of Peter’s association with Rayleigh Brass and he was, of course, on the door at the Mill Hall with Doreen on Sunday night living life to the full.

Our deepest condolences go out to Doreen and all Peter’s family.

Peter - we’re going to desperately miss you.