John Packer Blog

Welcome to the John Packer blog. Here we’ll keep you updated on all the latest happenings at John Packer Ltd, all the latest music news, musical instruments and competitions.

Month List

Polish up your brass at our Brass Band Workshop!

by Administrator 24. January 2014 15:39

Dr Robert Childs

Spring 2014 marks John Packer Ltd’s third Brass Band Workshop, featuring Dr Robert Childs as guest conductor for the first time.

Brass musicians far and wide are invited to the workshop taking place at Richard Huish College, in Taunton on Saturday 29th March, from 10am-5pm.

Dr Childs needs no introduction as a well-known and highly regarded figure in the brass band world and so this special day offers the opportunity to glean many pearls from his musical expertise.

Repertoire on the day includes the following:
        Walking With Heroes - Paul Lovatt Cooper
        Suite from Stabat Mater - Karl Jenkins 
        An American Tale - Dan Price
        Brassed Off Fantasy - Dan Price
        1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky

While this is an informal event, the aim is to provide a high standard of
performance and to enable those attending to have fun, gain experience and hopefully go home a better musician than when they arrived!

Tickets for the event are £8.50 each and must be pre-booked. This day
features challenging music, so musicians must be of an advanced standard.
Please bring a packed lunch, your instrument and a music stand.
Registration from 9am for a 10am start. The day will end at 5pm.

The event is organised with the kind support of Besson.

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Events

Join Packers this Spring for a Brass Band Workshop!

by Administrator 25. January 2013 14:33

AFTER 2012's highly successful Brass Band Workshop, John Packer Ltd is delighted to announce another event for Brass Band Musicians this Spring.

Musicians are invited to our Brass Band Day at The Castle School, in Taunton on Saturday, March 23rd.

We're delighted to welcome back retired Lieutenant Colonel Dr Chris Davis (OBE) who led our Symphonic Wind Day in 2012.

Dr Chris Davis

Chris joined the Royal Marines Band Service in September 1975 and on completion of three years training at the Royal Marines School of Music embarked onboard Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia.
On commissioning in 1993, he went to Salford University, gaining a First Class Honours Degree in Band Musicianship, studying conducting with Professor David King and composition under Ray Steadman-Allen and Professor Peter Graham.
After a period of research and mentoring by Professor David King in composer/conductor collaboration, he gained a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Salford in 2006. The research programme involved the commissioning and performance of contemporary works by British composers, including Nigel Clarke, Peter Graham and Robin Dewhurst.
In July 2002 Chris assumed the position of Principal Director of Music, Royal Marines and Commandant of the Royal Marines School of Music, the seventh in a line of celebrated musicians who have held this appointment.
After 34 years of service Chris retired from the Royal Marines in May 2009 and now pursues a busy career as a freelance conductor and adjudicator. He has adjudicated at the National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as the Lower Section National Finals in Harrogate. Other judging positions have included ‘Brass’ in Concert and the Yeovil entertainment contest.
In December 2011 Chris accepted an invitation from the world famous Brighouse and Rastrick band to become their Associate conductor and now enjoys a busy schedule of concerts and recordings throughout the UK and Europe. In short, Chris is something of a legend and this is a fantastic opportunity to benefit from his wealth of expertise.

While this is an informal event, the aim is to provide a high standard of performance and to enable those attending to have fun, gain experience and hopefully go home a better musician than when they arrived.

Tickets for the event are £8.50 each and must be pre-booked. This day features challenging music (listed below), so musicians must be Grade 6-8 standard (or above) to cope with some of the technical demands.

'Earth Rites' Robin Dewhurst
'On the Edge of Time' Ray Steadman Allen
'Quintessense' Robert Redhead
'All Night Long' arr. Baker
'O Magnum Mysterium' Lauridson
'The Saga of Haarkon the Good' Philip Sparke

Please bring a packed lunch, your instrument, mutes and a music stand. Registration from 9am for a 10am start. The day will end at 5pm.

Please call Steve for tickets. Limited numbers available.

The venue is The Castle School, School Hall, Castle Sports Centre, Wellington Road, Taunton, TA1 5AU, which is located behind Somerset College of Art and Technology (SCAT).

For more info and tickets please call 01823 282386 (option 1).

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Events

See You in Skeggy!

by Administrator 7. January 2013 15:51

JOHN Packer Ltd will be making the annual trip to Skegness next weekend (Friday January 18th - Monday January 21st) for the annual Butlins Mineworkers Brass Band Championships with a plethora of stock exclusive to the company.

On display will be K&G mouthpieces, Rath trombones - including the '00 Series- Rath accessories, pro-level instruments, JP Musical Instruments, secondhand instruments and a wealth of other brass band accessories and goodies.

Brass manager Steve Herbert will be accompnied by fellow brass experts and educational representatives Liz Slack and Grenville Moore.

Anyone with specific requests for instruments or accessories can contact steve@johnpacker.co.uk beforehand or call 01823 282386.



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Events

Busy Weekend Beckons!

by Administrator 13. September 2012 11:26

A busy weekend is coming up for the John Packer team with our trade stands out and about the Westcountry, see us at:

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September at the National Brass Band Championships at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse. Come and try out the latest editions to the John Packer musical instrument range, and make the most of some very special offers on our trade stand!

Sunday 23rd September at Manor Gardens Exmouth for ‘Music In The Park’ featuring Exmouth Concert Band, The Hornblowers, Taunton Concert Band, Top Brass, The Band Of The Rifles and many more, all helping to raise funds for The Rifles ‘Care For Casualties’ appeal.

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Events

Dobcross Silver Band in John Packer and Sterling Sponsored Concert

by Administrator 26. June 2012 15:51

Dobcross Silver Band - winner’s of John Packer Ltd & Sterling Musical Instruments Competition to win David Thornton – will be showcasing their prize at a special concert on Sunday July 8th.

Band member Paul Clough entered the competition to win David at the John Packer stand at Butlin’s Mineworker’s Brass Band Competition in Skegness last January.

Paul had the choice of having a private lesson with David, a band masterclass, or David featuring in a special concert.

David is a world renowned star on the euphonium, with various videos of him and his band Brighouse and Rastrick featured on YouTube.   

Anyone who has seen David perform will know that the concert promises to be a very exciting event.

John Packer’s and Sterling – proud competition sponsors – will also have a presence on the night. Rob Hanson (one of the Company's Directors and experienced musician) will be joining the band for the concert, guesting in the cornet section which he used to play in over 18 years ago.

The concert will take place at Dobcross Silver Band Club, on Platt Lane, Dobcross. Doors open at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £7.50 for adults, £5 for AOPs and under 16s. They are available from Dobcross Band Club, Dobcross Post Office and Uppermill Post Office. Tickets can also be reserved over the phone on 07715 680782.

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Events

Symphonic Wind Band Workshop

by Administrator 11. May 2012 15:40

AFTER the highly successful Brass Band Workshop in April, John Packer Ltd is delighted to announce news of another event taking place this autumn.

Musicians are invited to our Symphonic Wind Band Workshop at The Castle School, in Taunton on Saturday, September 29th.

Like the brass day, a very special guest will be leading musicians. This time we are pleased to welcome Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Chris Davis OBE BA(Hons) MMus DMA LRAM.

Chris joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1975 (along with our very own Brass Department Manager Steve Herbert!) and rapidly rose through the ranks to the illustrious position of Principal Director of Music in 2002. Chris has also had a successful academic career and gained a Doctorate in Musical Arts in 2006. His research programme resulted in five commercially available CDs of contemporary works for wind band. Since retiring from The Royal Marines Chris has been busy as a freelance conductor (including on one memorable occasion, the London Symphony Orchestra), clinician and adjudicator. More recently Chris has been appointed as Associate Conductor to the current National Brass Band Champions Brighouse & Rastrick. In short, Chris is something of a legend and this is a rare opportunity to benefit from his wealth of expertise.

While this is an informal event, the aim is to provide a high standard of performance and to enable those attending to have fun, gain experience and hopefully go home a better musician than when they arrived.

Tickets for the event are £7.50 each and must be pre-booked. This day features challenging music, so musicians must be of an advanced standard. Please bring a packed lunch, your instrument and a music stand. Registration from 9am for a 10am start. The day will end at 5pm.

Please call Andy for woodwind tickets and Steve for Brass and percussion tickets, limited numbers available.

The venue is The Castle School, School Hall, Castle Sports Centre, Wellington Road, Taunton, TA1 5AU, which is located behind Somerset College of Art and Technology (SCAT).

For more info and tickets please call 01823 282386 (option 1).

 

Pieces to be played include:

Windows of the World  Graham

Resplendent Glory          Galante 

Londonderry Air             Grainger

Shepherds Song               Richards

Tocatta                               Bach arr. Farr

 




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Events

Brass Band Workshop Hailed Great Success!

by Administrator 16. April 2012 15:27

NINETY-FIVE brass players travelled to Queens College, Taunton in Somerset on Saturday 14th April to attend the John Packer Brass Band Workshop with top soloists David Thornton (Brighouse & Rastrick) and Richard Poole (Foden’s).

The day started with David giving warm up advice and tips to all the players before tackling the various pieces of music which were designed to stretch the capability of the assembled ensemble.

As well as coaching the players throughout the day both soloists were given the opportunity to have their share of the spotlight, Richard’s awesome soprano playing in his own arrangement of La Virgin De La Macarena was just stunning and not to be outdone David followed with his faultless performance of the famous Euphonium solo The Carnival Of Venice during the final session of the day.

Steve Herbert Brass Department Manager of John Packer’s had given everyone a lighthearted ‘Brass Band Quiz’ and later in the day presented prizes to Graham Davies, John Woods & Dave Coles who came joint first with Christine Sweetapple, Jessica Smith, Holly Whale & Tegan Hill receiving runner up prizes.

Everyone who attended the day thoroughly enjoyed the event. Steve and his team give a big thank you to all the participants who took part in the day and also to David and Richard who made the whole day that something extra special.   

 

David Thornton conducting the brass band workshop

COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS:

What a great day. Us three Brummies had a marvelous time. A long drive but worth every mile. Please do it again – soon’.

‘Again, many thanks for organising today’s brass music fun day. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish and I am amazed at the amount of information I came away with that will hopefully make me a better player. Both David and Richard are masters of their chosen instruments and it was pleasure listening to there expert advice and to hearing them play. I have both of David’s solo CD’s and the latest Foden’s CD featuring Richard’s sop solo and so I knew what great soloists they are, but hearing them live was just fantastic. It would be good to this as an annual event and if this is to be the case, please put my name down for next year.’

 ‘I have attended several brass workshops in the hope of 'self improvement' (!)  This was by far the most effective and moreover it was highly enjoyable.  I have no criticisms whatever  --  just the opposite.’

 ‘Organisers seldom receive thanks, but I would like to add my thanks alongside, no doubt, that of many others and express the hope that the event will be repeated.’

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Events | Shop news

West of England Regional Brass Band Championships in Torquay

by Administrator 5. March 2012 13:06

John Packer Ltd will be at the Torquay Riviera International Conference Centre this Saturday & Sunday (March 10&11) with a tradestand at the West Of England Regional Brass Band Championships.

Brass manager Steve will have a selection of new & secondhand instruments for customer to try out plus loads of accessories, along with some very special deals for the weekend.

Steve will also be booking appointments for trombone players to test out the Rath range of pro instruments.

Visit the stand also to purchase tickets for our fabulous Brass Band Workshop on 14th May.

For more details about the brass band workshop in May, or to request specific items to be taken to the weekend’s show, please call steve on 01823 282386 or email steve@johnpacker.co.uk

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Events

Two Top Professionals in a John Packer Brass Band Workshop

by Administrator 20. February 2012 15:07

Play with two of the best players in the Brass Band World for a Brass Music Funday in Taunton on April 14th!

David Thornton (Euphonium withThe Brighouse & Rastrick Band), and Richard Poole (from Foden's Band Soprano) are the star attractions at a day of brass workshops hosted by John Packer Ltd at Queen's College.

Following registration from 9am, musicians will start the day at 10am with a mass warm up led by David. Followed by expert tutoring from David and Richard on specially selected pieces. This dynamic duo are very familiar with large concert venues and international competitions so will have many tips to share! They will give demonstrations during the day and will answer any musical quandaries...

The day will culminate in a performance of pieces learned during the day, featuring solos by the esteemed guests including 'La Virgin De La Macarena', which Richard has just recorded on the latest Fodens CD!

All ages welcome, however, there is a minimum standard requirement of Grade 3. Bring your instrument / music stand and a packed lunch and enjoy the day.

Tickets for this funday are only £5! For more information, or tickets, please call Steve on 01823 282386 or email steve@johnpacker.co.uk




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Events

Dobcross Silver Band wins David Thornton!

by Administrator 26. January 2012 11:50

John Packer Ltd are delighted to announce that the winner of the Butlin's "Win David Thornton" competition in association with Sterling Musical Instruments is Paul Clough from the Dobcross Silver Band.

Paul has asked for David to perform with the band at one of its concerts at the world famous Dobcross Band Club and we will be publishing the dates as soon as they are arranged.

Dobcross were one of 65 bands that entered the competition to have the services of the Sterling Euphonium artist and Solo Euphonium of the Brighouse and Rastrick band and we are sure that it will be a fantastic event!

 



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Competitions