The local association for Brass Bands in the Southern Counties of England

The Southern Counties Youth band has been thriving and growing since its inception by scaba President Norman Every in 2014, and last week successfully completed its 3rd annual residential course at St Catherine’s School in Bramley under the musical direction of renowned conductor, composer and percussionist Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

Paul, paying his first visit to SCYB, rehearsed a full program of music including a number of his own compositions and the action-packed course was a challenge for band members both technically and physically. In addition to rehearsing demanding pieces such as Philip Sparke’s classic ‘A Malvern Suite’ and his own brand of high-energy music, Paul led a percussion workshop and gave a presentation to the full course giving an insight into his world of professional composing for both brass and TV. He also found time to join the band’s trombonists on Swanee Whistle for a unique performance of ‘The Acrobat’ to raise funds for Stephen Sykes’ campaign!

The course culminated in a concert to a packed audience in the stunning Anniversary Hall at the band’s home for the week, St Catherine’s School in Bramley. Highlights of the concert included the percussion feature, Kevin Tuck’s ‘Summon the Spirits’ and a stunning rendition of the Lament from Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater by solo euphonium Alex Crick, along with a selection of Paul’s music which was fun both for the band to play and the audience to listen to. During the concert Paul also presented a number of special awards to band members, including SCYB’s Player of the Week, Tenor Horn player Freya Davies-Wolfe (Shepway Brass Academy) and Most Improved player, trombonist Jack Humberstone (LGB Brass).

The band responded enthusiastically to Paul’s energetic and inspirational leadership, making fantastic progress over four days of rehearsals and performing superbly in the end of course concert. Several players have already asked when we can have Paul back to work with us again – and not just the percussionists! Two of the band even kept diaries during the course, and have given permission for us to share some excerpts:

“It was great, the tutors were really helpful and the conductor was great”
“it was very full on and tiring but it was great fun, Paul has been very funny”
“we played our concert and it was great fun! It went really well”
“I really enjoyed this experience and I hope to do it again next year!”


Huge thanks go to our home for the week, St Catherine’s; to the SCYB  team: Norman Every & Lisa Baker, and tutors Richard Baker, Mark & Natalie Hall, Ian Lanceley, Bruce Morrison & Alex Stevens; to the members of the band for working so hard and performing so brilliantly, and of course to our Musical Director Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

photos credit: Chris Cannings

18. April 2017 · Write a comment · Categories: News · Tags:

scaba’s popular Entertainment contest returns to The Hawth in Crawley on Sunday 21st May.

Bands will perform 24 minute concert programmes to adjudicator Glyn Williams who will award marks for Musical Performance (60%), Entertainment Value (30%) and Presentation & Deportment (10%). A range of prizes up for grabs includes awards for soloists, best performed marches and best conductors/comperes.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 25th April: see the Schedule for entry form and more information.

The SCYB Easter Residential course led by renowned percussionist, conductor and composer Paul Lovatt-Cooper starts on Monday 10th April in the stunning setting of St Catherine’s School, Bramley near Guildford.

Join us in supporting the future of brass banding at SCYB’s free end of course concert, 7pm on Thursday 13th April

Forget the Ice Buckets, its all about the Acrobat Challenge now.
J.A. Greenwood’s classic trombone solo The Acrobat (maybe better known to Generation X as the theme tune to Jonny Briggs) is being performed and recorded around the world on trombones of all sizes, sackbutts, pBones and valved instruments in bedrooms, lounges, band rooms and on at least one tractor to raise money to fund vital treatment for Stephen Sykes, the talented young trombonist who is fighting the blood cancer Hodgkins Lymphona.

Everyone who accepts the challenge is posting the result on social media with a few nominations to spread the word and, most importantly, the promise to donate at least £5 to Stephen’s GoFundMe campaign.

To make it even easier for more people to take part, scaba will be presenting a group Acrobat Challenge at our Spring contest on 30th April. After each results ceremony, every trombone player in the building will be invited to join us on stage for a small donation and play The Acrobat together. Let’s see if we can set a record for the biggest group effort and raise a pile of cash for this great cause.

For more information about Stephen’s Journey, visit his Facebook page Here and see The Acrobat Challenge in action Here
And most importantly, please don’t forget to visit Stephen’s page at GoFundMe

Despite the arson attack on their band hut last October, Oxted Band has kept going and has not missed an engagement or a rehearsal. Re-building work is well under way and the band should be back in their home by Easter.

Oxted band is pleased to announce the latest concert in their Stars of Brass series, to be held on Saturday 6th May at 7.30pm in St John’s Church, Hurst Green (Surrey) RH8 9EA.

In the latest concert, the band is coming close to home and will feature a special guest soloist, trumpeter Matilda Lloyd. In 2014, Matilda won the Brass Category of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and also the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award. Following these competitions, Matilda has performed as a soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Friday Night is Music Night on Radio 2 and with the Cory Brass Band at the European Brass Band Championships Gala Concert in Perth, Scotland, 2014.
Matilda has appeared many times on television and on BBC Radio 2, including an appearance on the Chris Evans’ Breakfast Show. She briefly played with the Oxted Band, sitting as co-principal cornet, before her star ascended to the stratosphere!

Join the band for a great night with a young, local soloist who is rapidly making a name for herself as a soloist around the world.

Tickets priced at £10 for adults (children £5) can be purchased from White’s Estate Agents in Oxted, or on the door. Refreshments will be available in the interval.

For more details, please visit or e-mail