A happy and prosperous 2016 to all our readers and special thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for their help and encouragement throughout 2015.

A DVD of our very successful Festival of Remembrance Concert held in the Old Parish Church in November is now available and is being sold for charity – £10 with the proceeds split between the Silver Band and Royal British Legion Scotland. Copies can be purchased from Whitie’s Books and Crafts, Pennel’s Close, Peebles, from any Band Member, or also direct from John Swanson of Beltane Video. The Band is greatly indebted to John for recording the Concert and editing it onto a DVD for us

December was a busy time for the Band, as we played carols on the High Street most weekends (despite the wet weather!) and carried out our traditional tour of the town on Christmas Eve. However, the big event in December was our Christmas concert which took place before a large audience in the Burgh Hall. With musical director and master of ceremonies, Stevie Baird, in charge the evening got under way with a rumbustious rendition of Darrol Barry’s “A Christmas Adventure”. The night continued with a wide selection of Christmas favourites which also involved the obligatory audience participation in “Away in a Manger” and “Jingle Bells. Our regular guest stars, Kingsland School Choir, were in terrific voice and gave a confident and mature performance under their conductor, Caroline Bellville. It is always a pleasure to have the school choir with us and they make a big contribution to the festive atmosphere of the concert. No concert is complete without the participation of our Junior /Development Band, and once again they did us proud playing a number of Christmas melodies under the direction of new conductor Vaughan Fleischfresser. The concert closed in fine fashion with Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody”.

Now that we are in January, the Band is turning its attention to practicing the music for the Scottish Championships in March. The test piece this year is entitled “The Journal of Phileas Fogg” written by that prolific composer of brass band music, Peter Graham. Phileas Fogg was, of course, the protagonist of Jules Verne’s book “Around the World in 80 Days”, and the piece is a musical evocation of his journey and some of the places he visits.

Finally, we were very pleased to receive £1,019 from the BP Foundation through the efforts of our bass player, Ian Hamilton. Ian works for BP and they run a “matching” scheme which means that if an employee is a member of a voluntary organisation they can apply for funding to match money raised by the organisation from a nominated project. The Band nominated our Duck Race which was held last August and raised £1,019, and this figure was matched by BP.