Hot day on the High Street

The Band were out in force this morning on Peebles High Street. Entertaining shoppers with some pretty cool playing of popular numbers like “Sweet Caroline” and “Yes Sir! I Can Boogie” as well as Scottish favourites like Sunshine on Leith and that well known march Ingleside.

We made a good collection for band funds and quite a number of people wanted to enter the Band raffle.

But what made the morning especially fun was the traffic works going on in Peebles right now. Apparently a manhole cover needed to be fixed – necessitating endless lines of stationary traffic backing up along the High Street. But, in the 26 degree heat, at least they could wind their windows down and listen to the music – as many did. Some almost looked disappointed when the lights changed to Green.

Welcome Vaughan!

Our new conductor Vaughan Fleischfresser has an impressive name – and an impressive background (as you can read below)- but his friendly and encouraging style ensures that band rehearsals and concerts are always fun.

Come along to one of our concerts and see what you think – or alternatively, if you play a brass instrument (or have always wanted to learn) contact the band secretary and find out how to try us out.

About Vaughan

Originally from Australia and now residing in Scotland, Vaughan has a broad range of teaching experience, ranging from Primary through to University level, Instrumental through to Community Music, and everywhere in between. Vaughan studied both Music and Education at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane (Australia), where he studied under Dr Ralph Hultgren.

This was then followed by a Master of Music Education, majoring in Instrumental and Vocal Education, at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago (USA), where he studied under Dr Charles Menghini and Dr Robert Sinclair.

He has worked extensively throughout Australia, Scotland, and North America, in positions such as Teacher of Music, Director of Bands, and Teaching Fellow of Music Education.

Vaughan currently teaches music at the Edinburgh Academy in Scotland, having most recently been the Teaching Fellow of Music Education and the University of Edinburgh. In addition to this, he is the Conductor of the Peebles Concert Band and the Peebles Burgh Silver Band and works extensively with Community Music groups throughout Scotland.

Away from the classroom and podium, Vaughan is in great demand as a clinician, adjudicator, composer, and educational speaker, having spoken at conferences in Scotland, England, South Africa, Canada, and Australia.

Beltane 2023 – Coronation & Grand Procession

Saturday is the highlight of the week for all those involved in the Peebles Beltane Festival Week. This is the ‘big day’ for the Beltane Queen, but most of all this is the ‘big day’ for the hundreds of school children who have been given costumes to wear with pride when they march down the High Street; stand on the Church steps, watch while the Beltane Queen is being crowned, and then show their enjoyment by waving and cheering from decorated lorries as they parade through the town.

The Peebles Burgh Silver Band is the town band – it leads the grand procession and plays whilst the Queen is being crowned.

The town’s Primary School children in costume, heading for the Queen’s Coronation

Once all the children are assembled on the church steps at the end of the High Street the assembled audience await the arrivale of the Beltane Queen and her court.

The audience, school children, and band await the arrival of the Queen

Led by the Cornet and Cornet’s Lass who are on horseback, the Beltane Queen arrives by carriage for her coronation.

The Beltane Queen arrives for her Coronation

Once crowned, all the children move to a series of floats for the Grand Procession.

Peebles Life – April 2022

Blow the Fanfare – We’re Back !

Peebles Burgh Silver Band and our youth section, Peebles Burgh Youth Band are not just back in Peebles Life but also back contesting recently in the Scottish Brass Band Championships in Perth Civic Hall.

Whilst our rehearsals have been off and on sporadically throughout the last 2 years due to the Covid regulations and fears our “blowing” would spread the virus throughout the band exponentially, we have been able to hold almost normal rehearsals since the start of 2022 – normal in this context is defined as sitting a metre apart from each other, with windows and doors wide open and a gale howling up the School Brae!

We are pleased that some 12/14 members of our Youth Band were able to continue regular one to one “Online” lessons via Microsoft Teams throughout the lockdown periods over the past 2 years – under the guidance of our professional tutor, David Robb and some of our Senior Band Members.  This has enabled the youngsters to continue to progress with no less than 6 of their number joining the Senior Band on stage in Perth on 13th March 2022 – our photo shows James, Holly, Ellie, Lucy, Owen and Alec along with 2 of our senior members, Ian Aitchison & Ian Swanston, proudly showing off their “50 Year” medals.

Unfortunately, at the Contest, we were only placed 5th in our Section out of eight bands but certainly did not disgrace ourselves.  Even the adjudicators admitted that playing on such a large stage at least one metre distance from everyone else, when it is difficult to hear anyone else but yourself playing, is a very scary experience. I can testify to that! The good news is all our youngsters carried it off with great aplomb – thank you and well done all. Special mention must however go to Alec who played at least 4 different percussion instruments throughout our performance without missing a beat.

Here is a link to our performance.

Whilst we didn’t play on stage as well as we rehearsed, we are far from downhearted. The make-up of the band has changed considerably since our last contest in Perth in 2020 – we had 10 changes overall with 4 lost to university and others retired or unavailable (plus some positional changes to help the balance of the band). The good news was we were able to introduce replacements direct from our Youth Band.  The even better news is that we have a pipeline of other youngsters waiting to step up into the Senior Band in the near future.  To keep that pipeline going, do you know anyone who would like to join our Youth Band?  We can provide an instrument on loan and music tuition all free of any charge whatsoever. If so, please contact our Band secretary, David Cornwall on 07976 242433, email to or speak to any band member.

We are very pleased to confirm that David Robb, who is a full time music teacher with East Lothian Schools, is now conducting both the Senior and Youth Bands. This makes it easier to promote our youngsters into the Senior Band as and when they are ready for their next stage of development.

We have still not re-started our quarterly Coffee Mornings to raise funds towards the running costs of both bands, but we do aim to play on Peebles High Street on Saturday 16th April, (10.30 am – 12 noon) weather permitting.  Please come along and support us then if you can. 

Oor Wee Beltane 2021

Unfortunately the Beltane Festival in Peebles was cancelled in 2021 for a second year due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. However, undaunted we have produced a video of Oor Wee Beltane to let everyone know that we are still playing. Hope it brings a tear to your eye as you think of the previous Beltane Festivals and your friends and family missing this year.

To access the video – please see our Facebook page or watch on You Tube using the following link

Scottish Championships

“We’ve won a trophyyyyyyyy”

That was the cry from our youngsters on Sunday 8th March when the results were announced after the Band performed “Neverland” by Christopher Bond at the Scottish Brass Band Championships in Perth.  We were placed 3rd out of 14 Bands in our Section (we were 4th last year) – and we can’t complain at that.  The Band played almost as well as rehearsed but given stage nerves and a faster tempo than the adjudicators wanted, we were 3 points off the winners, Newland Concert Band and 1 point behind Kilmarnock Concert in 2nd place.  Both Newland and Kilmarnock were promoted into the 3rd Section and with continued hard work and regular practice that is where we hope to be this time next year.

Here’s a photo showing the Band were pleased with their performance.

Rehearsals Suspended

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and the need to mitigate its spread, the Band Committee has suspended all Youth and Senior Band rehearsals until further notice. We will endeavour to restart rehearsals as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we encourage all players to practice at home whenever they can.

George Thorburn

Sorry to hear of the recent death of Band stalwart, George Thorburn. Here is a photo of him and the Band with the Edinburgh Charities Cup for the best 4th section band following a Band Contest in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 1st December 1973 – this is arguably one of the Band’s better results when we were placed 6th overall and beat many bands in the 2 sections above us.

Well done, George – you will be fondly remembered and missed by us all.

Grand Prize Draw

The Band’s annual Grand Prize Draw was held today (31st August 2019) and we are pleased to confirm the main prize winners and winning numbers are as follows:

£150 – Freya McLeman No 319

£100 – D Stark No 1583

£50 – Ian McFadyen No 1636

7 other non cash prizes were drawn and the winning numbers were 1075, 1119, 459, 1258, 902, 1055 and 722.

Thanks very much to everyone who supported the Band in this Prize Draw.

News – Launch of 100 Club

Help us raise £3,000 a year for the Band

Join our new “100 Club” which starts in March 2019

Cost – just over £1 a week

12 Monthly Draws a year to be held in the

Band Hall on the last Thursday of each month

(with a 2nd Draw to be held in December)

**Prizes each draw of £100, £75 and £50**

That’s 39 chances to win a cash prize of at least £50

– at great odds of 33 / 1

Speak to Martin Brown, Treasurer (07942 818529) to Reserve a Number

between 1 and 100