Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Cooden Chamber Orchestra Serenades Battle Muffins Club At Frewen College Northiam

What a wonderful evening we enjoyed at Frewen College in Northiam on Saturday 13th August! We played our first 45 minute set outdoors facing the splendid gardens (anyone for croquet?) on the paving in front of the drawing room - Battle Muffins Club guests lingered by the garden door to listen. We played some of this summer's really popular numbers including Musket Fife & Drum, My Life, and Rutland Rag. It was so serene playing amongst magnolias and beneath the intricately patterned Tudor style chimneys!

Then it was time to move indoors for a most excellent four course dinner by the Frewen College catering team. We were bowled over by the scrumptious dishes and wowed by the cheese board! Definitely our best gig this year :)

After this elegant fayre we moved our music indoors to the sumptious Drawing Room and became Cooden Chamber Orchestra! For this second set we played our finest after dinner numbers to encourage conversation - many numbers from the 1940's. Our most popular number of this set was The Way You Look Tonight - I felt the music reached new heights!

Conductor Louise Woodcock performed three jazz pieces on tenor sax - I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, Summertime, and Mellow Mouthful. We ended the evening's performance with an excerpt from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, The Beatles' Yesterday, and toe tapper Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue. Money was raised for Help The Heroes and the scholarship fund for Frewen College, Northiam.

The magnificent Drawing Room at Frewen College, Northiam, has a glorious full chandelier, wall panelling, many austere family portraits, a family Sedan chair, and the most fabulous plaster work ceiling full of surprises from birds to gargoyles! A delightful setting for Cooden Chamber Orchestra! Here you can see baritone saxophonist Frank Weeks beside the sedan chair. Of course we always dress smartly!

Frewen College, Northiam, is a day and boarding school for children aged 8-16 with specific learning difficulties dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia offering a 1 to 6 teacher pupil ratio and fine facilities for outdoor pursuits: there is a big swimming pool in the beautiful gardens and there is a further 100 acres of parkland. The school is a charity run by an independent educational trust.

Battle Muffins Club, along with Hastings Muffin Club which dates from 1954, is a group of benevolent local businessmen who meet for dinner (with a guest speaker) once a month to raise financial aid for local charitable causes which do not benefit from national funding.

Book Cooden Chamber Orchestra for YOUR next dinner event - we can provide a beautiful range of easy listening and background music from 1920's toe tappers to 1940's lush ballads, from light classics to popular songs. We aim to work with you to perform the most suitable music selection to top off your entertainment. Please contact Paul Higgins for more information.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Cooden Wacky Band Play Brede Firemens Fete 2011

What a glorious day - full sun and the lightest of breezes saw Cooden Wacky Band setting up under the huge oak on Brede playing field opposite the little primary school just near Brede cross roads. A fun event for all the family, enlivened by firemens displays of chip pan fires and fairground amusements.

Cooden Wacky Band start with 20's toe tappers Hello Dolly and Five Foot Two followed by the ever popular Muppet Show Theme which you can watch on video in our previous post!

We played a jaunty eight numbers, then Summer Holiday: Hastings Coastal Twirlers were keen to get started so we finished with the snappy Rutland Rag before taking a well earned break! Louise, conductor, won a coconut at the shy: second ball - difficult to say whether the fireman or Louise was the more surprised! The highlight of the fete was Hastings Coastal Twirlers introducing a novel act involving Louise, Sarah and Clare in a short twirling contest - never volunteer!

Amidst much enthusiastic applause Sarah emerged the clear winner for twirling!

I don't think Clare was really in with a chance, do you?

We opened our second set with Main Title Theme and a second James Bond Theme followed by Birdland and two Beatles tunes which went down a treat with the enthusiastic audience! After watching a fiery display of chip pan fires from Brede's firemen we enjoyed a rare solo from alto saxophonist Paul Higgins in Gershwin's lovely Someone To Watch Over Me.

John Coote took over on alto in Blues For Mr B with a great solo - you should hear the trumpets and clarinets too! Catch us later this season as we confirm our near future Bexhill bookings. We ended with our latest calypso piece Jamaican Rock and then Cooden Wacky Band stood for the grand finale: The Stripper! Excellent music in a tranquil yet jolly setting :)

Many thanks to our photographers Graham Stephens and Mrs Coote and to the organisers of Brede Firemens Fete 2011!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

CBWO Cooden Beach Wacky Band play 2 hour live gig at the De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill On Sea

Ever since the beginning of 2011 CBWO Cooden Beach Wacky Band have been working hard at learning new music repertoire for their exciting and prestigious live gig summer festival event at the De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill on Sea and finally the great day Sunday 26th June dawned bright and clear with a touch of light sea breeze filtering in over the promenade, encouraging a pleasant stroll for Bexhill residents and lucky holiday makers alike!

As the afternoon progressed the 28 players of CBWO Cooden Beach Wacky Band perfected their evening attire, packed their notes and music stands, and arrived at the seaside rooftop bar of the 76 year old famous concert hall and theatre the De La Warr Pavilion on the central promenade of beautiful Bexhill on Sea in sunny East Sussex. Ah, what a moment!

Anticipation, nerves, sheet music worries - nothing troubled our intrepid bass trombonist Joe as he savoured a delightful Bexhill ice cream cornet - meanwhile the other cornets were tuning up next to the theatre auditorium - concert A or Bb today?

Determined to play a full 2 hour live gig with no intervals, the band divided the evening between the full orchestra sound and the glorious performance of the wind quintet (clarinets and flute) and the scintillating jazz sounds of the sax quartet. The audience perched on pedal boats a la Wacky style or dozed in deckchairs - such a serene alternative to the real beach below!

Wacky Band conductor Louise Woodcock lifts her baton..!

They're off! The Muppet Show Theme launched the good ship Wacky, followed by an eager Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue, then settled into some slow jazz with popular 30's hit Georgia On My Mind. Smash hits of the evening included Billy Joel's evergreen My Life, the theme to Soldier Soldier: Musket, Fife and Drum, and the band's latest latin medley, The Best of Tijuana Brass. I wish you were there!

If not, then relive the occasion! Principal Trumpet player Dave Getty had his camcorder set at the ready: you can enjoy our concert on video here on our stupendous and blockbusting CBWO Cooden Beach Wacky Band blog! Hear the full orchestra play live 2 hour gig at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea as the final event of the 2011 Bexhill Music Festival.

Afterwards the players met for dinner at Trattoria Italiano Restaurant in Devonshire Road for a grand finale of the gourmet kind. Cheers, everyone!

We're now playing from 4pm at Little Common Fete on Saturday 16th June - we'd love to see you there! Stay tuned for our next exciting developments!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hire Our Bexhill Band - Book Us Now For Your Music Event!

Are you planning a local music event? You want the hottest band in Bexhill and Cooden to play live for you! Hire the Cooden Wacky Wind Orchestra - we'll fit your bill whether you're planning a private charity dinner party or an al fresco barbecue on the beach! We're happy to play on stage or in your garden! Book the best!

Our forthcoming events in June, July and August include playing at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea 6pm on Sunday 26th June, and Robertsbridge Beer & Music Festival on Saturday 16th July. You are very welcome to hear us at these free outdoor events! Bring all your family too!

You may just be lucky enough to groove to our Wacky Band sounds at a charity party or a country pub barbecue too, so look out for us in East Sussex over these sultry summer months! But if you want to be sure of a musical bonanza then simply book us for your forthcoming event and we'll discuss suitable music for you!

In fact, we're surprisingly affordable! Although we do charge a little extra when playing for Royalty or Royal events. You can be sure of an afternoon or evening of great music with the Cooden Wacky Wind Orchestra - your local Bexhill band extraordinaire! Contact Paul today for a no obligation discussion of your music event.

We play a big selection of music including big band swing, military marches, wonderful waltzes, show & film themes, pop beat, mambo & latin, beautiful ballades, scrumptious songs and serenades, pop proms, fanfares, folk taradiddles, sing-along, super 70's, sobbing the blues, upbeat two steps, calm classics, hymns by request, scorching solos, small ensemble arrangements - and our 30's jazz is always in demand for dancing and elegant encores! From Mozart to Glenn Miller, and Mancini to Cliff Richard, we'll play your tune!

So we're looking forward to playing for your local East Sussex or Kent music event (especially beer festivals)! Hire our Bexhill band! Book the Cooden Beach Wacky Wind Orchestra for all the fun of the fayre, or a more reserved summer serenade amongst the glades of your garden or country house. Don't delay - we are booking up fast this summer! Choose from our 10 piece group, or any size ensemble you prefer from 15 to 20 to 30 players! We will make your party swing!

Have a great summer! :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

No Brass Band In Bexhill So Join Our Ace Concert Band Instead! Cooden Beach Wind Orchestra Welcomes You!

Sad but true! Bexhill-on-Sea boasting a proud seafront bandstand has no brass band! However, this need not deter brass players as our trombone, trumpet, cornet, tuba and horn players will agree - if you play a brass musical instrument or a woodwind instrument join our Thursday evening rehearsals from 8.30pm in the Cooden Beach Tennis Club main hall on Withyham Road very near the rail station at Cooden Beach, Bexhill-on-Sea.

We are the Wacky Band - Cooden Supper Band (Wind Orchestra) 30 strong (hire our 10 piece group or 15-20-30 players depending on your event) and we play a wide variety of music from pop to military to songs from the shows to jazz bigband swing to film themes. Never a dull moment! Flutes, clarinets, saxes and drums complete the ensemble to form an impressive big sound! If you looking to play exciting music in cool arrangements and you'd like the occasional solo - or maybe you'd prefer to just fit inside the ensemble sound - join us on Thursdays! Feel free to just turn up - we'll provide all your sheet music and introduce you to your music section!

Friendly and fun music practice night with the Cooden Beach Wind Orchestra - a concert band with style!

Bexhill may lack a brass band but we fill the musical gap with our wind orchestra concert band so boogie on down to the tennis club - drinks bar social afterwards. All welcome - don't be shy - we have music for you :)

Look out for us in the Bexhill on Sea Summer Music Festival June 2011 - we'll be playing at the De La Warr Pavillion - take a stroll along the promenade and hear the great bigband swing jazz sounds of CBWO. All the fun of the traditional English seaside - who's for ice cream?

NB: There is a super brass ensemble in Sidley! We recommend you play for CBWO, however ;)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

You want to join a band or orchestra music ensemble in Bexhill - Cooden - Little Common - Battle?

Are you seeking to join a band, wind orchestra or music ensemble in Bexhill, Cooden, Little Common or Battle?

Introducing the Cooden Supper Wacky band - Cooden Beach Wind Orchestra par excellence. We are a friendly informal group of 30 players who rehearse on Thursday evenings from 8.30pm in the hall at the Cooden Beach Tennis Club on Withyham Road near the railway station. After a fast paced but fun practise we gather in the excellent Club Bar which is a good informal social opportunity to meet your fellow musicians and talk music (etc)!

All standards of play welcome: we simply ask that you feel comfortable sight reading new scores or just having a go. We play a wide range of music from pop to musical themes - something for everyone and requests are always welcome! We welcome new players! We have a relaxed informal style and enjoy music making in a serene atmosphere ;)

If you are seeking to join a band, wind orchestra or music ensemble in Bexhill, Cooden, Little Common or Battle then we hope you will consider us. Simply arrive at our rehearsal room on any Thursday evening, or contact Paul Higgins for more information and exact location details if you prefer. There's also a map at or search for Cooden Tennis Club on Google maps.

At present, during 2011, we are practising a new repertoire of music with one new piece being introduced each week in order to expand our potential for performance. We can offer both full ensemble and various smaller groups from trios to octet arrangements for a tasteful balance of harmony! We know you'll fall in love with our groovy sounds! Why not join us one evening and listen in?

We are looking forward to a number of Friends & Family evenings of food, drink and a relaxed informal atmosphere; we are booked for the Bexhill Festival of Music in June, and we are also booked for Robertsbridge beer & music festival in mid July. We enjoy playing in Markwick Terrace Gardens in St Leonards on Sea and we love to play for charity dinner parties too! Good company and great music from the hottest two step band in Cooden!

If you play flute, piccolo, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, tuba, bass, euphonium, trombone, french horn, tenor horn, baritone, cornet, trumpet, saxophone or any other instrument you feel may be relevant and are seeking to join a band, wind orchestra, or any music ensemble in Bexhill, Cooden Beach, Little Common, or Battle then do please consider joining us! We are sure you will enjoy both the rehearsal session and the informal social aspects of our band!

Contact Paul Higgins for more details or join us on Thursday evenings in the hall at Cooden Beach tennis club from 8.30pm, on Withyham Road, Cooden, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex. Your music is our music, and we like a challenge :)