NBBB would like to say a huge congratulations to our conductor Robin Hackett and solo cornet player Amy Phillips on their wedding day today, have a wonderful day and fantastic honeymoon in New York!  And another massive congratulations to our flugelhorn Hayley Williams and percussionist Chris Giles who get married tomorrow, have a lovely wedding day and fabulous Honeymoon in Dominican Republic!

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20th MARCH 2016
The Journal of Phileas Fogg

Twentieth March, contest day,
An early start, we’re on our way
To Brangwyn Hall with all the rest
To play in the Area Contest.
Weeks of practise now behind,
With only one thing on our mind;
To go on stage, that is the plan,
And play the piece as best we can.
LONDON first, we come alive
And play with energy and drive,
Impressive detail, dynamics good.
Lively tempo sets the mood
To journey on to PARIS fair.
The can can played with great flair.
Tempo getting so much faster,
Presto difficult to master
But not too difficult for us
We carried on with little fuss.
Now MOSCOW – that’s a different story,
All set in style with pomp and glory.
Heavy style, links played well
And both adjudicators tell
How well Horns played at letter M
With all the band supporting them.
VIENNA, city of waltz and dance,
The band played with elegance.
SEVILLE, the bullfight set to go
With Seamus playing his solo.
“Bravo – cadenza very good”
Seamus now has set the mood
Ready to play at Double D
For the voyage on the sea.
Preparing for the journey home
The Band played with great aplomb.
Dynamic detail and balance, too
The final journey to see us through.
Drives well, builds to a warm f tone;
We’re on our way, we’re coming home.
Confident playing to the close
Said Paul and Nigel and they should know.
Character playing shown today
Stylistic contrasts, the way to play.
All the bands were waiting there
To see how their own band would fare.
We thought we’d put on a good show
But, good enough? We didn’t know.
Results were out, surprise, surprise
Seamus, best player on the day
Had a trophy to take away.
Thanks to Robin for his vision
His hopes for us come to fruition.

Leading band in Section Three

Next, Section Three and I am sure

The future is now looking bright

With Robin there to put us right.




Olive Horton


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Merthyr Contest

Merthyr Contest 21st November 2015
Eight o’clock, the trailer packed;
TRIPTYCH now to be attacked.
Weeks rehearsing, some bad, some good,
Are in the past. It’s understood
Nothing more to do today
But go on stage, our best to play.
The best laid plans, or so they say,
Can very often go astray.
The first which took us by surprise
Poor Dave had been hospitalised
Which left us with no bass trombone.
Who could come to take his throne?
Robin gave some thought and then
From Ebbw Valley brought Julian Gren
To take Dave’s place he agreed to play
And thankfully he saved the day.
Then Dean fell ill, another blow.
What to do we didn’t know,
But Robin said “There’s no one fitter
To fill his place than Gareth Ritter”.
So many thanks to these two players
Who came to answer all our prayers.
Good start to PAGEANT, but then a shock,
I must be careful with the glock!
Impressive style, dynamics played
With good attention to detail made.
In FANTASY “one note well held”
Kim and Lauren delivered well.
Some great band sounds followed here
With Kim’s “haunting” atmosphere.
FESTIVAL musical energy all the while
All solo lines “great shape and style”.
Impressive playing to be admired
Played with confidence and fire.
Those who stayed waited there
To see how Newport Band would fare.
Results were in, we were not third,
Not a whisper could be heard,
Then NEWPORT SECOND was called out
Followed by a rousing shout.
Another announcement then was made
To NEWPORT BAND again was given.
We thought we had arrived in heaven!!
We’ve earned our place in Section Three
And started climbing up the tree.
There is one thing we must remember
We are a TEAM and not one member
Is more important than the rest
Together we will do our best.
THANK YOU ROBIN for what you do,
For faith in us to see us through.
We’ve learned so much with you around
I’m sure that all of us have found
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Nor achieved without some pain.
NEWPORT BAND is riding high
And now the limit is THE SKY1
Olive Horton (23/11/2015)

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Two Contests

Merthyr – Adjudicator Johnathan Pippen Weston – Adjucators Steve Sykes and Paul Holland.


Two more contests held in May,

Rehearsals over, keen to play.

Two different sections, three and four

Challenge the players all the more.

“Dimensions” meaning scope and size

Focus us to win the prize.

With this our aim on contest day,

Determined to do our best to play.

At Merthyr, now in section three

Potential there for all to see.

John Pippen in the box that day

Had some lovely words to say.

Opening good, accents found,

Good context, rhythmic with good sound.

At G with Chris Giles on the snare

Controlled well the playing there.

Good euphs at I showed Mr Pippen

That Kim and Dean’s standard were not slipping.

At K, cornet plays “very nicely”

Good horns at N and Bass at P.

Good tempo led by Chris on drum

Things starting now to hum!

Dave on bass trombone ‘twas said

Superb playing before Z.

An enjoyable performance, no surprise

How well the Band was organised

By Robin, who without a doubt,

Brought dynamics and accents out.

Placed THIRD, now one section higher

The Band is really on a flier!


Next day in Weston, section four,

Off we went to play once more.

With two judges on the day

Agreed remarks all the way.

Intro, incisive and neat,

Good pace and balance worked a treat.

At B “tidy” cornets played,

Troms and euphs good accents made.

Again at I euphs are clean

With very good transition seen.

Cornet solo great at letter K

Good euph at M, Steve had to say

Tempo flows so fluently

Motivated by Robin, our MD.

Good Eb Bass playing there;

At R Chris played well on snare.

Tuneful Sop at V was shown

Then Grandioso not overblown.

Fine ending with a perfect “rit”

Percussion also did their bit.

I do not really mean to shout

But percussion was super all throughout.

All well directed by Robin there

Who controlled the Band with usual flair.

Results were out – we gained FIRST PLACE

Which put a smile on every face.

Robin sees talent in players they didn’t know they had

And nurtures players until they are glad.

Your patient forbearance is second to none,

There’s no doubt at all our hearts you have won.

So ONWARDS AND UPWARDS will be our shout

And, hopefully, TEAMWORK will bring it about.


Olive Horton 18th May 2015

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Merthyr contest November 2014 Four Cities Symphony

Another very early start
Everyone to play their part,
Hoping that today would be
Promotion up to Section three.
To four cities we had to roam,
London, Paris, Moscow, Rome.
The second visit we have made;
The challenge, how it should be played.
LONDON first, opening good,
Players ready, in the mood.
At B tidy and very neat,
Good balance made, our joy complete.
Steve thought the percussion “very nice
All controlled and precise”.
The ending, Steve Sykes found
“A very good ensemble sound”.
PARIS next one on the list,
A city which should not be missed.
Lauren played a lovely solo
(She deserves to wear a halo!!).
At K, Steve made a note
Could be played with more “float”.
Super euph at M was played
Our final trip to Paris made.
Next we go to visit ROME
To the third city we have come.
Soprano, Chris, some lovely work
And trombone trio did not shirk
With Shirley, Matthew and Dave
No better trio could we crave.
MOSCOW was a different tale;
We played with gusto, did not fail.
We played with drive and energy
Proving that we could be
Supportive all around the Band
With Robin taking centre stand.
Results were out, SECOND PLACE.
Another challenge now we face.
We cannot on our laurels stand.
Next year we play in Section Three,
More hard work we know there’ll be;
But this will be the Band’s endeavour
With Robin, who, with little fuss,
Is always there inspiring us.

Olive Horton

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Review of Fishguard contest


A three hour journey lay ahead;
Not ideal, it must be said.
To add to this the coach was late
Which we could not anticipate.
At six o’clock we were all tired
But resolute and fully fired
As we set out to this contest
Determined we would do our best.
Four cities far away from home,
London, Paris, Moscow, Rome.
Each one different from the rest
Interpreting would be the test.
Robin, with his usual flair
Brought feeling to the music there.
Good opening for the LONDON style,
Contrast good, which brought a smile.
The music really flows along
With very little going wrong.
PARIS, romance in the air,
Complete contrast to be fair.
Heavy and uneven start
But Lauren played with all her heart..
Adjudicator not dismayed,
At K elegantly played.
ROME, again a different story
Monastries in all their glory.
Tuning problems showing there
But Pritchard-Jones was aware
That “good dynamic contrast made”
By all the players as they played.
Good style, just to set the mood
The movement ending “very good”.
MOSCOW, pomp and circumstance,
Now the players had the chance
To show how well it would be played;
Adjudicator not dismayed.
“Not overdone, played with style,
Controlled and rhythmic all the while”.
Results were out, justice done.
A second trophy handed out
To Robin, who was without a doubt
The Best Conductor on the day,
Inspired the Band their best to play.
Thanks to Matthew and Dean too
For helping make our dreams come true.
Another contest now to face
And aim to have a winning place.
And prove to all they are THE BEST!!
Olive Horton

Olive Horton

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NBBB would like to send their congratulations and best wishes to their good friends, former horn player Sarah Milosevic and trombone player Greg Dean who got married in Jersey on Friday 20th June.  We look forward to celebrating with you properly this time next year!

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Goodbye and good luck!

Unfortunately NBBB are having to say a fond farewell to three of our loyal members, Ellie Gedney has been playing cornet with the band since she started her degree course in Creative Therapeutic Arts specialising in music at University of Wales College Newport.  Ellie has now completed her degree and is moving back home to Northampton where she will start a teacher training course in Primary education in September.

Our horn player Sarah Milosevic and trombone player Greg Dean are moving to Jersey to take up new jobs starting next week, we look forward to seeing them again on their return!

The band will be seeing them all off in style on Friday night for a few farewell drinks!

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We won!!!

As you can see from the poem below, NBBB claimed 1st prize in the Weston-super-Mare contest!  The band also came in second place at the Merthyr contest the day previously!

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Rehearsals gone, the weekend here,

Time to put away our fears.

Now is the time for all the Band

To focus on the job in hand.

Robin ordered “concentration”

And he has been our inspiration.

A good start made, we did not waver,

Though sometimes missed the odd quaver!

Allegro Vivo clearly played

Remarks on “good percussion” made.

Well done Alex! What a star!

It was the best you’ve played by far.

Euphoniums into K were good

And good horns added to the mood.

Dynamic contrasts were made

And confident playing was displayed.

Adagio has a good flow

Well played at P Q and O.

Prestissimo movement rocks along

All the players playing strong.

Fine Allargando style to end;

Not a lot for us to mend

Tempo – Robin well controlled

And it also must be told

This was a difficult piece we played

And good handling by the players made.

At Merthyr Contest SECOND PLACE

At Weston we stepped up the pace

And here we were awarded FIRST

Which gives us even greater thirst

To set our sights up high

Our aim now is to reach the sky!

Sadly, we have to say “adieu”

To Sarah, Greg and Ellie, who

Are all moving far away.

We hope to meet again one day.

New challenges they have to face

And now we have to fill their place.

We thank them for the parts they played

And for the difference they have made.

We wish them well in all they do,

Good health and happiness, too.

Thank you Robin for all you’ve done

For making hard work seem like FUN.

This weekend’s results a true reflection

Of  your hard work and direction.


Olive Horton

21st May 2014

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