Two Weeks Today

Bromley Trombone 2012-16

I can’t really believe that two weeks today, the Bromley Trombone Workshop will be in full swing! I’ve arranged a couple of these before and this is the period I always find the most anxious! Have I thought of everything? Does everyone have what they need? Have I booked the venue? (I have – it’s my usual church!)

I also still need to find time to get some proper practicing done for my own playing – I wouldn’t want turn up and not have any lip, although mainly I’m thinking about a couple of tricky bits in the band accompaniment for the solo’s that Brett and Paul are playing! Yikes!

I just wanted to remind you that we still have some places available and although I have received a number confirmations for the workshop, others have expressed an interest to me, so I wanted to ask, that if you are planning to come would you please send me a confirmation email ASAP? You can reach me at

It would be really helpful if you could also let me know age, ability (it doesn’t need to be scientific) and whether you read bass/treble clef or both? It will help us as we plan and prepare.

Also, don’t forget that we are presenting a festival of music at 6.30pm in the evening following the workshop, so if you have any friends or relations who might want to come along, let them know.

I’m really looking forward to the day and hope that you will be able to join us. If you have any questions about the day, or about Bromley itself regarding how to get there, where to park etc., then obviously check the information on the website first, but let me know if there is anything more specific, and I’l be happy to help out if there is anything I can do.


Bromley Trombone 2012-31

Trombone Vespers

With 20 days to go until Bromley Trombone Workshop kicks off, our thoughts are turning to music that the Trombone Choir will be playing on the day.

As previously, we will form a trombone choir on the day which will be led by our leaders for the day (Brett Baker, Paul Woodward Bones Apart), and will consist of workshop delegates, the idea being to work on music throughout the day, learning as we go and to perform it as part of the concert in the evening. I don’t know what our guests for the day have in mind for the trombone choir, but one piece I do know we will be looking at is Ray Steadman-Allen’s ‘Trombone Vespers‘ which we will play to the accompaniment of Bromley Temple SA band.

If you are not familiar with Ray Steadman-Allen, it’s worth googling him. RSA (as he’s affectionately known) was a Salvation Army Officer (minister) with a tremendous gift for music. He is responsible for some of the most innovative, interesting and exciting brass band music written, both within The Salvation Army and in the wider brass band world, as well as very many choral works. He was the sort of chap, the word ‘genius’ is attached to, although it would have been hard to find a more humble man.

So, the performance of Trombone Vespers is, in a small way, a tribute to this brilliant composer for brass – there is so much music to pick from, but RSA liked to write for the trombone and this is a great trombone feature.

In preparation for this performance, I thought it might be helpful to provide you (if you’re coming – I hope you are!) with the opportunity to view the parts. There are 4 trombone parts, and we have provided both the original Salvation Army copy, but also re-drafated copies in A4 size which are easier to read, and also in both Treble and Bass Clef’s. You can find these to download here! 

If you would like to find out a bit more about RSA, there is a fabulous short video on YouTube, published by The Salvation Army’s UK Video Production Unit, and which was filmed in early 2014 which is really worth a watch, and from it you will get a sense of the man.

Also, there was a lovely obituary published in The Daily Telegraph, which you can view via the link here: Ray Steadman-Allen – Obituary 

If you would like to get an idea of how the piece goes, there are a few versions on YouTube which you can check out.

© Richard Debonnaire

Places still available for Bromley Trombone Workshop

Arrangements are continuing for the workshop on March 28th. We still have some places left so why not book a place? It will be a great day of music making in celebration of the trombone.

Black Dyke Trombone Quartet will be performing during the morning, and Bones Apart will take part during the afternoon, and also perform 2 sets during the concert in the evening (staring at 6.30).

You can view more information here and download information and registration form here.

If you have any questions or queries you can contact me via email at

It’ll be great to see you there!

Don’t forget, there is a concert at 6.30 in the evening following the workshop, for which tickets cost £5.00. These are available from Keith Sebbage (


When Christmas is gone…

Christmas in a Salvation Army band is a pretty busy time of year, with lots of carolling and Christmas engagements of one kind or other, and so usually by the time the big day itself arrives, the chops are feeling pretty darn good! And then you don’t play for two weeks…well, I don’t anyway, and it all falls away!

So on Monday 5th January, my embouchure had a rude awakening when having been asked by Major George Whittingham if I could take part in a band he’d put together for a fund raiser in April, I and 30 odd other players got to run through some show tunes, for what was a fun rehearsal.

To say it was ‘a smack in the gob’ though, would be a bit of an understatement! Two hours of some very good arrangements of Broadway & West End tunes, plus a bit of movie and Glen Miller magic thrown in, and I was done!

The following evening, at our own band reversal I didn’t feel much better, although I felt I’d gained a bit of traction by last Sunday, when we played in Bromley High Street for our usual ‘open air’ ministry, and I was able to give the Office shoe shop the full bass trombone benefit of my warmed up chops, through their open doors! Always fun!

So we’re into a new year, back into the regular rhythm of playing and it’s time to step it up a bit and sort out the plans for the upcoming Bromley Trombone Workshop. Working with Brett Baker, plans are coming together, and look very exciting, so I hope to be able to update you with more details of the day later this week.

© Richard Debonnaire

The Christmas Carol Challenge


The #christmascarolchallenge!

This is a terrific idea from Nathan Bright, that is helping to raise money for The Salvation Army this Christmas, to support the work it does in helping folks who find themselves on the street…this is what he says of the idea:

“I received a compelling charity letter yesterday from The Salvation Army asking me to donate at Christmas. Had I not already been a regular giver, this letter may have sparked a donation. It did get me thinking though- how else could I give more- particularly at Christmas when the Salvation Army do so much good work for those who need it most.
Remember the ice bucket challenge? Here’s my take. The Salvation Army Carolling challenge. Play/sing a Christmas carol, film it, upload it, donate to the SA (by Texting SACC14 to 70070 followed by £5, £10 or £20 or going to and nominate someone at least 3 others. Simple.”

The idea has taken off as friends and acquaintances of Nathan’s from around the world have been doing just that, and posting videos of themselves playing a carol (or something Christmassy), and nominating others to do the same. Some play a brass instrument, some sing, some play the piano and one played ‘O Holy Night’ on the guitar (plenty of distortion going, just how I like it) and all in aid of The Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal.

Here’s my effort:


So why not do the same, or just donate to the Salvation Army (by Texting SACC14 to 70070 followed by £5, £10 or £20 or going to and nominate others to get involved by singing, playing or simply donating.

© Richard Debonnaire

Bromley Trombone Workshop 2015

9f50ace9-7788-4270-845b-ac5f2f51477e_300dpi red shield

Once again, The Salvation Army Bromley Temple corps, are hosting a trombone workshop, for players of all abilities, in  Bromley. This will take place in Bromley Salvation Army hall in Ethelbert Road, Bromley on Saturday, 28th March, 2015. 

Bromley Hall

Bromley Temple Salvation Army Hall in Ethelbert Road

At the moment, we have confirmed that Brett Baker, Paul Woodward and the Black Dyke Trombone Quartet will be participating. We are hoping to confirm some additional guests in the next few weeks.

Black Trombone Quartet

Black Dyke Trombone Quartet (L-R Adrian Hirst, Garry Read, Paul Woodward, Brett Baker)

The format of the day will be much the same as previously, with a workshop during the day looking at playing techniques, talks and the formation of a trombone choir, which will look at and rehearse music in preparation  for an evening concert, supported by Bromley Temple Salvation Army Band.


The unofficial logo of the Bromley Temple Band of the Salvation Army’s Trombone Section!

More details will follow, but please bookmark this page for further updates. Also Like our page on Facebook and follow @BromleyTrombone.

© Richard Debonnaire