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For more regular news updates, you can follow Roberts Bakery Band on Twitter @RobertsBakeryBB or 'like' us on Facebook.

16th September 2014 - Ring o' Bells Most Entertaining Band 2014

Roberts Bakery Band are delighted to announce we have been awarded the "most entertaining band" prize for the Ring o' Bells Marple brass band concert series, playing from number one! The band will be back to defend our title in summer 2015.

Meanwhile our MD Simon Stonehouse has been working the band hard ahead of our performances at the European Blasmusikfestival in Germany this weekend. With a fantastic fast and furious programme never before heard in Bad Schlema, we can't wait to take to the stage on Friday night!

16th April 2014 - New signings

Roberts Bakery Band and Musical Director Simon Stonehouse are pleased to welcome Thomas Conibere on Solo Cornet and Sue Howell on Tuned Percussion.

Formerly with Fairey and Whitburn Bands, Tom joins after a successful spell on Principal Cornet with Silk Brass, while Sue is Principal Percussionist with the North Staffs Symphony Orchestra.

19th March 2014 - Podium finish at Area contest

On Sunday 9th March, several months of preparation culminated in a wonderful performance of 'Cry of the Mountain' by Roberts Bakery Band in the First Section at the North West Regional Championships.

Musical Director Simon Stonehouse and the band were delighted with a performance that also found favour with adjudicators Richard Marshall and Simon Kerwin, and was rewarded with a fine third place. Full results as follows:

1. Ashton-Under-Lyne, Phil Chalk
2. Oldham (Lees), John Collins
3. Roberts Bakery, Simon Stonehouse
4. Vernon Building Society Poynton, Neil Samuel
5. Morecambe, Andrew Warriner
6. Longridge, Mark Peacock
7. Poulton-le-Fylde, John Wood
8. Haslingden & Helmshore, David Holland
9. Whitworth Vale & Healey, John Binns
10. Crewe Brass, Jamie Meredith
11. Haydock, Mark Quinn
12. Diggle, Johnathan Evans
13. Uppermill, Alan Widdop
14. Hoover Bolton, Trevor Halliwell
15. Flixton, Stephen Curtis

Despite narrowly missing out on a qualification place for the National Championships, the band is now instead looking forward to participating in the 17th European Blasmusikfestival this September with a brand new and exciting programme of music.


4th February 2014 - Second at Preston

On Sunday 2nd February Roberts Bakery Band travelled to Preston to compete for the very first time in the Brass at the Guild Championships. In the First Section, bands could choose whether to perform 'Vitae Aeternam' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper or the Regional test piece 'Cry of the Mountain' by Howard Lorriman.

Performing 'Cry of the Mountain' in preparation for the North West Championships, the band were very pleased with the performance and delighted to be placed second by adjudicator Brett Baker. Full results as below:

1. Oldham (Lees), John Collins
2. Roberts Bakery, Simon Stonehouse
3. Morecambe, Andrew Warriner
4. GT Group Peterlee, Joe Cook
5. Haydock, Mark Quinn
6. Wakefield Metropolitan, Michael Howley
7. Longridge, Mark Peacock
8. Hoover Bolton, Trevor Halliwell
9. Poulton-le-Fylde, John Wood
w, Harrogate

Roberts Bakery Band and Musical Director Simon Stonehouse would like to pay special thanks to our new partners Foden's Band for their help with sectionals and allowing us to rehearse in their bandroom in the run up to the contest.

The band would also like to congratulate Lions Youth Brass and their Musical Director Nigel Birch on their 3rd Place in the Youth Section - the majority of Roberts band members were so busy enjoying Lions' performance that we missed our own results announcement!


2nd January 2014 - Roberts Bakery Band announce partnership with Foden's Band


Foden's Band and Roberts Bakery Band are pleased to announce that they have entered into a partnership that will be mutually beneficial to both bands as well as the community.

Speaking about the announcement Foden's Band Manager Mark Wilkinson commented "Foden's Band have a strong following in the Cheshire / Sandbach area with around 500 Patrons as well as existing Partnerships with Sandbach Council, Cheshire East, Love Music Trust Hub, Lions Youth as well as
our own Youth Band. In order to strengthen our links with Sandbach and the community we approached Roberts Bakery Band who are based in Sandbach to form a partnership that amongst other things will result in a massed band concert each year, Foden's players offering free private lessons to members of Roberts Bakery Band, Foden's providing guest soloists to Roberts Bakery Band, each band advertising each others concerts to their respective Patrons as well as Foden's Principal players providing sectional rehearsals prior to contests."

Speaking about the announcement Roberts Bakery Band Musical Director Simon Stonehouse commented "We are delighted to formalise a partnership with the Foden’s Band. We see the partnership as an excellent opportunity to further improve the standard of the Roberts musicians and also to provide cohesive development of Brass Bands in and around the Sandbach area. The partnership fits in well with the development plan we have for the band and can only bring around excellent opportunities for all stakeholders. We are looking forward to supporting Foden’s in some exciting projects in 2014 and beyond."

26th November 2013 - Sandbach clarification

We are disappointed to inform our loyal supporters in Sandbach that Roberts Bakery Band will not be performing their annual Christmas concert at the Town Hall this December as previously advertised.

This is due to ongoing refurbishment work at Sandbach Town Hall and therefore beyond our control. The band will however be performing at the Town Hall on Friday 16th May in support of St Luke's Hospice and again next Christmas - we cannot wait to introduce our new Musical Director Simon Stonehouse to the people of Sandbach!

There's no need to miss out this year however, as Roberts Bakery Band are making several other high-profile concert appearances across Cheshire and the North West this Christmas. Visit our Engagements page to find out more!

9th October 2013 - Ruth Webb joins Roberts Bakery Band

Roberts Bakery Band are very pleased to announce the signing of Ruth Webb on Solo Baritone. Ruth is no stranger to the band as the sister of First Horn player Rebecca Butler, and made her debut at Bolsover Festival of Brass last weekend.

Ruth is not only a fine Euphonium and Baritone player, but also an accomplished pianist and is currently employed as a staff pianist at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. RBB and Musical Director Simon Stonehouse hope she enjoys her time with the band.

8th October 2013 - 5th at Bolsover

On Sunday the Roberts Bakery Band performed at Bolsover Festival of Brass, our first entertainment contest appearance in 15 years and first competitive outing under new Musical Director Simon Stonehouse.

An exciting and innovative programme included the Iron Maiden song Run to the Hills (arr. Rodney Newton), Flying Mallets which featured David Lewis on xylophone and marimba and Andrew Felton on his own special triangle, Leigh Baker's superb arrangement of the Lionel Richie hit All Night Long, complete with trumpets and E-flat mellophoniums, the Prelude from the 1941 film score to 49th Parallel (Vaughan Williams), and a World War Two-inspired finale - Paul Lovatt-Cooper's The Enigma Machine.

You can watch Roberts' performance in full on YouTube here:

Simon and the band were delighted with the performance and were placed 5th of 9 competing bands in the Championship Section against several bands who in recent years have qualified for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall. Full results as below:

1. East Yorkshire Motor Services, Alan Morrison, 3, 94 points
2. Thoresby Colliery, Steve March, 7, 93
3. Newstead Brass, Duncan Beckley, 4, 92
4. Derwent Brass, Keith Leonard, 5, 91
5. Roberts Bakery Band, Simon Stonehouse, 9, 90
6. Shepherd Group, Richard Wilton, 8
7. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen), Simon Platford, 2
8. Westoe Brass, Jason Smith, 6

9. Gresley Colliery, Simon Jones, 1
w, Skelmanthorpe

3rd October 2013 - Roberts welcome Norwegian sop star

Roberts Bakery Band are delighted to welcome Soprano Cornet player Hege Øvrebø to the band, all the way from Tysvær, Norway. Hege recently moved to Manchester after studying brass band at Manger Folkehøgskule and performing with Oster Brass under conductor Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen. We wish her every success with RBB.

The band is now just three days away from the long-awaited performance at Bolsover Entertainment contest. You can follow our day via our Facebook and Twitter pages (links above), with full results posted here in due course.

15th September 2013 - Roberts perform first concerts under Simon Stonehouse

The past few months have seen the start of Roberts Bakery Band's exciting journey under new Musical Director, Simon Stonehouse. The band has performed two outdoor concerts at Knutsford Promenades on 6th July and Birkenhead Festival of Transport yesterday with a completely new programme ranging from the more traditional items to contemporary pieces never before heard played by a brass band!

We have been delighted to appoint George Bruce, a student of the Royal Northern College of Music, to the position of Principal Euphonium and also welcome a very talented young percussionist, Harry Bent, to the band.

Sophie Barwick (Second Horn), daughter of Solo Horn player Steve, and Michael Parker (Eb Bass) have also become the latest in a long line of players to progress to Roberts from the award-winning Lions Youth Brass.

We are sad to announce that Susannah Ball, Solo Baritone since 2006, is taking a break from the band due to work commitments. Susannah has recently qualified as a Doctor so has found it increasingly difficult to attend rehearsals. We hope she isn't a stranger and look forward to seeing her again soon!

The band is now hard at work for the upcoming Bolsover Entertainment Contest, our first competitive outing with Simon, on Sunday 6th October but we're keeping our programme a secret for now...

15th May 2013 - 4 Bars Rest article on Colin's retirement

"It’s not only Manchester United who has lost the services of one of the longest serving managers in the business, following the news that after 40 years as Musical Director, the widley respected Colin Cranson is hanging up his baton.

A former solo euphonium of Foden's, Colin began conducting the then Middlewich Town Band in 1972, when they were languishing in the Fourth Section.

Less than a decade later and after securing long term sponsorship from the Northwich based Roberts Bakery, Colin led the band to the Championship Section and to second place finishes at the Grand Shield and the top section at the Pontin's contest in Southport.

Under his passionate and dedicated leadership, Roberts Bakery Band has also established themselves as one of the most entertaining concert bands in the North West, making 11 recordings in addition to numerous broadcasts and representing Great Britain at the European Blasmusikfestival in Germany on ten occasions.

Due to his remarkable leadership, the band has maintained a Championship/First Section status for 28 of the last 30 years.

Band spokesman Tom Hancock told 4BR: “Roberts Bakery band members past and present are enormously grateful to Colin for his role in their musical development. 40 years as conductor is a magnificent achievement, a record almost unheard of in the brass band movement.

While we are sad to see Colin go, he leaves us in a very strong position, and we are pleased he will maintain a relationship with the band as honorary President."

An [official] announcement will be made shortly regarding Colin's successor as Musical Director."

The article can be viewed in full here:

10th April 2013 - New MD at Roberts Bakery Band

Following Colin Cranson's decision to retire (see news item below), the Roberts Bakery Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Stonehouse as our new Musical Director with immediate effect.

Simon Stonehouse has performed with and conducted many of the UK's leading brass bands, including a very successful spell as Professional MD of the Fairey Band and we look forward to exciting times under his direction.

To find out more about our new conductor, visit our Musical Director page.

10th April 2013 - Colin announces his retirement

The Roberts Bakery Band are sad to announce our long-serving Musical Director Colin Cranson has decided to retire after an incredible 40 years conducting the band, a record perhaps unheard of in the brass band world. Colin began conducting the then Middlewich Town Band in 1972, taking them from Fourth Section obscurity to the Championship Section, and gaining podium finishes at high-profile contests such as the Grand Shield within ten years.

There have been many recent successes too - representing Great Britain at the European Blasmusikfestival in Germany and the Mürtsub Pill Festival in Estonia on several occasions in recent years, and leading Roberts to two consecutive North West Regional First Section titles (split by two years in the Championship Section) in 2008 and 2011. We maintain a reputation as one of the most entertaining bands in the region, and we are enormously grateful for everything Colin has done to put the Roberts Bakery Band on the map.

All connected with Roberts would like to wish Colin a very happy retirement.

26th March 2013 - A busy few months for RBB

The past few months have been extremely busy for the Roberts Bakery Band.

The Christmas period saw the band perform at many high profile venues across the North West, including Arley Hall, Kidsgrove Town Hall, St Peter's Church in Newton le Willows, Tatton Park, Sandbach Town Hall and to a full house at Chester Cathedral for 'The Spirit of Christmas' featuring readings from celebrities such as Sir Derek Jacobi, Jim Broadbent and Matthew Kelly. We are delighted to have been invited to perform at this event again in 2013.

The new year saw our North West Area preparations step up a gear with MD Colin Cranson and Associate Conductor Alan Brotherston conducting rehearsals and sectionals on an extremely difficult test piece, 'Harmony Music' by Philip Sparke. We were also pleased to welcome Darren Samuel to the band on Bass Trombone.

Roberts Bakery Band took a break from the test piece to say a fond farewell to Northwich Memorial Hall on Sunday 24th February. The Memorial Hall is a venue the band has performed at regularly for many years, and it is perhaps fitting that RBB performed the final concert there before its demolition.

Sunday 10th March was the culmination of several months hard work as we travelled to Blackpool for the 2013 North West Regional Championships. Drawn 4th of 12 bands, we were reasonably pleased with our performance, especially on such a difficult set work and of course Colin and the band were bitterly disappointed to be placed 12th.

30th July 2012 - Congratulations, Sara!

The Roberts Bakery Band and MD Colin Cranson would like to congratulate our star Flugel Horn player Sara Oberland and her husband Richard on the birth of their second child, Megan Daphne Oberland, on Saturday morning.

All members of the band are delighted and can't wait to meet Megan on our return from our trip to Estonia next weekend!

9th July 2012 - Welcome to Iain and Ellie

Roberts Bakery Band and Musical Director Colin Cranson are pleased to announce the signings of Iain Fieldhouse (Eb Bass) and Ellie Copsey (Second Baritone).

Iain is a fine addition to the bass section having performed with many of the country's top bands over the years, notably the British Aerospace Band and Leyland Band, with whom he won the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.

Ellie, 16, becomes the latest young talent to progress to us from the highly successful Lions Youth Brass. She joins Susannah and Charles on a strong Baritone section and her first official engagement with the band will be at the Mürtsub Pill Festival in Estonia, which is now less than four weeks away.

We hope to announce more signings in due course, as we continue our search for a first class Soprano Cornet and Principal Euphonium ahead of our challenge in the Championship Section in the North West Regional Championships in March.

7th June 2012 - Daniel Departs

Roberts Bakery Band are sorry to announce the resignation of our Euphonium player Daniel Morgan. Over the last 12 months Dan has grown into an accomplished soloist in spite of his young age and we all wish him the very best for the future.

The band is now advertising for a first class Principal Euphonium player. This is an exciting time for RBB with an overseas tour to Estonia in 8 weeks, a series of high-profile concerts at Christmas and promotion to the Championship Section for 2013.

For more information or to apply, please email

19th April 2012 - Sandbach Rugby Club Cancellation

Roberts Bakery Band are sorry to announce that we will not be appearing at Sandbach Rugby Club on 6th May this year, as the event has been cancelled.

The article in yesterday's (18th April) edition of the Crewe Chronicle newspaper was unfortunately published in error. We hope that by clarifying this information on our website and social networking websites that we can reach as many people hoping to attend as possible.

In the meantime the band been working extremely hard with Musical Director Colin Cranson and Associate Conductor Alan Brotherston on some different concert music for the forthcoming trip to Estonia, including the Finale from William Tell Overture, the Salvation Army march Goldcrest and a lively opening number titled Festival, kindly donated to us by the composer Frank Hughes.

29th February 2012 - Promotion to Championship Section

The Roberts Bakery Band have been promoted back to the Championship Section after a fine 4th place finish at Sunday's North West Regional Championships.

Colin and band members were very pleased with their performance of test piece 'Mountain Views' and as adjudicator Malcolm Brownbill outlined, the band can count themselves a little unlucky not to have been placed higher in defence of the title won in 2011.

"There were four very good performances," Brownbill said. "Two bands will go home disappointed, but I had to go into a great amount of detail to sort the prize winners out.

"The bands that managed to find the melodic line from beginning to end, and provide musical shape and balance, which was so important in this acoustic, were the ones who were most successful." (Courtesy of 4 Bars Rest)

Full results are as follows:

1. Rainford, Neil Samuel, 3, Q (promoted)
2. Wardle Anderson Brass, Sean Conway, 8, Q
3. Poulton-le-Fylde, John Wood, 7
4. Roberts Bakery, Colin Cranson, 9 (promoted)
5. Oldham (Lees), John Collins, 6
6. Freckleton, Paul Dalton, 1
7. Morecambe, Andrew Warriner, 11
8. Haydock, Mark Quinn, 5
9. Diggle, James Shepherd, 4
10. Silk Brass (Macclesfield), James Cant, 2
11. Manx Concert Brass, Ian Clague, 10


Saturday, 31st January, 2015