Founded in 1983 with initial support from the Friary Meux brewery, Friary Guildford Band has enjoyed considerable success under the direction of Chris King, former Bandmaster of the Band of the Grenadier Guards.
Seven years ago, Friary Guildford became the First Section National Champion, the only band from the London & Southern Counties region to have won this title. The Band has since qualified for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in each of the past five years, and has been Regional Champion for the past three years.
Other major titles won include the British Open Senior Trophy in 2014, and Most Entertaining Band at the Butlin’s Mineworkers Championships in 2015 and 2017. The Band also competed in Brass in Concert in 2015.
Over the years, Friary has played at a wide range of special events including the RBS Six Nations and Gillette Four Nations rugby internationals, and QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. Friary players also joined Guildford’s Pranksters Theatre Company in 2013 for their production of Brassed Off.
Itself a registered charity, Friary helps raise funds for the British Heart Foundation and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, and in April 2015 was honoured to receive the Mayor of Guildford’s Service to the Community Award.
During the past two years, Friary has performed joint concerts with Fairey, Brighouse & Rastrick and Cory, and the North East Hants Schools Band where two of the Band’s principal players started their banding careers.
Nationals Contesting History
First appearance at RAH was in 2013, been every year since. Best result of 12th, achieved last year. Previous National Finals: S1 3 times including 2010 (won), S2 twice, S3 & S4 once apiece.
Solo Cornet - Richard Straker
Soprano - Simon Tong
Flugel - Lauren Straker
Horn - Chris Pannell
Baritone - Alex Stevens
Euphonium - Chris Straker
Trombone - tbc
Tuba - Ross Graham
Percussion - Chris Attwood