Sheffield brass players meet with German twin band in perfect harmony

Members the Sheffield 13 Brass Ensemble ready to board their coach bound for Bochum in Germany
Members the Sheffield 13 Brass Ensemble ready to board their coach bound for Bochum in Germany
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A tuneful brass band has enjoyed almost 30 years of twinning with a fellow musical group in Germany.

Members of the Sheffield 13 Brass Ensemble have just embarked on their latest trip to Sheffield’s twin city of Bochum in Germany to meet up with local band Blaserkreis Hontrop.

The two groups have been visiting each other every couple of years since 1985, during which time a strong bond has formed between the musicians.

Founder and musical director of the Sheffield 13 Brass Ensemble, Norman Cawkwell, is one of only two band members to have attended all the trips to Bochum over the past 29 years.

The 81-year-old said: “We’re so well looked after when we visit Bochum that we always look forward to going there.

“Over the years we’ve built up some great friendships and memories.

“During one of their visits to the UK, the German band even played on my lawn.”

Thirty Sheffield members, aged between 12 and 81, took up the opportunity to go on the band’s latest excursion to Germany where they performed an open air concert.

The talented musicians also performed at a church in Hontrop.

Norman added: “As well as a few performances we also enjoy informal get-togethers with the other band members so we can have a catch up. It was 2010 when we last visited them and 2012 when they last came here.”

The Sheffield 13 Brass Ensemble was established in 1981 and plays different styles of music, from traditional hymn tunes and classic brass music, to popular chart music.

Back on home soil, the band will put on a special performance on November 9 for Remembrance Sunday.

They will play from 10.30am at Woodhouse Cross Precinct.