2014 - An Unforgettable 40th
1st January to 31st December 2014
The year 2014 marked the 40th Anniversary of the re-forming of the Band. It turned out to be a special year full of celebratory events and activities; as such it was a busy year for the Band and one that saw our Bands appear at a healthy mixture of new events, regular annual events and most importantly numerous events in support of our local community.
The year started with a trip across the country to round off three weeks of intensive practise for the Band to play Goff Richards' 'Three Saints' at the Butlins Contest in Skegness. Following the latest round of youngsters departing to university this saw 11 players making their contest debuts; sadly the adjudicators didn't enjoy our performance and we were placed 10th. Our other contest appearance of the year took place at the West of England Regional Contest in Torquay in March where our performance of Alan Fernie's 'Three Spanish Impressions' saw the Band placed a good 8th out of 21.
During the year the Band made its popular annual appearances at the Tewkesbury Winter Ales festival in February and the Cotswold Beer Festival in July. During April the Band held its AGM featuring a short concert from the Training Band and later in the month formally launched its 40th Anniversary music commission 'Images of Tewkesbury' at a social event and joint rehearsal of the Training and Senior Bands in the presence of composer Peter Meechan and poet Brenda Read-Brown.
The month of May sadly saw the death of teenage band member Becky Wilmot from cancer. The Band were honoured to play music as her friends and family arrived for her funeral and during August were proud to hold a Memorial Concert for her to raise money for the charities Josie's Dragonfly Fund and CLIC. This concert also featured a beautiful piece of music written in her memory by Jonathan Bates 'A Peaceful Moment'. A fitting tribute to a brave girl.
The Spring Bank Holiday weekend saw ex-Tewkesbury Town Band member Pete Strawson bring the Golcar Training Band down from Yorkshire for a weekend of workshops, concerts and social events with our Training Band. A fantastic weekend of music making and fun that culminated in the Tewkesbury Town Senior and Training Bands being joined by Golcar Training Band for an afternoon of performances at Tewkesbury Abbey Fete.
The summer arrived and saw the Senior and Training Bands make their usual appearances at community events around the Tewkesbury area. The month of June was incredibly busy. The Training Band played at the Bishop’s Cleeve Street Fair, John Moore Primary School Fete and St Catherine’s Church Fete in Gloucester. The Senior Band provided musical entertainment for the wedding of Helen Badham and Steve Ireland at Bishop's Cleeve Tithe Barn at the beginning of June and a week later they played an evening concert for the ladies of the Trefoil Guild who were meeting in Cheltenham.
As part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations the Senior Band gave a free outdoor Sunday evening concert in the setting of the Abbey grounds with the audience invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the music. The weather smiled on us and it proved to be a fantastic evening for all and a fitting event to mark the Band's Anniversary. The Band had a further private party engagement on 4th July to mark a couple from Kemerton's wedding anniversary. This was followed the day after by performances from the Senior Band and the Training Band at the wonderful Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass which once again showcased the Band's musical variety.
The end of July saw the Band venture on its first tour to Ireland via North Wales. This was a hectic week of music making and meeting new friends as we met up with Menai Bridge Band for a concert on the Belgian Promenade and a social evening before continuing on the long way to Tipperary to meet the CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band. Whilst in Tipperary the Band visited several castles, a wildlife park and gave 4 concerts. The Band then returned to Tewkesbury via Dublin where we met the Stedfast Band, enjoyed an obligatory tour of the Guinness Brewery and played 2 concerts. A fantastic tour with many new friends made and in July 2015 the CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band are planning to visit Tewkesbury!
The Band continued to be busy during August with a parade through Tewkesbury as part of the Town's marking of the 100th Anniversary of start of World War 1. The Senior Band appeared on bandstands to a good audience in Malvern and an inclement weather depleted audience in Stroud before rounding the month off by playing to the fete-goers at Kemerton Village Fete.
In September the Training Band provided the musical entertainment at the Ashton under Hill Fete at the beginning of the month and presented their annual showcase of its members talents in the Cabaret Evening at the end of the month. The Cabaret Evening saw the usual variety of players dressing up and gave a nod to the first concert by the re-formed Tewkesbury Town Band in 1974 through the playing of an arrangement of 'Z Cars' that featured in that concert. Next there was the annual Mop Fair Parade in early October.
The month of October featured a very special Anniversary Concert featuring the premiere of our specially commissioned piece for brass band, massed school & community choirs, narrator and battle re-enactors 'Images of Tewkesbury'. This was a 30 minute work taking the audience on a whistle stop journey through the history of our wonderful town in 8 distinct movements. The poet Brenda Read-Brown read her own words to music from the pen of composer Peter Meechan and our fabulous Town Crier Mike Kean-Price narrated the Battle of Tewkesbury whilst re-enactors acted out the scene. A great evening that mostly comprised original brass band works as well as the main piece and that received great feedback from a good audience in the Abbey. Watch out for possible future performances of the work on a smaller scale.
The month of November saw the Band mark the 80th birthday of it's remaining founder member, Keith Rose, who has now been a member of the Band for half of his life! Remembrance Day saw the band lead the Remembrance Parade through the town in front of crowds lining the streets numbering in the thousands.
That takes us to the hectic Christmas period that began with the Bishop's Cleeve Lights Ceremony on Saturday 22nd November and saw 16 appearances of the Bands in a month! The annual concerts at the Roses were a great success, as were all of the other Christmas events that kept us busy right up to Christmas Eve.
Finally a few statistics from 2014:
· The bands [Training and Senior] met on 163 out of the 365 days for either rehearsals or engagements.
· The bands gave 54 public performances.
· Average attendance at the 80 senior band rehearsals was 23.26 [Helen Walters, Mark Windsor, David Greenaway, Sue Corrigan & Derinda Wildman attending more than 90% of the senior band gatherings]
· Between the 3 bands there are over 60 players. Many in more than one of the bands as part of the progression structure.
· There were 26 appearances in Tewkesbury, including 5 at the Abbey and 3 at the Roses Theatre.
All in all a fantastic year! Here’s looking forward to more of the same in 2015.
Tewkesbury Abbey Christingle
Tewkesbury Abbey [3:15pm - 5pm] - Wednesday 24th December
The Christingle Service in Tewkesbury Abbey has become the annual finale to the Band's Christmas season and it always provides a fitting start to a couple of weeks of relaxation away from band.
As usual there was a large turnout of Training Band members to play music to entertain the huge congregation that attends this service, usually in the region of over 1,000 people, while they gather in the Abbey before the service.
The Band and Training Bands have now completed 16 Christmas engagements since the 22nd November....that's a lot of Christmas music that has been played! It's now all over for another year. Thanks to all members, family and supporters of the Band for another great year. Happy Christmas from all at Tewkesbury Town Band.
A Day of Carols at Morrisons, Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury Morrisons [10am - 8pm] - Monday 22nd December
Monday 22nd December saw another significant day of fundraising effort from the band members as they spent 10 hours in the foyer of Morrisons supermarket in Tewkesbury. Across the day a few crazy people covered up to 8 hours of carol playing while others popped in and did their bit for as long as they could.
Family members and band supporters helped with the collecting and hopefully we raised an amount commensurate to our efforts. We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge Thank You to all of the members of our Band family who have been part of our very busy Christmas period. We couldn't do it without your support and enthusiasm.
Thanks also to all those that contributed to our collections and helped continue the Band's work.
Festive Fun from the Training Band
Watson Hall, Tewkesbury
Sunday 21st December
The afternoon of Sunday 21st December saw the Training Band give their annual fantastic Christmas Concert in the Watson Hall. As usual the Training Band's played fantastically and it was great to see the future of Tewkesbury Band continues to have good foundations.
The concert got off to a blazing start with the first movement from Stuart Johnson's 'Circus Suite', 'Bareback Riders' from the Intermediate Band before starring the Beginner Band members as they played the theme from 'Batman' from memory and then gave a jolly rendition of the theme to 'Wallace and Gromit'. This was followed by a little 'Double Chocolate Rhumba', a possible nod to the overindulgence that occurs at this time of year! A little bit of Wales was brought to the concert with the traditional Welsh tune 'Men of Harlech' before an original work from the pen of Andy Norman 'Another Day'. The Beginner Band took the audience on an Arctic romp with Helen Walters' original piece 'Dance of the Polar Bear'. This was followed by the superlative theme to the blockbuster Lego Movie 'Everything is Awesome'.
It was time to turn festive and the Intermediate Band started it off with Matt Kingston's march 'Christmas Carols' before the Beginner Band played 'Good King Wencelas'. The audience were invited to sing along to the modern carol 'A Starry Night' before being invited to dance to 'Jingle Bell Boogie'. There was a little snow inspired fun in 'Frosty the Snowman' before things got a little heavier with the 'Three Kings Rock'. No Christmas concert is complete without a rendition of 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and a finale of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas', this time in the form of 'Merry Christmas Calypso'.
All of this was followed by the usual party food and games. A special mention goes to Shannon Huntley who was voted Training Band member of the year and awarded the Ron Caddock Memorial Trophy.
Caroling in Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury [10am - 4pm] - Saturday 20th December
On Saturday 20th December members of the Band and Training Band's spent as many hours as they could spare to play carols for over 6 hours outside Boots in Tewkesbury in order to raise funds to allow us to continue to provide the free tuition, instrument hire and other facilities to those who wish to become part of the Band family and enjoy the pleasure of playing a brass instrument with others.
The weather continued to be unusually mild for the time of year and meant that we were less frozen than in the past at the end of our playing. Across the day most of the band members had made an appearance with several bringing family members to help with the collecting. A big thank you to all who played, collected and most importantly to all who donated.
Civic Carol Service
Tewkesbury Methodist Church, Tewkesbury [7pm] - Thursday 18th December
On Thursday 18th December the Band made its annual appearance at the Tewkesbury Civic Carol Service. The service was led by the local Salvation Army leader and started outside the Methodist Church around the Christmas tree with a pronouncement by the Town Crier followed by the singing of Joy to the World. We then moved inside the church for the telling of the Christmas story in carols, the reading of poems and a nativity play by the children from Priors Park Celebrate Group.
Candlelit Carols with Tewkesbury Sea Cadets
St Tewkesbury Sea Cadets HQ, Tewkesbury
Wednesday 17th December [7pm]
On the evening of Wednesday 17th December a small group from the Band enjoyed providing the musical accompaniment to the carols at the candlelit service held by the Tewkesbury Sea Cadets in their headquarters.
The Sea Cadets made everyone very welcome and after the short jaunt through the Christmas story whilst sitting in the light of candles the congregation were provided with warm mince pies, mulled wine and hot dogs.
An Evening of Festive Fun in Bishop's Cleeve
St Michael & All Angels Church, Bishop's Cleeve [7:30pm]
Tuesday 16th December
The Band enjoyed its annual appearance at the Cleeve Vale Rotary Club carol concert entertaining the old and not so old with a selection of festive music and plenty of Christmas carols. It was a fantastic evening of Christmas music in the wonderful setting of St Michael & All Angels Church in Bishop's Cleeve.
The Band provided the accompaniment to numerous carols as well as playing Jingle Bell Swing and the wonderful duet Son of Mary played by Dan Hart and Rebecca Marshall.
There were also Christmas stories and informative segues from the Rotary Club members and more music from Cleeve School pupils and the choir of Grangefield Primary School.
Laughter and Festive Fun in Tewkesbury
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th December
The Bands gave their annual installment of festive fun at the Roses Theatre on the evening of Saturday 13th and the afternoon of Sunday 14th December entertaining two large Roses Theatre audiences with a programme that met the challenge of comprising a selection of festive music that didn't contain a single duplicate item to the 2013 Christmas concerts! The Band opened the concert with a dash 'Over The Rooftops', a festive march by Darrol Barry. This was followed by Kenneth Downie's clever weaving together of the carols 'While Shepherds Watched', 'Deck The Halls' and 'Away In A Manger' into a dreamy 'Christmas Reverie'.
Two of our young players, Daniel Hart and Rebecca Marshall, highlighted their talents on the cornet as they gave a fantastic rendition of Rieks van der Velde's arrangement of the song 'Son of Mary'. Another beautiful Christmas melody followed as the Band played James Curnow's arrangement of the 1819 German carol 'Stille, Stille, Stille' entitled 'Variations on a German Carol'. Continuing on our journey through the carols of the world the Band then gave a nod to their Anniversary tour to Ireland this summer as they played the traditional Irish carol 'The Wexford Carol' in an arrangement by Dorothy Gates. The most obscure of our carols from around the world featured next in the gorgeous Korean carol 'Blessings in Christmas' wonderfully arranged for band by Dean Jones. Rounding off the world tour the audience were encouraged to expend some energy swaying and clapping as we entertained them with the 'Schneewalzer'.
The Training Band then took over the stage to show off their talents over the two evenings with their usual mix of Christmas and fun music. The Beginner Band opened with the theme to 'Batman' before the Intermediate Band played Matt Kingston's march 'Christmas Carols'. Another TV theme followed from the Beginner Band, this time it was the theme to 'Wallace & Gromit' which was rapidly overshadowed by the Intermediate Band playing the theme tune to the blockbuster Lego Movie, 'Everything Is Awesome'. A little Christmas followed as the bands played Andy Norman's arrangement of 'Good King Wencelas' before the Intermediate rounded off the Training Band's interlude with 'Merry Christmas Calypso'.
The Senior Band then returned to the stage to bring the first half of the concert to a close with a little jollity as they were joined by a rosy cheeked 'Laughing Policeman' in the form of MD Nigel Morgan who had the audience appropriately curled up in stitches from laughing.
The second half of the concerts were opened in joyous fashion with Adrian Falk's arrangement of the polka 'Happy Sleigh Ride in Petersburg'. This was followed by the lush euphonium sound of Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds as she played an arrangement by Robert Redhead of the 17th Century Polish carol 'Infant Holy'. This was followed by a selection of tunes from the 2013 record breaking Christmas movie from Disney 'Frozen' in a symphonic arrangement from the pen of Stephen Bulla. This featured the songs 'Frozen Heart', 'Do You Want to Build A Snowman?', 'Let It Go', 'For the First Time in Forever' and 'Epilogue' and proved to be a big audience favourite with many singing along where they could.
It was then time for the annual presentation of the Band Awards:
The Miles Amherst Junior Progress
Cup was won by our young percussionist Ben Stock.
Some great singing from our guest choirs, Warden Hill School on Saturday and Alderman Knight School on Sunday, followed the awards and raffle.
The Band then led Father Christmas' dancing as they played a big band arrangement of jingle bells in the form of Gavin Somerset's lively arrangement of 'Jingle Bell Swing'. The concert was then rounded off with Father Christmas' other favourite tune 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' in a march medley with the tunes 'Masters of the Hall' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' from James Anderson entitled 'Season's Greetings'. After much applause the audience were treated to a 'White Christmas' encore.
Two great concerts. Happy Christmas everyone from all at Tewkesbury Town Band....just over a week of Christmas appearances by the Tewkesbury Town Band to go before the day itself!
A Fantastic Evening for the Pied Piper Charity
St Peter's Parish Church, Gloucester
Wednesday 3rd December
There was a fantastic evening of music for a good cause on Wednesday 3rd December as a group of players from the Band were joined by other musical groups and musicians from around the County to give the Pied Piper charity concert in St Peter's Church in Gloucester.
The concert opened with an amazing group of Taiko drummers from Milestone Special School that made the church echo with a resounding boom! This was followed by an enthusiastic choir from St Peter's Primary School who entertained the packed church with a trilogy of Christmas songs: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', 'I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday' and 'Walking in the Air'.
They were followed by a Gloucestershire Christmas story written and narrated by The Reverend Richard Atkins of BBC Radio Gloucestershire. The Gloucester Cathedral Junior Choir then demonstrated their talents in three modern Christmas songs: 'Babe of Bethlehem', 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day' and the fun 'The Christmas Turkey'. Local folk singer Diedre Hargreaves then sang two beautiful songs 'O Holy Night' and 'You Raise Me Up'.
It was then the turn of the Band who had been linkng the evening together with the accompaniment to the carols that were being sung. We opened with Peter Graham's medley of popular carols 'A Carol Fantasy' before two of our young cornet players Daniel Hart and Rebecca Marshall gave a beautiful rendition of Rieks van der Velde's arrangement of 'Son of Mary'. We rounded our short set off with the upbeat and jolly arrangement by Gavin Somerset 'Jingle Bells Swing'. A wonderful evening that hopefully raised plenty of funds for a good cause was concluded with an address by Monsignor Liam Slattery and closing words from the Chairman of the Pied Piper Charity, Mr Nick Broady. A big thanks should also go to the compere for the evening Reverend Geoff Crago.
|Wednesday 3rd||Pied Piper Concert, Gloucester [7:30pm]|
|Saturday 13th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Warden Hill School Choir|
|Sunday 14th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [3pm matinee] featuring Alderman Knight School Choir|
|Tuesday 16th||Bishop's Cleeve Rotary Club Christmas Concert, St Michael's Church, Bishop's Cleeve [7pm]|
|Wednesday 17th||Sea Cadets Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7pm]|
|Thursday 18th||Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7pm - 8pm]|
|Saturday 20th||Carol Playing in Tewkesbury High Street [9:45am - 4pm]|
|Sunday 21st||Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]|
|Monday 22nd||Carol Playing at Morrisons, Tewkesbury [10am - 8pm]|
|Wednesday 24th||Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [3:15pm]|
A Montpellier Christmas
Friday 28th November
A busy few days of Christmas entertaining was completed as the senior band played carols to the shoppers browsing the stalls and shops at the Montpellier Christmas event. After an our and half of playing carols under a marquee the Band moved up to the Christmas tree to round the afternoon up by leading communal carol singing with the assistance of Widow Twanky!
A Very Abbey Christmas
Saturday 29th November
Saturday morning saw the Training Band play carols at its third Christmas Fayre in successive days as they provided some festive music for the Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre.
Their playing added a real sense of festive spirit to the fayre and entertained the shoppers and stallholders as they went about their business.
Festive Fun at Mitton Manor Primary School
Mitton Manor Primary School, Tewkesbury
Friday 28th November
The Training Band enjoyed a very festive evening at Mitton Manor Primary School on Friday 28th November. Father Christmas and his red nosed donkeys arrived to the sound of the band playing Jingle Bells, and then gave donkey rides later while we played Little Donkey!
It was a dry but chilly evening that was given an added wintery feel by a snow machine that kept the youngsters entertained.
An evening of Christmas Cheer
Alderman Knight School
Thursday 27th November
A small group from the Training Band had an enjoyable evening making their annual appearance to provide the festive music for Alderman Knight School's Christmas Cheer evening.
It was a fun evening in aid of a great cause and it was especially good to see Harrison Williams returning to his roots to help add to the small cornet line up for the evening.
Tewkesbury Christmas Lights are Turned On!
Sunday 23rd November
The Training Band made their first Christmas appearance as they played a selection of carols to the large crowd of people enjoying the cold but dry afternoon browsing the Christmas market along Tewkesbury High Street prior to the annual turning on of the Tewkesbury Christmas Lights.
They played for half an hour outside Boots at the top end of the High Street to a gathering audience before having a break to look around the stalls. They then played a second set of carols in the usual spot outside of the Town Hall before Father Christmas arrived to get the crowd excited before flipping the switch to turn the lights on.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
Saturday 22nd November
The busy Christmas season of Christmas carol playing began this afternoon as the Band made its annual appearance at the Bishop's Cleeve lights ceremony outside the community centre.
As usual there was a small fair and a large crowd of villagers in attendance to witness Father Christmas move the magic lever that turns on the lights which are only vaguely visible from the community centre car park.
Unlike last year the weather stayed dry if a little chilly.
Auf Wiedersehen and Player Moves
Autumn is that sad/happy time of year as the youngsters that have come through our Training Band into the Senior Band are making the next step in their lives and have moved onto college/universities. We are happy to see their success but sad to see them leave. Hopefully they will continue to play music as they move on their way and hopefully we will see plenty of them when they return home during the vacations.
During September we said goodbye to Lucy Windsor (tenor horn), Hannah Benbow (Eb Bass), Harry Sargeant (cornet) and in early November we bid farewell to Matthew Lee (trombone). We wish them all well and hope they are successful in their studies. These departures leave us looking for an Eb Bass player and a trombonist to fill the gaps they leave. But whatever instrument you may play, all are welcome to join us in our music making.
Remembrance in Tewkesbury
Sunday 9th November
On the morning of Sunday 9th November the Band were proud to lead the annual Remembrance Parade through the town to the Abbey. The weather was fine and there was a huge turnout of parade members and observers; especially for the return parade to The Cross where the act of remembrance and two minutes silence were observed.
This year following a wonderful rendition of the last post and reveille by Helen Walters there was added poignancy to the occasion as the list of 154 townsfolk who died in the war were read out as the Abbey bell tolled.
Pictures by excellent local photographer Jack Boskett can be found here. A video of the parade can be found here.
Tuesday 11th November
On Tuesday the Band's principal cornet Helen Walters was kept busy playing not one but three Last Posts! The first was at 11am at The Cross for the Town Council's Act of Remembrance, the second was at Marina Court retirement village at 2pm and the third was at Tirlebrook Preschool.
A Milestone Birthday for the Band's Longest Serving Member
Bredon Village Hall
Saturday 1st November
On Saturday evening the Band was delighted to be part of Keith Rose's 80th birthday celebrations. We joined with his talented family to play a part in a cabaret evening showcasing their various talents.
The Band played a short concert starting with the RAF March Past. This was followed by Amparito Roca featuring Keith on castanets. The Band then gave Keith a present from us being a Cajon Drum, which he then played during Spanish Eyes. This was followed by Something Stupid and A Stroll in the Park before finishing with Marching Onward.
We were then treated to some dancing, video messages and music from Keith's son Austin's band. There was also plenty of delicious food and drink for all. We hope you had a great birthday Keith.
|Saturday 1st||Keith Rose's 80th Birthday Party, Bredon Village Hall [7:30pm]|
|Sunday 9th||Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]|
|Saturday 22nd||Bishop's Cleeve Christmas Lights Ceremony [4pm - 5:30pm]|
|Sunday 23rd||Tewkesbury Christmas Lights Ceremony - Training Band [pm]|
|Thursday 27th||Alderman Knight School Christmas Cheer Evening [6pm - 8pm]|
|Friday 28th||Mitton Manor Primary School Christmas Fete [6pm - 8pm]|
|Saturday 29th||Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre - Training Band [10am]|
|Sunday 30th||A Montpellier Christmas, Montpellier, Cheltenham [pm]|
Images of Tewkesbury - An Epic Anniversary Concert
Saturday 25th October
After many months of preparation and planning the day had finally arrived for our 40th Anniversary Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey featuring the premiere of 'Images of Tewkesbury'. After a busy afternoon's rehearsal bringing all the performers together for only the second time given the huge numbers involved there was a short break for everyone to grab some food before the concert itself.
A packed Abbey was sat in anticipation of a fantastic evening of entertainment from the Band and its guests in a concert that primarily featured original brass band music. At 7pm the Band opened the concert in rousing fashion with Etienne Crausaz's fabulous 'Hymn to the Mountain' as we commenced our journey to Tewkesbury.
The young people from the school choirs (Tirlebrook Primary School,
Mitton Manor Primary School, Queen Margaret Primary School, Alderman
Knight School and Tewkesbury Youth Choir) were then invited to join us
for the second piece as they heartily sang the words to 'Beyond
The Sea'. The community choirs (Tewkesbury Voices, The Silurian
Choir, Tewkesbury & District Choral Society and Tewkesbury Chamber
Choir) then joined with the band to add a mysterious Hawaiian spirit to
Jacob de Haan's musical picture of a young spanish artist in Sydney
yearning to travel across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii after seeing a
picture at The Rocks which gives the piece its name 'Pacific
The Band then took the audience on a high speed journey by steam train which had many holding onto their seats as we sped along the track with Dan Price's imaginative tribute to the Mallard 'Blue Thunder'. It was then time to calm things down after departing the train as it arrived in Tewkesbury. So the Band played one of the pieces that have become favourites over the past few years, Philip Sparke's 'A Stroll in the Park'.
The Training Band were then featured with the
audience being given their first taste of the music of Dr Peter Meechan
as Rebecca Marshall beautifully played the haunting theme to 'Hymn
for Africa' from the back of the Abbey
before being joined by the rest of the Training Band. T'he Beginner Band
were then featured in Gary Young's arrangement of when the saints in the
form of 'Marching Saints'.
The Training Band were then joined by the choirs as they played 'This
The first half was brought to its conclusion as the Band and Training Bands joined forces to lay the march that was commissioned to mark our 30th Anniversary from the pen of Andrew Duncan 'Tewkesbury'. The conclusion of our imaginary journey from the top of a mountain across the oceans to our beautiful historic town of Tewkesbury.
The second half featured 'Images of Tewkesbury',
a work featuring the Band, massed choirs, narrators and battle
re-enactors across eight movements depicting various moments from the
history of Tewkesbury and the Band. The opening movement 'Saxon
Settlement' had everyone jumping out of their seats as the bass
drum and three pieces of scaffolding were hammered to depict
construction of the initial town settlement. The Band then joined with
some fantastic moving chords to a series of shock notes before the
massed choir hummed along.
Brenda Read-Brown then set the scene for the second movement 'The Abbey Monastery (Pastorale Times)' by reading her own words to lead into the band playing a medieval monastic theme with the Choir singing a narrative line between the Band's music. A further poetic interlude closed this scene and led into the third image '1471: The Battle of Tewkesbury'.
The Town Crier took to the podium to narrate
the battle scene with musical intercessions from the Band and an
evocative depiction of the battle by a group of re-enactors from
Tewkesbury's famous Medieval Festival. I think several of the audience
were relieved that the Abbey had not allowed them to use swords for this
depiction of the battle given their proximity to the tussle in the nave
Brenda then read a shopping list of the provisions required by the Abbey as a lead into the fourth image, that of Tewkesbury as a bustling 'Medieval Thoroughfare'. The Band played a jaunty underlying theme whilst the Choir spoke lines describing the hustle and bustle of a busy medieval market town and warned against the efficacy of mustard balls as a cure for the plague!
The Children's choirs then moved to the front to feature in the fifth image that of the hiring fair that has turned into an annual feast of fun in 'Mop Fair Mayhem'. They sang with gusto and gave a fantastic happy upbeat feeling to this movement.
The sixth image saw Brenda's biggest challenge as she was narrating a
huge amount of words describing the 'Dickensian
Alleyways' over a mysterious growing and diminishing theme being
played by the Band in the Abbey's lively acoustic. She overcame this
challenge and somehow managed to fit all of her narrative in before the
end of the piece!
The seventh image largely featured Brenda and the Choir interspersed with chords from the Band as inevitable reference was made to Tewkesbury's famous 'Rivers and the Floods'. The final image was a tribute to the founding musical director of the Band and the founder of the Abbey Choir School, Miles Amherst, sang by the Choir and the Band in the form of a 'Jubilant in Memoriam'. The front row cornets added a little surround sound by standing either side of the Abbey to give an antiphonal effect. A fantastic conclusion to an amazing piece (described as 'epic' in Brenda's blog). A big Thank You to all who made this possible and to all the participants and audience.
Images of Tewkesbury - Full Rehearsal
Tewkesbury High School
Sunday 12th October
On the afternoon of Sunday 12th October the Band and Training Band joined with the various community and school choirs participating in our special anniversary concert for a rehearsal in the gym at Tewkesbury High School.
This was the first opportunity for all involved to hear how the piece sounded as a whole and given the scale of this project it was quite a sight with approaching 200 people in the school gym!
It sounded fantastic and everyone is looking forward to presenting this musical journey through the history of our town in Tewkesbury Abbey on the evening of Saturday 25th October at 7pm. The piece is divided into eight distinct movements with poetry and narrative that describe distinct elements of Tewkesbury's history set to the musical accompaniment of the band:
(i) Saxon Settlement
(ii) The Abbey Monastery (Pastorale Times)
(iii) 1471 The Battle of Tewkesbury
(iv) Medieval Thoroughfare
(v) Mop Fair Mayhem
(vi) Dickensian Alleyways
(vii) The Riverside and the Floods
(viii) Jubilant in Memoriam
Tickets are available from the Roses Theatre. Don't miss what will be a great concert!
The Magic of the Mop Fair
Thursday 9th October
The Training Band took to rather damp streets of Tewkesbury on the evening of Thursday 9th October to lead the dignitaries from The Crescent to the dodgems at The Cross to perform the formal opening ceremony for the annual Tewkesbury Mop Fair.
The changeable weather saw a drizzly rain come down on the parade as it made its way to the dodgems but spirits weren't dampened and the rain held off for the remainder of the evening which saw the younger band members enjoy all the fun of the fair!
|Thursday 9th||Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]|
|Saturday 25th||"Images of Tewkesbury" 40th
Anniversary Concert, Tewkesbury
Tickets available from the Roses Theatre Box Office.
A Fantastic Cabaret Evening
The Elizabeth Wyatt House, Tewkesbury
Saturday 28th September
The Training Band held its wonderful evening of fun and frolics on Saturday 28th September in the hall at Elizabeth Wyatt House. As is now customary for this event there was plenty of dressing up and great playing from our young and not so young soloists.
The Beginner Band opened the concert by standing to play the popular theme tune to 'Batman' with all of the players wearing bat masks and capes in the form of black dustbin liners! The first soloist of the evening was Emmeline Turner on trombone who took to the stage to play a beautifully lush rendition of Joseph Kosma's 'Autumn Leaves'. This was followed by young tuba player Daniel Lewis who turned events all patriotic with a dazzling 'Rule Brittania'.
Taking us to the jungle with a book was Theo Wildman with a jolly rendition of 'The Bare Necessities' on his tenor horn. This led nicely into a feast of players dressed as animals and other circus acts as the Intemediate Band played two movements from Stuart Johnson's Circus Suite - 'Bareback Riders' and 'The Elephant Act' (which featured the band's bass section: Daniel Lewis, Derinda Wildman and John Lampitt).
Things went all 1940's and 50's Britain next with Lauren Farey adding a sense of fun with her playing of the 'Dad's Army' theme on cornet and Matthias Wildman on trombone taking us on a pastoral stroll through 'An English Country Garden'.
became all regal as Shannon Huntley majestically played the 'Prince
of Denmark's March' on her cornet. The Beginner Band continued
the march theme with 'Marching Saints' before Amy Williams beautifully
played 'Broken Strings' on her
baritone. The Training bands then played Andy Norman's original brass
band tune 'Another Day' before the
Wildman family gave us a prehistoric rendition of 'The
The Intermediate Band then donned hats and feathers to become cowboys and indians as they played the three movements that make up 'A Western Trilogy'. Rebecca Marshall then highlighted her cornet playing talent as she took us back in time to an era when it was possible to hear 'A Nightingale Sing in Berkeley Square' over the noise of the traffic!
Emmeline's mum, Ruth Turner, then highlighted her talent on the euphonium as she played 'Be My Guest' from the disney film 'Beauty and the Beast'. This was followed by a great duet version of 'Augustan Club Waltz' from mother and daughter, Theresa Newman and Shannon Huntley, on baritone and cornet respectively. Theresa looking all glam with her make-up beard from her appearance as bearded lady in the Circus Suite earlier in the concert.
The Training Band rounded off a fantastic evening by donning various examples of the Band's uniform from its 40 year history as they played a medley of 'The Z Cars theme, When The Saints and I'm Getting Married in the Morning' that was played at the very first Christmas concert given by Tewkesbury Town Band in 1974.
Visiting Bands and the Civic Parade
Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st September
The weekend of 20th & 21st September was the weekend of the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. For the past few years these have been held at The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse. The National Finals feature the best bands at each level from each of the eight regional competitions held around Britain.
During the weekend we loaned our band room facilities to several of the bands competing at the Finals and showed them true Tewkesbury hospitality with band members and friends present at all times to provide our visitors with assistance and refreshments in the form of cakes, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Over the weekend we played host to St David's Brass, Knottingley Silver, East Riding of Yorkshire Band, Foss Dyke Band, Menai Bridge Band and Llwydcoed .
Sunday afternoon also saw the Band lead the annual Tewkesbury Civic Parade containing many of the uniformed Tewkesbury based organisations down the High Street and along Church Street to the Abbey for the Civic Service.
Birthday Celebrations for The Roses Theatre and the Band
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
Sunday 14th September
To mark the fortieth birthdays of both the Roses Theatre and the Band it was decided to hold a concert to raise money for the Roses Theatre Trust and the Band's current charities Josie's Dragonfly Trust and CLIC Sargeant. A large enthusiastic matinee audience were treated to a selection of music from our summer tour to Ireland, the 1970's and the war years.
We opened with 'Oh! Listen to the Band' before playing 'Light Cavalry Overture', 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans' and 'Carrickfergus' from our Irish tour concert programmes. This was followed by the first of two items from our guest soloist for the concert, Will Norman who began his playing career with the band several years ago. He played a spellbinding version of 'My Love is Like a Red Red Rose' from memory.
We then moved onto music from the Seventies starting with 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown' followed by Cat Stevens version of 'Morning Has Broken'. Another of our Training Band prodigies Linda Lee then stood to play her debut solo with the band being a lovely controlled rendition of 'I Don't Know How to Love Him' before we rounded the first half of the concert off with 'The Golden Sounds of Abba'.
The second half opened with growling basses imitating the 'Dambusters' before swirling the audience across the dance floor in an 'Anniversary Waltz'. We then played 'Bring Me Sunshine' as a tribute to Eric Morcambe who sadly died on the Roses Theatre stage many years ago. Will Norman then stood to play his second solo of the day in the form of a sparkling 'Buster Strikes Back'. After that we played 'Rock Around the Croc' before principal cornet stood at the back of the theatre to open 'Mood Indigo'. The concert was rounded off with a good audience sing-a-long to tunes from the war years in 'Communityland' and 'Keep Smiling Through'. The enthusiastic audience then begged for an encore which we gave them in the form of 'Birthday Honours'.
A big thank you to the Roses Theatre for the cake and tea during the interval and all who attended our party. Hopefully we raised a good amount for the charities.
Ashton under Hill Village Fete
Ashton under Hill
Saturday 6th September
The first weekend of September saw the turn of the Training Band to enjoy the sunshine and spend the afternoon entertaining the fete-goers at a village fete. This time it was the biennial Ashton under Hill fete which is a fantastic traditional village fete with a produce show and competition, sports events such as sack race and tug of wars, good stalls and of course great musical entertainment!
The Training Band played two half hour programmes that included a wide selection of music from their summer programme including 'The Big Parade', 'Spitfire', 'Ratatouille Selection', 'You've Got A Friend in Me' from Toy Story and many more.
|Saturday 6th||Ashton under Hill Fete - Training Band|
|Sunday 14th||40th Birthday Concert (Band and Theatre), Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [3pm matinee]|
|Sunday 21st||Tewkesbury Civic Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [2:15pm]|
|Saturday 27th||Cabaret Evening - Training Band [6pm]|
Kemerton Village Fete
Saturday 30th August
The Band enjoyed a fun afternoon entertaining the fete-goers at Kemerton Village fete on the afternoon of Saturday 30th August. We played a selection of light music and popular tunes from our summer programme that had the listeners tapping their feet as they looked around the stalls to find a bargain and some quality homemade food.
We gathered a good audience on the hay bales that had been placed for people to sit and listen. There was also a host of budding young conductors for the band meaning that we played two pieces to accommodate them all.
In between our playing we had time to enjoy a stroll around the fete and enjoy a snack or two!
A Blustery Day at Stroud
Stratford Park, Stroud
Sunday 10th August
In direct contrast to the previous week in Malvern the wild Atlantic weather had arrived for our bandstand concert in Stroud. So in cold damp blustery conditions we gave a concert for the hardy souls of Gloucestershire. The lead up to our performance had seen heavy rain but we got the gap between rain storms to be able to play to an elite audience of friends, family and passers-by.
We opened the afternoon's concert with the march 'Oh! Listen to the Band' before inviting the audience to dance and sing-a-long to a selection of tunes from the popular musical 'The Sound of Music' in order to warm themselves up. Keeping to a bright sunny theme we played the upbeat 'Cranberry Corners' and the fun cornet trio 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans'. A little Spanish sunshine brought a little brightness to the sky as the whole section joined them to play 'Spanish Eyes' before we took a trip back to Ireland with 'Carrickfergus'. The Band brought our first half to a close with Holst's 'Fantasia on the Dargason'.
The second half was opened with the bright 'Florentiner March' before we warmed the audience up with some dancing to the 'Golden Sound of Abba'. Clive Miles then stood up against the wind to give a great rendition of the popular tune 'Demelza'. The Band invited the audience to take 'A Stroll in the Park' before marching them down Broadway to the sound of 'Seventy-Six Trombones'. The Band then treated the audience to a little classical interlude as we played Dan Price's 'An Elgar Portrait'. An original piece composed by Dan Price using the styles of Edward Elgar from several of his famous works as the starting point to describe three locations that Elgar visited: Hollybush Hill, Broadheath and Worcester Cathedral. The Band rounded the afternoon concert off by a final attempt to warm the audience with the ever increasing swirling tempo of 'Klezmer Karnival'.
Hopefully the band gave a good concert from our current selection of music which brightened up the day for those who were lucky enough to hear us!
A Wonderful Concert in Memory of Becky Wilmot
St John's Church, Churchdown
Friday 8th August
The Band held an amazing concert on the evening of Friday 8th August in memory of Becky Wilmot, our teenage percussionist who sadly died of cancer in May this year. St John's Church in Churchdown was packed with an audience and band made up of Becky's family and friends to experience an concert full of emotion and great playing.
The concert featured a selection of Becky's favourite pieces and those of her family. There was some inspiring and lovely playing by Becky's young friends with her boyfriend Will Norman joining with Harry Williams to play a gorgeous rendition of Pie Jesu. Will also played Concerto d'Aranjuez beautifully in his warm mellow style that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The young members of the band also stood to play a special arrangement of Danny Boy as a tribute to Becky.
The highlight of the concert was the special piece 'A Peaceful Moment' written by Will and Becky's good friend Jonathan Bates in her memory. A beautiful piece that will prove a wonderful enduring tribute to Becky.
Becky's friend Lucy Whittaker sat at the piano and sang three beautiful songs for Becky. Two were her own compositions 'Hard' and 'I Love You', the other being a Justin Bieber song. It was a delight to listen to a talented singer/pianist and we will watch out for her in the future.
The concert ended with a standing ovation and a collection was held for CLIC and Josie's Dragonfly Trust. It was a pleasure to be part of such a great tribute concert. Over a £1,000 was raised to be split between the two charities.
The programme for the concert was:
A Brand New Day - Alan Fernie
Light Cavalry - F. von Suppe arr. J A Greenwood
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Creamer/Layton arr. Stephen Roberts [featuring Helen Walters, Daniel Hart and David Greenaway]
Pie Jesu - Andrew Lloyd Webber [featuring Will Norman and Harry Williams]
The Essential Joseph - Andrew Lloyd Webber arr. Ray Steadman-Allen
A Peaceful Moment - Jonathan Bates
I Will Follow Him - Stole,Del Roma,Gimbel & Altman arr. Jan van Kraeydonck
Florentiner March - Fucik arr. Barsotti
Demelza - Hugh Nash [featuring Jonathan Bates]
Lucy Whittaker sang three songs: Hard - Lucy Whittaker, Be Alright - Justin Bieber song, I Love You - Lucy Whittaker
Concerto d’Aranjuez - Rodrigo arr. Kevin Bolton [featuring Will Norman]
A Stroll in the Park - Philip Sparke
Danny Boy - trad arr. Harry Williams [featuring Harry Williams, Will Norman, Grace Windsor, Lucy Windsor, Hannah Benbow, Hannah Norman, Michael Blake, Matthew Lee]
The Sound of Music - Richard Rodgers arr. Naohiro Iwai
Klezmer Karnival - Philip Sparke.
Remembering the Fallen
The Cross, Tewkesbury
Monday 4th August
Monday morning saw principal cornet, Helen Walters, back on duty as she played the Last Post at The Cross for the second time in two days to mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War 1. Due to work and school there were less people present for this ceremony than the day before but the traffic and pedestrians present observed two minutes silence.
Photo courtesy of Andrewparker photos via the Tewkesbury WW1 Commemoration Facebook page. More photos from the weekend can be found there.
A Sunny Sunday Afternoon at Malvern
Priory Park, Malvern
Sunday 3rd August
A warm sunny afternoon brought out a large audience for our bandstand concert in Priory Park, Malvern. A good finish to what has been a wonderful week of banding in Wales, Ireland, Tewkesbury and Malvern. Following our tour programme we opened the afternoon's concert with the march 'Oh! Listen to the Band' before moving on to Suppe's 'Light Cavalry Overture'.
A short excursion to the USA followed via 'Cranberry Corners' to 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans' featuring our fun and enthusiastic cornet trio of Helen Walters, Dan Hart and David Greenaway. The whole section joined them to give a lively rendition of 'Spanish Eyes' before two of our young players, Hannah Norman and Daniel Hart, were once again outstanding as they were featured during the playing of 'Carrickfergus'. The Band then featured a local composer's work in Holst's 'Fantasia on the Dargason' before moving overseas again to mark the 40th anniversary of Abba's Eurovision win with the 'Golden Sound of Abba'.
The second half was opened with the bright 'Florentiner
March' before we took a trip to the
musicals with a selection of tunes from the popular show 'My
Fair Lady'. The mood was then
reflective as the Band played Jonny Bates tribute to Becky Wilmot, the
beautiful 'A Peaceful Moment'.
Clive Miles then stood to liven things back up with his horn solo rendition of the popular tune 'Demelza'. The Band then paid tribute to one of Malvern's most famous composing sons, Edward Elgar, as we played Dan Price's 'An Elgar Portrait'. An original piece composed by Dan Price using the styles of Elgar from several of his famous works as the starting point to describe three locations that Elgar visited: Hollybush Hill, Broadheath and Worcester Cathedral.
The Band then played 'Birthday Honours' to mark its and anyone in the audience's birthdays before inviting the audience to dance their way home with the ever increasing tempo of 'Klezmer Karnival'. As is traditional here in Malvern the Band rounded off its afternoon concert with a rendition of the National Anthem.
A big Thank You to those who helped us out at the end of what has been a very busy week for the Band.
WW1 Commemoration Weekend Parade
High Street to The Cross, Tewkesbury
Sunday 3rd August
The morning of Sunday 3rd August saw the Band lead a parade down Tewkesbury High Street to The Cross as part of the Town's weekend of commemorative events to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War. The parade included members from all of Tewkesbury's uniformed organisations and made its way to The Cross for a short act of remembrance.
A large crowd had gathered to watch the parade and be part of the commemoration at The Cross. It was quite apt that the march '1914' includes 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' given our recent return from tour to Ireland and Tipperary in particular.
The Gloucestershire Echo article about the weekend can be found here:
|Sunday 3rd||Tewkesbury WW1 Commemorative Weekend Parade, Tewkesbury [10:15am]|
|Sunday 3rd||Malvern Bandstand [2:30pm]|
|Monday 4th||Last Post to mark 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1, Tewkesbury [11am]|
|Friday 8th||Becky Wilmot Memorial Concert, St John's Church, Churchdown [7:30pm]|
|Sunday 10th||Stroud Bandstand [2:30pm]|
|Saturday 30th||Kemerton Village Fete [1pm]|
A Fantastic Musical Tour to Ireland via Bangor
Saturday 26th July to Friday 1st August
Concert on the Belgian Promenade
Concert to mark the 100th Anniversary of The Belgian Promenade
The Belgian Promenade, Bangor
Saturday 26th July
It was an early start on the morning of Saturday 26th July as the band members gathered at Tewkesbury School to catch the coach and depart on our week tour to Ireland. Sadly we were missing Soprano Cornet Kev Bennett due to him being unable to get time off work and Bb Bass Dave Dron due to health issues. Both were missed but we kept our promise and had a Guinness (or two) for them.
After several hours of travelling we arrived at the place with the lengthy and unpronounceable name for an Englishman (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch). There we were treated to excellent service by the Glan Menai chip shop who served us quickly which was essential since due to traffic we were running late and had to rapidly consume our lunch and change into uniform ready for our concert with the Menai Bridge Band at 2pm on the Belgian Promenade.
The Menai Bridge started the proceedings by playing a short concert of their own following various speeches by local dignatories. Once they had completed their set we gave a half hour concert including the pieces 'Oh! Listen to the Band', 'Way Down Yonder', 'Spanish Eyes', 'Carrickfergus' and 'Klezmer Karnival' before joining with the Menai Bridge band to finish the afternoon concert with a rousing rendition of the march 'Slaidburn'.
We were treated to a very warm welcome by the Menai Bridge Band and after we had checked into the Travelodge our day was rounded off with an enjoyable social evening at Bangor football club where they put on a delicious buffet and a challenging quiz.
Thank you to all who helped organised the day's events for us and to Menai Bridge Band for making us so welcome.
Aherlow Lodge Hotel and Cahir Castle
Sunday 27th & Monday 28th July
It was another early start on Sunday as we once again climbed aboard the coach for the trip to Holyhead to catch the ferry across to Ireland. After breakfast on the ferry and a couple of hours exploring the delights it had to offer it was back onto the coach for the long trip to Tipperary through the beautiful Irish countryside.
We eventually arrived at the Aherlow Lodge Hotel just outside Tipperary where we were spending the next three nights in the lodges there. Once we were unpacked and a quick shopping trip for essentials from the supermarket completed it was time to enjoy the barbeque and music on the terrace at the hotel where fans of the Tipperary Hurling team were celebrating a cup match win over Dublin.
It was also time to sample a little of the special black drink that Ireland is famous for, Guinness!
Monday morning saw the band travel to Cahir to
visit the castle for some sightseeing and to play our first concert in
Ireland. When we arrived and set up the kit in the castle there were
very few people around but the setting was great. However after we had
spent some time exploring the castle and looking at the various exhibits
several coachloads of people had arrived and as soon as we started
playing a healthy and relatively enthusiastic audience gathered to
We opened with the 'Oh! Listen to the Band' and followed it with the 'Light Cavalry Overture' which was fitting given the venue. The mood was then lightened as we played 'Cranberry Corners' and the cornets were featured in 'Way Down Yonder' and 'Spanish Eyes'. Our young players were featured in 'Carrickfergus' before we rounded off the first half of our concert with the 'Second Suite in F Major'.
The second half commenced with 'Florentiner March' before we took the audience to the musicals with 'My Fair Lady'. Clive Miles then played the horn solo 'An Untold Story' before Helen Walters took the lead in 'Mood Indigo'. The trombones then shone in 'Seventy-Six Trombones' before we gave the audience a little pop music with the 'Golden Sound of Abba'. Our concert finished with 'A Klezmer Karnival'. The band then had time for lunch in Cahir before we travelled to Cashel.
A Tour of Cashel Castle & Concert at Aherlow Lodge Hotel
Monday 28th July
A short coach ride took us to another beautiful Irish castle on a peak overlooking the town of Cashel. The band were taken on an hour long guided tour of the castle by Seamus who provided an informative insight into the history of the building and its location.
We then got a little time to enjoy an ice cream and a wander around the castle and the town before heading back to the hotel for our evening meal. The hotel's service for our meal was slightly Fawlty Towers in delivery and despite having booked our meal for 5:30pm we still hadn't received our main courses by 7:30pm meaning that our concert on the terrace at the hotel for the hotel residents and the members of CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band had to be delayed until 8pm.
We opened our concert in similar fashion to our concert at Cahir Castle with the march 'Oh! Listen to the band' followed by an alternative take on the 'Light Cavalry Overture' featuring 3 year old Christopher Walters as a triangle soloist!
Once the cornet trio of Helen Walters, Daniel Hart and David Greenaway had wowed the audience with their fun trio 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans' and the cornet section had played a slick rendition of 'Spanish Eyes' our hosts from CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band were then invited to select pieces for us to play from the collection of music that we had taken to Ireland with us.
So as Clive Miles gave his fantastic rendition of 'An Untold Story' they looked through the list and selected 'Rock Around the Croc' and 'Carrickfergus' as the first pieces they would like to hear us play. Our stand in soprano cornet, Harry Sargeant, was then put to test as they selected 'Floral Dance' for us to play before Helen Walters demonstrated how to pull off a solo whilst being hassled by a toddler as we played 'Mood Indigo'. During the concert our conductor, Nigel Morgan, also had his first invite to be part of a selfie featuring the bride who had had her reception at the hotel on Saturday. We then rounded our concert off with 'Mambo no.5', 'Golden Sound of Abba' and 'Klezmer Karnival'.
A Trip to Cork and Musical Fun at the Fota Wildlife Park
Tuesday 29th July
Our day started with a brief encounter with what we are led to believe is typical Irish weather as we encountered a brief shower. However by the time we had arrived in Cork it had cleared up and we had a short time to do a little sightseeing of the city before jumping back onto the coach to travel to the nearby Fota Wildlife Park where we spent a fun afternoon entertaining a large crowd of animals and their observers...many disguised as tigers since it was International Tiger Day!
We played the first half of our concert in the children's activity tent with a programme including a selection of light items: 'Florentiner March', 'My Fair Lady', 'Way Down Yonder', 'Spanish Eyes', 'Mood Indigo', 'Carrickfergus' and 'Klezmer Karnival'. Helen Walters made sure she explored the tent to its full extent as she played her solo part in 'Mood Indigo'.
We moved outside for our second programme where an enthusiastic audience gathered to enjoy the music. We played 'Seventy-Six Trombones', 'Rock Around the Croc', 'Blueberry Hill', 'Is this the way to Amarillo', 'YMCA', 'Disney Matter' and the 'Golden Sound of Abba'. A video of Nigel's dancing in 'YMCA' can be found here.
A Warm Welcome and a Mass for Deceased Players at the CJ Kickham Band
Tuesday 29th July
Our last evening in Tipperary saw the CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band give us a very warm welcome to their bandroom where they fed us well.
We then joined with them for their Annual Mass to remember deceased bandsmen filling their band hall to the brim with players. The service was preceded by the playing of the march 'True and Trusty' before we played several hymns for the service. The service also included the playing of 'A Peaceful Moment', a special piece written for us in memory of Becky Wilmot.
After the service there was tea and biscuits before members of both bands adjourned to a local hostelry! The added excitement of the evening being our coach breaking down so we had to catch a minibus back to the Lodges.
A big Thank You to all at CJ Kickham band for organising things for us and making us so welcome on our visit!
Back to Dublin for Guinness and The Old Storehouse
Wednesday 30th July
Luckily our coach was fixed by Wednesday morning so we could make our way back to Dublin for the remainder of our tour; albeit I can think of worse places to be stranded! After a morning on the coach we were dropped at the Guinness Storehouse for an interactive afternoon exploring the taste and history of Ireland's most famous drink, Guinness. There was something to keep everyone occupied and some great views from the bar at the top of the tower.
After our afternoon at the Guinness Storehouse we went to University College Dublin to check into our accommodation for the next two nights; excellent out of term student accommodation with a delicious breakfast!
Once we were checked in and refreshed it was time to make our way back into the centre of Dublin for our evening meal and entertainment. We had booked a meal at The Old Storehouse in Temple Bar and our party was seated directly in front of the stage where two Irish musicians were sat playing song requests on their guitars. The food and service were excellent as was the entertainment making for a great evening for all.
A Sunny Afternoon on the Bandstand in St Stephen's Green
Thursday 31st July
After a morning exploration of the Botanical Gardens the band arrived at the pretty St Stephen's Green in Dublin to give a concert on the bandstand there to the people enjoying their lunch in the park. We were joined by several members of our hosts in Dublin, the Stedfast Band, including a 90 year old trombonist!
We opened our concert with the 'Florentiner March' before the traditional overture in Suppe's 'Light Cavalry Overture'. The humour was then added as our trio of cornets played their party piece 'Way Down Yonder' before being joined by the whole cornet section to be featured in 'Spanish Eyes'
Clive Miles then played the horn solo 'Demelza' before we played the aptly named 'Stroll in the Park'. We then played a little traditional English music in the form of Holst's 'Fantasia on the Dargason' before featuring our young soloists in 'Carrickfergus'. There was a romp through 'Seventy-Six Trombones' before the concert was rounded off with the 'Golden Sound of Abba' and 'Klezmer Karnival'.
Open Rehearsal with Stedfast Band at the Freemasons Lodge
Thursday 31st July
After some free time in the afternoon we all gathered at the Freemasons Lodge in Dublin where we were given a very interesting tour of the building with a little of the history of the freemasons and our surroundings being explained to us.
We were then joined by the Stedfast Band in these grand surroundings for our last performance of the tour. We enjoyed a good rehearsal/concert with the Stedfast Band playing a selection of pieces from both of our music folders. The rehearsal started with the march 'Barnard Castle' and an arrangement of Barry Manilow's 'Copa Cobana' from the Stedfast pads. We then played 'Stroll in the Park', 'Way Down Yonder' (featuring six cornet soloists) and 'Carrickfergus' from our folders. Next in response to Carrickfergus we played a traditional Irish tune from the Stedfast folders 'Galway Bay' and an arrangement of the latest Bond theme 'Skyfall'. We then played our moving tribute to Becky Wilmot 'A Peaceful Moment' before rounding the rehearsal with 'Spanish Eyes' and a selection of the music from the film 'Brave'. The video of 'A Peaceful Moment' can be found here: http://youtu.be/-kDRMlIb8Yo.
A few of the band then adjourned to the local pub for some further socialising and a few drinks. Friday morning saw us pack the coach for the return journey before spending a few hours sightseeing around Dublin. Just after lunch it was time to catch the coach for the long trip back to Tewkesbury after a fantastic week of music making and meeting new friends. It was great to catch up with old friends Janet & George Brown and make new friends in Roy Taylor, David and Patrick Connolly. We hope to see you all again soon.
St John's Church, Churchdown
Sunday 20th July
On the afternoon of Sunday 20th July a small group from the Band joined with the members of St John's Church in Churchdown for a Seaside Praise service on the lawn outside the church. There was sand and water for the children to play in and a service with a seaside theme. The small group provided the music for the congregation to sing the hymns to and bookended the service with renditions of 'I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside'.
Beer Festival Fever
CAMRA Cotswold Beer Festival, Postlip Hall, Winchcombe
Saturday 19th July
On the afternoon of Saturday 19th July the Band had its usual good time at the Cotswold Beer Festival entertaining the beer connoisseurs and one of the beers on offer was our very own anniversary ale, TTB Gold.
We played our usual mix of light music and arrangements of popular tunes. The wet weather outside meant that there were lots of people inside the barn listening to us and taking in the atmosphere. We even had a lightning storm during one of our sets. The flugel playing of Will Norman in the 'Concerto d'Aranjuez' astounded the audience almost to silence as they all turned to listen.
Our final set included several Proms items and the usual fun with the 'Dambusters' theme where the audience are teased before a full rendition is given. Overall lots of fun and great applause and shouts for encores at the end.
A few videos from the beer festival can be found here:
TTB Gold - The Band's 40th Anniversary Beer is here!
Pubs in Tewkesbury - from 11th July 2014
One of the unusual highlights of the Band's 40th Anniversary celebrations has been the commissioning of a special 4.2% ABV band beer 'TTB Gold' from a local micro-brewery, Popes Brewery, near Worcester. For those who know there beer I am informed that it has been dry hopped with Citra making it a "blooming tasty brew"!
The brewing process took place on Sunday 8th June with several of the Band's members present to witness the malts being mashed, boiled and fermented and to give a hand to add hops, clean equipment and fill and deliver barrels. After several weeks of waiting the beer has arrived and will be appearing in pubs around Tewkesbury this weekend for the public to enjoy and will be available at the Cotswold Beer Festival at Postlip Hall on the weekend of 18th to 20th July. It can be found in the following Tewkesbury pubs: Theoc House, The White Bear, The Royal Hop Pole, The Bell Hotel and The Albion. Pubs in the Tewkesbury area stocking it are: The Cross Keys at Bredon's Hardwick, The Railway Inn at Ripple and The Crown Inn at Kemerton.
So look out for it and enjoy a beer on the Band!
Summer Festival Fun in Pershore
Angel Inn and The Baptist Church, Pershore
Saturday 5th July
On Saturday 5th
July the Band made its annual appearance at the Pershore Midsummer
Festival of Brass as one of the few bands that has played at every
festival since it was first held. It was also the second appearance for
our Training Band which was first invited to take part as part of the
youth festival last year.
The Training Band opened Tewkesbury's involvement in the festival at 10:10am in the marquee at the Angel Inn with Patrick Verheagen's march 'On The Hill' played by the Intermediate Band before the Beginner Band members joined them in the playing of Helen's arrangement of 'Au Clair de la Lune'. It was then time for a little Disney with a medley of tunes from 'Ratatouille'. The Training Band were really putting on an entertaining and well played show setting a high standard for the senior band to live up to!
The Beginner Band joined to play 'Afternoon Cowboy' before the Intermediate Band played the 'Toy Story' theme. The Mayor of Pershore joined in with the clapping and stamping as the Beginner Band played 'If You Are happy and You Know It'. It was time for the Intermediate Band to take us on a trip 'Under The Sea' before the Beginner Band played 'Vino Calapso'. The Band then showed their vocal skills in 'This Little Light' which featured them singing on the repeat of the tune. Finally a fantastically entertaining concert was rounded off with Movement 3 from 'A Western Trilogy'.
Just over an hour later it was the turn
of the Senior Band to appear in the Angel Inn marquee. They opened in
rousing style with the popular 'Florentiner
March' to get the audience tapping their feet before
inviting them to sing-along to a selection of tunes from the musical 'My
In between pieces Nigel told the audience about the Band's 40th Anniversary projects including the tour to Ireland and the band beer TTB Gold. The cornets (Helen Walters, Daniel Hart and David Greenaway) played the fun trio 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans' in their usual relaxed and jovial style before the whole cornet section joined in the fun with Alan Fernie's arrangement of the classic tune 'Spanish Eyes'.
Mellowing the mood, and linking to the Band's trip at the end of the month to Tipperary in Ireland, it was time for two of the young stars in the band to shine (Hannah Norman and Daniel Hart) as they were featured in 'Carrickfergus' arranged by Howard Lorriman.
The Band then concluded its first programme of the day with an invitation to the audience to swirl to the rhythm of Philip Sparke's 'Klezmer Karnival'.
After a drink and some lunch it was time for
the Band's afternoon concert in Pershore Baptist Church. The Band opened
with the invitational march 'Oh! Listen
to the Band' before featuring solo
horn, Clive Miles, in the solo 'Demelza'
by Hugh Nash.
The Band then played a tribute to the music of Edward Elgar written by locally born composer Dan Price to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Elgar's birth, 'An Elgar Portrait'. This suite of three movements features original music inspired by that of Elgar. The first introductory movement 'Hollybush Hill', which is a peak in the Malvern Hills, was inspired by 'Chanson de Matin'. The inspiration behind the second movement 'Broadheath', the village where Elgar was born, is clearly 'Nimrod' and there is an air of 'Pomp & Circumstance' surrounding the final march movement 'Worcester Cathedral'.
Next it was a trip to America for 'Mid All The Traffic' before a reprise of 'Carrickfergus' to highlight the talents of our youngsters. The short concert was brought to a close with the work of another famous English composer, Holst, as the band took a jaunty trip through his 'Fantasia on the Dargason' from the Second Suite in F.
Kemerton American Themed Concert
Upper Court, Kemerton
Friday 4th July
The Band were engaged to provide music for a couple's anniversary celebrations and were asked to provide an American theme with it being the Fourth of July and there being several American guests. So we opened the concert with 'The Star Spangled Banner' which led into the popular Sousa march 'Liberty Bell'. It was then time to get the guests dancing with a little Glenn Miller music in Denzil Stephens medley 'Miller Magic'. Slowing things down we the played Leonard Ballantine's arrangement of the American folk tune 'Shenandoah' which goes by the title 'Mid All The Traffic'.
The cornets soon
had the guests dancing again as they took an entertaining diversion 'Way
Down Yonder in New Orleans' and the Band kept
the tempo up with 'Blueberry Hill'.
Principal cornet, Helen Walters, then stood up to lead the band in 'Mood Indigo'
to the delight of the guests who were really enjoying themselves whilst tucking
into a delicious smelling buffet! Staying in a similar vein the Band played 'Spanish
Eyes' and 'Cranberry
Corners'. The concert was brought to a close
with a few 'Great Western Themes'
and 'Seventy-Six Trombones'
from the musical 'The Music Man' .
|Friday 4th||Private Concert, Kemerton [7pm]|
|Saturday 5th||Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass [Senior Band: 11:40am Angel Inn & 1:55pm Baptist Church / Training Band: 10.10am Angel Inn ]|
|Saturday 19th||Cotswold Beer Festival, Postlip Hall [11:30am-3pm]|
|Sunday 20th||Seaside Service, St John's Church, Churchdown [7:30pm]|
|Saturday 26th July to
Friday 1st August
|Band Tour to Ireland|
|Saturday 26th - Concert on the Belgian Promenade with Menai Bridge Band [2pm]|
|Monday 28th - Concert at Cahir Castle [11am]|
|Monday 28th - Concert at Aherlow Lodge Hotel [8pm]|
|Tuesday 29th - Concert at Fota Wildlife Park [1pm]|
|Tuesday 29th - Mass for Deceased Band Members, CJ Kickham Band Hall [7:30pm]|
|Thursday 31st - Concert at St Stephen's Green Bandstand [1pm]|
|Thursday 31st - Concert at Dublin Freemasons Hall (with Stedfast Band) [7pm]|
Anniversary Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey Grounds
Abbey Lawns, Tewkesbury Abbey
Sunday 22nd June
As part of the Band's 40th Anniversary celebrations we held a free summer evening concert on the Abbey Lawns at Tewkesbury Abbey. The weather was definitely with us and it was a perfect summers evening for a picnic listening to good music. This attracted a large audience to listen to us and join in our celebrations.
The late arrival of soprano cornet, Kev Bennett led to a quick rearrangement of the programme and the Band opened with the jolly march 'Oh! Listen to the Band' before celebrating another 40th anniversary, that of the Swedish pop group Abba who shot to fame with the song Waterloo at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, with Sandy Smith's medley 'The Golden Sound of Abba'.
After getting the audience dancing it was time to slow the mood and introduce our first soloist of the evening in Clive Miles on horn to play beautifully the solo 'Demelza' .
This was followed by the fun cornet trio
'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans'
featuring Helen Walters, Daniel Hart and Rebecca Marshall who proved to
be a fantastic substitute for the usual third player who was on holiday.
They entertained with their playing and their antics involving the
playing of a triangle, car horn and duck whistle. Slowing things down
again the Band then played an arrangement by Howard Lorriman of the
beautiful Irish melody 'Carrickfergus'
giving Hannah Norman on euphonium and Daniel Hart on cornet the
opportunity to shine with their playing of the melody at various points
in the piece.
It was then time for our young drummer to shine as we took the audience on a journey by one of the fastest steam trains built, engine number 4468 known by the name Mallard, in Dan Price's evocative and descriptive 'Blue Thunder'. The first half was brought to a conclusion with a whirl through the traditional klezmer music in Philip Sparke's 'Klezmer Karnival'.
After a short interval the Band opened the second half of the concert with the popular 'Florentiner March' before taking the audience to the musicals with Alan Fernie's selection of tunes from 'My Fair Lady'.
This had the
audience singing along to the well known tunes. Our soprano cornet, Kev
Bennett, was then featured in an arrangement of Ennio Morricone's
atmospheric 'Once Upon A Time in the
West'. The whole cornet section then
had the audience swaying as they played 'Spanish
Eyes'. After that it was time for one
of the band members favourite pieces 'Stroll
in the Park' which our conductor took
literally and went for a wander around the audience bringing back his
grandson to assist with the conducting!
It was then time for a little classical music in the form of Holst's 'Fantasia on the Dargason' from his Second Suite in F before the concert was rounded off with the flag waving magic of the last night of the Proms as the band played 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs'.
All that was left to do was for the Band to play 'Happy Birthday' for the audience to sing along to. A great outdoor celebration to mark our 40th Anniversary. A big thank you to Debbie and Shona McDougal, Paul McLaughlin and Laurence Atkinson for helping us out. Here's hoping the rest of our anniversary celebrations are as successful.
John Moore School Fete
John Moore School, Tewkesbury
Saturday 21st June
The great summer weather continued as the Training Band ventured to the John Moore School to provide musical entertainment at their third summer fete in as many weeks.
The Training Band once again entertained with their wide selection of light music from their opening march 'The Big Parade', a short walk of '500 Miles' to see the 'Castles of Scotland'. These were supplemented by music from Disney animated films 'Ratatouille', Toy Story - 'You've Got A Friend in Me' and The Little Mermaid 'Under the Sea'. The second appearance of the Training Band involved the members of the Beginner Band and featured many of their tunes.
Concert for the Trefoil Guild
Thistle Hotel, Cheltenham
Sunday 15th June
The evening of Sunday 15th June saw the Band provide the headline entertainment at a concert for the Trefoil Guild at the Thistle Hotel in Cheltenham. The Trefoil Guild had been holding their AGM in Cheltenham over the weekend and on Sunday night they were holding a concert at the hotel where many of their members were staying the weekend. Prior to the Band they were treated to a short concert from the Cotswold Male Voice Choir and had two gang shows.
These warmed the audience up perfectly so that they thoroughly enjoyed our programme which included the march 'Oh Listen to the Band', a selection of tunes from 'My Fair Lady' which they happily sang along to, the cornet trio 'Way Down Yonder', 'Carrickfergus' featuring solo spots for two of our young players Hannah Norman and Daniel Hart, and 'Klezmer Karnival' which saw several of the Trefoil Guild ladies dancing! A fun evening for all. A big Thanks to Phil Storer, Kieran Morgan and Will Norman for helping us out.
St Catharine's Church Fete
St Catharine's Church, Gloucester
Saturday 14th June
The Training Band made their annual trip to St Catharine's Church in Gloucester to entertain the jumble sailors and fete-goers attending their annual summer fete.
The band entertained with their wide of music starting with 'The Big Parade', followed by a short trip on a 'Summer Holiday' where they took a swim 'Under The Sea' before visiting a restaurant run by a rat 'Selection from Ratatouille'. There were a few trips to see the 'Castles of Scotland' and several moments shared with good friends 'You've Got A Friend in Me'. They also highlighted their vocal capabilities in an upbeat arrangement of 'This Little Light'.
Another fun summer's afternoon of playing was rounded off with a wander around the stalls and participation in the various fete games to win prizes.
The Wedding Reception of Helen Badham and Steven Ireland, Tithe Barn, Bishop's Cleeve
Saturday 7th June
On Saturday 7th June the Band were delighted that the morning thunderstorms cleared away yesterday to reveal afternoon sunshine for the wedding of Helen Badham to Steven Ireland in Bishop's Cleeve. The Band had been asked to entertain their guests for an hour between the wedding and the reception. We had a great time and played a selection of light music including their special requests of James Bond music and YMCA which apparently had Helen's gran dancing.
Pictures from the wedding (including a few of the band) can be found here:
Bishops Cleeve Summer Street Fair
Sunday 1st June
The Training Band enjoyed good sunny weather for their two half hour concerts to the people enjoying the Bishop's Cleeve "Summer Holiday" themed street fair.
The band played their usual entertaining selection of music including original brass band music, such as 'The Big Parade' by Alan Robinson and movements from the 'Castles of Scotland' by James Pendleton, and several arrangements of popular tunes and film music ('Ratatouille', 'Under The Sea' and 'You've Got A Friend in Me'). In keeping with the theme of the Fair the band played Cliff Richard's 'Summer Holiday'.
An enjoyable afternoon of playing was rounded off with the obligatory ice cream and wander around the stalls on the street.
|Sunday 1st||Bishop's Cleeve Street Fair [1pm] - Training Band|
|Saturday 7th||Private Function [Wedding of Helen Badham & Steven Ireland] [3pm]|
|Saturday 14th||St Catharine's Church Fete, Gloucester - Training Band [1:30pm]|
|Sunday 15th||Trefoil Guild Event [8:30pm]|
|Saturday 21st||John Moore Primary School Summer Fair - Training Band|
|Sunday 22nd||Open Air Concert, outside Tewkesbury Abbey [6pm]|
Training Band Links
Croft Farm Water Park / Tewkesbury Abbey Fete
Saturday 24th to 26th May
The Spring Bank Holiday weekend saw Tewkesbury Town Training Band welcome Golcar Training Band from near Huddersfield in Yorkshire who are led by ex-Tewkesbury Town Band percussionist Pete Strawson. Golcar Training Band were mirroring one of Tewkesbury Town Training Band's favourite annual events by undertaking a weekend band camp and linking up with a friendly band for social activities and concerts.
The weekend began with Tewkesbury Training Band greeting the Golcar Traning Band at Saturday lunchtime after they had made their journey down from Yorkshire. The bands shared a buffet lunch before rehearsing together so that the Musical Directors could choose music that they could play together at the two engagements planned for the weekend. The rehearsals went very well and the specially commissioned t-shirts which had been designed for the weekend were distributed. After the Golcar Training Band members had checked in to their pods at the Croft Farm Water Park the bands met up again in the evening for a skittles match and to share some delicious food prepared by band parents.
On Sunday morning the two bands met up at
the Tewkesbury band room for further rehearsals, but with a difference.
Attending the rehearsals and leading playing masterclasses were two
players from Championship Section bands. The first being Will Norman who
started his career as a cornet player with Tewkesbury Training Band and
who now plays with the world famous Cory Band and the other being Jonny
Bates who plays solo horn with the renowned Black Dyke Band.
The Training Band members really enjoyed the opportunity to be guided in their playing by such high standard brass players. After an afternoon of rounders and various water sports on the Croft Farm Water Park lake the bands enjoyed a fish and chip supper prior to their first joint concert at the Croft Farm Water Park Clubhouse. The concert featured fun pieces such as 'The James Bond Theme', 'Selections from Ratatouille', 'The Muppet Show' and 'Castles of Scotland'. The band had a very appreciative audience and as after an hours concert the audience still wanted more and insisted on an encore, which was a reprise of the 'James Bond Theme' .
The Bank Holiday Monday brought the bands together again along with the Tewkesbury Town senior band for the Tewkesbury Abbey fete which took place in the Abbey grounds with the beautiful Abbey as a backdrop. The Tewkesbury Town senior band performed first, opening with the march 'Oh! Listen to the Band' which was followed by 'The Best of Bond'. The Band had been joined by some members of the Golcar Band and our two high profile banding guests, Will Norman and Jonny Bates. Taking advantage of having such a talented horn player in our midst Jonny was invited to play the solo 'Demelza' which he did beautifully. The Band then played 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' and 'Spanish Eyes' before rounding off their first set with 'The Golden Sound of Abba'.
This was followed by the combined bands of the Golcar and Tewkesbury Training bands playing more from their selection of fun music. The second set from the Tewkesbury senior band included 'Marching Onward', a selection from 'My Fair Lady', 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans', 'Everything I Do', 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'Klezmer Karnival'. The senior band brought their playing to a close by inviting all of the training band members to join with them in the playing of 'Disney Matter'. To close the day the combined training bands performed again with both Will Norman and Jonny Bates taking the baton to lead the band through pieces.
Following the playing at the Abbey Fete the
band members then gathered at one of the Tewkesbury band member’s house
for a final opportunity to socialise with a barbeque before the Golcar
Training Band members returned home to Yorkshire. A fantastic weekend of
fun and music making.
Sad loss of teenage member of the Band Becky Wilmot to Cancer
Thursday 1st May
Following a long fight against a brain tumour one of our young percussionists Becky Wilmot sadly passed away on 1st May.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time. The Band will be holding a concert in her memory later in the year to raise funds for her nominated charities.
Becky's funeral was held at St John's Church in Churchdown on Friday 23rd. It was a beautiful send off to a brave girl with the church packed with her friends and family.
The band played some music before the funeral and during the service her young friends were invited to light candles in memory of her leading to the display shown in the picture to the left.
|Saturday 24th to
|Training Band workshops, concerts and social events with visiting band - Golcar Training Band|
|Monday 26th||Tewkesbury Abbey Fete [11:15am]|
Images of Tewkesbury - Launch & Social
Tewkesbury Town Band Bandroom, Cotteswold Dairy
Sunday 13th April
Following our morning fun in the sun even more exciting things were planned for the evening!
The members of all of the Tewkesbury bands gathered to meet the people who are going to produce our specially commissioned 40th Anniversary musical work 'Images of Tewkesbury Through the Ages'. Composer Peter Meechan had flown in from Canada the previous day to come along, meet the Band and to listen to our various bands play so that he could gain an idea of the standard of playing he would be writing for.
We also met the local Gloucestershire Poet Laureate, Brenda Read-Brown, and the choral co-ordinator, Ben Sawyer. These guests as well as family members were treated to performances of several pieces from our current repertoire. All involved are enthusiastic about the project and are looking forward to creating something special for us. It's all really started now and it's getting exciting.
The article from the Gloucestershire Echo can be found here:
Sunny Palm Sunday
Sunday 13th April
A bright sunny April Palm Sunday morning saw a good turnout from the Band to lead the Abbey worshippers in the singing of the first hymn as they paraded from the vicarage grounds to the Abbey. Sadly there was no donkey this year due to the owner being ill so there was nothing for the noisy band to scare!
After several gospel readings the Band then led the singing of 'Sing Hosanna' as the worshippers processed into the Abbey for the remainder of the service. Today's parade saw the first march for Helen & my son (at the age of just under three!) as he insisted on being part of it and proceeded to join in with random notes on Helen's pocket trumpet.
Tewkesbury Town Band AGM
Tewkesbury Town Hall - Wednesday 2nd April 7pm
On Wednesday 2nd April the Band held its annual AGM in Tewkesbury Town Hall. As usual the evening's proceedings commenced with a short pre AGM concert by our Training Band to the Town Mayor, band members, family and friends.
The Intermediate Band opened the concert without their conductor as they performed 'Big Parade'. Their musical director, Helen Walters, then took charge to lead the Beginner Band in a rendition of 'Afternoon Cowboy'. Rebecca Marshall then stood to play the opening and closing solo moments to Peter Meechan's haunting Brass Band Aid piece 'Hymn For Africa'. The Beginner Band then took us on a brief ride on the 'Pony Parade'. This was followed by a short selection from the Disney animation 'Ratatouille' from the Intermediate Band followed by the Beginner Band taking us through their 'First Tune'. The Intermediate Band took us on a steam powered journey as they played the theme to 'Thomas the Tank Engine' before both bands brought the concert to a close with Helen's arrangement of 'Au Clair de la Lune'.
After a welcome by the Chairman the
proceedings of the meeting were handed over to the President of the
Band, the current Town Mayor, Councillor Christine Danter. A short formal meeting
outlined the Officer's reports and band accounts prior to the election
of committee members for the year ahead.
Committee members, players and supporters were thanked for every part they play within the Tewkesbury Town Band family. It is everyone working together that makes the Band such a success.
Pete Hart, Derinda Wildman,
Martin Cullwick, Jenny Norman
|Wednesday 2nd||AGM - including Training Band Concert 7pm, Tewkesbury Town Hall|
|Sunday 13th||Palm Sunday Parade, Tewkesbury Abbey [9:15am]|
|Sunday 13th||Rehearsal/Social to meet Peter Meechan and Brenda Read-Brown, The Bandroom [All Bands - 5pm]|
Spanish Impressions in Torquay
West of England Regional Contest, Torquay Riviera Centre
Friday 7th to 9th March
After several weeks of intensive rehearsal of Alan Fernie's test piece 'Three Spanish Impressions' the Band was glad to be making the 140 mile trip to Torquay to perform it for two adjudicators, Derek Broadbent and Mike Kilroy, at the West of England Fourth Section Regional Contest. If only for the fact that after the weekend we wouldn't have to play the piece again for a while.
We set off on Friday evening and enjoyed a smooth journey to the Cavendish Hotel just round the corner from the Riviera Centre in Torquay arriving just after 9pm. We had a quick rehearsal to keep our minds focused before enjoying a cold buffet supper.
Saturday morning quite fittingly saw some wonderful sunny weather to accompany the playing of a Spanish inspired test piece.
It was quite a long wait until our final performance of the piece since we were in the second half of the draw and we were drawn to give the 17th performance out of 21 on the day. In the morning we had another rehearsal of the piece before enjoying a few hours of relaxation on the beach or around the town of Torquay.
At around 4:30pm we entered the sports hall to give our performance of Three Spanish Impressions with the aim of attracting the attention of the adjudicators and stand out from the rest for all the right reasons. We played well with a sultry moody first movement (based on a phrase from Miles Davis' piece 'Solea') capturing the intensity of the Spanish heat, a delicate and hesitant waltz based second movement and a fandango based third movement with a real feel of Bizet's Carmen to it. Being close to the end we didn't have long to wait for the results; we were pleased to be placed 8th in such a large field and that result leaves us well placed to target promotion next year.
After the contest the band members enjoyed an evening meal at the hotel followed by a drink or two and a nice walk along the Torquay promenade. Sunday saw more of the same before we returned up the motorway to Tewkesbury.
|Friday 7th to
|West of England Regional Contest, Riviera Centre, Torquay - Test Piece: Three Spanish Impressions by Alan Fernie [Contest on Saturday afternoon]|
Tewkesbury Winter Ale's Festival
Saturday 8th February
The first concert engagement of 2014 for the Senior Band was our annual Saturday lunch time appearance at the Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival in the Watson Hall on February 8th. As usual we performed an entertaining programme of light sing-along music for an hour prior to a big screen showing of the days Six Nations Rugby matches. So the festival attendees were treated to a selection of tunes such as Dam Busters, The Lone Ar-Ranger, Demelza and Land of Hope & Glory plus other lively pieces went down well while the festival goers enjoyed the ales on offer....leading to cheers and calls for three encores!
|Saturday 8th||Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival [12:45pm - 2pm]|
40th Anniversary Music
Commission: Images of Tewkesbury Through the Ages
2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of Tewkesbury Town Band. To mark this milestone in our history and the recent passing of the Band’s founder (Miles Amherst) we have successfully submitted a grant application to Arts Council England [ACE] for £10,000 towards the commissioning of a significant piece of music that captures the history of our beautiful town through the ages and which utilises several other musical and community figures, especially school choirs (since Miles also founded the Abbey Choir School). In essence a piece that shows how proud the Band is to be an important part of our town and its community.
The piece is to be written by composer Peter Meechan for brass band, narrator (the town’s fabulous Town Crier), local school and community choirs. The choirs who have expressed an interest in being involved with this project are Queen Margaret's Primary School, Tirlebrook Primary School, Mitton Manor School, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury High School Voices and Tewkesbury Abbey Choir. The music will be based on events in Tewkesbury’s history and the words will be from Brenda Read-Brown [Gloucestershire Poet Laureate 2012/13].
The premiere of this new work will be at a special concert in Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday 25th October; so mark this date in your diary!
This is an exciting initiative for the
Band and will hopefully be a fantastic community event. However, in
order to receive the ACE grant we need to demonstrate that we have also
raised some £3,000 of partnership funding as soon as possible.
Accordingly, we would like to invite you to consider assisting us to
make it happen by pledging whatever financial support you can towards
it. The Band will of course ensure all donors are suitably recognised
and each donor contributing £100 or more to the project will also be
offered two complimentary tickets to the concert on 25 October 2014. To
date we have raised just over £1,000 towards our target thanks to very
generous donations from some local businesses, communities and
individuals. We would like to thank the following for their donations:
Joedan Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Rifina Electrical Distributors Ltd, Moog
Controls Ltd, Alderton & Ashchurch Agricultural Discussion Group, Mrs M.
Churchill, Mr Crook, Mr J. Brown, Mr K. Rose, Pilford Consulting and
If you are able to make a contribution towards our target, however large or small you may think it is, we would be very grateful. Please either send us a facebook message, phone us for more details on 1684 291675 or post a cheque made payable to Tewkesbury Town Band to Helen Walters, 17 Abbey Meadow, Stonehills, Tewkesbury. GL20 5FF.
Watch this space for more news about the project soon!
Butlins Fun and the
Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness - Friday 17th to Sunday 19th January
After just over two weeks of fairly intensive practice on Goff Richards' tricky but enjoyable piece 'Three Saints' the Band were thankful that the winter weather though very wet and windy was much better than last year and they were able to make the trip across the country to the Butlins holiday camp at Skegness. In actual fact the journey from Tewkesbury to Skegness was one of the beat we have had over the years and we arrived around 9pm in time for a quick drink and catch up with our banding friends from around the country.
As usual the lower section contests are all held on the Saturday so we were up bright and early to find out where we drawn to play. We were drawn number 9 so we had a fairly leisurely start to the morning before making our way to the warm up tent and registration room at around 10:45am. The Fourth Section was taking place prior to the Championship Section on Centre Stage so we had the opportunity to give our performance on what is the main concert stage.
We took the stage and played an entertaining musical shaped performance of Goff Richards' piece based around the three Cornish Saints: St Petroc, St Breward and St Menefreda. So the piece has moments of jollity, penance, miracle and serene other-worldliness! The soloists around the Band all played their parts well and afterwards the Band and Musical Director were satisfied with the perfomance that we gave.
Inevitably there were those bits that we all wish we could have played as well as we do in the bandroom but that's live performance for you! The Band included 11 people who were making their brass band contest debuts and included 14 members who have progressed into the Senior Band from our Training Band system which is something to be very proud of. The latest promotions being Derinda Wildman on Eb Bass, Rebecca Marshall and Emma Keene on cornet, and our kit percussionist Ben Stock.
After a day of fun on the beach, in the amusement arcades, the bars or in the swimming pool it was time for the results ceremony in Reds. Sadly our Band's name was not called out as one of the prize winners and when we received our eventual placing we were joint 10th our of 11! So the adjudicators had not enjoyed our performance as much as the other bands taking part in the competition or the banding press who had placed us midway. Sadly, that is the nature of artistic competitions. All in all we were disappointed but there was still plenty of fun to be had before the weekend was over....so here's to a better result in March at Torquay!
|Friday 17th to
|Butlins Mineworkers Open Brass Band Festival, Butlins, Skegness - Test Piece: Three Saints by Goff Richards|
For all the news and reviews from previous years click on the links below:
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