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Christingle Service
Tewkesbury Abbey - 24th December 2009
The final Christmas engagement of 2009 saw the Training Band provide the introductory music to the annual Christingle Service at Tewkesbury Abbey. The Training Band played several carols and Christmas tunes for the half hour prior to the service whilst people were arriving for what is a magical Christmas service, especially when the candles are lit and the lights dimmed for the singing of ‘Away in a Manger’.

Supermarket Carols Part 2!
Morrisons Supermarket, Tewkesbury - 21st December 2009
Members of the Band undertook a marathon 9 hours of carol playing outside the Morrisons Supermarket in Tewkesbury. Once again players took it in turns to ensure there was a presence outside the supermarket throughout the day. Several including myself and Helen managed to cover the full 9 hours. Our efforts raised over £1,000 towards the Band funds. So a big Thank You to all who helped with the playing, collecting or donating!

Training Band Christmas Concert
Watson Hall, Tewkesbury - 20th December 2009
The annual Training Band Christmas Concert took place on the afternoon of Sunday 20th December at the Watson Hall in Tewkesbury. The concert was split into three sections. The first section showcased the talents of the Beginner Band and commenced with the popular children’s TV theme ‘
Bob the Builder’. There was a little audience participation next as they joined in with the actions whilst the band played ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’. Next the band played one of its popular tunes from 2009 ‘Little Acorns’, subtitled ‘mighty oaks grow’ to indicate the future potential of all those playing in the Beginner Band. This section of the concert was then rounded off with another TV theme ‘Batman’.

After a short break whilst the bands changed over and non-alcoholic mulled wine was distributed to the members of the audience, the Intermediate Band took the stage for their part of the concert. Their first piece of the afternoon was the strident opener ‘Starchaser’, this was followed by the jazzy theme tune to the Disney animated film ‘The Aristocats’. The band then moved to the world of popular music with an arrangement of the Oasis hit ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, a piece that surprising for the older members of the Training Band was as much a piece of historic music as the piece by Mussorgsky that followed. That was ‘The Hut on Chicken Legs’ from his ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, a piece which had led to a picture competition for the Training Band members earlier in the year as they were challenged to research the story of Baba Yaga that is behind the music. This section of the concert was rounded off with the fun arrangement of several popular Disney tunes by Scottish composer Alan Fernie entitled ‘Disney Matter’.

Certificates were then awarded to each of the members of the Training Band to mark their membership of the Training Band during 2009. The Ron Caddock Memorial Trophy for the Training Band member of the year as voted by the Band members was awarded to Penny Windsor for all her efforts supporting the various younger members of the band and help organising various events, etc.

The final section of the concert saw the two Bands combine for some festive fun. The Bands opened this section with a medley of popular carols in ‘A Christmas Fantasy’. This was followed by a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the popular Christmas tune ‘Little Donkey’, the composer of which sadly died earlier this month. The tempo was taken upbeat with ‘A Christmas Pop Selection’ featuring ‘Last Christmas’, ‘Do They Know Its Christmas?’ and ‘Happy Christmas, The War is Over’. The audience then joined into sing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Rudolph’ before the concert was rounded off with a little ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.

The concert was followed by a short Christmas party for all the members and families of the Training Band.

Supermarket Carol Playing
Morrisons, Up Hatherley - 19th December 2009
Saturday 19 December saw numerous members of the Band spend several hours outside Morrisons supermarket in Up Hatherley playing Christmas carols to raise funds for the ongoing running costs of the Band and towards the replacement of our Eb and Bb basses. We played carols from 1pm until 6pm and raised £560. Thanks to everyone who helped with the playing, collecting and all who donated.

Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre
Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury - 10th December 2009
On Thursday 10 December the Training Band made its annual appearance at the Alderman Knight School Fayre to enjoy a festive evening raising funds for this special school. We played 40 minute sets of festive music including Christmas carols and various Christmas songs. During each set we accompanied the Alderman Knight School Choir as they sang several of items and brought a Christmas smile to everyone’s faces.

Tewkesbury Town Band Christmas Concerts
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury - 5th & 6th December 2009 at 7:30pm
The Band's annual Christmas concerts were once again sold out for both nights and the capacity audiences were treated to some fantastic festive music and fun. The concerts featured the 69 playing members of the Tewkesbury Town Band family with the choirs of Alderman Knight School (Saturday) and Tewkesbury Church of England Primary School (Sunday).

A record number of 48 brass players then took to the stage as the members of the Tewkesbury Town Band Intermediate and Beginner Training Bands joined together for their short concert. The Beginner Band opened with a rendition of the famous children's classic '
Bob the Builder'! This was followed by the Intermediate Band playing an arrangement of the Oasis song 'Don't Look Back in Anger' by Cameron Mabon. The Beginner Band then gave us a rendition of the 'Batman' theme tune full of kerpow and zap, before the Intermediate Band entertained us with a 'Christmas Pop Selection' featuring 'Last Christmas', 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and 'Merry Christmas the War is Over'.

The Beginner and Intermediate Bands then joined together to play the Christmas carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' before the Intermediate Band brought this section of the concert to a close with a clever arrangement of Disney tunes by Scotsman Alan Fernie entitled 'Disney Matter'.

Certificates for several Grade exam passes were given out to members of the Training Band over the weekend. Our congratulations go out to Amy Williams (Grade One on baritone), Hannah Benbow (Grade Two on euphonium), Matthew Lee (Grade Three on trombone), Emily Brewis (Grade Three on cornet) and Lucy Windsor (Grade Five on tenor horn).

At the end of our concerts retiring collections were held in aid of the Cumbria Flood Appeal, a cause that the people of Tewkesbury can clearly empathise with having suffered a similar fate in 2007 during the summer months. Our thoughts go out to all those inhabitants of Cumbria impacted by the winter flooding there and we hope that they are able to enjoy Christmas despite the problems.

For a write up of the whole concert, please click here!

Lighting Up Christmas!
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November saw over 42 members of the Tewkesbury Town Band family provide musical entertainment for two Christmas lights ceremonies. On the Saturday members of the senior band played carols in Bishop's Cleeve whilst sat on a stage made out of the back of a lorry. As dusk turned into night we played a selection of Christmas carols to warm the gathering crowd awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas to turn on the lights. We were joined by members of the St Michael's Church Choir to lead the audience in the singing.

On Sunday afternoon the Training Band played carols at the Tewkesbury Festival of Lights to entertain the people browsing the various stalls and enjoying the atmosphere of the Christmas market. The crowd gathered towards the end of our playing to be greeted by a snow machine and Father Christmas to turn on the Tewkesbury Christmas lights.

Mop Fair
The Band and many of its Training Band members once again led the evening procession of the Mayor and other dignitaries for the opening of the annual Mop Fair in Tewkesbury on Friday 9th October. The Band led the parade from Gander Lane to the fair at The Cross playing the lively march 'Touchdown' before enjoying an evening at the fair!

For those of you curious as to origins of the name of the Mop Fair here is a little background! The annual Mop Fair dates back to the 12th century and according to the Tewkesbury Fair Society the Mop Fair’s name came about because farm workers, labourers, servants and craftsmen would take along an item to represent their trade to the fair. When the workers had no specific skills they would carry a mop head to signify that they were for free for employment in the hope an employer would spot them in the crowds and give them a job.

Employers would move amongst them discussing experience and terms, once agreement was reached the employer would give the employee a small token of money and the employee would remove the item signifying their trade and wear bright ribbons to indicate they had been hired. They would then spend the token amongst the stalls set up at the fair which would be selling food and drink and offering games to play.

So there you are, the reason we call the annual two day October fair in Tewkesbury the Mop Fair.


Brize Norton Fun Day
On Saturday 19th the Intermediate Training Band were invited to participate in the RAF families fund day at RAF Brize Norton. The Training Band played a short concert of light music from their summer repertoire as a warm up to the main acts for the afternoon. The sun shone and the Training Band were well received by the audience. Our programme concluded just as the Vulcan bomber took off from the nearby runway meaning that it was impossible to hear our big finish and causing just a slight distraction to the players in the band!
The Band and their families then spent an enjoyable afternoon at the event listening to the live pop groups, watching the various fly pasts, enjoying the free inflatable slides and other items. There was also a display by the RAF Falcons and lots of coloured smoke as they parachuted from the sky. The whole day was rounded off with a Proms Concert by the Nottinghamshire Constabulary Concert Band and a firework display.
Dorchester Band Camp
On Friday 7th August the Training Band, plus family and several Senior Band friends, set off on their annual Band Camp. For the third consecutive year Band Camp was taking place at the friendly Lyons Gate campsite near Cerne Abbas. Unlike the past two years where we have suffered wet and windy band camps this year the sun decided to shine and we had some fantastic weather for our bandstand concerts.
On arrival on Friday afternoon we set up camp and enjoyed our usual delicious food from Chris's Kitchen (Chris Poole ably assisted her daughter Helen and Steve Edgar)...a big thank you for the yummy food! During the evening we had an Britain's Got Talent style event where the happy campers were divided into teams and given a collection of odd items from which to create musical instruments and a performance from in half an hour. The results of this exercise were then performed to a panel of harsh judges who selected a winning team.
On Saturday we made our way to Sherborne to perform a lunchtime concert on the bandstand there. This was a bandstand in a pretty park with plenty of people sat on the grass listening to our performance. After the concert we had time to explore the picturesque town of Sherborne before making our way back to the campsite for a short break before travelling down the road to the Hunters Moon Pub for an evening BBQ and short concert there.

On Sunday morning the children of the Training Band undertook the task of planting several young trees for the campsite owner in the woods surrounding the campsite. Each tree was named after members of the Band Camp organising team. On Sunday afternoon we visited the nearby town of Dorchester to give our final concert of the tour on the bandstand in the park. The sun continued to shine attracting a large audience for our concert which was also recorded by the local hospital radio volunteers.


Cabaret Independence in Bredon!
American Independence Day, Saturday 4th July 2009, was the date of the Training Band's annual Cabaret Evening where the members of the Training Band get to showcase their ever-improving talents in an informal concert environment. The pieces played by the Intermediate and Beginner Training Bands included an American theme. The evening commenced with a fantastic marching band style performance of the bright march 'Touchdown' especially choreographed for the occasion by the Training Band Leader, Helen Walters.

This was followed by the first of the solo items from our talented youngsters, Nicole McGillivray took to the stage in Bredon Village Hall dressed as a post-girl to play a fantastic rendition of 'Postman Pat' on her Bb Bass. This was followed by some daredevil antics from Emma Keene as she walked along a rope playing 'The Tightrope Walker' on her cornet from memory without a slip! Next came Thomas Petticrew as a vampire to play a spooky version of 'Dracula's Song' on his trombone.

The Beginner Band then gave a good Country and Western performance of 'Afternoon Cowboy' complete with cowboy hats and checked shirts! Hannah Williams on cornet then gave us a smoky jazz style piece 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' before Thomas Keene dressed in a resplendent pink boa gave us a sparkling version of 'I Feel Pretty'. One of the bands youngest members Amy Williams dressed as an Irish dancer to take us on a trip to hear 'The Galway Piper'.

A trio of players then took the stage in possibly the best costumes of the night (though that's a difficult one to judge!) to play 'Old MacDonald', Linda Lee on flugel was dressed as the farmer with her son Matthew on trombone dressed as a duck and Hannah Benbow on euphonium dressed as a sheep! The first half of the concert was brought to a close with a rock style version of the hymn tune 'Christ the King' featuring a percussion break by our five young percussionists: William Norman, Becky Wilmot, Harry Stephenson, Laura Brewis and Ben Stock.

After a brief refreshments break the Intermediate Band opened the second half of the concert with 'Swingin' USA Style'. Henry Hick then took us to the cartoon world of 'The Flintstones' on his euphonium before Grace Windsor told us to 'Take That Look Off Your Face' with some beautifully warm cornet playing. BA Baracus then took the stage disguised as Matthew Lee to build a fantastic version of 'The A-Team Theme' on his trombone!

Hannah Norman then displayed her great tone on the euphonium as she whisked us off 'Over a Rainbow' to the musicals. Alex Blencowe gave us a Rat Pack feature with a rendition on his cornet of the song 'Aint That a Kick in the Head' before Lucy Windsor and her horn transported us across the Atlantic Ocean to hear a 'Nightingale Sing in Berkley Square'.

The Intermediate and Beginner Bands then combined forces to play a fitting tune entitled 'Little Acorns' hinting at their continued future development into great players. The evening was completed by Jonathan Petticrew giving us his superhero trombone version of the 'Superman' theme and a trio of our adult learners (Linda Lee on flugel, Penny Windsor on baritone and Sue Wilmot on horn) playing a specially arranged piece entitled 'Triotissimo'.

A fantastic evening of fun and music that highlighted the ever increasing depth of talent within the Tewkesbury Town band family.


St Catherine's Church Fete
On the afternoon of Saturday 20th June the Training Band made what has become its annual appearance as entertainment at St Catherine's Church Fete in Gloucester. The Band entertained the fete-goers as they queued to gain entry to the event with a selection of their favourite tunes and then played at two other times during the afternoon for the gathered crowds.

We played some original works for brass band such as James Pendleton's 'Castles of Scotland Suite' as well as a selection of popular tunes arranged for band, 'Grace Kelly', 'Kung Fu Fighting', 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' and 'Scooby Doo'. There was plenty of time for the Training Band members to look around the stalls, eat ice creams and buy plants!


School Fete Fun
On one of the warmest days this summer, Saturday 27 June, the Training Band appeared at the John Moore School Fete playing two half hour programmes of their favourite tunes for an appreciative audience. The Fete was an excellent showcase for the various activities and clubs that children in Tewkesbury and its surrounding area can get involved with to constructively use their energy and enthusiasm. The Training Band also had a stall advertising what we do and providing people with the opportunity to have a go on an instrument. We look forward to meeting some of the many individuals who had a go at our band room where they can begin their participation in a fantastic and fulfilling life of music making.

Training Band Concert, St John's Church, Churchdown
On Friday 22nd May the Training Band gave a concert in St John's Church, Churchdown to raise funds for the continued work of the Training Band and for the Gloucestershire Branch of the Alzheimer's Society. The Concert featured a mixture of items from the Beginner and the Intermediate Training Bands and was well received by the audience.

The Intermediate Band opened with the jolly march 'Touchdown' from the pen of James Pendleton. This was followed by 'Four Spirituals' each preceded by an appropriate bible reading; the four spirituals being 'Dem Bones', 'Amazing Grace', 'Jericho' and 'When The Saints'. The Beginner band then took the stage to show off their skills! Their programme opened with Helen Walters' reflection on last years wet and rainy band camp 'Summer Sunshine'. This was followed by an arrangement of the French traditional tune 'Au CLair de la Lune' by Helen  featuring a wonderful opening gong clash from one of our youngest players, percussionist Ben Stock. Next came one of the Beginner Band favourites 'Mr Jolly' by Gary Young, before we took a trip to the wild west to meet an 'Afternoon Cowboy'. The first half of the concert concluded with the percussionists having fun in the piece 'Soul Mate' from the Beginner Band Book.

After refreshments and the sale of raffle tickets the second half of the concert commenced with Darrol Barry's  'Rocktangle' to wake the audience back up after their snacks. We then returned to the wild west this time to meet a few indians for a tour of their 'Big Wig Wam'. The Intermediate Band then featured several of its members in the easy solo feature from the pen of William Himes 'Muffins Rhapsody' based on the popular beginners tune Hot Cross Buns. The Band then brought things back up to date with a version of the popular Mika tune 'Grace Kelly', an upbeat version of 'This Little Light' and an arrangement of the theme from Kung-Fu Panda 'Kung-Fu Fighting'. The concert was brought to a close with a descriptive suite by James Pendleton 'Castles of Scotland'. This work comprises four movements each based on a different Scottish Castle. The first movement 'Edinburgh Castle' has a military feel to represent the military tattoo, 'Stirling Castle' and 'Rothesay Castle' provide beautiful slow interludes that transport you to the picturesque countryside of the Scottish Borders, before the final movement 'Loch Doon' provided an impression of the historic battles along the Scottish borders.

The audience greeted the end of the concert with rapturous applause and requested an encore so the Intermediate Band played 'Muffins Rhapsody' again.

The successful concert was followed by the Training Band members enjoying a sleepless 'sleepover' in the Church Hall playing games, eating snacks and chatting!

AGM News
On Monday 20th April the Band held its AGM at Tewkesbury Town Hall chaired by the Band's President, Town Mayor Barbara Cromwell.

As has become customary, the evening began with a short concert by the Intermediate and Beginner Training Bands. Both of which gave great performances of some of their current repertoire to an appreciative audience of parents, senior band members and supporters. The Beginner band played Au Clair de la Lune, Afternoon Cowboy and Soul Mate. The Intermediate Band entertained with the upbeat march Touchdown, Amazing Grace, Rocktangle and two of the Castles of Scotland [Stirling and Loch Doon].


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