2010 Test Piece News

The Band is taking part in two major contests in 2010. The first is the Butlins contest in January has a new test piece composed for the 2008 Liverpool City of Culture celebrations by Tom Moss. The piece in question is called 'Diamonds' and is based around three historically famous diamonds: Koh-I-Noor (the Moon of Light), Cullinan (the Crown Jewels diamond) and Briolette (the disappearing diamond). Sound clips from the Liverpool celebrations can be found at the website of Tom Moss.

The second is the West of England Regional Contest for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The test piece selected for this contest comes from the other end of the spectrum being one of the first original works written for brass band in 1913 by Percy Fletcher, the tone poem 'Labour and Love'.

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 Fairís 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.


Friday 9th Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]

Musical Chairs
Following the departures of Ollie and Will to pastures new we have had to shuffle the members of our cornet section and create a new front row team. The strength of our Training Band system is once again shown by the fact that we can move Hannah Williams from Repiano cornet to Solo Cornet, move Grace Windsor from Second to Repiano Cornet and promote a long time member of our Training Band, Alex Blencowe to fourth man down on the Solo Cornet bench.


At the same time Will's sister, Hannah, has moved up from the Training Band to have a go in the senior band and has joined our baritone section as assistant to Michael Blake on 2nd Baritone. The eagle-eyed amongst you will also have noticed the addition of Susan Stayt-Mackey to our percussion section during the summer. Susan is a versatile musician who joined us during July and has added an extra dimension to our percussion team.

Will becomes a Flower(pot) man!

After 7 years with Tewkesbury Town Band progressing from our Beginner and Intermediate Bands via various seats in the cornet section of the Senior Band to Assistant Principal Cornet, William Norman sadly leaves the Band to join the local Championship Section brass band, Flowers. William has been a valuable and committed member of the various bands in the Tewkesbury Town band family since 2002 and despite our sadness at his departure it is good to see him move to one of the top bands in Gloucestershire. With this move William gained the opportunity to play at the Championship Section Finals in the Royal Albert Hall where Flowers achieved their best ever finals result.

William was the proud recipient of the Miles Amherst Trophy for the Junior member who made the most progress in 2006 and was awarded the Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year 2008. He has regular featured as a soloist for the Band and made a big impression on our Norwegian visitors in 2006. We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him with the Training Band where he plays percussion!


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.


Flying Tour to Miesbach and the Gmund 'Day of the Brass Bands'
In early September the Band enjoyed a long weekend visiting Tewkesbury's twin borough of Miesbach to attend the Gmund Brass Festival on Sunday 6 September. The instruments, uniform and other essentials were transported to Miesbach in a van by our MD, Nigel Morgan, and our percussionist, Dave Brown. A big Thank You to both for this.


The rest of the Band set off by coach at just before 7am on Friday 4 September to Gatwick where we caught a flight to Munich to be met by our friends from the Twinning Association with a coach to transport us to our hotel in Miesbach. We arrived there at about 5:30pm and had time for a quick freshen up before being taken to Schliersee for our first concert of the weekend at 7pm. Despite being exhausted the band gave a great concert in the leisure complex due to the poor weather outside. A large audience had gathered for this well advertised evening concert and included people from all over Europe. The concert featured many of the items we have been playing during the summer and was exceptionally well received by the audience including a standing ovation at its conclusion. After the concert the Band were treated to the excellent hospitality of the Mayor of Schliersee with a meal including drinks...a perfect end to a long day.

On the Saturday morning the band got up to a delicious breakfast in the hotel before making its way to the town square in Miesbach to give a two hour concert starting at 10am. A large audience of local townsfolk and shoppers gathered to enjoy our performance, this was supplemented by the family of one of our ex-players Donna Lang who now lives and works in Germany. The Band was also pleased to give an impromptu rendition of the 'Bridal March' from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night Dream as a wedding party paraded through the town. After our concert the Band were treated to a fantastic buffet of Bavarian specialties before spending an enjoyable afternoon trip to the historic town of Kufstein just over the border in Austria.
The main purpose of the tour took place on the afternoon of Sunday 6 September when the Band appeared as part of the Gmund Brass Festival. The festival was a typical German festival with long tables, steins of beer and lots of food! There was a large audience gathered and a fantastic stage had been constructed for the event. The event began at approximately 2pm and featured eight German bands playing two pieces, followed by us playing 'Welsh Echoes' by Andrew Duncan and 'Argos' by Raymond Gobbo. This was followed by a momentary reorganisation whilst the members of all the Bands featured in the festival gathered together to play six German marches together, over 200 players joining together for the first time to play music! Luckily it came off and for the popular 'Radetsky March' we were honoured to be conducted by Bob Ross, horn player with the Munich Philharmonic. Following this the Band then gave an hours concert of our British style music before being once again treated to the excellent Bavarian hospitality with an evening meal.
All that was left for us to do on the Monday morning was a little sightseeing in the town of Miesbach and to say goodbye and Thank You to our friends from the Twinning Association who once again made our stay run like clockwork.


Ollie, Ollie, Ollie!

After about a decade the time has come to wish Oliver Moss well on his way to university. Ollie joined the Training Band so long ago we can't even remember when it was! He has been a very committed and valued member of the Training and Senior Band. A founder member of our training band (in its present form), Ollie was also our first representative in the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band when it re-formed in 2005.

Ollie was the proud recipient of the Miles Amherst Trophy for the Junior member who made the most progress during the years 2002 and 2004. He was also awarded the Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year 2006.

We wish Ollie the best of luck at University and hope he turns up to his lectures on time!


Friday 4th to
Monday 7th
Weekend Tour to Germany
Saturday 19th Brize Norton Fun Day - Training Band

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Revised: March 31, 2010