Silver Award for the Training Band
On Sunday 3 February 2008 the Training Band took part in its first ever contest, the GBBA Entertainment Contest at the Royal Forest of Dean College near Berry Hill. The Training Band drew 5th to play and so had some time to explore the venue and listen to the first band before they had to go and prepare themselves to take the stage.

We opened our performance in sparkling style with Francis Clifford's 'Concert Overture' and there were no obvious nerves, despite several of the adult learners having been nervous before taking to the stage. After that we played three movements from Klas Vleek's 'Real Pop', the opening Yokahama Rock, the mellow Wintertime and the fast and furious Super-Ski.

These were followed by the popular tune 'I Will Follow Him' from the movie Sister Act. After this our two soloists Cameron Purveur and Megan Taylor stood up and switched their trombones for hosaphones to show off their skills with the novelty piece 'One Note Bugler'! After that we performed the tricky 'Indian Rondo' by Hummel before moving onto one of the favourite pieces from 2007, the effervescent 'Schnappi, Das Kleine Krokodil'. To close we returned to the classical world with an upbeat arrangement of Bach's 'Toccata in D Minor'.

Overall the Training Band had a fun day out and following the deliberations of the adjudicator, David Hirst, they were awarded a Silver Award. Not bad for their first appearance at an event of this kind.



The Training Band once again welcomed everyone to our AGM in Tewkesbury Town Hall on Wednesday 2nd April with another impressive concert. The Intermediate Band opened the concert with Harold T. Scull’s ‘One Note Bugler’ introduced by William Norman. This rousing March like piece got everyone’s feet tapping before the Beginner Band slowed things down with a beautiful performance of Gary Young’s ‘First Tune’. Hannah Williams then introduced the next Intermediate Band piece which was the ‘Indian Rondo’ from Hummel’s Noble Savage.


The Beginner Band then added a bit of Regency to the performance with a stately, elegant performance of Francis Clifford’s ‘Promenade’. Hannah Norman then set the scene along the great river for the Intermediate Band’s spine-tingling performance of ‘Shenandoah’ arranged by Mark Vause. Before the Beginner Band played their last piece for the evening, a presentation was made to Alice Williams (Training Band Supporter!) of her Grade 5 Theory of Music Certificate which she passed with Merit. The Beginner Band then entertained the audience with another Francis Clifford number, this time, a very drunken (on the Trombones!) arrangement of ‘Drunken Sailor’. This then led to the final piece, introduced by Cameron Purveur, ‘Greased Lightening’ from Cameron Mabon’s Grease Selection.
The Band members and supporters then enjoyed a lovely cup of tea or coffee provided by the fantastic Poole-Dron duo while the chairs and tables were re-arranged ready for the meeting.


St John's Church 50th Anniversary Celebrations
On Saturday 28th June the Training Band played at the 50th Anniversary celebrations of St John's Church in Churchdown. The band played two half hour programmes in the afternoon entertaining the people who were enjoying a free day of fun and frolics as part of the Church's celebrations. Reverend Katy Morgan even took a starring role as we played Spongebob Squarepants by playing the Captain and asking the kids if they were ready!!

The Training Band played an enjoyable selection of tunes from its current programme including 'A Grease Selection', the aptly titled 'Day of Jubilee', the relevant (?) 'Sister Act: I Will Follow Him', 'Folk Frolic', 'Jamaica', 'Toccata in D Minor' and many more.

St Catherine's Church Fete
On Saturday 14th June the Training Band made its annual appearance at the St Catherine's Church Fete. The weather was slightly kinder this year and the Training Band were able to entertain the fete-goers and jumble sailors from under a gazebo outside the church. The Training Band played a selection of its favourite tunes in two half hour slots. A reasonable audience of fete-goers gathered to listen to our Grease Selection featuring Cameron Purveur on trombone and Grace Windsor on cornet. The younger members of our audience sang along to Spongebob Squarepants with gusto. We also played items such as One Note Bugler, I Will Follow Him, Toccata in D Minor, Jamaica and the mellow Tranquillity.

Training Band Cabaret Concert - Friday 11th July
The Training Band will be hosting its annual Cabaret Evening on Friday 11th July at the Gupshill Manor Function Room. Don't miss this opportunity to hear the talented young (and old) members of our Training Band perform a number of solo and ensemble items for you. You could be the one in many years time when they are famous, saying 'I remember the first time I heard them perform!'.

Come along and enjoy a fun evening of music making.


Cabaret Night
On Friday 11th July the Training Band held its annual Cabaret Evening, an evening where the members of the Training Band have the opportunity to showcase what they have learnt by playing solo and ensemble items to family, friends and band supporters. This year the cabaret evening was being held at the Gupshill Manor in Tewkesbury and was combined with a social evening for the whole Tewkesbury Town Band family.

The evening’s entertainment began with a performance of the ‘Grease Selection’ by the Intermediate Band; this came complete with Pink Ladies, John Travoltas and disco lights! The first soloist to take the stage was the youngest member of the Petticrew family, Tom. He played one of the pieces from his tutor book ‘Light up the Fire’ with great confidence. He was followed by young baritone player Tom Keene who also featured an item from his tutor book ‘Careless Love’.

Our multi-talented trombone/trumpet/cornet playing Megan Taylor then gave us a jazzy rendition of one of her Grade 5 trombone pieces ‘Hillbilly’. This was followed by a rendition of ‘All Square’ on cornet by Tom’s younger sister, Emma Keene.

One of the Training Band’s longest serving members, and like Megan a multi-talented player (cornet/percussion), William Norman gave a moving rendition of the cornet solo ‘Pie Jesu’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Following William was one of out newest and youngest members, Amy Williams, who came to the stage all smiles in a fantastic clown outfit to play the ‘Dance of the Clown’ from her tutor book.

The youngest member of the Windsor family, Lucy, provided one of the highlights of the evening with a moving performance of another Andrew Lloyd Webber piece ‘Love Changes Everything’ on her horn.

The soloists were given a rest as the Beginner Band played an arrangement of ‘Drunken Sailor’. The youngest member of the Norman family, Hannah, then gave a confident performance of ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ on her euphonium despite not feeling too well. The amazing Von Windsor Family made their annual appearance to give us a thrilling rendition of ‘March in May’….no lederhosen this year though!

Next up in an explorer outfit came trombonist Cameron Purveur to give us a thrilling rendition of the theme from ‘Indiana Jones’. This was followed by one of the funniest sights I have ever seen, trombonist Matthew Lee took the stage dressed in a monkey costume including mask to play the Jungle Book classic ‘I Wanna Be Like You’.

This was followed the popular TV theme ‘Dad’s Army’ played by Alex Blencowe on his cornet dressed as a soldier.

Another of our cornet stars, Grace Windsor, then gave a beautiful rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘All I Ask of You’. The tallest trombonist, Jonathan Petticrew then ably took on the challenge of the popular trombone solo ‘The Acrobat’ with collapsing keyboard accompaniment by Kim Benbow! The final solo of the night came from another duel instrumentalist (Soprano Cornet/Bb Cornet), Hannah Williams, who gave an amazingly musical and moving rendition of the Frank Sinatra song ‘My Way’ on her Bb Cornet.

After a short interval to allow seating arrangements to be adjusted the whole of the Tewkesbury Town Band organisation combined to give a short concert including a mixture of pieces from each Band’s repertoire. The massed band started the concert with our own signature tune ‘Tewkesbury’. We then played the Beginner piece ‘Tromba Tango’ followed by the Intermediate Band piece ‘Toccata in D Minor’. The upbeat ‘O Happy Day’ followed before Nigel got to do the captain impression for the introduction to the Intermediate Band piece ‘Spongebob Squarepants’. The concert was brought to a close with the Beginner Band piece ‘Folk Frolic’. It was then time to enjoy the food and drink!


Training Band in Dorchester
On Friday 8th August 2008 members of the Training Band (and a few senior band members!) met outside Tewkesbury School to load the coach with their instruments and tents for a weekend of fun on our annual camping weekend. This is our 4th camp having previously been to Sidmouth in 2005 & 2006 and Dorchester in 2007 as shown on the back of our blue and yellow tour t-shirts.

Once everything was loaded on to the coach (and the driver had recovered from the shock of how much stuff was to be loaded in!) then the Band headed down the motorway to Dorset and to the Lyon’s Gate Camping and Caravan Park near Cerne Abbas. A few members of the Band had gone down to the camp site early and were there to great us as the coach made the tight manoeuvre into the campsite! Everything was unloaded and the task of putting the tents up began. Everyone had been encouraged to make a sign for tent to show who was inside which was later judged by the camp site owner and his family. The Lee family were the winners with the Stephenson family as runners up. Once the tents were up, it was time for our picnic lunches in the deer glade whilst a few others continued to try and work out how to put up the gazebo!

There was a change to the schedule for the afternoon as the band had been asked at the last minute to play at the local pub in the evening and the Cerne Abbas Giant had become overgrown so could hardly be seen. This meant that instead of going for a walk the band stayed on the site and had a short rehearsal followed by the start of The Big Band Camp Quiz 2008 (which will be continued at some point as we only managed to get through 3 rounds!). The Quiz started with a pre-team-selection balloon game and then the chaotic team selection process! Then the teams needed to know information such as how many baked beans would need to be placed end to end to reach the moon for the initial Estimations round before heading off in search of weird and wonderful items for the ‘Find the List’ round. The ‘Whatdyamacallits’ team won the Scales round with a full set of C,D,E,F,G,A and B major scales from Alex Blencowe which gave them the overall lead.

The quiz was interrupted by the smell of chips as 56 portions of chips (and fish and sausages and fishcakes…etc) were brought from the local chip shop for our tea which was again enjoyed in the deer glade. It is quite a sight to see over 50 people eating fish and chips in a forest clearing! Following dinner, the Band headed to the Hunter’s Moon pub (under new management!) for our first concert of the tour. The appreciative audience were treated to delights such as our Grease Selection, Drunken Sailor, Tranquillity and Tromba Tango. The Band then enjoyed a drink or two before heading back to snuggle into our tents! As the cockerel welcomed in the new day at 4:10am, the Band began to wake and were drawn out of their tents by the smell of bacon cooking for breakfast (by about 8am!).

Once we had all enjoyed a sausage or bacon roll then it was time for band practise before heading off for a day at the beach. However…the weather had other things in mind! The rain started just as we were about to get the instruments out and didn’t stop until about 4am the following morning. Instead of practise, we boarded the coach for an earlier start and headed to Bournemouth. Unfortunately the rain followed us for the day but it didn’t stop the band having a photo on the beach and quite a few had a paddle in the surprisingly warm sea!

On the way back, a few of our party who were ahead of the coach in a car were unfortunate to witness a car accident and kindly stopped to help and ensure everyone was ok. We were pleased to hear later that all involved had returned safely from the hospital with only minor injuries. Back at the campsite, we had our own task of clearing out and moving tents which had become flooded or were just about to disappear into a puddle! This went on for some time, as did the task of lighting the BBQ under several umbrellas! Eventually it got going though and a production team went into action in the gazebo buttering rolls etc for tea!

One by one people started emerging from their tents and dashing across to the gazebo trying to stay as dry as possible to enjoy the BBQ food! After dinner, with the rain still coming down, two people moved into another tent which had a spare pod and five took up the generous offer from the local priory where our own Abbey Priest (and Training Band member’s father) was staying for a dry and warm bed for the night. Things started to settle down and a few of us remained around the BBQ in our waterproofs toasting marshmallows…until…whoosh! The gazebo took off across the Deer Glade! We managed to catch it and then proceeded to take it down in the dark and push it underneath a car for storage overnight!

As the cockerel crowed again on Sunday morning after a wild night, things were more peaceful and the sun came out! Again the band was drawn out of its tents by the smell of breakfast cooking and then headed to the deer glade for a short informal concert to make up for the one we had to cancel the night before due to the weather. Although it was informal, some players took it to the extreme and came still in their pyjamas!

The Band then got on the coach and headed in to Dorchester where most families found the Weatherspoons (as there was very little open in Dorchester on a Sunday!) for lunch before a fantastic afternoon concert in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens as the big finale for the tour. Although we all got a little wet over the weekend it just added to the fun which was had and left people planning for next year. It surely wont rain like that again….will it?!!



<<< Was this headline about us?!!  


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


Christmas Cheer at Alderman Knight School
Our Training Band opened their Christmas performances by once again playing at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Cheer evening on Thursday 27th November 2008. People packed the school to look at all the wonderful craft stalls and have a go on the various tombolas and raffles. The Training Band added an extra festive feel by playing many carols and Christmas tunes to help encourage the Christmas spirit!

Festive Sounds at Christmas Lights Switch On!
Our Training Band’s second Christmas performance was playing carols outside the Town Hall at the switching on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury on Sunday 30th November 2008. The Band played a selection of carols and Christmas tunes to entertain the crowds as they gathered throughout the afternoon to see Father Christmas switch the lights on. Many people commented on how well the Band was playing and how it really got them in the Christmas mood!

Training Band Concert - Sunday 21st December 2008 at 2.30pm
The Training Band are busy preparing for their on concert on Sunday 21st December in the Watson Hall, Tewkesbury. The concert will feature many pieces that the Bands have been rehearsing this year including Grease, The New Recruit, Funkaphobia and Grease. The second half will be filled with festive favourites. Entry to the concert is free so why not come along and support our Training Band whilst enjoying a lovely afternoon concert!