April 2005

The winning way returns!
After the unfortunate blip of the Area Contest, the Band returned to winning ways at the 11th Phoenix Brass Band Festival held at John O'Gaunt Community Technology College in Hungerford. The Band commenced its programme with the hymn tune 'Eventide' and the mature sound produced impressed the adjudicator, Mike Kilroy, sufficiently enough for him to award us the Audrey Baldrey Memorial Trophy for best hymn tune.

We then began our concert programme with a rousing rendition of Trevor Sharpe's 'Fanfare & Soliloquy' which impressed Mike Kilroy with the attention to rhythmic detail and ensemble. Martin Musto then stood up to provide the solo segment of our programme in the form of Hoaghy Carmichael's ' Georgia on my Mind', a wonderfully jazzy number that Martin wowed the audience with; sadly a few blips meant that he failed to capture the Soloist Prize. This Prize was awarded to Tim Bailey (Soprano) of Gloucester Excelsior Band for his rendition of Hugh Nash's 'Demelza'.

The move through musical genres continued as the Band played Alan Fernie's arrangement of the Beatles pop classic 'Ticket to Ride'. This arrangement depicts a train journey and the driving percussion that kept the momentum throughout earned special praise for Mike Kilroy (to the point of suggesting that the Band should buy the percussionists a pint!! As if we would do that!!!).

This was followed by a step back in time to the music of Henry Purcell and the incidental music he wrote for Abedlazer, the 'Rondeau' to be specific. A stirring piece that moves nicely around the Band in a steady fashion. The final item in our programme was the tune 'Highland Cathedral', a brass band arrangement of a bagpipe tune that has become popular in the last couple of years.

Mike Kilroy enjoyed our programme and our playing overall awarding us first prize in the contest. The panel of 6 experienced brass band listeners awarded the Entertainment Prize to the huge contingent from Swindon School of Brass Youth Band, our congratulations go out to them. Swindon also received the Best Bass Section Trophy. It was great to see so many young brass players on the stage.

All in all a very enjoyable day out with the added bonus of the adjudication having being narrated onto a tape of the Band's performance, so that you can hear the adjudicators thoughts in the context of the music he is hearing.

We would like to congratulate Oliver Moss, another keen member of both our Senior Band [2nd Cornet] and our Training Band [Solo Cornet] on successfully passing his audition for the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band. We wish him every success and look forward to seeing him in concert with the GYBB on Sunday 8 May 2005 at 7pm at Denmark Road School, Gloucester. We would also like to encourage everyone who can to attend this concert and support what can only be a good thing for brass banding in Gloucestershire.

St George's Day in Tewkesbury
On Saturday 23rd April the Band helped Tewkesbury celebrate our patron saint's day. Since St George's Day had fallen on a Saturday this year there were more activities planned to take place around the town. Unfortunately the weather did not play its part and the day as a whole was wet and windy on the most part.

The Band did however manage to blow away the rain clouds at 3:30pm when it gave a short half hour programme outside Tewkesbury Abbey. As the band began to play the weather brightened up and the crowds began to gather to hear a preview of some of the pieces that the Band would be playing at the Phoenix Brass Band Festival in Hungerford the following day. The Band was supplemented by a few younger members and assistants from other bands as a result of the hectic lives of our own members! A special mention must go to William Norman, a keen member of the Band's Training Band, who made his senior band debut (resplendent in a minature uniform).

The Band then led the Civic/St George's Day parade from Sun Street to the Abbey to the sounds of 'March of the Cobblers', 'Standard of St George', 'Kenilworth' and 'Slaidburn'. William also made his marching debut and how his little legs kept up with the pace for this I can only wonder.

Tewkesbury Town Band AGM
On Wednesday 13th April 2005 we held our Annual General Meeting in Tewkesbury Town Hall. The meeting was preceded by a concert from our Training Band (see review below) and followed by a light buffet for all to enjoy.

The Chairman, Adrian Jowett, commented on all the great events that have taken place this year, including the 30th Anniversary Celebrations and our 1st place at the Butlins Mineworkers Contest. He also said that we should be proud of our ever-growing, strong training band. One of Adrian's goals when he became Chairman was to ensure that the committee was lead by the players. Early on in the year he sent out a questionnaire to all the band members to find out what was important to them and what we'd like to do. He reflected that many of the major themes that came out from this questionnaire had been considered and action was being taken, even though it was not able to be completed within one year. The main points were;

            1. Different Contests - we have achieved this by successfully going to the Butlins Contest and taking part in the Marlborough/Phoenix Brass Contest on 24th April.  
            2. New Uniform - we now have a growing uniform fund that if it continues to grow steadily should be complete within the next year (all donations are very welcome!)
            3. Band Tour - research is going on as we speak to find a good location for a tour in 2006. A questionnaire was given out to all band members at the AGM so that we can get their views on what it should be like.
Adrian concluded by thanking the band for giving him the opportunity to be the bands Chairman and highlighted some of the skills that he had learnt as a result. Thank you for a year of hard work Adrian.

The secretary's report gave us lots of exciting information about who had joined and left the band within the year, and what engagements we had performed at! We said farewell to Wendy Eamer, Judy Bailey, Tom King and John Jemmett and we welcomed in to the Band Clive Miles, Christine Warner, Andy & Angie Shepherd and we welcomed back Donna McNeill. Thank you Sue for another years hard work as band secretary!
Luckily the Treasurer's report said that we have a few pence in the bank to keep us going but that we have a lot of major projects to fund in the the next year (lottery, uniform, tour, cd etc.). Therefore, subs were doubled to 20 for everyone in the senior band. The Training band will remain free of charge. Thanks Chris for collecting and paying all my invoices over the year!
Next up, was the Musical Director. He stood up and ripped up all that he had written down as everyone else had already said it in their reports! He was of course pleased with the bands performance at Butlins and was also pleased with the performance that we gave in Torquay. He said that we rarely fail to deliver what he wants on the contest stage - its just that it doesn't always match what the man in the box is looking for. He has enjoyed conducting the band at the many concerts that we did this year, particularly the tour of the villages, and commended us on entertaining the public well - one of his original goals. Nigel hopes that the Band can continue to do this, and have some more success in the contest field, however, the only way that we can do it, is to ensure that all the parts are there in the rehearsals. Having said that, our average attendance at rehearsals for 2004 / 2005 was 22. Thank you Nigel for all the hard work and enthusiasm you put in to the band and our performances.

Then came the election of new officers for 2005/06. They were as follows:
Chairman - Adrian Jowett
Secretary - Sue Corrigan
Treasurer - Christine Poole
General members - Martin Musto, Neil Crowe, Helen Walters, Allan (Rob) Robinson and Andy Shepherd.

The meeting concluded with some words of thanks from the Mayor, Christine Danter, for the opportunities we offer and the entertainment we provide in Tewkesbury. There was also thanks to Martin Cullwick for his help with the bandroom, the training band leaders, and Nigel for his continued hard work.

AGM Concert is fantastic!
The Training Band impressed the crowds once more at the Tewkesbury Town Band AGM in the Town Hall on Wednesday 13th April 2005. 37 players (out of 44) took their seats and played a fantastic concert.

The concert began with one of the Band's favourites pieces, Gary Young's arrangement of 'Marching Marines'. Helen then commented on how 2004/5 has been a great year for the training band as we had managed to top the 40 members mark. Let's hope it continues to grow as much in 2005. The Intermediate Band then continued with a quite tricky but exciting piece by Bernard Hazelgrove called 'The Big Wig Wam'.

Following this, it was noted that the Training Band has been very fortunate to receive several major grants in order to support all the new players. Early on in the year we received 250 from the Royal Bank of Scotland. This money has all been spent on much needed tutor books, band music and uniforms (jumpers). Then, later in the year, thanks to a tip off from Martin Cullwick, we received a grant from the Upton Jazz Festival to purchase a new instrument. With this we purchased a brand new JP171 cornet. This is now being played by one of our newest and youngest members, 5 year old Emily Brewis. Thanks to Town Band supporter Angela Musto, we have recently received a third grant. This time from the Co-Op for 975 to buy a new Euphonium. We actually managed to get two brand new JP174 Euphoniums with this money which was great. Christmas came early for Nicole, who was playing one of the oldest and most awkward euphoniums I've ever seen when she was presented with this new one. The other instrument is now being played by Hannah Norman who has changed from playing cornet to euphonium. Thank you very much to all those involved in finding the grants, and of course to the organisations that gave them to us. Without grants and donations like this, the Training Band could not be as successful as it is.

The concert then continued with a Helen Walters original, 'The Little Penguin' played by our beginner band. It was then "time to  play the music, time to light the lights, time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!" as the Intermediate Band bounced through Cameron Mabon's arrangement of the 'Muppet Show Theme' (from Two Cartoon Classics). Then the mood slowed a little as they played Alan Fernie's arrangement of 'Handbags & Gladrags'. This song has been hits for Rod Stewart and the Stereophonics but tonight it was ours and featured two of our cornet and trumpets players Oliver Moss and Megan Taylor in the beautiful opening oboe theme that recurs several time throughout the piece.

In the Training Band we like to have some fun together when we're not playing as well - whether its on the field outside the bandroom, at our Summer Picnic or our Christmas Party! We thought that we couldn't let the audience get away with just sitting there listening and so we got them to join in our next piece. Arranged as a round, we played 3 Blind Mice, quite successfully accompanied by 3 choirs made up from the audience! Thanks go to our 3 lovely assistants, Helen & Christine Poole and Sarah Crowe for leading the audience in their starring role!

Getting back on track, the Intermediate Band then played Cameron Mabon's arrangement of 'Scooby Doo' (from Two Cartoon Classics). The last year has seen the Training Band perform at many new engagements, including school fetes, many Christmas events, the Mayor's Activity Day, and of course their own concerts. It was great to play along side other bands at the GBBA event last October, even though we ended up being 'adjudicated' by Nigel Morgan! One of the highlights of the year was playing to around 900 people in Tewkesbury Abbey on Christmas Eve (including Roy Newsome!!).

Back at this concert, the Band had three pieces left to play; 'Wobbly Waltz', Stuart Johnson's 'Cathedral Suite' and Gary Young's arrangement of 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.

Before we finished our concert, we had three presentations to make from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. Firstly, Megan Taylor was awarded with the highest certificate that we have presented in the Training Band so far as she achieved her Grade 5 on Trumpet. Secondly, we presented Grace Windsor with another certificate (she got her Grade 1 at the last AGM concert!) as she has achieved her Grade 3 on Bb Cornet. Finally, we had a slightly more special presentation as this member did not know his result yet! William Norman did very well in achieving his Grade 3 Bb Cornet with Distinction. Congratulations go to all of you.

The concert was fantastic, and thanks to all those who came along to support it. Lets hope that its the first of many successful performances this year! Well done everyone!

Pictures to follow shortly!

The wheels on the bus....
Saturday 9th April saw 6 adventurous members of the Band [Hadrian & Helen Walters, Martin & Sue Musto, Neil Crowe, and Sue Corrigan] form a brass sextet to scale the heights of an open-top bus for a magical mystery tour. The occasion being a request from a resident of Cheltenham for the band to provide the musical entertainment whilst the open-top bus transported the Birthday boy and his party from their house to the main party at Sub-Tone nightclub.

Windswept and alert for low flying tree branches the Group played "Happy Birthday" and "Congratulations" as the bus made its way from Up Hatherley, along Bath Road to The Promenade. The weather held up, despite being a little chilly, and everyone had great fun on their musical excursion!

On arrival at the destination, we were greeted by some crazy paparazzi photographers, hence the pictures below! (www.digitalpaparazzi.co.uk)


Whilst the Training Band continues to attract new members, unfortunately we've had to say goodbye to 3 great members of the Band. Cornet player Emily Baker, Tenor Horn player Martha Baker and Baritone player Trudi Baker have left Gloucestershire for brighter shores in Devon. We wish them all the best and we will miss you! Good luck - and make sure you find another band!


Saturday 2nd Barn Dance, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Saturday 9th Birthday Celebration in Cheltenham playing on an Open Top Bus [7:15pm]
Wednesday 13th AGM - including Training Band Concert [7pm]
Saturday 23rd Combined St George's Day & Civic Parade, Tewkesbury [Concert 3:30pm - 4:15pm; Parade 5pm]
Sunday 24th Phoenix Brass Band Festival, Hungerford

Back to News Page

March 2005

Barn Dance
On Saturday 2nd April 2005 the Band will be dancing to the Downfielders Barn Dance Band in the Watson Hall in Tewkesbury. Would you like to join us? The Barn Dance has been kindly organised by the Town Mayor, Christine Danter, to try and raise some funds for the bands much needed new uniform. Tickets are available from The Town Hall in Tewkesbury, or The Tackle Shop (Barton Street, Tewkesbury) for 7.50 and I believe the price includes a ploughman's meal! Please come and support the band and have fun doing so!
Follow the Donkey
Palm Sunday, 20th March, saw six members of the Band and two members of the Training Band provide the accompaniment to the hymns 'All Glory Lord and Honour' as the congregation of Tewkesbury Abbey paraded with a donkey around the Vicarage to the front of the Abbey. Initially the donkey was slightly shocked by the sound of a following Eb Bass and Trombone, which caused the parade to come to a momentary standstill. Luckily the Band were able to squeeze past the donkey (removing the scary noise!) and the parade made it to the front of the Abbey for the first part of the service, the story of the first Palm Sunday. After this the parade continued into Tewkesbury Abbey whilst singing 'Sing Hosanna'.

Disappointment in Torquay!

Despite playing a blinding performance (honest!) of Bryan Kelly's 'Divertimento' we only only came 12th out of 21 bands competing at the West of England Area Contest on Saturday 12th March 2005. Read our views of what happened at what turned out to be rather a controversial contest! Click me!

Training Band receives Dividend from the Co-op

This week the Training Band received the fantastic news that their application to the Community Dividend Scheme of the Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester  Co-operative Society had been successful. The Co-op is awarding the Training Band a 975 grant to spend on the purchase of a new Euphonium for one of its young players. On Friday 4 March a photographer and Co-op representative visited the Band room to meet the Band and to take several photographs for the Co-op magazine. We would like to say a big Thank You to all at the Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-operative Society.

The Big Push
The West of England Regional Contest draws ever closer and the Band is preparing for a heavy week of rehearsals on the Fourth Section test piece "Divertimento" by Bryan Kelly. The fun starts on Sunday 6 March with the third in a series of 4 hour workshops on the test piece with the world famous tuba player Steve Sykes. This will then be followed by a week of rehearsal before the trip down to Torquay on Friday evening for the contest on Saturday 12 March. So think of us whilst we are all working hard. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish our friends from all of the other West of England bands the best of luck next weekend, and we look forward to sharing a beer or two with you.

Dates for your diary
The date of this year's Band AGM has been set as Wednesday 13 April at 7pm in Tewkesbury Town Hall. The AGM will also represent the first opportunity to see the Training Band in action this year since they will be playing a short concert prior to the more formal proceedings. The Training Band continues to grow from strength to strength and last month gained its 40th member! So come along and hear them play, and support the Town Band at its AGM.

Several summer bandstand dates have been added to the engagements calendar in the past few weeks, along with a Proms Concert in Bromsgrove, the Poppy Appeal concert in Churchdown, and further details in respect of the St George's Day activities. So get out your diary's and go to our engagements page to ensure that you don't miss one of our performances.


Sunday 6th Rehearsal with Steve Sykes on Divertimento 2pm - 6pm
Saturday 12th West of England Regional Contest, Riviera Centre, Torquay - Test Piece: Divertimento by Bryan Kelly
Sunday 20th Palm Sunday Service, Tewkesbury Abbey [9:15am]

Back to News Page