September 2005

Social Fun
On Saturday 24th September, training and senior band members gathered in the Queen's Head pub along with their family and friends for a fun social evening superbly organised by Chris Poole and her wonderful assistants Helen and Steve. To get our taste buds going there was a quiz all about sweets and chocolate! I am pleased to say that our team came 2nd but we did have the help of young training band member Charlotte Leatherby and her brother James reeling off all the different sweets that they could think of! This was followed by a lovely spread of sandwiches, sausages and chips...yum!

Then the real brain gymnastics started with a comprehensive quiz covering science, history, geography, music, entertainment and anything else that you can think of! Quiz master Steve Edgar did a superb job of reading out the questions and controlling the awkward contestants! It was a close contest when it came to the results and I can't actually remember now who won in the end but in true brass contesting form though I do know that we were robbed!

A big thanks to Chris, Steve and Helen (who spent most of the evening giving out clues and marking the answer papers!). A very enjoyable evening!

Tickets selling fast!
I hate mentioning Christmas this early but tickets for the two Christmas Concerts in the Roses Theatre are selling fast. The concert on Saturday 10th December is almost sold out and there are only a few tickets remaining for the Sunday night concert (11th December). We can promise our usual mix of the spectacular, thrilling, festive and downright silly! So to avoid being disappointed get down to the Roses and buy your tickets now!

The Training Band and local school choirs will also be appearing at these concerts.


Watson Hall date for the Training Band
This year the Training Band is holding its annual Christmas Concert at the Watson Hall on Sunday 18th December. Previously the Training Band has performed its concert in the gymnasium at Alderman Knight School. However, given the continued growth in the membership of the Training Band and its supporters it was considered necessary to move to the larger venue of the Watson Hall. We hope to see you there!


Welcome back to some old faces!
We are pleased to announce that in the past few weeks a few old friends have returned to the Band.
July/August saw the return of Robin Purser to regularly assist the Band on Front row Cornet. Robin gained a degree in Music this year from Cardiff University and has been busy playing with a Regimental Band at engagements in the Millenium Stadium. Hence, the picture of him looking rather smart! Despite still living and working in Cardiff, Robin has decided to regularly attend rehearsals and help the Band out at its engagements whenever possible.
September has seen the return to the Soprano seat of Dave Bunce and the return of George Raggatt on Bb Cornet. Dave played Soprano with the Band in the late 1990's when he first moved to Gloucestershire with his work. George Raggatt played for the Band for a period of 4 years as a youngster progressing from 3rd cornet to the Front Row including a spell as principal. Both have returned to help strengthen our ranks and enjoy some fun banding! George WEBBA 7 Apr 2002crop.jpg (5517 bytes)

Musical Chairs

The past few months have also seen the Band undergo a few changes in personnel.

The good news is that due to our successful and thriving Training Band we have been able to fill some of the gaps and generally strengthen the Band by inviting some of its players to come along to the senior Band. So our congratulations go to Will Duff on Percussion, George Cullwick on Eb Bass, Martin Cullwick on Trombone and Richard Mason on Cornet. Over the summer bandstand period the Band was also helped out on several occasions by younger Training Band members Megan Taylor and William Norman, both on cornet.

Around the Band there have also been several player moves.

Sarah-Jane McCrorie was promoted from 3rd to 2nd Cornet to replace Oliver Moss who has stepped up to Repiano Cornet (a position he fills with the newly formed Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band). Continuing the domino effect Helen Poole, formerly Repiano, has moved on to the Front Row.

In the horn section Christine Warner has stepped up from 2nd to 1st Horn, replacing Sue Musto who has moved on to Flugel Horn. Finally, Martin Warner who switched from Euphonium to Bass Trombone at the beginning of this year, for our contest line up, has returned to the Euphonium.

Marching in Remembrance of the Battle of Britain

On Sunday 18th the Band was out in force to lead the Battle of Britain Parade through Tewkesbury. The Parade contained many of the uniformed organisations of Tewkesbury and was observed by many onlookers as it proceeded from Sun Street to the Abbey. At the Abbey a short service was held with musical accompaniment from the Band, before the return procession from the Abbey to Sun Street. A big Thank You to our good friend, trombonist Dan Slater, for standing in at the last minute to undertake the thankless task of beating the bass drum that keeps the whole parade in time.

Let's Sing & Swing!

Saturday 3rd September saw the Roses Theatre swing along to the sound of the Band and the award winning Dursley Male Voice Choir. Both musical groups had joined together to provide an evening of entertainment to raise funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

The concert commenced with the Band's signature march 'Tewkesbury' by Andrew Duncan. This was followed by a trip to the Southern US States for an 'American Patrol'; a piece that commences in the distance with the sound of drums, then parades past the audience and concludes far away with the distant sounds of the bases.

Our Principal Cornet Martin Musto then stood up and enticed the audience with a sweet performance of Alan Morrison's cornet solo, 'Sugar Blues'. This was followed by a brief sojourn to 'New York' before the Band finished its first half programme with a trip to New Orleans for a rendition of the popular, 'When the Saints'.

The Choir then continued the musical expedition with an 'African Trilogy' followed by a trip to Vietnam for the theme from the Deerhunter 'Cavatina'. During their travels their campfire discussions led to conversations about how it would be 'When I'm Sixty-Four' and some alcohol fuelled bragging about how great it was to be the 'Kings of Swing'.

The Choir began the second half with a spiritual trip to Wales singing 'Diolch I'r Ior'. Sadly a lapse of 'Memory' had caused the Cats to escape and head far away where 'There Is A Green Hill'. A hectic purrrsuit ensued across the principality 'With Cat Like Tread'. All this activity led to a request to 'Let There Be Peace On Earth' and for 'Women, Women, Women', especially a Merry Widow!

The Band returned in pyrotechnical fashion with a 'Big Band Explosion' featuring three popular big band classics: Peanut Vendor, Mood Indigo and St. Louis Blues. The Band then confirmed that wherever your travels take you there is no real need to worry since 'You'll Never Walk Alone' when you're struggling to find the way to 'Amarillo'. However, when you feel a little blue, brother, 'Every Needs Somebody' to show them how to 'Can Can', but don't get too carried away as you may find yourself being led away into the night with a joined forces 'Soldier's Chorus'.

It was a fun concert, enjoyed by a full house that hopefully raised plenty of money for a good cause. A big thank you to our talented selection of deputies [Steve 'Weenie' Jones, John Jemmett, Ken Smith, Dave Bishop, Rob Folland and his son, Stuart Blake, Chris Caddock, Sue Mills, and Dan Slater].


Saturday 3rd Riding for the Disabled Association Charity Concert (with Dursley Male Voice Choir), Roses Theatre [7:30pm]
Sunday 18th Battle of Britain Parade, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]
Saturday 24th Band Social Evening, Queen's Head Pub [7:30pm]

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August 2005

Saturday 3rd September - Tickets are available from the Roses Theatre Box Office on 01684 295074 for our next performance. We will be in concert with the Dursley Male Voice Choir raising funds in aid of the Riding for The Disabled Charity. Why not come along for an evening of 'Sing & Swing' in aid of a good cause!

Sidmouth 2005
On Saturday 13th August 2005, members of our Training Band and their families met at the Army Camp and boarded a coach ready for Ken to drive us to Sidmouth for our first ever tour. Once all the instruments, bags and tents were packed on, off we went.
Despite me dressing confidently in shorts and t-shirt, the weather was not kind to us as we arrived in Sidmouth. To say that it rained as we got to the campsite to put the tents up would be an understatement! It absolutely chucked it down! We were not going to be defeated so on came the raincoats (for those who had brought them!) and it was all hands on deck to put up the tents as quickly as we could! A little camping tip - if you're buying a new tent, make sure that you don't have to put the inner tent up first as it gets rather wet or complicated if its raining when you try to put it up as we found out this weekend!
Once all the tents were up, the rain eased off a little bit and we headed in to Sidmouth to check out the beach and find an ice cream or two! Then at 5pm we had a rehearsal with the Sidmouth Youth and Training Band in their bandroom. The bandroom itself was amazing - a two storey thatched building where you have to go outside to get upstairs into the main room!
We just about all fitted in - luckily on this occasion some of our players and some of theirs were not there! The massed band then rehearsed the 5 pieces that we were due to play in concert the following day. Sidmouth Band's conductor Adrian Harvey took them through Slaidburn, Unchained Melody and The Young Amadeus, swapping over to let me conduct Wild West Yonder, The Muppet Show and Scooby Doo. Everyone worked very hard and the bands made a great sound. I think that they deserved their meal out at the Bowd Inn that followed. Much fun was had by many of the young people getting wet on the adventure playground and then finding hours of amusement from a few drinking straws!!
It was then back to the campsite for hot chocolate and a 'good' night's sleep - well it would have been but for the donkey that must have been woken up by various people snoring! The next morning we woke up to the smells of bacon and sausages cooking! Everyone who wanted one (or two!) sausage and bacon rolls enjoyed them for breakfast.
Once everyone had been fed it was on to the bus to head back in to town. The Sidmouth Senior Band were doing a march for VJ day that morning and had convinced some of the senior band members to help them out - including my Dad on the Bass Drum! They had told us that it was a really easy march, only 400 yards and they'll only play The Middy. It turned out that we first had to walk over half a mile to where the march started (Dad trying to carry bass drum!) and then the actual march was in reality almost a mile and they played The Middy top to bottom over and over again with no breaks!

Whilst we were busy working hard, the rest of the Training Band were having lots of fun on the beach and playing in the sea. We joined them later on and then we all enjoyed some fish and chips on the beach!

Next it was back to the camp site to put the tents down and get changed ready for our big concert! We headed back in to Sidmouth to Connaught Gardens where we met up with the Sidmouth Training & Youth Band again.
First on stage were the Sidmouth Training & Youth Band who entertained the gathering audience with fine performances of a selection of brass band classics including the march Death or Glory, Bass In The Ballroom, Mood Indigo and the Can Can.

Following a quick change over, it was the turn of the Tewkesbury Town Training Band to entertain the crowds, resplendent in their new uniforms. Our band was a mixture of our beginner and intermediate bands. We played some of our favourites including Marching Marines, Mickey Mouse March, Dr Who and Here Comes Bobby the Bear.

Finally, the two bands combined on stage for performances of Slaidburn, Scooby Doo, the Muppet Show, and Young Amadeus. It was a great sight and an even better sound!

The Training Band and its followers thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thanks to Sidmouth Band for a great weekend and we hope to see you again soon!


Brasstastic! Is Fantastic!

Yesterday [Thursday 18th August 2005] at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, 32 young players [including 10 members of our Training Band] joined together to take part in Brasstastic! 2005. It was a fantastic day of music making and fun.


Under the guidance of Sonar Brass, the band spent the day rehearsing 5 pieces together ready for a concert performance that night. Course organiser, Helen Walters, designed the day to be something really special that the players will remember for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, being taught and enthused by the likes of Alan Morrison, Richard Marshall, Owen Farr, Nick Hudson and Shaun Crowther, they will go on to use what they have learnt and enjoy music for many more years to come.

The day commenced with several run through’s of the pieces for the day; Cartoon Classics, Scooby Doo, The Muppet Show, Serenata and Cornfield Rock, each conducted by a different member of SONAR Brass. Then they divided into sections for more detailed rehearsals and master classes. Due to the warm weather on the day, the tenor horns and flugels under the guidance of Owen Farr, soon left the warm music school in search of a nice shaded area outside. They settled under a nice willow tree and continued to enjoy their session outside. They were followed later in the day by the cornets and the trombones who all went outside in search of the sunshine and a small breeze!

The day culminated with a concert in the Bacon Theatre that featured SONAR Brass who were magnificent and highly entertaining, and the Brasstastic! Band 2005 who were highly impressive! A great time was had by all who attended and there were many calls for a repeat course next year. Thanks to SONAR Brass, Philip Biggs, Steve Barnett, Besson Musical Instruments, and everyone else who made the day possible.

Training Band is off on 'tour'!!
Our training band is heading off to Sidmouth on Saturday 13th August for a weekend away at band camp! The Band will be meeting up with the Sidmouth Town Training Band and playing a joint concert on the Bandstand the following day.

Early Announcement of 2006 Testpieces
The announcement of the testpieces that will be challenging us early next year has now been made. For our defence of our Fourth Section title at Butlins in January 2006 we will need to master the complexities of 'A Cavendish Suite' by Iain Rayner. This a new piece by a relatively new composer based around themes linked to Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. We are looking forward to discovering the music in this piece.

 For the West of England Regional Contest at Torquay in March 2006, the piece that has been chosen is 'Anglian Dances' by Alan Fernie. This piece was commissioned by the East Anglia Brass Band Association in 1998.

More Grade Success
Another of our Training Band is proving to be a star in the making. Ten year old Hannah Williams has just passed her Grade 3 Cornet exam with distinction, getting full marks of 30 out of 30 for one of her pieces! Congratulations Hannah.

No mess in the Sergeants Mess!
On Thursday 5th August 2005, the Band entertained the ladies and gentlemen dining in the Sergeants Mess at RAF Innsworth. The Band provided a couple of hours light entertainment whilst the RAF personnel enjoyed a delicious meal! A fun evening was had by all with a 'Happy Birthday' finale. Our thanks go out once again to Ken, Dave, Rebecca, our old friend Dan Slater and relatively new friend, Rob Folland.

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Revised: February 11, 2012