December 2005

Training Band Christmas Cheer!
I'm not sure what exactly it is that they love, but the public do love our Training Band as much as our Senior Band! Over the past few weeks, the Training Band has performed at their own Christmas concert which was a great success at the Watson Hall [some people even came from Gloucester as they had heard us the week before at the Roses and were so impressed that they came back to Tewkesbury for more!], at the Morrison's supermarket in Up Hatherley where they collected over £438 [I'm sure that's a record!] and in front of over 1000 people at the Christingle Service in Tewkesbury Abbey on Christmas Eve.

It has been a successful period for some of our players too who have recently taken exams of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, either through the Band, or through their private teachers at home or at school. Silvina Howard [Cornet] and Victor Andrew Howard [Baritone] have both passed their Grade 2 with Merit, Hannah Williams [Cornet] has passed her Grade 4, William Norman [Cornet] has passed his Grade 4 with Distinction and Megan Taylor has passed her Grade 5 Theory exam with Merit...phew!...what a lot of results! Every member of the Training Band also received a certificate at our concert celebrating their membership of the Band during 2005!

As the players are improving so much, I have now decided to ban some players from the Beginner Band as they are just too good! I am pleased to welcome some more players from the Beginner Band into the Intermediate Band and I hope that more will join them throughout 2006. If you fancy having a go or know someone else who might, then please get in touch and join our ever growing Band!

Christmas Concert and the 2005 Awards

The Band played to two sell out Roses Theatre audiences on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December. This was the fourth year running that tickets to our Christmas concerts had been as valuable as gold dust proving how popular the Band has become within the town and its surrounding area.

I will aim to provide a more detailed review of the concerts when time allows....unfortunately, the hectic Christmas playing schedule is limiting my time to update the website!

in brief there was the adventures of Hairy Poppins ( a distant relative of Mary Poppins!) , some fantastic singing from two school choirs, a look into the future with the Training Band and much carol singing!

The Band was pleased to mark the long dedication of Martin Musto to it with the awarding of Life Membership for 25 years of service....I never realised he was that old!! Congratulations and Thank You.

Congratulations also go to all the winners of Tewkesbury Town Band Awards. Full details are shown below.

Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made most progress during the year - George Cullwick
George's Dad brought him along to the Town Hall in early 2003 to learn how to play a brass instrument, preferably the euphonium. Fortunately for George we did not have a euphonium available at that point in time, but we did have a baby Eb Bass. So George began to learn how to play on this and soon became an invaluable member of the Training Band. He has rapidly progressed over the 3 years that he has been playing, passing his ABRSM Grade 1,2 & 3 exams with Distinction. This autumn saw George promoted to the senior Band where he is settling in well as part of a strong Eb Bass section alongside the ever powerful Jonathan Allan.

Fred Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - Clive Miles
Clive joined the Band in early 2005 following the departure of John Jemmett to the Championship Section band Flowers (now called Polysteel). So he had big shoes to fill!

Clive is an experienced player who has also featured in many top level banding line-ups, and has slotted into the Band well. He plays with great style, technique and confidence, and has led the horn section well since his arrival. A highy deserved award.

Jeff Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Mark Windsor
Mark is one of those members that every band needs. He works tirelessly in the background on all manner of tasks. He has co-ordinated several projects to improve the bandroom and its surroundings during the year. He regularly transports several of the Training Band members to practices and concerts, fitting in stands and banners as required. He also earns our deepest respect as the individual who empties the portaloo on a regular basis (he was badly missed when he went on holiday!).

Mark is also a stalwart of the back row, putting in those tricky off beat rhythms on 3rd cornet with some aplomb and currently playing for two!
 


Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year - Euphoniums/Baritones
The year 2005 saw a major change in the composition of the Euphonium/Baritone section as a result of the departure of the long serving husband and wife team Adrian Jowett (Euphonium) and Juliet Jeffrey (Baritone), followed soon after by Angie Sheppard (Euphonium).

So other than band stalwart Sue Corrigan on 2nd Baritone the whole section had to be rebuilt. We were lucky enough to have another Euphonium player as a band member already, Martin Warner. He had taken the brave step of moving onto Bass Trombone at the beginning of the year to fill our gap there at both of the major contests and put in some creditable performances. He has now moved back to his first instrument, the euphonium, and has taken on the role of section leader.

Following our Summer Proms concert we gained two new members from Bristol based Filton Band in the form of Carole Hinton (Euphonium) and Martyn Sudworth (Euphonium). They have quickly fitted into the band dynamic and become valuable committed members. We do not envy them or Sue the long drive up the M5 to our practices and engagements. A big Thank You to all and another well deserved award.

 

Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - Helen Poole
Helen Poole has followed in her father's footsteps to become a valuable member of Tewkesbury Town Band. She has been playing the cornet since the age of 7 and joined Tewkesbury Town Band on 3rd cornet in 1997 at the age of 10. She has subsequently progressed through the cornet ranks to the Front Row, following a number of years on Repiano cornet.

This progress has been well earned and she is one of the Band's most dedicated members....plus she is well known as a dedicated follower of sock fashions!

For more information on why these awards are presented and for a list of past winners, follow this link! Tewkesbury Town Band Awards

Pam Ayres and the Pied Piper
The Band made its annual appearance at the charity concert in Tewkesbury Abbey to raise funds for the Pied Piper Charity. The Band is one of the few musical groups that has appeared at every one of the Pied Piper Charity concerts that have been held annually since 1997, and we have seen the popularity of this concert increase year on year. This year over 650 people were present in the Abbey to be entertained whilst supporting this good cause.

The Band began the concert by playing the carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" while leading a procession down the nave. The audience were in good voice and, supplemented by the many choirs that were also on show later in the concert, it led to a rousing start to the concert. The Abbey School Choir then sang several Christmas themed pieces before the audience joined in again with the singing of a carol. The Band then played John Golland's "Christmas Overture" and Steve Syke's arrangement of "Winter Wonderland" before leading the audience once again in the singing of a carol.

The Two Rivers Singers, the Gloucestershire Children's Choir and singer Catherine Hopper provided more festive entertainment before Pam Ayres took to the stage. She entertained the audience with several highly entertaining poems and stories; managing to keep the atmosphere warm despite the chilly weather. All in all a hugely entertaining evening that hopefully raised plenty of money for the Pied Piper Charity.

Christmas Fayres Galore!!
The Training Band performed at two Christmas Fayres in quick succession at the beginning of December. On the evening of Thursday 1st December the Training Band made its annual trip to provide the musical entertainment at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre. There were many favourable comments regarding the Training Band's playing, and many people stayed to listen to the Band as it played several carols and Christmas tunes. On the afternoon of Saturday 3rd the Training Band played carols for half an hour at the Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre. Once again a crowd gathered to listen to their playing and many comments were heard praising the playing of the band.

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November 2005

Butlins 2006
As well as all of our preparations for the Christmas season the Band will be busy preparing for the defence of its Fourth Section Champion Band title at the Butlins Contest in Skegness in January 2006. The test piece chosen for the contest is a new work "A Cavendish Suite" by Iain Rayner and is a descriptive piece based around scenes from life at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Full details of our extended rehearsal schedule are included here for those who are interested, and any Band members who have lost their schedules!

Christmas comes to Town
On Sunday 27th the Training Band began the carolling season with an appearance at the turning on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury. It was a slightly chilly but dry afternoon and the Training Band entertained the gathering crowds with a selection of Christmas carols and tunes. The Training Band played two half hour selections from 2:30pm to 3pm and from 3:30pm to 4pm drawing a large crowd of onlookers and plenty of applause (especially from Caitlin's school friends!). This was the first of many Christmas performances by the Training Band, their next being at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre on 1st December.

 

Remembrance in Tewkesbury
On Sunday 13th November the Band led the annual Remembrance Day parade through Tewkesbury from outside the Roses Theatre in Sun Street down to the Abbey for the morning service at 10am before leading the parade back to The Cross. At the Cross the Band provided accompaniment for the hymn singing and for the laying of the wreaths. This was followed by the playing of the last post and reveille by Martin Musto to signal the beginning and end of the two minutes silence.

November

Sunday 13th Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]
Saturday 27th Festival of Christmas Lights, Tewkesbury - Training Band [2:30 - 4pm]

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October 2005

Norwegian Invasion in June 2006

We have been contacted by Flå Band from Norway who are planning a tour to England from the 1st to 5th June 2006. They are a keen lower section brass band and are looking forward to linking up with us next summer. Over the next few months we will be developing an itinerary for their visit and details of their concert appearances in and around Tewkesbury will be announced as they are finalised.

A visit by a European band is an exciting development for the Band and we look forward to meeting them.

Christmas Sellout
We are pleased to announce that for the fourth consecutive year our Christmas concerts in the Roses Theatre have sold out before the end of October!! Plans are underway to ensure that these concerts provide the usual spectacular mix of festive fun and good music, allied with the odd surprise or two.

If you were not quick off the mark (and don't say you weren't warned!) and have not been lucky enough to obtain tickets for these concerts, there are still plenty of other opportunities to hear the Band over the Christmas period; see our diary page for full details. We will be appearing at the annual Pied Piper Charity concert in Tewkesbury Abbey on 7th December (ticket details to follow soon,) and at the Civic Carol Service on 22nd December.

The Training Band will be appearing at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre on the evening of 24th November and the Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd December. They will also be giving their own Christmas Concert in the Watson Hall on the afternoon of Sunday 18th December (tickets available shortly) followed by a Christmas party for the members and their families.

Dreams can come true!
Congratulations to Pete Strawson and the Leyland Band on being crowned Champion Band of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall last weekend. Pete recently left our band to study Music at Salford University. Since starting there he has enjoyed the privilege of playing in the university brass band under the baton of David King among other opportunities. He was also invited to join the Leyland Band on percussion, another opportunity that he relished, particularly as they had qualified to play at the National Finals in the Championship Section. Their Band had already gained a Dream Ticket from Cadbury's to have an all expenses paid weekend in London, as well as a brand new set of uniforms for the event. It certainly was a dream for Pete to play on the Albert Hall stage, along with some of the greatest players in the brass band world. It was beyond his wildest dreams to actually win. Myself and Hadrian were fortunate to be there and see Pete's delight along with his fellow band members as the results were announced. Congratulations Pete and we are looking forward to seeing you in our lowly fourth section band room again soon!!

Lessons in adjudication
The Band was honoured to be invited to provide the musical examples to illustrate a presentation on the subject of preparing for adjudication given by Brian Buckley of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators to a meeting of the South West Association of Brass Band Conductors. The Band played excerpts from "Stantonbury Festival" and the march "Blencathra" for the attendees to discover the difficulties of adjudication for themselves, and to provide the examples to Brian Buckley's talk. An interesting discussion on the whys and wherefores of adjudication followed that both entertained and educated those present.

Fun at the Fair
On Friday 7th October 18 members of the Band and its Training Band led the annual parade of Civic dignitaries from the Abbey Crescent to the Cross for the opening of the Tewkesbury Mop Fair. The crowds waiting to enjoy all the fun of the fair were entertained by the Band playing the "March of the Cobblers", before the laying of the wreaths and the official opening of the Mop Fair.

Local Companies Support Our Band
We have been fortunate to recently receive some generous donations from local companies towards our new uniform fund. A big thanks go to local car dealership PJ Nicholls and local dairy farm Cotteswold Dairy. Take a look at our ne
w Sponsors page by clicking here!

October

Friday 7th Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]
Saturday 8th National Association of Brass Band Conductors AGM, Churchdown [10:45am]
Saturday 22nd Poppy Appeal Concert, Churchdown

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Revised: December 31, 2006