Evesham Festival of Music - Massed Bands Event
Abbey Park, Evesham – Sunday 26th June
Rotary2011 On Saturday 26 June four bands including ours took part in a Massed Bands event at Abbey Park, Evesham as part of the Rotary Club's Evesham Festival of Music 2011. On a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon the park was full of families enjoying a picnic or just relaxing in the shade whilst they were entertained firstly by individual half hour programmes from each of the four bands: Celebration Reed & Brass Band, Tewkesbury Town Band, Cubbington Silver Band and Avonbank Brass Band.

We played a half hour programme of light popular music including 'Mississauga Spirit', 'Second Waltz from The Jazz Suite', 'Lady in Red', 'Baggy Trousers' and 'Can Can'. We would like to say a big Thank You to Alexander Webb of Cubbington Band for playing the kit percussion for us on the day. We then enjoyed listening to other bands before all four bands joined together in a Massed Bands performance at the end of the afternoon. Marches, music from films and musicals were featured in the massed event including 'Death or Glory', 'Born Free', 'Cavatina' and 'All I Ask Of You'.

Cabaret Evening 
Mitton Manor Primary School, Tewkesbury – Saturday 18th June
Shannoncaberet2011 Mitton Manor Primary School was the venue for the 2011 Training Band Cabaret Evening on Saturday 18th June. This annual event showcases the talents of many players as they play solo or duet pieces to an audience of family and friends. Some performed a solo for the first time after only a few months of playing a brass instrument. Others were more experienced with years of playing and many music grades behind them.

The Intermediate Band got the evening off to an out of this world start with dimmed lights and glow in the dark sticks for a 'Space Trek'. The Beginner Band then set the dress code for the evening with their 'Odd Socks'! The evening was compered by the Senior Band Musical Director, Nigel Morgan, who unfortunately had not been informed of the dress code and was wearing matching socks. He introduced the first of the soloists in young trumpet player Adam Gillett who entertained the audience with a beautiful rendition of the folk song from the North-East of England, 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean'. This was followed by one of the noisiest solos of the evening as young percussionist Ben Stock played the drum solo to 'Forest Side Blues'.

Two of the adult Training Band members, Linda Lee and Penny Windsor, entertained us with a flugel and baritone duet version of the song 'In Dreams'. The Beginner Band then showed us how much fun you can have with bubblewrap as they popped their way through 'Bubblewrap Boogie'. This was followed by the Intermediate Band playing an arrangement of the song 'The Rose'.
Next we were treated to one of the youngest members of the Training Band, Emmeline Turner, with a fantastic rendition of 'Dance of the Clown' on her trombone. Shannon Huntley followed this with the aptly named tune 'Just Play It' on her cornet before another of our young Beginner Band players, Hannah Spry, played the theme from the animated cartoon The Snowman 'Walking in the Air' on her French Horn.

The Beginner Band took to the stage once more to play a regal piece about 'The Young Prince' before the Intermediate Band transported us off to the rainforest for a humorous rendition of the theme from 'George of the Jungle'. Baritone player Amy Williams then played a version of the Michael Jackson song that shares the name of her brother,  'Ben'. Tom Petticrew showed how he has grown with a rendition of Pam Wedgewood's 'Walk Tall' before a debonair Daniel Hart arrived to play the 'James Bond Theme'. We were then given another noisy drum solo as Hannah Williams showed her talent on the cornet also extends to the drum kit with the playing of 'Bust Up'.
LucyCabaret  The Intermediate Band then took us on a long journey with an arrangement of The Proclaimers '(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles'. Horn player Lucy Windsor then entertained us with a beautiful rendition of Vivaldi's 'Winter', a possible reminder that in the Southern hemisphere they are in the midst of their winter season!

Matthew Lee never fails to disappoint with his entering into the spirit of the concert and dressing up. So for his solo choice of 'He's A Pirate' from the Pirates of the Caribbean film he took on the guise of a pirate, the only thing missing was the parrot on his shoulder! Our final solo came from Alex Blencowe who gave a lyrical performance of the Frank Sinatra classic 'Come Fly With Me'.

The Intermediate Band then brought the concert to a close with the request for directions to the town of 'Amarillo'.

A Celebration of Brass
Tewkesbury Abbey – Friday 17th June
The Band was delighted to play host to the Apollo Grou Brass Band from Friesland in the Netherlands for  joint concert in Tewkesbury Abbey on Friday 17th June. The proceeds from the concert were donated to Tewkesbury Abbey. Tewkesbury Town Band opened the concert with four items from their Praise Concert repertoire. The opening march was 'Service Our Joy' from the pen of Noel Jones and got the concert started in a bright foot-tapping fashion. This was followed by James Curnow's excellent fantasy on American spirituals 'Jubilation' which fully suited the Abbey's wonderful acoustic and ended with one of those chords that reverberate for several seconds after the Band stops playing.

Calming the mood down the Band then played the wonderfully melodic arrangement by Peter Graham of the traditional 'Swedish Folk Song' that provides the well known tune to the hymn 'How Great Thou Art', the audience were encouraged to sing if they knew the words. The Tewkesbury part of the concert was brought to a rousing close with Alan Fernie's clever Respighi style re-working of Arthur Sullivan's tune 'St Gertrude' to which the hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers' is sung to.

ApolloGrou TewksAbbey June11 There was then a short interval whilst the bands switched places and the Apollo Grou Brass Band led by their conductor Piet Visser settled into their seats. They opened their programme with James Curnow's brilliant opener 'Fanfare and Flourishes' highlighting the strength and sound of their cornet section. This was followed by Michael Kenyon's subtle and warm arrangement of Choral No. 43 'May Jesus Christ Be Praised' which showed the another aspect of this fine bands playing. The Band then moved back up tempo by playing the ever popular Queen song that has featured in many guises over the past 30 years, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in an arrangement by Chris Wormald. The Assistant Head of Gloucestershire Music who had been integral in the organising of this concert and assisting the Apollo Grou Brass Band with the logistics of their first tour to the UK, Steve Legge, then stepped forward to show off his artistry on the trombone with a smooth rendition of Bill Geldard's arrangement of the popular tune 'Stardust'.

The Band then took the roof off the Abbey with a tremendous performance of the up tempo arrangement of JS Bach's
'Toccata in D Minor' which had the audience tapping their feet and swaying in the aisles! The atmosphere was once again calmed down with some beautiful playing in Joop van Dijk's 'Elegy' before moving up tempo with a fun arrangement by Klaus van der Woude of 'Worn Down Piano' featuring the band's skillful percussion section. The concert was brought to a close with Arthur Sullivan's 'The Lost Chord'.

After the concert both bands enjoyed time together in The Bell Hotel near the Abbey. The Dutch Band said they thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Abbey, and shared their experiences of a boat trip to Tewkesbury after playing at the Three Counties Show in Malvern that morning.

Brass Plays The Proms Goes West!
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury  – Saturday 11th June
On Saturday 11th June the Band held its annual Proms Concert in the Roses Theatre and this year the concert had a Wild West theme! So the Band took the stage resplendent in their cowboy hats and Indian feathers for the first half of the concert. The opening piece was the bright march ‘
Mississauga Spirit’ written by North American Salvationist composer Ty Watson in 1997 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mississauga Temple Band from Ontario, Canada. This introduced the wild west theme as Mississauga takes its name from the original inhabitants of the area the Native American tribe the Algonquian Mississaugas.

This was followed by a selection of themes from the popular cowboy and Indian films arranged into a clever musical selection by Darrol Barry under the title ‘Great Western Themes’. The selection starts with ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and is followed by ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ before moving via ‘The Man With The Harmonica’ and ‘Dances With Wolves (The John Dunbar Theme)’ to a reprise of ‘The Magnificent Seven’.

The Band then played an original work for brass band generating an atmosphere of the old wild west towns with sheriffs and outlaws by Swiss composer Etienne Crausaz ‘Of Horses and Cowboys’. We then moved to scenes from the life of the North American Indians in the 19th century as Big Chief Nigel led his tribe in the playing of Mario Burki’s atmospheric ‘Indian Fire’. Through the piece the audience heard the chants of a medicine man, battle scenes and also a romantic love song. Mario Burki uses several unusual sounds within the piece and so the audience were treated to numerous unusual percussive noises and various singing, yelling and speaking effects by the Band members.

Calming things down the Band then played Leonard Ballantine’s beautiful arrangement of the traditional song ‘Shenandoah’ for the Salvationist song ‘Mid All the Traffic’. Our Western themed first half of the concert was brought to a conclusion with a selection of the popular tunes from Roger & Hammerstein’s musical ‘Oklahoma’.

The second half started with a transition to Classical Europe, opening with the traditional Viennese Strauss ‘Radetsky March’. This was followed by the soaring playing of our soprano cornet player, Kev Bennett, as he played the operatic solo by Leoncavallo arranged by Ray Farr of ‘On With The Motley’. The horn and flugel section then took centre stage as they played the haunting ‘Air From the Suite in D’ by Bach. The final instrumental solo of the night was an arrangement of Rossini’s ‘Largo Al Factotum’ stylishly played by Martin Warner on euphonium. Our romp through Classical Europe was brought to a close with the ever popular ‘Can Can’ by Offenbach arranged for brass band in his usual fun fashion by Goff Richards.

The concert was then brought to a close with the traditionally British ‘Last Night of the Proms’ numbers ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Fantasia on British Sea Songs’ and ‘Pomp & Circumstance No. 1’ with the singing led wonderfully by our very own flugel player, Helen Poole. A rousing finish to a fun concert for all! The Band would like to say a big Thank You to Justin Lewis and Debbie McDougall who helped us out on cornet.


St Catherine’s Fete
St Catherine’s Church, Gloucester – Saturday 4th June
The Training Band made their annual appearance at St Catherine’s Church in Gloucester to entertain the large number of fete-goers that regularly attend this afternoon fete. As has become custom the Training Band began their programme about 10 minutes before the opening of the fete to provide musical entertainment for the long queue that always forms for entry to the fete. Helen Walters was making her first appearance as the conductor of the band since the birth of Christopher leaving husband Hadrian to mind the baby whilst she took the Training Band through their paces!

The Training Band played a selection of their original brass band music and easy arrangements of popular tunes. They opened with the march ‘On The Hill’ by Belgian composer Patrick Verhaegen before playing some lighter numbers including Delilah, Easy Winners, Amarillo, The Rose and tunes from Harry Potter. The Training Band played two half hours programmes with a break to browse the stalls in the middle. It was a warm day and fun was had by all.


Saturday 4th St Catherine's Church Fete, Gloucester - Training Band [2-4pm]
Saturday 11th Proms Goes Wild West Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Box office: (01684) 295074
Friday 17th Joint concert with brass band Apollo Grou from Holland, Tewkesbury Abbey [7.30pm]
Saturday 18th Cabaret Evening, Mitton Manor Primary School, Tewkesbury - Training Band [6pm]
Sunday 26th Massed Bands Event in Evesham Park

May 2011

Tewkesbury Abbey Fete
Tewkesbury Abbey – Monday 30th May
Spring Bank Holiday Monday saw the Band make its annual appearance at the Abbey Fete. This Monday seems to attract wet weather and this year was no different. However the Fete carries on regardless with the majority of the stalls and entertainment located in the nave of the Abbey. The Band played two half hour performances of light popular concert music to entertain the jumble sailors and fete goers; many of whom took a break from their browsing to sit in the choir stalls and listen to the Band.

Highnam Court Spring Fair
Highnam Court, Highnam - Sunday 8th May
The Band was pleased to make its first appearance at Highnam Court on Sunday 8th May as they played two short concerts to entertain the people attending a charity Spring Fair raising funds for the Pied Piper Appeal, Gloucester Cathedral and the NSPCC. It was a blustery day but the Band kept the audience warm with several popular favourites from its repertoire including the Salvation Army marches ‘Service Our Joy’ and ‘Goldcrest’, arrangements of popular songs ‘Blueberry Hill’, ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘Lady in Red’ (played beautifully by Helen Poole on Flugel) and ‘Goodbye to Love’ (played with soaring style by Clive Miles), and some great original works for brass band such as Philip Sparke’s ‘Stroll in the Park’.

 An appreciative audience sat and listened to us play and helped support three very good causes. The Band had 35 players for this engagement and would like to Thank the following people who helped supplement our membership on the day: Shona & Debbie McDougall on cornet, The Crowe family on various instruments, and it was good to see Robin Purser on a visit from his new home in Gateshead!

New Arrival
Gloucester Royal Hospital Maternity Ward - Friday 6th May 2011
If you have noticed a delay in the updating of our website it is because we have been busy for the past few weeks due to the eventual arrival (only 15 days late!) of the newest member of the Band family, Christopher Robert Walters. After a long wait Christopher was born in the early evening at a healthy weight of 8lb 41/2oz to proud parents, Helen (principal cornet) and Hadrian Walters (first trombone), and a proud grandparent, Nigel Morgan (MD). The Band members are now trying to guess what instrument Christopher will play in the future!


Sunday 8th Highnam Court Spring Fair (Charity Event) [12-2pm]
Monday 30th Tewkesbury Abbey Fete [11am-11:30am and 1pm-1:30pm]

April 2011

Palm Sunday Parade
Tewkesbury Abbey - 17th April 2011

A small group of Intermediate & Senior Band players gathered on a bright morning to help with the Palm Sunday Service at Tewkesbury Abbey. The congregation followed Daisy the donkey from the front of Abbey House round to the north porch of the Abbey singing a processional hymn as the Band accompanied them on their route. Once outside the Abbey a hymn was played before the congregation entered the Abbey to continue the service.

Progressive Youth
Herefordshire Young Musician of the Year

Michael Blake, baritone player with the band, was awarded the title Herefordshire Young Musician of the Year after entering the Herefordshire Performing Arts Festival in March. The prize was not for playing a brass instrument. though. With many musical talents, Michael, aged 17, entered a piano recital class for under 19 year olds and earned the highest grade, that of ‘outstanding’ .

Music Grades
Well done to those band members who have recently achieved music grades:

Rebecca Marshall - Grade 2 on Cornet
Emma Keene –Grade 3 on Cornet
George Cullwick - Grade 8 on Eb Bass.
Jon Petticrew - Grade 6 on Trombone.
Lucy Windsor –Grade 5 Music Theory

National Youth Brass Band Championships
The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester was the venue for this annual event in April. Six of Tewkesbury Town Band’s young players took part in the championships. George Cullwick and Katie Travers played with Worcestershire Youth Brass Band in the Intermediate Section where they were awarded a Certificate of Merit. Jon Petticrew, Hannah Williams, Lucy Windsor and Grace Windsor played with Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band they came third in the Advanced Section with a silver certificate.

Well done to all our young players.


Sunday 17th Palm Sunday Parade, Tewkesbury Abbey

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