2012 in Review
1st January to 31st December 2012
Well, we have reached the end of a busy year for the Band. 2012 was one of the busiest years for the Band that I can remember and one that has seen the Bands appear at a healthy mixture of new events, regular annual events and most importantly numerous events in support of our local community.
The year started with the sad news that one of our keen supporters, Frank Deighton, had joined the big band in the sky. During February we had raised sufficient funds to purchase a brand new EEb Bass for our rising tuba star, Hannah Benbow, to play and with which she entertained our Christmas concert audiences in the Roses Theatre with her rendition of Frosty the Snowman. We also provided lunchtime entertainment at the Tewkesbury Winter Ales festival, a popular engagement with those of drinking age for some reason!
Our only contest of the year was the West of England Area contest in March where we matched our best ever result with 8th place in the Third Section with a lot of contest debutants. On a totally different note later in the month we provided the musical accompaniment to two major choral works for the Tewkesbury School Parents and Teachers choir. An interesting first for the Band and one that also took a major brass band work to a different audience.
In April the Band was nominated as an organisation to take part in the Gloucestershire Echo Cash Giveaway and was amazed by the level of support from the County as people collected sufficient tokens to entitle us to a £901 share of the £15,000 total. The Training Band gave its annual AGM performance and the Band led the Palm Sunday parade at the Abbey.
The Band gave a world premiere of a new composition to tie in with the Olympics in May, the green baton version of ‘Going The Distance’ by Paul Lovatt-Cooper, at a Praise Concert in Churchdown which also featured the organ playing talents of our young euphonium player, Michael Blake.
The wet summer arrived and saw the Senior and Training Bands make several appearances at community events around the Tewkesbury area. First there was the Diamond Jubilee themed Tewkesbury Abbey Fete, then the Training Band made its annual appearances at Bishop’s Cleeve Street Fair and St Catherine’s Church Fete in Gloucester. The Senior Band were invited to provide musical entertainment at the Kemerton Country Show & Fair for the first time and gave a good performance in blustery conditions. The Training Band also provided music for the 170th Anniversary Celebrations at Ashchurch School.
The key moment of June though was the Band Social which saw all of the bands combine to perform music together to mark the 15th Anniversary of Nigel Morgan as the Band’s Musical Director.
Another musical premiere occurred in July with the day long brass festival organised at Highnam Court to mark the 75th Anniversary of the GBBA. The Band played a 20 minute programme and several of the band’s members got soaked in the downpour later in the day as they played with the massed band that concluded the days celebrations. The Training Band members excelled themselves at Tirlebrook Primary School as they stood to give short solo performances at their annual Cabaret Evening which this year had a smurf theme! The Senior Band also made its annual appearance at the Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass, and is still proud to be one of the few bands that have appeared at every festival since its inception.
The summer weather didn’t improve but the Bands remained busy. The Bands appearance on Malvern Bandstand coincided with the Malvern Mayor’s Bonanza and was concluded with a Last Night of the Proms sequence of music. The Training Band went on its 9th annual band camp to Sidmouth and despite the fog had a great time, especially at Pecorama. The final bandstand appearance of the summer was at Stroud where the best weather of the summer (i.e. it was a dry day!) meant there was a good audience for the pre-Germany tour performance.
The end of August into September saw the Senior Band jet off to Miesbach in Bavaria for its 5th tour to the twin Borough to Tewkesbury. There we were treated to the usual excellent hospitality and provided the locals payment in the form of great music making.
September saw a new event for the Training Band with an appearance at the Ashton Under Hill fete. The Senior Band then started parade season by leading the Tewkesbury Civic Parade down to the Abbey. This was followed by the annual Mop Fair Parade in early October and our annual leading of the Remembrance Parade in November.
The Senior Band also appeared at two new events in October, a concert at St Andrew’s Church in Cheltenham with a musicals theme and a Trafalgar Day Concert with a nautical theme in aid of the RNLI at the Roses Theatre.
That leads us nicely into Christmas and the 17 appearances of the Bands in a month! The annual concerts at the Roses were a great success, as were all of the other Christmas events that kept us busy right up to Christmas Eve.
Retirement Home Festivities
Knightsbridge Retirement Home
Monday 24th December
A last minute request came in for the Band to provide a small group of players to play a few carols to the residents of the Knightsbridge Retirement Home at Coombe Hill. So Helen Walters, Hadrian Walters, Nigel Morgan and David Greenaway got their instruments out of their cases one more time to entertain the residents of the home with half an hour of their favourite carols.
Carols in Tewkesbury Town Centre
Saturday 22nd December
The Band’s final major carolling stint took place from 10am until 3:30pm on a wet and windy Saturday in our usual location just outside Boots. We managed to find shelter under the overhanging roof and entertained the passing shoppers with a wide variety of carols. Throughout the day we received a lot of positive comments from the Tewkesbury locals and brought a lot of smiles to faces!
More Carolling at Morrisons
Friday 21st December
The evening of Friday 21st December saw various members of the Band once again work in shifts to provide entertainment to the shoppers at the Morrisons supermarket in Tewkesbury from 4pm until around 8:30pm to raise funds for the Band.
Tewkesbury Civic Carol Service
Methodist Church, Tewkesbury
Thursday 20th December
The Band once again led the carols at the annual Civic Carol Service in Tewkesbury Methodist Church. The service was opened by the Methodist Minister before the story of the nativity was told through a series of bible readings, by various important members of the Tewkesbury community, and the singing of carols.
Tewkesbury Sea Cadets’ Carol Service
TS Otter, Tewkesbury
Wednesday 19th December
A small group of players from the Band provided the accompaniment to the carols at the Sea Cadets’ candlelit carol service at their Tewkesbury headquarters, TS Otter. A short service telling the nativity story was led by …. with the Band providing the music to the related carols. The service was followed by an open invite to join the cadets in the drinking of mulled wine and eating of hot dogs & mince pies.
Cleeve Vale Rotary Club Christmas Concert
St Michael’s Church, Bishop’s Cleeve
Tuesday 18th December
On Tuesday 18th December the Band made another of its annual appearances, this time at St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Cleeve to provide the music for the carols at the Cleeve Vale Rotary Club’s carol service. The audience for the concert comprises members of the Bishop’s Cleeve community and a significant number of elderly people from the surrounding area who are transported to the church by the members of the Cleeve Vale Rotary Club. They were treated to a good sing-along featuring all the popular carols with festive interludes and tales from a member of the Rotary Club. This year a young male vocal soloist from Cleeve High School was also featured in the concert.
Training Band Festivities
Sunday 16th December
The Training Band held its annual Christmas Concert at the Watson Hall on the afternoon of Sunday 16th December. Somehow the members of both the Beginner and Intermediate Training Band’s managed to squeeze onto the stage..over 40 in total; an impressive and exciting sight!
The Intermediate Band opened the concert with the popular road march ‘The New Recruit’ by G. Southwell played with a swagger. The Beginner Band then highlighted their talents with a quick Latin dance through Gary Young’s ‘Peppermint Tango’. The next two pieces featured our talented young percussionist, Ben Stock, first on that essential percussion item…the triangle in Oliver Mann’s ‘Triangle Tarantella’ and then providing the essential rhythmic backing on the bongos to the same composer’s ‘Djembe Funk’.
The Beginner Band were then featured again in one of Helen’s own compositions ‘The Little Penguin’ written following our visit to Penguin Island in Australia. The Intermediate Band then alluded to the pantomime season with an arrangement of the popular song from Disney’s Aladdin ‘A Whole New World’. Staying in Arabia the Intermediate Band continued with a ‘Camel Dance’ by Nick Mills. The Beginner Band continued the desert theme with some great playing in David Beal’s ‘Wild West Yonder’.
The Intermediate Band then played the beautiful ‘Hymn for St. Jim’ by Andy Norman before taking things up tempo with a little ‘Herb Alpert Pops’ featuring ‘Tijuana Taxi’ and ‘Spanish Flea’. The Beginner Band then showed off their vocal prowess as well as their playing ability in Gary Young’s ‘Rat-A-Tat’.
The packed programme of highlights from 2012 continued with the Intermediate Band playing Alan Bullard’s ‘Calypso Fanfare’ followed by his Mussorsky inspired ‘Russian Steppes’. The Beginner Band took us on a ‘Festive Parade’ courtesy of Darrol Barry before the Intermediate Band slowed proceedings down with a delightful rendition of the popular folk tune ‘Shenandoah’. Moving back up tempo the Intermediate Band then played an arrangement by Alan Fernie of ‘Mack the Knife’ and Rob Hume’s arrangement of the Jackson Five’s ‘Blame It On the Boogie’.
Both Band’s then joined together to bring the concert to a rousing festive close with four pieces ‘Guava Guy’, ‘Rudolph’, ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ and ‘Silent Night’. Another fantastic afternoon of fun and music with the Training Band.
All that was left to do was to hand out the certificates of membership to all the players and to present the Ron Caddock Memorial Trophy for the Training Band’s Player of the Year to young cornetist, Daniel Hart, who has begun his progression into the Senior Band during 2012.
A Day of Carolling
Morrisons, Up Hatherley
Saturday 15th December
As Christmas approaches the Band takes the dual opportunity to raise much needed funds (to allow it to continue to run three bands, provide free tuition and instruments where required, refresh its music programme on a regular basis, and to continue to play its role in the Tewkesbury community) and to promote itself to the wider public. People love to hear a brass band playing carols at Christmas and on Saturday 15th December the members of the band worked in shifts from just after 10am until just after 6pm to entertain the shoppers at Morrisons in Up Hatherley. As usual, some hardy (or is that crazy) members, myself included, spent the whole day in the cold raising money and the band’s profile!
Two Evenings of Festive Fun
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December
The Bands gave their annual installment of festive fun at the Roses Theatre on the evenings of Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December. The concert opened in atmospheric style with the auditorium in darkness as the Senior Band played Julien Roh's wonderful piece 'The Night Before Christmas' with the poem that inspired it being read to the band accompaniment. The stage lights rising as the poem continued to its exciting central passages prior to fading away again as St Nick leaves on this sleigh. This was followed by a rapid heat-wave inspired 'Sleigh Ride' from the pen of American light music composer Leroy Anderson featuring whip cracks from Keith Rose and horse whinny from Helen Walters. The audience were then invited to join in with the singing of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' to Martin Cordner's arrangement entitled 'The Everlasting Light' before we made their feet tap with Richard Phillips 'Yuletide Rag', a ragtime arrangement of the Welsh carol 'Deck The Halls'.
As is traditional at these concerts the Training Bands then took to the stage to perform several of their tunes under the leadership of Training Band leader, Helen Walters. The seating on the stage had to be expanded to accommodate the 40+ players in the Training Bands so there was some rapid stage management! Both Bands opened with several of the Intermediate Band players spread across the front of the stage to play Andy Norman's rhythmic 'Guava Guy', a brass band piece inspired by Herbie Hancock's 'Watermelon Man'. This was followed by the Beginner Band playing one of Helen's own pieces which is rapidly becoming a festive favourite 'The Little Penguin'. The Beginner Band then played Gary Young's 'Rat-A-Tat' featuring them all shouting the title at the end. Taking the mood up tempo again the Intermediate Band jived away to the music to the popular Jackson Five hit 'Blame It On The Boogie'. Both Bands joined together again for another piece by Andy Norman, this time an arrangement of the carol 'Silent Night'. The Intermediate Band brought the Training Band section of the concert to a rousing conclusion with Rob Hume's arrangement of the Slade hit 'Merry Christmas Everyone'.
The Senior Band returned to the stage and gave the audience 'An Almost English Christmas', a collection of popular carols by English composers and one overseas born composer who lived in England cleverly arranged for band by Matt Kingston. A snowman then appeared to the side of the stage to the screaming delight of the school children. This was a very talented snowman since it was able to play the tuba and went off to find one! The snowman was in actual fact Hannah Benbow, our sixteen year old Eb Bass player, who took to the front of the stage and gave two outstanding performances of the difficult solo 'Frosty The Snowman' which inevitably received great applause from the audience. The audience were then invited to sing 'While Shepherds Watched' to Kenneth Smith's arrangement entitled 'The Angel Message'.
It was then time for our conductor's annual starring role in a pantomime piece....this year it was a clever mixture of fairy tales put together by Flemish composer Jan de Vlieger and arranged for brass band by Erik Jannsen 'A Fairy Cocktale'. To conduct the piece whilst Nigel undertook a little story telling and headgear swapping we had the expertise of our young second trombonist, Matthew Lee, who clearly directed the band so that they met all the verbal cues with the relevant musical excerpt. This piece had the audience laughing their way into the interval.
We started the second half of the concert with Peter Graham's march arrangement of several festive tunes under the title of 'The Wonder of Christmas'. A bunch of elves holding trombones (Hadrian Walters, Martin Cullwick, Matthew Lee and John Warner) then stood up to entertain the audience in typical trombone fashion with Darrol Barry's fun arrangement of 'We Three Kings' mixed with several other carols under the title 'Santa's Little Helpers'. A little Caribbean warmth was then brought to the evening as the band played another festive arrangement from the pen of Peter Graham in the form of his calypso arrangement of the 'Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy' called 'Christmas Calypso'.
It was then time for the raffle and the Band Awards to be presented before our special guests from Tirlebrook Primary School on the Saturday evening and from Alderman Knight School on the Sunday evening provided a little choral entertainment. As is now common at our Christmas concerts we rounded off the concert with the choir singing and jingling as we played 'Jingle Bells', 'Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'Christmas Swingalong'. All that was left was for us to wish the audience a 'Merry Christmas'.
Congratulations To All Our 2012 Awards Winners
Tewkesbury Town Band present their awards annually. Those to the Senior Band are presented at the Roses Christmas Concerts and The Training Band award is presented at their own concert in the Watson Hall.
Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy
Presented to the Senior Band’s junior member who has made the most progress throughout the year.
Sixteen year old Eb bass player Hannah has made great progress since joining the Senior Band from our Training Band. A highlight of the year for her was when she performed Frosty the Snowman as a solo to two full houses at the Roses Theatre.
Fred Poole Memorial Cup
Presented to the the Senior Band’s Musician of the Year .
Matthew’s talents, at just aged sixteen, have seen him play in three seats within the band over the past year. His first instrument is trombone but Matthew played the bass trombone part on our Miesbach tour, and the timpani drums for the area contest in Torquay. He was also given the job of conducting a piece at our Christmas Concert.
Jeff Clarke Cup
Presented to the Senior Band’s Band Member of the Year.
Voted for by the members of the band rather than the Musical Director, this award recognises all the work Penny does for the band in producing the Band newsletter each quarter and serving on the committee. Penny is a baritone player with both our Senior and Training Band.
Francis Martin Memorial Cup
Presented to the Senior Band’s Section of the Year.
Congratulation to Trombone players Hadrian Walters, Martin Cullwick, John Warner and Matthew Lee. One of the reasons this award was presented to the trombone section was for their fantastic attendance record throughout the year.
Dave Crowe Memorial Cup
Presented to the Senior Band’s Cornet Player of the Year.
David did not let an operation on his hand and being in plaster for six weeks stop him playing his cornet. He was back at rehearsals in days and came on the Germany tour whilst still in plaster. Such dedication to the band.
Ron Caddock Memorial Trophy
Presented the Training Band Member of the Year as voted by Training Band Members.
Thirteen year old Daniel plays solo cornet in our Training Band and 3rd cornet in our Senior Band and has recently gained a place in the Gloucestershire Youth Brass band.
Alderman Knight School Christmas Fete
Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury
Thursday 6th December
On the evening of Thursday 6th December the Training Band were proud to be once again invited by Alderman Knight School to provide some background music to their Christmas Fete. The hall to the new school development has not yet been finished and the fete stalls were crammed into a building in the centre of the school. So as not to add to the noise in there the Training Band set up by the entrance to the new building and played carols as people entered the fete. The sound of their carols carried across the playground area to the hall where the stalls were and to the outside barbeque which was frequented by the Training Band members in their interval.
Pied Piper Charity Concert
Wednesday 5th December
On Wednesday 5th December the Band made its 16th annual appearance at The Pied Piper Appeal's Celebration Of Christmas at Tewkesbury Abbey. It was cold outside (and inside the Abbey when you are sat still!) but there was plenty of musical delights to warm everyone present. After the Welcome from Rev'd Michael Cole the Band led the audience in the singing of the carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful'. A group of mini Santas from The Tewkesbury C of E Primary School Choir then sang three songs: 'Tell me a story, Shining Star', 'Sing - Diamond Jubilee Song', 'When Christmas Comes to Town'. The Band then led the audience in the carol 'Good King Wenceslas' before a harp was wheeled out for harpist Catherine White to delight the audience with two solo tunes for harp: 'Impromptu for Harp' and 'El Picaflor'.
Organist Howard Williams then led the audience in the carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' before a reading consisting of a series of letters based around the twelve days of Christmas by Baroness Rennie Fritchie. Howard Williams then played his own medley of carols and Christmas tunes on the organ with the challenge to the audience to count how many tunes were present, the answer being sixteen. This was followed by four songs from Chorus Felum: 'The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy', 'In the bleak Midwinter', 'A Child There is Born', 'A Christmas Blessing'. The organist led the audience in the singing of 'Silent Night' before the Gloucester Salvation Army Songsters sang several upbeat Christmas songs: 'Candelight Carol', 'Sing Gloria', 'The Infant King', 'O Come and Join the Dance'.
It was then time for the Band's section of the concert. We opened by taking the audience on a musical 'Sleigh Ride' through the snow with whip cracks, sleigh bells and a horses whinny in a brass band arrangement of Leroy Anderson's popular light Christmas classic. We then got the audience tapping their toes to the 'Yuletide Rag', a fantastic ragtime arrangement by Salvationist Richard Phillips of Deck The Halls. We completed our set with the popular classical Christmas tune based around the three Kings march 'Farandole' by Bizet.
Major Adrian Allman of the Salvation Army then gave a brief address to the audience before the Band and organ led them in singing the final carol of the evening 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing'. A few closing words were said by compere for the evening , Rev'd Geoff Crago, before the Band played 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' as the audience left to make their way home on a cold and frosty evening.
Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre
Saturday 1st December
The Training Band made its annual appearance at the Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre on the lunchtime of Saturday 1st December playing two forty minute performances of favourite Christmas carols whilst a healthy number of fete-goers (given the lack of parking due to the numerous flooded car parks in Tewkesbury) browsed the selection of interesting stalls in the Abbey nave. Several people took time out from their shopping to sit and listen whilst the band played and added a little festive atmosphere to this wonderful fayre.
|Saturday 1st||Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre - Training Band [12pm]|
|Wednesday 5th||Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7:30pm]|
|Thursday 6th||Alderman Knight School Christmas Fete [6pm]|
|Saturday 8th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Tirlebrook Primary School Choir|
|Sunday 9th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Alderman Knight School Choir|
|Saturday 15th||Carol Playing at Morrisons, Up Hatherley [9:45am - 6pm]|
|Sunday 16th||Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]|
|Tuesday 18th||Bishop's Cleeve Rotary Club Christmas Concert, St Michael's Church, Bishop's Cleeve [7:30pm]|
|Wednesday 19th||Sea Cadets Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7pm]|
|Thursday 20th||Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7pm - 8pm]|
|Friday 21st||Carol Playing at Morrisons, Tewkesbury [4pm - 9pm]|
|Saturday 22nd||Carol Playing in Tewkesbury High Street [9:45am - 4pm]|
|Monday 24th||Carols at Knightsbridge Retirement Home [1:30pm - 2pm]|
|Monday 24th||Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [3:15pm]|
Tewkesbury Christmas Lights
Tewkesbury High Street
Sunday 25th November
The Town was under threat of flooding and several of the roads into it were already impassable but the annual Christmas Lights Fayre went ahead and the Training Band gathered to provide its annual Christmas entertainment to the people of Tewkesbury. As it turned out it was one of our warmer and drier appearances at this event with the sun shining throughout...the rain luckily held off until we were on our way home. Despite the difficulties in relation to getting into the Town and the restricted parking as a result of the numerous flooded car parks the High Street was very busy for the occasion. The Training Band gave two forty minute performances of all your favourite Christmas carols in the lead up to the turning on of the lights. It was then home to await the high point of the flooding in the hope that it wouldn't prove too bad for the Town and its inhabitants.
More pictures from the day can be found here.
Soggy Christmas Lights!
Saturday 24th November [3:30pm-5pm]
After our fun at Gloucester Quays and a brief spell of stall browsing several of the Band members made the short trip over to the village of Bishop's Cleeve to provide carols for the turning on of the Christmas lights along the village's main street.
Unfortunately for the organisers of this event the weather became exceptionally inclement as you can probably tell from the picture with heavy rain and strong winds blowing it onto the Band as it played carols on a raised scaffolding stage with no sides for protection. As the time of 5pm approached a handful of hardy Cleeve residents brought their children out to see Father Christmas switch the lights on before they and the Band beat a hasty exit to somewhere dry and warm!
A Victorian Christmas Market
The Quays, Gloucester
Saturday 24th November [11am-12:30pm]
The Band's first Christmas engagement of 2012 took place at the Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market on the morning of Saturday 24th November. The weather continued to be pretty miserable and wet as we had been experiencing all week but this had not put the shoppers off and The Quays was packed with stalls and shoppers. By the time we left after our hour and half performance there was a queue of cars trying to get to the Quays reaching back to the Gloucester ring road.
The Band were placed on a stage under cover near to a bierkeller style bar and the food stalls, a perfect location for a brass band! So our supporters and a good audience of shoppers were able to enjoy good food and drink whilst listening to a veritable feast of their Christmas favourites from Hark The Herald Angels Sing to Sleigh Ride.
Remembrance Parade and Service
Tewkesbury High Street and Cross
Sunday 11th November
Sunday 11th November saw the Band have its annual early morning march down Tewkesbury High Street picking the Town Councillors up along the way to lead them and the huge Remembrance Parade to the Abbey for the annual service of Remembrance. This year's parade benefited from a glorious sunny day which for early November was almost warm. It was also one of the longest parades that the Band has led and included numerous local organisations as well as soldiers from the ARRC at Innsworth.
After the service in the Abbey the Band led the parade back up to The Cross for the wreath laying ceremony and the 11am two minutes silence bookmarked by the Last Post and Reveille played by our principal cornet Helen Walters.
Some good pictures of the day can be found here.
|Sunday 11th||Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]|
|Saturday 24th||Victorian Christmas Fayre, Gloucester Quays [11am - 12:30pm]|
|Saturday 24th||Bishop's Cleeve Christmas Lights Ceremony [3.30pm - 5pm]|
|Sunday 25th||Tewkesbury Christmas Lights Ceremony - Training Band [3pm - 3.40pm outside the Town Hall & 4pm - 4.30pm outside the Co-op on the High Street]|
Charity Trafalgar Night Concert
for the RNLI
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
Sunday 21st October
On the evening of Sunday 21st October the Band took part in a charity concert in aid of the RNLI and the Roses Theatre Trust compered by BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Faye Hatcher. The first half of the concert featured a wide range of acts performing items with sea related themes including the Hobson's Choice Shanty Men, Tewkesbury School Dancers, poet Brenda Read Brown, singer Amy Driscoll with tuba player Wilf Driscoll, the Sea Cadets Drum Corps and the Town's very own Town Crier.
The Band took the stage for the second half of the concert providing a little maritime related content with a rousing rendition of Malcolm Arnold's 'Padstow Lifeboat' with great sounds from our horn section as they mimicked the sound of the foghorn. This was followed by our front row cornets standing up to play Iain Rayner's witty seaside trio 'Sea Breezes' featuring a little of the hornpipe and a lot of the tune to the song 'I do Like to be Beside the Seaside' played with aplomb by Helen Walters, Hannah Williams, Gaby Boyle and Katie Travers. Amy and Wilf Driscoll then performed the premiere of the song 'I've Fallen in Love with my Tuba' before the Band led the audience in a Last Night of the Proms finale to the evening featuring 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs' (with a great cadenza from Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds, and Amy Driscoll leading the singing in Rule Britannia), 'Jerusalem' and 'Land of Hope & Glory'. The concert was rounded off with renditions of 'Auld Lang Syne' and 'God Save the Queen'.
A successful and entertaining evening for all raising a massive £2,888 to be shared 50/50 between the RNLI and the Roses Theatre. An article from the Gloucestershire Echo about the evening can be found here: Trafalgar Night Success.
A Fair Parade
Tuesday 9th October
On 9th October the Intermediate Band, along with some Senior Band members, led the annual parade from the Crescent to the Cross to lead the Town and Borough Mayors to the Cross for the opening ceremony of the Mop Fair. The fairground rides and stalls that filled the town streets then attracted many of our young players for some post-parade fun.
A Musicals Proms Concert
St Andrews United Reform Church, Montpellier, Cheltenham
Saturday 6th October
On the evening of Saturday 6th October the Band were invited to give a concert in aid of St Andrews United Reform Church in Montpellier, Cheltenham. The church was an excellent concert venue for our concert which featured a selection of music from the musicals. We opened with the Goff Richard's excellent arrangement of the upbeat show tune 'There's No Business Like Show Business' before we put on our glad rags for a little 'Puttin' on the Ritz'. The front row cornets (Helen Walters, Katie Travers and Will Norman) then showcased their talents in excellent style with the trio '12th Street Rag'.
The tempo was then slowed down with the hauntingly atmospheric musical representation of the passion of Christ, 'John 19:41' from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar which had hte hairs on the back of the audiences necks standing on end. Staying with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber we played a selection of favourites from his first musical Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat arranged for brass band by Ray Steadman-Allen as 'The Essential Joseph'. Our next selection came from a musical from the same decade but a totally different era, that of fifties America. This was a selection of music from the popular musical 'Grease' arranged by Andrew Duncan which featured a variety of excellent solos from members of the band; none better than the vocal contribution of Kev Bennett as we led into the song 'Greased Lightning'. Rounding off our first half we had the audience singing and humming along to one of the most popular musicals of all time 'The Sound of Music'. We were playing a new arrangement of the music from the film by Japanese composer/arranger Naohiro Iwai which cleverly captures the atmospheric interludes from the film as well as featured excellent arrangements of the most popular tunes, including an excellent Eb Bass solo from Hannah Benbow in The Lonely Goatherd plus some amazing glockenspiel work by Betty Ellis and some great singing by the Band in Edelweiss!
|After the interval, Chris Daw on Bb Bass opened the second half with the introduction to 'Come Follow The Band' before we played Andrew Duncan's fantastic symphonic arrangement of the music from 'Mary Poppins'. After a little kite flying and supercalifragilisticexpialidocius it was back to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber as we featured our three euphoniums (Martin Warner, Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds and Hannah Norman) in 'The Music of the Night'. The concert was then concluded with the audience in good voice as we led them through the popular Last Night of the Proms favourites 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', 'Jerusalem' and 'Pomp and Circumstance (Land of Hope & Glory)'. A good night in a good venue. A big Thank You to our guest players on the evening: Will Norman and Henry Fiddler on cornet and Greg Morgan on percussion.|
|Saturday 6th||St. Andrews United Reform Church, Montpellier, Cheltenham [7:30pm]|
|Tuesday 9th||Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]|
|Sunday 21st||RNLI Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]|
|Sunday 28th||CD Recording, Tewkesbury|
Tewkesbury Civic Parade|
Tewkesbury - Sunday 30th September
On the afternoon of Sunday 30th September the Band were proud to lead a parade of the local uniformed organisations from Sun Street along the High Street to the Abbey playing a variety of marches including 'Slaidburn', 'The New Recruit' and 'The Standard of St George' passing the Town Councillors for a salute at the Town Hall.
A New Member to the Band Family|
Friday 14th September
Congratulations to Helen Edgar, who plays Flugel in our Senior Band, and her husband Steve.
A beautiful baby daughter, Amelia Grace was born on 14th September 2012 at 8.53pm weighing 7lb 12oz. Amelia is also the first grandchild for our Band Treasurer Christine Poole, who is now known as Nanny P. Amelia had her first Band outing when Helen and Steve brought her along to the start of the Civic Parade when she was just two weeks old.
We wish them all the best as they start their new family life and look forward to Helen returning to play with the Band soon.
Sad September Farewells
As a Band that
trains and encourages youngsters in their playing September is the one
month that we never wish to come around since it usually means we will
have to say a sad au revoir to several of our younger members as they
make their way off to university or college to further their education. |
This September we are saying goodbye to the very talented Michael Blake who has achieved a place studying music at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Michael has been an important part of our euphonium/baritone section for the past six years and won the Miles Amherst trophy for the best young player in 2009. As well as being a talented brass player he is also an amazing organ player and we used this talent in our praise concert earlier this year.
We are also saying goodbye to Amy Hiles who has gained a place at The University of Sheffield. Amy joined our front row cornets last September and has proved an invaluable addition to thhe cornet section during the past year.
As well as younger members we have also had to bid farewell to Gerry Petticrew who has stepped down from his position on Eb Bass as a result of having too busy a schedule as a driving instructor; this is good news for him but sad news for the band who have been well served by him over the past few years. We look forward to welcoming him back once his workload settles down.
Finally, we also say goodbye to Training Band members Dr Jennie Henley and her daughter Hannah Spry as their family moves to London where Dr Henley has been appointed to an important role at the Institute of Education as a lecturer in Music Education.
We wish them all well and hope they will visit us regularly when they are in the Tewkesbury area.
Ashton Under Hill Fete|
Ashton Under Hill - Saturday 8th September
The Training Band were invited to provide some afternoon entertainment alongside the usual village fete activities at the bustling Ashton Under Hill fete. Working with the mechanical organ the Training Band kept the fete-goers entertained interspersed with the trained dog routines, the sack races and the dance troupe. The Band played a selection of their summer favourites including 'Journey to Celebration', 'March of the Smurfs', 'Drunken Sailor', 'My Heart WIll Go On' and 'Let's Twist Again'.
|Saturday 8th||Ashton Under Hill Fete - Training Band|
|Sunday 30th||Tewkesbury Civic Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [2:15pm]|
Tour to Miesbach, Germany|
Miesbach, Bavaria, Germany - Wednesday 29th August to Monday 3rd September
Wednesday 29th August
It was an early start for the members of the Band as they made their final preparations before leaving to meet the coach from Tewkesbury School at 7am to Stansted Airport for the flight to Memmingen Airport in Germany. A trouble free journey saw the band arrive in Memmingen by mid-afternoon to be greeted by Norman and Judy from the Miesbach Twinning Committee with a coach to transfer us to our hotel in Miesbach. After checking into the hotel we had a short period to freshen up before being kindly treated to a fantastic meal in the restaurant at the nearby Sports Club featuring the usual combination of German meats and beer! A relaxing start to our short tour.
Thursday 30th August
Our first concert of the tour followed breakfast at the hotel and took place near the market in Miesbach town centre. We set up outside the Gasthof Brauwirt ready to entertain an audience made up of shoppers and people enjoying a mid-morning snack at the cafés around the square. We opened in traditional British style with the march ‘Punchinello’ and followed this with the overture to Rossini’s ‘Thievish Magpie’ which featured some good playing and went down extremely well with the al fresco audience. A little ‘Strauss Cocktail’ followed and had the audience swaying as they stood and listened.
Hannah Williams then stood up to give another classy version of her solo piece ‘Misty’ on a day that was anything but! Not to be outshone her front row colleagues then joined her in the up tempo ‘12th Street Rag’. Staying in a popular vein we then played a selection of songs from the musical ‘Grease’ which also featured the vocal talents of our Soprano Cornet player, Kev Bennett. Staying on Broadway it was a little ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ before Will Norman displayed his talents on the flugel with the big solo in the middle of Barrie Gott’s jazzy ‘Lightwalk’. Our concert was brought to a conclusion with a little Italian opera in the form of Alan Fernie’s ‘An Italian Fantasy’.
Once we had packed our kit away we were kindly treated to a meal and a drink for our efforts by the restaurant which we had been playing outside. After lunch we had a trip to the Meinl factory at Geretsried where we were given an interesting tour of their manufacturing operations and saw the various processes that hand-made instruments pass through before making it to us as musicians. We also got a brief opportunity to try out some of the final products in their sales room and I have to say the trombone I played was one of the nicest I have ever played. The fine weather that had greeted us on our arrival in Bavaria then departed and was replaced by torrential rain for our journey back to the hotel for our evening meal.
After the meal we then took the coach to the village of Niklasreuth to join the Musikkapelle Niklasreuth at one of their rehearsals. We were greeted with greeted at their wonderful rehearsal hall with a crate of beers which served to get the rehearsal off to a good start! The members of the two bands then intermingled in their practice room and enjoyed playing through a selection of their German wind band style music and some of our British brass band pieces from our tour programme. A lot of fun was had and after just over an hours playing we made our way back upstairs to enjoy some local schnapps and more beers whilst making new friends. Hopefully they will be able to make a visit to Tewkesbury in the near future and we will be able to return their great hospitality.
Friday 31st August
The heavy rain continued into Friday and disrupted our plans for a day out by the lake at Schliersee. Instead it was decided to have a free morning at the hotel. This provided the younger members of the Band with time to expend some of their excess energy with a game of football on one of the indoor pitches at the sports centre adjoining the hotel. After lunch the Band caught the local BOB train to Schliersee for an afternoon’s sightseeing in the rain, including the obligatory (for some) paddle in the lake whose waters were exceptionally warm.
After various coffees and apfelstrudels it was time to give our evening concert which had been moved indoors to the function room at the leisure centre. A good audience gathered to hear us run through a selection of items from our tour programme including ‘There’s No Business Like Showbusiness’, ‘Thievish Magpie’, ‘Lightwalk’, ‘Misty’, ‘Come Follow The Band’, ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ and ‘An Italian Fantasy’. A good audience gathered and gave us a standing ovation at the conclusion of our concert which led to an encore being the Bavarian favourite ‘Radetsky March’. To thank us for our concert the local mayor had organised for us to have a nice meal at the Italian restaurant attached to the leisure centre.
Saturday 1st September
The rain continued into Saturday but this did not dampen our spirits as we travelled to the town of Diessen on Lake Amersee. On arrival in Diessen we donned our raincoats to perform several marches outside the market hall before then marching through the town from the market hall to the Restaurant where we were to play a short concert under the cover of several large umbrellas. Despite the poor weather a sizeable and appreciate audience gathered for our hour long concert that included many of the items from our tour programme. Once we had played we were invited into the restaurant to be provided with a meal of sausages and bread plus the customary beer to wash it down.
We were intending to perform a further short concert following our meal but the weather had got worse so instead we had time to wander around the town and to sample the delights of the local ice cream parlour. We then took a trip across the lake on the paddle steamer to Herrsching before travelling to the Andechs Monastery for our evening meal and maybe another drink or two.
Sunday 2nd September
Luckily the weather improved on the Sunday in time for the 'Day of the Brass Bands' in Gmund so that the event could take place and a large audience could enjoy an afternoon of good music making by the eight participating bands whilst enjoying good food and drink. The Band arrived at the venue for the event just after midday and joined the members of the seven other participating bands around the tables in the band members area to enjoy some of the German wurst, pork and strudel washed down with a beer. As the afternoon progressed each of the bands played a 15-20 minute short concert programme to the crowd of circa 800 enjoying the fine German food and beer.
We played the traditional British march 'Punchinello' followed by '12th Street Rag', 'Lightwalk' and 'Italian Fantasy'. Then Professor Gertis conducted the band in the march he wrote to mark our first visit to Miesbach back in 1999 'To Our Friends'. The members of the bands then all gathered on or around the stage to play several German marches and songs as a large massed band. These pieces included the 'Florentiner March', 'Bohmischer Traum', 'Lied der Bayern' and a beautiful arrangement of 'Amazing Grace' followed by the crowd pleasing 'Radetsky March'. The day was rounded off with a meal courtesy of the Mayor of Gmund.
Monday 3rd September
Sadly our tour had to come to an end and the Band spent their final morning in Miesbach before saying their farewells to the various members of the Miesbach Twinning Committee before catching the bus back to Memmingen Airport to begin the return journey home.
Stratford Park, Stroud - Sunday 26th August
The Band's final pre-tour appearance was at the bandstand in Stratford Park on what turned out to be a warm sunny afternoon...a rarity this summer! The band were joined by several of the guest players who were joining us on our tour to Miesbach in Germany and entertained what was quite a large Sunday afternoon audience in the park.
Our concert opened in traditional style with the William Rimmer march 'Punchinello' which was then followed by Rossini's overture to his opera about a servant girl who is wrongly accused of stealing a silver spoon 'La Gazza Ladra (The Thievish Magpie)'. The overture was well played by the Band and enjoyed by those in the audience with its contrasting expressive and aggressive moments. A brief trip to Austria followed with a collection of famous Strauss waltzes combined as 'A Strauss Cocktail'. Our first soloist of the day was Hannah Williams who gave another sultry rendition of 'Misty' before being joined by the rest of the front row in the '12th Street Rag'.
Staying upbeat we did some 'Puttin' On The Ritz' before stepping out in a different fashion with Barrie Gott's jazzy 'Lightwalk' featuring an excellent flugel solo from Will Norman. What was a value for money first half was brought to a conclusion with the cornet feature 'Spanish Eyes' and Alan Fernie's collection of Italian operatic favourites 'An Italian Fantasy'.
The second half commenced with the deep sounds of Chris Daw on Bb Bass as he showed off his skill and dexterity at bass waffle with the opening phrases of 'Come Follow The Band'. Continuing the Broadway theme we then played 'There's No Business Like Showbusiness' before Hadrian Walters on trombone opened a clever arrangement by Andrew Duncan of a selection of tunes from the musical 'Grease' with the tune to the song 'Summer Nights'. A special mention must go to the vocal efforts of Soprano Cornet, Kev Bennett, as he introduced 'Grease Lightning'
Two original pieces for brass band followed. The first being an American carousel style polka from Canadian composer John Struwoski 'Painted Ponies', the second being the beautiful chorale 'Pavane in Blue' by Dutch composer Ted Huggens. A little sixties pop followed with a version of the Monkees 'Daydream Believer' and Peter Kleine-Schaars medley of Beatles tunes with a difference 'Brilliant Beatles'. Our afternoon in the park was rounded off with a fast romp through Goff Richard's arrangement of the popular 'Can Can' theme from Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld'. Thank you to our guest players Osh Griffiths, Will Norman and Otis Williams.
Churchdown Beer Festival|
Churchdown Social Club - Saturday 25th August
The Training Band were invited to provide some afternoon entertainment at the Churchdown Beer Festival. Unsurprisingly the adult members and the children's parents were only happy to oblige! It was another glorious rainy summer day and the Training Band were pleased to be located inside the function room at the Social Club as they played two short programmes of light music to those club members enjoying a tipple or two. These included Training Band favourites such as 'Journey to Celebration', 'March of the Smurfs', 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport', 'Super Trouper' and 'Let's Twist Again'.
Training Band’s 8th Annual Band Camp|
Sidmouth, Devon - Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August
Friday 17th August saw several of the Training band members and their families travel down to the Lyons Gate campsite near Sidmouth. As we left Tewkesbury the weather did not promise a good weekend of camping as the rain hammered against the windscreens of our cars! Thankfully the further South we ventured the better the weather got until we were greeted by sunshine on arrival at the campsite. So the tents and communal cooking gazebo were pitched in the dry; first challenge of the day being how to put together the frame for the gazebo. Luckily our team of experienced engineers were up to the task and we had somewhere to gather.
Once the tents were up the children and several of the adults enjoyed some free time to play games and use up some of their excess energy running around the campsite. Once sufficient energy had been expended the Band Camp Band gathered for a true "open" rehearsal in the gazebo which led to a small crowd of other campers gathering to provide us with an audience.
Whilst we were rehearsing the team of Band Camp cooks led by the experienced Mrs Poole prepared our evening meal. We then enjoyed some social time on the campsite before retiring to our tents.
Saturday 18th August
On the Saturday the Training Band members arose to a foggy campsite ready to sample the usual delicious breakfast cooked expertly prepared by Christine and her helpers. This prepared us for our day at Pecorama in Beer [senior band players are already reading those last three words in reverse order!]. Pecorama is a family theme park based around miniature steam trains and the Training Band would like to say a big Thank You to the staff at Pecorama for treating us so well on the day. On arrival we were given free entry tickets allowing us to have a group trip on one of the miniature steam trains around what is an amazing little circuit of track (approximately 1 mile long through the beautiful gardens).
After the trip on the train we were then treated to cake and drinks at the cafe, and some of us sampled a pasty or similar for our lunch. The Training Band then gave their first 40 minute concert on the Top Spot stage playing a wide selection of their light music featuring arrangements of popular classics and several original brass band melodies. The sound of our music carrying down the hill from the stage across the whole of the park.
We were treated to more cakes and drinks in our interval before joining the audience at the Top Spot to watch Spangles the Clown entertain the young audience. The Training Band then gave another 40 minute performance on the Top Spot stage before having some free time to explore the rest of the park and take in the model railway exhibits and shops.
After a good day out it was back through the fog to the campsite for an evening BBQ to provide us with the energy for the traditional Band Camp team quiz with those rounds set to test the average brass-banders knowledge of the Olympics, Training Band music, the Diamond Jubilee and other useful general knowledge.
Sunday 19th August|
The Band were up early on a sunny Sunday morning for yet another delicious breakfast before a brief session of hymn playing to the campers enjoying a relaxing morning on the campsite. It was then time to break camp, packing down the tents and dismantling the gazebo.
Once this was done it was time for a trip to the beach at Sidmouth on what turned out to be a glorious Sunday afternoon in the sun. The usual seaside delights were sampled (ice creams and fish & chips) by various of the Training band members and their families.
After the fun in the sun and the sea it was time for the return journey to Gloucestershire after another memorable Band Camp weekend.
Fun at the Mayor of Malvern's
Malvern Bandstand - Sunday 5th August [3:40pm]
This year's visit to the bandstand in Malvern coincided with the Mayor
of Malvern's party in the park style Bonanza and so we were part of a
whole afternoon of entertainment in Priory Park, Malvern. This meant
that our appearance was later in the afternoon than would be usual for a
Sunday afternoon bandstand concert and that there were plenty of stalls
for our supporters to look around whilst listening to us play.
We opened our concert with a trip to Broadway and Goff Richard's bright and breezy arrangement of 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. Then it was the turn of our Assistant Principal cornet, Hannah Williams, to entertain the audience with her stylish version of 'Misty'. Hannah was rapidly joined by the rest of the front row cornets to perform the trio '12th Street Rag''. Musically staying in the US the Band then played an arrangement of Irving Berlin's 'Puttin' On The Ritz' before moving to Australia for a rendition of Barrie Gott's popular jazzy number 'Lightwalk'. The first half of our concert being brought to a close with 'An Italian Fantasy'.
After a very short interval the Band returned to the bandstand for a Last Night of The Proms inspired second half programme. The audience were got into the mood with the popular circus march by Julius Fucik 'Entry of the Gladiators'. A little Andre Rieu inspired 'A Strauss Cocktail' provided the audience with a selection of popular waltzes before the ever-popular flag waving Proms pieces 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', 'Jerusalem', 'Pomp and Circumstance No.1'. The afternoon being brought to a close with Gordon Jacob's arrangement of 'The National Anthem' used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II fifty-nine years ago.
|Sunday 5th||Mayor's Bonanza, Malvern Bandstand [3:30pm - 5pm]|
|Friday 17th to
|Training Band Tour to Sidmouth|
|Saturday 25th||Churchdown Beer Festival, Churchdown Social Club - Training Band|
|Sunday 26th||Stroud Bandstand [2:30-4:30pm]|
|Wednesday 29th August to Monday 3rd Sept.||Tour to Miesbach, Germany|
Pershore Midsummer Festival Of
Chapman Court and Pershore Baptist Church, Pershore - Saturday 21st July [2pm & 5pm]
Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass brings together bands from all over the West of England and the Midlands to play at the same event, not in competition with each other but for pleasure. The Festival started with a fanfare from the top of Pershore Abbey Tower at 10am and ended at 10pm after the final two bands performed in the Abbey and at the Angel Inn.
Tewkesbury Town Band played at two venues during the afternoon. The first was at the free venue, Chapman Court, located just outside the town supermarket. Many shoppers, who may never of listened to a brass band before, stopped to listen. Our programme opened with the traditional William Rimmer march 'Punchinello' which gathered a good audience in the thoroughfare between the car park and the High Street. Hannah Williams then stood to give another wonderful rendition of 'Misty' before being joined by her front row colleagues to perform the trio (for five!) '12th Street Rag'. An article on the Festival in the British Bandsman referred to their performance as a show of ‘Girl Power’ as our front row is all female!
After this the audience were entertained with Stephen Roberts arrangement of Irving Berlin's 'Puttin' On The Ritz' and Barrie Gott's popular jazzy number 'Lightwalk'. Our short concert at Chapman Court was brought to a rousing conclusion with Alan Fernie's arrangement of all the popular Italian operatic classical numbers into 'An Italian Fantasy'.
After a short refreshment break the Band then moved across town to play our second programme in Pershore Baptist Church just off the town square. Similar to 2011 we approached the concert here with a more spiritual programme, that was fitting for the venue. Our programme was based around our Praise Concert format and opened with the less well known march 'Stateside' from popular brass band composer Peter Graham. This was followed by Dean Jones suite 'Images of Praise' with its three spiritual movements. Helen Walters took the solo spot in the Church with her re-arrangement of Thomas Mack's arrangement of the Salvationist tune 'Peace Like A River' which she played beautifully. The trombone section then stood to play Ralph Pearce's inspiring and wonderful arrangement of 'There Is A Redeemer' before a quartet of younger players led us in the playing of the popular meditation 'The Irish Blessing' by Joyce Eilers Bacak. Our days playing was rounded off with William Himes upbeat 'Cause For Celebration'.
Our performances finished we could catch up with banding friends outside the beer tent at the Angel Inn or listen to a concert in the Abbey or Baptist Church. It was a wonderful twelve hour non-stop banding festival and the sun shone throughout the day.
Training Band Cabaret Evening
Tirlebrook Primary School, Tewkesbury - Saturday 14th July [6pm]
Olympics, Smurfs and a fairy all featured in the music played by our Training Bands in this years Cabaret Evening on 14th July at Tirlebrook Primary School. The main stars of the evening though were the individual soloists and duet performers, some having only been playing for just a few months.
The Beginner Band opened the concert with 'A Festive Parade' featuring the front row cornets playing without music. This was followed by Derinda Wildman and Theresa Huntley taking the stage as the first soloists of the evening playing the piece 'Together and Alone'. Both Theresa and Derinda are mums of players, who instead of just sitting and waiting for their youngsters decided to start playing this year. Their duet was followed by one of our youngest members, Ella Hart, playing the theme from the movie 'Titanic' on her cornet. Shannon Huntley then took us on a trip across the English Channel with her version of 'Alouette' on the cornet.
The Intermediate Band then entertained us with Jacob de Haan's 'Free
World Fantasy' before Isaac Parry played the theme to the TV show
'Blackadder'. Another young beginner,
Daniel Lewis, played one of the pieces from his tutor book 'Let's
Rock Doc'. Ruth and Emmeline Turner, mother and daughter, then
played a duet version of 'Chim Chim Cheree'
from the Disney film Mary Poppins. Ruth having played in her younger
days has decided to pick up an instrument again (the euphonium) and join
Emmeline (trombone) in the Band. Theo Wildman on horn performed another
TV theme 'Dr Who' and Adam Gillett
obviously has X-Factor ambitions as he played 'My
First Hit Single'! With it being Olympic year the Beginner Band
dressed in sports kit then played Helen Walters' piece 'Otter
Olympics' in its 2012 version. Ella's brother, Daniel Hart, took
us in search of lost treasure with his rendition of the 'Raider's
March' before Hannah Norman went all introspective on her
euphonium with 'On My Own'.
The first half of the programme ended with Intermediate Band telling the story of 'Syrielle' the fairy through music while it was narrated by Derinda Wildman. The music certainly set the moods in the story, from sad when Syrielle was lonely, to scary when the ogre wanted to eat her, through to the happy ending that all good fairy tales have.
Our cabaret evening always involves dressing up. Some soloists were dressed up in costume to complement the piece of music they had chosen. Many costume changes also went on for the whole band. During the interval everyone changed into blue tops and white trousers. Then with blue face paint added and a white hat, a band of Smurfs opened the second half with 'March of The Smurfs' (Intermediate Band playing plus a chorus by Beginner Band). Another of our cabaret evening debutantes, Alice Henning, then played the 'Ode to Joy' on her horn. Rebecca Marshall took us even further back in time with a rendition of Handel's 'March from Scipio Act 1', one of the very first pieces that Tewkesbury Town Band played on being reformed in 1974. In a patriotic vein Kirsten McKeown had the audience humming along to Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory'.
It was then time for a bit of rock as Ben Stock took to the drum kit to
rock out to the sounds of 'Highway to Hell'. This was followed by a
subtle rendition of the jazz classic 'Misty'
by Tom Petticrew on trombone. The Intermediate Band then continued in
similar vein with 'Herb Alpert Pops'
before Hannah Spry slowed the mood down with a beautiful 'Chorale'
on her French horn. Amy Williams then informed us that 'Love
Changes Everything' with a polished performance on her baritone.
Matthew Lee was hoping for some better weather as he took us to 'The Sunny Side of the Street'. The best costume of the evening must go to Eb Bass player Hannah Benbow. How she managed to play Saint Saens 'The Elephant' so well with an elephants trunk on her face was an amazing feat! The evening was rounded off with the combined Beginner and Intermediate Band's playing 'Practice Cha Cha'.
Many thanks go to Nigel Morgan (our compere for the evening) and everyone who helped move percussion, sell raffle tickets or set up the room. It all helped to make the evening such a great success.
GBBA 75th Anniversary
Celebration - A Brass The
Highnam Court - Saturday 7th July [5pm]
Saturday 7th July marked the second MAD 4 Brass Bands Day and was the date chosen by the GBBA to hold a day long brass festival at Highnam Court to mark its 75th Anniversary and raise some money for local charities. Our wonderful summer of changeable weather continued and although not a cold day it was overcast but mostly dry. The 20 bands taking part played twenty minute sets on the raised terrace outside Highnam Court house that acted as a perfect stage with its marquee cover. There was a good audience comprising members of the many and varied bands and various brass band enthusiasts who had brought their chairs to enjoy the music and partake in the refreshments that were available.
The Band took to the stage at around 5pm to perform our short concert. We opened with original brass band music in the form of the magnificent fanfare prelude 'Hymn to the Mountain' from the pen of Swiss composer Etienne Crausaz. This fitted perfectly with the setting and the sound rang out across the gardens of Highnam Court. We followed this with another original brass band work from the pen of Salvationist composer Dean Jones in the form of his suite 'Images of Praise' which was commissioned by a Swiss Brass Band and comprises three movements: Praise in Joy, Praise in Peace, and Praise in Happiness.
The Band's assistant principal cornet, Hannah Williams, then stood up to entertain the audience with the fourth version of the classic flugel solo 'Misty' played on the day (it probably ranked as the most played piece). The difference being that Hannah played it on her cornet in a beautifully reflective jazz style earning her compliments after our performance and we chose to rename the piece 'Foggy' to differentiate it. We rounded our set off with our very own march 'Tewkesbury' which was specially composed by Andrew Duncan for the Band's 30th Anniversary in 2004.
Once all of the bands had played their short individual programmes a group of around 160 players representing all of the participating bands formed a massed band to play several pieces under the baton of Philip Harper. Just as the players were taking their places the heavens opened for a very heavy shower. Luckily the marquee was large enough to cover all of the players....except for the unfortunate trombones who were left stood in the downpour and ended up looking like drowned cats by the end. The massed bands opened with Philip Harper's arrangement of the traditional Gloucestershire tune 'The Gloucestershire Wassail', this was followed by the Yellow Baton version of the BFBB Olympics inspired Brass the Baton piece 'Going The Distance' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper.
This was followed by the first of two world premieres in the form of Matt Kingston's arrangement of Hubert Parry's 'O Still Small Voice of Calm' which had significance due to the fact that Parry had served as organist at Highnam Church. Following this reflective piece the massed band played the 'Overture from Music for the Royal Fireworks' by Handel. Next it was the second of the world premieres commissioned for the occasion, 'Glorioso' by Philip Harper which was based around a theme from the notes G, B, B and A. The day was brought to a close with Drake Rimmer's 'Farandole from L'Arlesienne' by Bizet.
Youth Visit Parliament
The Atrium, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament - Wednesday 4th July
Three young players from our Senior Band were very excited when they found out that they would be playing at the Houses of Parliament as part of a group of 15 Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band players. On 4th July they were invited to play for the All-Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Brass Bands to launch this years MAD 4 Brass Banding Day that was held on 7th July. Our Conductor Nigel Morgan travelled with them as a representative from the British Federation of Brass Bands.
The youngsters thought it was fantastic to play at this prestigious venue and were great ambassadors for the banding world. Afterwards they spoke with the Chair of the sub committee and two Lords.
Adam Gillett - Grade 1 Trumpet
Ella Hart - Level 2 Trumpet
Daniel Hart - Grade 5 Cornet
Kieran Bennett - Grade 1 Cornet
Amy Williams - Grade 5 Baritone
Rebecca Marshall - Grade 4 Cornet
Hannah Williams – Grade 6 Drums
Michael Blake – Grade 8 Organ
|Saturday 7th||GBBA 75th Anniversary Celebration, Highnam Court [5pm] - A Brass The Baton Event|
|Saturday 14th||Cabaret Evening, Tirlebrook Primary School - Training Band [6pm]|
|Saturday 21st||Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass [2pm at Chapman Court / 5pm Baptist Church]|
Ashchurch Primary School 179th
Our Intermediate Band helped Ashchurch Primary School celebrate 170 years when they played at their Victorian Fayre. All the children and staff were dressed in Victorian costumes and while setting up we were able to enjoy listening to them perform many songs from Oliver.
At the end of the evening instruments were carried across to the school playground. A fanfare was played at the ceremony for the raising of the new school flag up their recently renovated flag pole.
Kemerton Country Show & Fair
The cold and windy British summer did not dampen the spirits at Kemerton Country Show & Fair on Saturday 23rd June. A small group of players arrived around midday to play the National Anthem at a special presentation to sailors who had served on HMS Kemerton which was celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
Later in the afternoon, positioned next to the tea tent, pig roast and beer tent, the Band entertained visitors to the Country show. The Band commenced its first programme with its signature march from the pen of Andrew Duncan and simply entitled 'Tewkesbury'. This was followed by a glitzy rendition of Goff Richard's wonderful arrangement of 'There's No Business Like Show Business' before our front row cornet players had the difficult job of keeping stands upright and stopping the music from blowing away as they stood to play the jazzy piece '12th Street Rag'.
This was followed by a more traditional selection of Strauss waltzes in 'A Strauss Cocktail' before the band moved back across the Atlantic Ocean with the Irving Berlin classic 'Puttin on the Ritz'. It as back to England for a little Madness inspired 'Baggy Trousers' before rounding the first half of our programme off with a selection of Scottish traditiona tunes put together by Allan Street into a 'Skirl'.
After a short interval to explore the show and sample the food & drink on offer we returned for the second half of our programme opening in traditional style with the famous William Rimmer march 'Punchinello'. We then took our hay bale squatting audience on a tour of Italy in Alan Fernie's clever arrangement of several famous Italian operatic favourites into 'An Italian Fantasy'. Our assistant principal cornet, Hannah Williams, then stood up to play the popular solo 'Misty'. The whole cornet section then stood to lead the band in a smooth rendition of 'Spanish Eyes'. This was followed by an arrangement of the Michael Buble song 'Haven't Met You Yet' before we rounded off our days playing with the Yiddish themed 'Klezmer Karnival'.
A big Thank You to our guest players on the day (Kieran Morgan on tuba, Geoff Henning on Bass Trombone and Alan Little on cornet) and our past young players (Cameron Purveur on trombone and Alex Blencowe on cornet) for their assistance.
Band Social: 15 Years of Nigel
On Sunday 17th June the Beginner band, Intermediate band and Senior band were all invited to take part in the Mass Rehearsal and Band Social. The highlight being a short concert with everybody playing together, playing varying standards of music to allow everyone to feel a part of the music making.
The audience for this concert included the Town Mayor and a number of the Band's Vice Presidents who joined with family and friends of the Band to witness this great example of community music making. Nigel was impressed with the fact that such important guests had joined with the Band to enjoy our informal afternoon of fun.
The massed band of over 50 players opened the informal concert with the Band's signature march 'Tewkesbury' and for some of the Training Band members it was their first experience of playing the Band's own march. This was followed by one of the Training Band pieces 'Wild West Yonder' so that everyone could feel part of the occasion and enjoy the playing. It being a Sunday we then played Matt Kingston's special arrangement of the hymn 'O Still Small Voice of Calm' which he has arranged for the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association in July this year.
A couple of fun pieces were then played, the first being an arrangement by Peter Ratnik of the theme tune to the Ghostbusters film 'Who You Gonna Call?' which featured some raucous singing by the cornet section of the title and its response of 'Ghostbusters!'. The other piece was one of the current Training Band favourites 'March of the Smurfs'.
Another of the Beginner Band pieces was performed, 'Practice Cha Cha' from the pen of composer Patrick Verhaegen with the chant in the middle about practising being replaced with the words 'Tewkesbury, Tewkesbury, Tewkesbury Town Band'. The concert was then rounded off with a performance of the Green Baton version of Paul Lovatt-Cooper's Olympics inspired piece 'Going The Distance'.
The reason for the presence of the various dignitaries was then revealed as Nigel was presented with an engraved plaque in recognition of the 15 years he has spent leading Tewkesbury Town Band. Nigel joined the Band on 22nd June 1997 and conducted his first performance two weeks later at Pershore Midsummer Brass festival.
In the intervening 15 years he has built the Band up from a starting point of less than 15 players playing to audiences of 50 to 70 people to its current membership of over 65 players across the three bands performing to sellout audiences of 350 on two nights at Christmas. He has built a strong bond between the local community and the Band and has proved a great ambassador for the Band. On the contesting front he has improved the Band over the years taking us up to our current Third Section status and on the way leading us to a national title at the Butlins Mineworkers Open Championships in 2005.
St Catherine's Church Fete
The Training Band made their annual appearance at the summer fete held by St Catherine's Church on the afternoon of Saturday 16th June. The poor summer weather led to the whole fete being relocated into the confines of the Church with the Training Band playing just in front of the choir stalls. The weather didn't dampen the spirits of the stall holders and fete goers and the music from the Training Band attracted a good audience for both of their sets.
The music played was a similar selection to the previous week at Bishop's Cleeve of light fun music including the 'March of the Smurfs' with jolly smurf-style singing, various easy arrangements of popular tunes (such as 'Danny Boy', 'My Heart Will Go On', 'Amarillo'), a taste of 'Herb Alpert' and original pieces such as 'Fun Fever' and 'Journey to Celebration'. In the interval the Band had a chance to meet an Olympic Torch carrier and have their photo taken with them. Similar to the previous week the performance was concluded with a Proms style ending featuring the last night favourite 'Land of Hope & Glory' and to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee they played the 'National Anthem'.
Bishop's Cleeve Street Fair
The Training Band made their annual appearance at the Bishop's Cleeve Summer Street Fair on the afternoon of Sunday 10th June. The sun surprised everyone by making what seems to be a rare appearance this summer and warmed a sizeable audience for the two half hour performances by the Training Band.
The Training Band played a selection of their light fun music from the 'March of the Smurfs' with hearty smurf-style singing, various easy arrangements of popular tunes (such as 'Danny Boy', 'My Heart Will Go On', 'Amarillo'), a taste of 'Herb Alpert' and some original pieces such as 'Day of Jubilee' and 'Journey to Celebration'. There was also chance to eat ice cream and enjoy all the fun activities happening along Bishop's Cleeve High Street. The performance was concluded with a Proms style ending featuring the last night favourite 'Land of Hope & Glory' and to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee they played the 'National Anthem'.
Photos courtesy of Dart.Images
Tewkesbury Abbey Diamond
Tewkesbury Abbey - Saturday 2nd June [12pm]
The first weekend of June 2012 marked the Diamond Jubilee of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. This was only the second time in the history of our country that such a milestone had been reached and across the country their were Diamond Jubilee events to celebrate the occasion. The Band appeared at a special Diamond Jubilee themed Abbey Fete on Saturday 2nd June and opened our programme with the special arrangement of the 'National Anthem' by Gordon Jacob for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. .
The Band then played our own signature march 'Tewkesbury' before providing some light background entertainment to the fete going public in the form of the theme tune from the popular TV shows 'Ground Force' and 'Last of the Summer Wine'. It was then time for a little nibble at the 'Teddy Bears' Picnic' before a little madness in our 'Baggy Trousers'. The weather held which was lucky given the dismal summer we have been experiencing and we rounded off our first set with Philip Sparke's energetic 'Klezmer Karnival'.
We then had
time to look around the fete and to catch a quick trip on the model
railway before providing a second set of light background music to an
enthusiastic fete going audience. We opened this set with the popular
march 'Punchinello' before transporting our attentive listeners to the
warmer drier climes of Italy with Alan Fernie's clever arrangement of
several popular Italian classics in 'An
Italian Fantasy'. From Rome we travelled to Vienna to waltz our
way around the dance floor to the sounds of Johan Strauss collected
together in 'A Strauss Cocktail'.
Our rapid excursion around Europe then took us to Spain as the cornet section looked into 'Spanish Eyes' and left us all bewitched by their beautiful sound. A detour took us under the sea to visit a certain yellow sponge cartoon character, 'Spongebob Squarepants' and as a tribute to the miniature train we played 'Thomas the Tank Engine'. Back to the real world and our next stop was the highland of Scotland and the sound of the bagpipes in 'Skirl'. Finally it was the journey back home in a Lancaster bomber after destroying a few dams with the theme from 'Dambusters'.
Thanks to John Daw on Bass and Will Norman on cornet for helping us out at this event.
|Saturday 2nd||Tewkesbury Abbey Fete|
|Sunday 10th||Bishop's Cleeve Street Fair 1:30pm & 3pm - Training Band|
|Saturday 16th||St Catherine's Church Fete, Gloucester - Training Band [1:30pm]|
|Sunday 17th||Band Social & Massed Training and Senior Bands Concert, Band Room [5pm]|
|Saturday 23rd||Kemerton Country Show & Fair [2pm]|
|Friday 29th||Ashchurch School 170th Anniversary Celebration - Training Band [4:30pm]|
Praise Concert - A Brass The
St John's Church, Churchdown - Saturday 9th May [7pm]
On the evening of Saturday 9th May the Band presented one of its Praise Concerts featuring multi-media projections backed by spiritual music both old and new. As usual for these concerts the vicar of the church, Revd Katy Morgan, introduced the Band and welcomed the audience before saying a prayer.
The Band opened the concert with the upbeat march based on the popular hymn tune to Onward Christian Soldiers 'Marching Onward' by Ivor Bosanko. This was followed by Dean Jones suite 'Images of Praise' which is made up of three movements: Praise in Joy, Praise in Peace, and Praise in Happiness. The audience were then invited to join in the praise with the singing of the hymn 'Praise My Soul'.
The Band's principal cornet, Helen Walters, then stood up to entertain the audience with her own arrangement for band of Thomas Mack's arrangement of Buryl Red's beautiful tune 'Peace Like A River'. The reflective mood was continued with Eric Ball's classic arrangement of Hugh Roberton's 'All in the April Evening'..only a couple of weeks late! Our next soloist, Helen Edgar on flugel, was following in her father's footsteps as she played the popular tune 'I Don't Know How to Love Him' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.
The audience were then invited to sing
one of the hymns that we had played at the wedding of Helen Edgar to her
husband Steve last September, 'All People That
on Earth Do Dwell' which is sung to the tune 'Old
Hundredth'. The Band played the Vaughan Williams arrangement of
this hymn tune arranged for brass band by Derek Broadbent.
The first half of the concert was concluded with our third soloist of the evening, our euphonium player Michael Blake. However, he was not playing his euphonium instead he had taken his place at the church's organ to play an arrangement by salvationist Kevin Norbury of Karg-Elert's 'Praise The Lord on Drum and Cymbals' for band and organ. This brought the first half of the concert to a rousing conclusion.
After the interval refreshments, the second half of the concert commenced with the World Premiere of the Green Baton version of the 'Brass the Baton' Cultural Olympiad commissioned work for the brass band community, 'Going The Distance'. The piece was commissioned by the BFBB from the pen of the popular young brass band composer, Paul Lovatt-Cooper and is one of five pieces (each featuring a conductors baton in one of the five colours of the Olympic rings) that has been developed out of a central inception piece that was premiered at the European Brass Band Championships in Rotterdam a week earlier. Our conductor, Nigel Morgan, collected the green baton in Rotterdam and brought it back to Churchdown to conduct this piece. It and the other coloured batons will then wind their way around the UK before they all meet for a finale performance on 22nd July at the Durham Brass Festival.
The premiere performance of this contemporary work was well received by our audience. Staying with the upbeat mood we then played Jean Francois Michel's arrangement of the song made popular by the hit movie Sister Act, 'I Will Follow Him'.
Calming things down we played Peter Graham's arrangement 'Swedish Folk Song', a tune more popularly known as 'O Lord My God' or 'How Great Thou Art'. The four members of the trombone section (Hadrian Walters, Martin Cullwick, Matthew Lee & John Warner) then stood up to play the trombone feature 'There is A Redeemer' penned by Ralph Pearce for the New York Staff Band of the Salvation Army in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Centre.
Matthew Lee remained standing and was joined by three other young members of the Band, Hannah Williams on cornet, Katie Travers on flugel and Lucy Windsor on tenor horn to play the wonderfully sweet arrangement for brass band of Joyce Eilers Bacak's 'Irish Blessing'.
After a final blessing from Revd Katy Morgan and various thank you's the concert was concluded with the piece guaranteed to achieve a standing ovation from the audience, an arrangement of Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' by Philip Sparke.' A big thank you to Ben Adamson who stood in for Chris Daw on BBb Bass and Osian Griffiths who played kit percussion for us.
|SSaturday 12th||Praise Concert, St John's Church, Churchdown [7:30pm] - A Brass The Baton Event|
Farewell to our Percussionist
The Band wish Aiden and his family all the best for the future. This does mean that the Band is looking for a percussionist to replace Aiden and would welcome anyone with an interest in joining us on kit or tuned percussion.
Training Band Accepted to
Gloucestershire Cash Giveaway
Due to your amazing efforts a grand total of 6,246 tokens were collected on behalf of the Training Band leading to us receiving and amazing £901 share from the £15,000 total fund; the 5th highest amount. A big Thank You to everyone with a special mention to Linda and Matthew Lee who co-ordinated the collection of tokens by band members and personally counted over 3,000 tokens.
Tewkesbury Town Band AGM
Tewkesbury Town Hall - Tuesday 10th April 7pm
On Tuesday 10th April the Band held its annual AGM in Tewkesbury Town Hall. As usual the evening's proceedings commenced with a short pre AGM concert by our Training Band to the Town Mayor, band members, family and friends.
The Intermediate Band opened the concert by playing the upbeat march 'Journey To Celebration' by James Pendelton. This was followed by the Beginner Band playing the atmospheric cowboy inspired 'Wild West Yonder' by David Beal before the talents of one of our younger Intermediate Band members, Daniel Hart, were highlighted as he played a solo in Andy Norman's 'Highland Farewell'.
The Beginner Band then gave the premiere performance of 'Otter “2012” Olympics' by Helen Walters, a revised edition of her earlier work to mark the 2012 London Olympics. This was followed by another piece marking a 2012 anniversary as the Intermediate Band played the Theme from the motion picture Titanic, 'My Heart Goes On'. The concert was concluded by the Beginner Band playing 'A Festive Parade' by Darrol Barry and the Intermediate Band encouraging the audience to dance with 'Lets Twist Again'.
Tewkesbury Town Training Band continues
to thrive having 47 members regularly attending rehearsals with 14 new
members since the beginning of the year. Some players were performing in
their first concert and had only been with the band for a couple of
months. Our Training Band is definitely not just for youngsters as over
a quarter of the Training Band are adult learners, many of those being
parents who have children playing with the Band.
After a welcome by the Chairman the
proceedings of the meeting were handed over to the President of the
Band, the current Town Mayor, Councillor Pavey. A short formal meeting
outlined the Officer's reports and band accounts prior to the election
of committee members for the year ahead.
It was announced that Keith Rose the longest serving member of the Band, joining very soon after the Band’s formation in 1974, had accepted the outgoing committees invitation to become a Vice President of the Band.
Committee members, players and supporters were thanked for every part they play within the Tewkesbury Town Band family. It is everyone working together that makes the Band such a success.
Hannah Williams, Linda Lee,
Penny Windsor, Kaye Williams,
Martin Cullwick, Jenny Norman
|Contest Secretary:||Jenny Norman/Sue Wilmot|
|Project Manager / GBBA Rep:||Mark Windsor|
|Band Manager:||Kev Bennett|
|Newsletter Editor:||Penny Windsor|
|Friends Secretary:||Pete Hart|
News of Our Younger Members Achievements
Hannah Norman - Grade 5 Theory
Emma Keene- Grade 4 Cornet
Emily Brewis - Grade 4 Cornet
Hannah Spry - Grade 1 French Horn
Theo Wildman - Level 3 Tenor Horn
Tom Keene - Grade 4 Trombone
Aiden Hayers –Grade 8 Drums
Tewkesbury Abbey Palm Sunday Parade
Tewkesbury Abbey - Sunday 1st April 9:15am
Palm Sunday saw an early morning start in the sunshine for a small group of Senior and Intermediate Band players as they gathered with the congregation of Tewkesbury Abbey for a small parade led by a donkey.
The Band played the processional hymn "O Glory Laud and Honour" as the congregation carrying palm crosses paraded from the grounds of Abbey House round to the West End of the Abbey. The congregation were then given a reading of the Palm Sunday story from the Bible before the Band led them in 'Sing Hosanna' and the everyone entered the Abbey for the remainder of the Palm Sunday service.
|Sunday 1st||Palm Sunday Parade, Tewkesbury Abbey [9am]|
|Tuesday 10th||AGM - including Training Band Concert, Tewkesbury Town Hall [7pm]|
Training Band Accepted to
Gloucestershire Cash Giveaway
On Monday, 19th March, the Training Band, together with the other finalists, will appear in the Echo’s ‘Wish Cash for your Community’ feature. Members of the community can then collect coupons on behalf of the Training Band. The coupons will be printed in the Gloucestershire Echo and The Citizen newspapers from Monday 19th March until Saturday 14th April. So we need as many people as possible to collect coupons from the papers nominating the Training Band. So tell everyone about it – face-to-face, phone, text, email, facebook, twitter.
Tell your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. If you have children, ask their school to collect coupons on our behalf. If you go to church, ask your church to collect on our behalf. And please keep reminding them! All you need to do is complete the coupons that will be printed in the Echo and get them to a Band Member. You can send in as many coupons as you like.
Tewkesbury School SPATS Concert
TThe concert opened with the Band and Carleton Etherington on organ accompanying the SPATS Choir as they sang the magnificent 'Gloria' by English composer John Rutter, a work which had its premiere in the year Tewkesbury Town Band reformed - 1974. This 'Gloria' was specifically written for accompaniment by a brass ensemble with timpani, percussion and organ; so the version presented in the concert wasn't too far from the original work. The Band had the challenge of a different conductor for the choral works as Ben Sawyer of Tewkesbury High School took charge and encountered the pressure of counting numerous extended bars rest....some had their socks off to use their toes in this process! The work is split into three movements. The first opens with a series of fanfares in the brass before the choir make themselves heard in a magnificent joyful style. This movement bounces along and is very uplifting and sounded incredible in the Abbey setting.
The second movement is much softer
and introspective with a lot of toe-counting for the band before some lush
pianissimo chords underneath the choirs phrasing of the words. The third
movement is once again bright and jovial with lots of interjections from the
brass and a recapitulation of the original theme as the whole work is
brought to a close. I would highly recommend searching the internet for the
videos of the University of Utah music department performing this 'Gloria'.
The Band then had a break whilst several groups and individuals from Tewkesbury High School performed. Tewkesbury School Young Voices performed John Rutter's 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'. Emily Rose (granddaughter to the Band's percussionist Keith Rose) gave a wonderful performance of Francis Poulenc's 'Cantilena' from the Sonata for Flute on her flute. The Big Noise Guitar Ensemble played Gary Numan's 'Are Friends Electric?' and 'Pentango' before the Tewkesbury High School Senior Wind Band entertained us with a bit of Abba with a selection from 'Mamma Mia/span>'.
The second half of the concert opened with Diamante singing 'Can You Hear Me' and 'BBoogie Woogie Bugle Boy' before Nigel Morgan took back the reins of the Band as we gave a performance of the piece we played at the contest in Torquay two weeks earlier, 'Olympus' by Philip Harper. Nigel gave the audience a description of the work and the images being depicted by the various sections of the music to allow them to fully appreciate the work. The Band relaxed for the playing of this as it required much less counting from everyone and was much more familiar due to the extended rehearsal for the contest. The Band played really well and the quiet melodic moments really fitted with the Abbey acoustic as did the final chord that continued to ring around the Abbey well after the band had stopped playing.
The concert was closed with another 'Gloria'. This time the 'Gloria' written by French composer Francis Poulenc in 1959 for chorus, soprano and large orchestra. The composer describes this work with the following statement "While writing it I had in mind those Crozzoli frescoes with angels sticking out their tongues, and also some solemn-looking Benedictine monks that I saw play football one day." It is a work that relies on strong musical contrasts in the form of dynamics (loud vs quiet), styles (angular vs lyrical), dissonance and tonality. The work covers a whole range of emotions and was beautifully sung by the SPATS Choir and their Soprano soloist, Amanda Ballard. The band and Carleton Etherington on organ once again accompanied the choir and this once again required huge concentration from the members of the Band as their parts were occasionally sparse but also very important in each of the six movements. I'm still trying to work out the lyrics to the end of the first movement since I'm sure the choir were singing 'Haribo, must have Haribo' or maybe I just misheard!
A very different and enjoyable concert for the Band and one in which we played three pieces over 11 minutes long each! A big Thank You to Ben Sawyer and Tewkesbury High School SPATS for inviting us to be part of it.
An Olympian Task in Torquay
As is usual it was an early rise and shine on the Saturday morning for breakfast and a final run through of the piece at 8:30am. It was then the wait for the draw to find out exactly where we might be playing. The call came through and we were down to play number 8 out of the 13 bands that had entered our section.
At around 12pm we took the stage in The Forum at the Riviera Centre to give our performance of Olympus. The music begins with a depiction of the exciting Opening Ceremony where noisy fanfares led by our cornets and horns with impact notes from the lower pitched instruments of the band and the percussion. The excitement was created by the Band and set the scene for the theme which includes sudden swells to depict the cosmopolitan flag-waving clamour of this occasion.
The music then progresses into a depiction of one of the most exhilarating events of the Ancient Olympics, The Chariot Race, with our bass section initiating a fast compound-time gallop with thundering hooves. The race builds up from the distance just as you can imagine as the chariots are at the far side of the arena to a heroic melody introduced by the tenor horns. Chariot racing was the main equestrian event in the Ancient Greek Games, which were founded in memory of King Oenomaus. In the Greek legend he suffered defeat in a chariot race to his son-in-law and Zeus’ grandson, Pelops, but much of the music is bitter-sweet to symbolise the fact that Pelops had to cheat to win – drawing parallels with some of the issues still facing modern-day athletics. The Band captured the excitement of the race and displayed great dynamic range as the chariots circled the arena.
The chariot race was followed by a slow mystical passage describing The Temple of Zeus at Olympia. The statue of Zeus, who was honoured throughout the Ancient Games’ history, was housed inside the temple and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The music depicts this period of the dawn of one of mankind’s most ancient civilisations and there is a series of solo passages above a drone. This section is reminiscent of the writing of Dwayne Bloomfield in his masterpiece 'Seven Wonders' that we played several times in the early part of this century. The quiet dynamics here challenged the audience and adjudicators to listen intently to the cornet, baritone and horn solos being played. All our soloists (Hannah Williams, Sue Corrigan and Clive Miles) did magnificent jobs in the high pressure environment of the contest stage.
The next section, The Olympic Flame, presents a broad and lyrical anthem-like melody which starts quietly and expressively in the euphoniums that develops slowly. This theme gradually ascends until the horns take it over before passing it upwards again to the cornets (Higher). This is a beautiful musical moment as the theme gradually grows throughout the band and develops until the music bursts into bright life at the lighting of the flame and the regular rhythmic pattern which has been established goes through an accelerando (Faster) into the final section of the piece. The lyrical qualities of our band really shone through in this section.
The final section of the piece is called The Olympic Truce and aims to capture the cooperative spirit of the ancient practice of ending wars for the duration of the games. This jaunty rhythmic theme really sparkled around Band and had great pulse and dynamic contrast. As the piece drew to a close the anthem-like melody makes an affirmatory return (Stronger) and the work ends as it began – with a blaze of colour and a real sense of optimism and global celebration. So as the Latin sub-heading for the piece states the piece goes “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stonger).
The Band gave a good solid performance of the piece that many in the audience enjoyed and matched our highest placing in the Third Section of last year. So once again we finished 8th playing from a number 8 draw! From their comments the adjudicators seemed to only be looking for a very few elements of the piece and appear to have criticised many of the bands in relation to intonation, ourselves included. Given the changes that have been forced on the Band due to children growing up and going to university we are pleased with our result which retains our Third Section status and matches our best ever placing of last year. A special mention must go to Chris Daw, Hannah Benbow, Linda Lee, Matthew Lee, Amy Hiles, Sue Wilmot and David Greenaway who were all making their Area Contest debuts! Congratulations to two local Gloucestershire bands, AW Parker Drybrook Band and Bream Silver on achieving qualification to the National Finals and promotion to the Second Section.
The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the wonders of Torquay: the beach, the shops, the crazy golf, the fish and chips, etc. Thanks for the photos go to Penny Windsor and Becky Wilmot.
|Saturday 10th||West of England Regional Contest, Riviera Centre, Torquay - Test Piece: Olympus by Philip Harper|
|Wednesday 28th||Tewkesbury School SPATS Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7pm]|
During February, ready for the Area Finals, the Band was able to use money raised in the instrument fund to purchase a new Eb bass.
At a cost of £5000 this was a great achievement with the band having
bought two new Bb basses only two years previous. Hannah Benbow, who has
recently joined the Senior Band, has the pleasure of playing and taking
care of the new instrument.
Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival
Watson Hall, Tewkesbury - Saturday 4th February
Lunchtime on Saturday 4th February saw the Band provide the pre-rugby entertainment at the annual CAMRA Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival held in the Watson Hall, Tewkesbury and featuring a wide selection of winter ales brewed by local small breweries. The band provided just over an hour of light music to entertain the patrons including 'Wild Rover', 'Baggy Trousers', 'La Cucaracha', 'Blueberry Hill', 'The Floral Dance' and 'Land of Hope and Glory' before rounding proceedings off with the Beer Festival favourite 'Dambusters'. This was followed by the sampling of a the odd winter ale or two and a sandwich .
|Saturday 4th||Tewkesbury Winter Ales Festival [12:15pm to 13:45pm]|
Death of band Supporter, Frank Deighton
It is with great sadness that I am writing of the passing of Frank Deighton. Father of Jenny Norman and Grandfather to Will and Hannah, Frank passed away peacefully on the night of January 15th.
Frank came to
Tewkesbury Band when he encouraged his grandson William to follow in his
footsteps and learn to play the Cornet back in 2002, and later his
granddaughter Hannah who plays Euphonium with the Training Band. Since
then, he has been a loyal supporter of the Band.
Frank has been on numerous ‘band
camps’ with the Training Band, always emerging neatly from his tiny
tent! As well as his love of Bands, Frank also enjoyed baking and for
several years, one of his amazing cakes was always the most sought after
prize in the training band raffles! Another of his talents was drawing
and an example his work can be seen on the back of the training band
polo shirts as he drew the treble clef - castle logo for us!
Copyright © 2001 Melbo Productions. All rights reserved. Tewkesbury Town
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