All Together for a Weekend of Celebration
Rehearsals during August had seen many old faces returning to the bandroom of Tewkesbury Town Band. Past conductors of the Band (John Shepherd, Ian Smith, Ken Booth and Miles Amherst) returned to put the Band through its paces on the pieces they had chosen. Past players attended practices to rekindle old friendships and to learn their parts for the concert.

On Friday 3rd September the majority of players who were to play on stage the following evening met at Alderman Knight School to run through the programme. The practice start was delayed as a result of an accident on the motorway but by 8pm players from as far a field as Aberdeen (Janet Winterbourne) and Reading (Julia Penny) had assembled in the school hall. The sound was huge, and that was just the hum from the massed concentration as the concert music was top and tailed. The commotion of the practice was followed by further hullabaloo in the pub afterwards as old friends were reunited.
 

The evening of Saturday 4th September saw over 40 past and present players of Tewkesbury Town Band take to the stage of the Roses Theatre to celebrate 30 years of making music together. As the curtains opened, our present Musical Director, Nigel Morgan, read the press notice from 30 years earlier announcing the re-formation of the Town Band. The concert then commenced with the march especially commissioned by the Band from Andrew Duncan to mark its 30th Anniversary., "Tewkesbury". This piece was followed by the introduction of Ken Booth the Band's second MD, serving from 1975 to 1980. Ken led the Band in two of his personal favourites: "Concert Prelude" - a dramatic and sparkling opener from the early pen of Philip Sparke, and Denis Wright's selection of music from the popular Richard Rogers musical, "South Pacific".
 

Following Ken on to the stage was Ian Smith (MD from 1994 to 1996). Ian's musical selection began with the imperious "Cortege from Mlada" by Rimsky-Korsakov. The mood was then lightened with an impromptu interview of the Band's current principal cornet, Martin Musto, in the style of Parkinson. We still don't know why he chose the cornet, who the best cornet player he has ever played with is, or if his Mum has any curtains up in her house now since he stole all the rings for his ear! Having survived this interview, Martin stepped forward to play the capricious solo, "Buster Strikes Back" by Alan Morrison. Ian's final piece was the old favourite "Tango for Band" by Bill Relton.


Nigel Morgan returned to the stage to conclude the first half of the concert with Roger Thorne's arrangement of the music from the film, "Zulu". An impressive piece that starred the talented ex-percussion player from the Band, Austin Rose, on timpani. He mimicked the sound of the Zulu drums as the Band created the atmosphere of the battle of Rourke's Drift, before leading into a rousing rendition of the traditional Welsh tune, Men of Harlech.
 

The second half commenced with the Band under the baton of John Shepherd (MD from 1990 to 1992) as he led the Band through the perennial concert march "Bandology" by Eric Osterling. The horns were then put through their paces in the melodious "Mr Jums", one of Chris Hazell's pieces named after his cats and expertly arranged for brass band by Alan Catherall. John's final selection was the ever popular, "Mood Indigo" arranged by Edrich Siebert and featuring the trombones in stand-up action!

Following John on to the stage was Kevin White (MD from 1993 to 1994). Kevin had taken time out from a hectic National Finals rehearsal schedule with Drybrook Band to appear in this concert with us. We wish him and his Band well on September 11th in Harrogate. Kevin began his section of the concert with the rumbustuos "Fanfare & Soliloquay" by Trevor L. Sharpe (spot the programme error if you have one!!). He then calmed things down again with Alan Fernie's great arrangement of the wonderful Gershwin song, "Someone to Watch Over Me". To wrap up his selection the audience was treated to a bit of Forest humour about a pig, and then a reminiscence of a concert in Tewkesbury Abbey that had seen Peter Williams in a pink tutu (one of only two Band members that have been ever present for the whole 30 years) during his final choice, "Instant Concert" by Harold L. Walters.
 
The Chairman of the Band, Adrian Jowett, then thanked the organisers of the Anniversary Celebrations for their hard work, before presenting the former and current conductors with especially engraved 30th Anniversary glasses as a memento of the evening. Nigel then took the Band in his final choice, a favourite piece of his and his fathers, the evocative "Finlandia" written by Jean Sibelius and describing his homeland.


The concert concluded with the Band's founding chairman and bandmaster, Miles Amherst, taking the baton to lead the Band in an emotional rendition of the hymn tune "St. Clement" (The Day Though Gavest). A fitting end to a great evening of memories and celebration.

The encore saw band members, past and present, and our many supporters adjourn to the theatre bar for a well-earned drink!

 

On Sunday 5th September the weekend of 30th Anniversary Celebrations continued with a meal at Tewkesbury Abbey refectory. A fitting location given the fact that Miles Amherst had been headmaster at the Abbey School when the Band re-formed and had taken many of the early lessons in the Abbey School buildings. First, the Band stood outside and played live on Radio Gloucestershire to help send off their charity walker who this week is walking down the Severn. Once we'd had our fix of playing for the day then it was all inside for a lovely Roast Dinner. After dessert our current MD said a few words to conclude the celebrations and set the Band off for another 30 strong years. This was followed by a ceremonious cutting of the Band birthday cake by life members Keith Rose and Peter Williams.
We would like to thank everyone who made this weekend so much fun for all, and hope to see all our old and (in some cases) new friends again soon. Our good friends Peter Williams, who underwent knee surgery recently and was sadly unable to make the concert, and Allan Robinson, who is currently ill in a London Hospital, were greatly missed. We wish them both a speedy recovery.

Click here to see more photos from the 30th Anniversary Celebrations
Don't forget that you can click on the pictures above to see a larger image!

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August 2004

August 17th: The Warm-up has started
The build up to our 30th Anniversary Concert weekend has started in earnest. The programme is rapidly taking shape and old faces are appearing in the band room for practices. This evening saw two old faces take the conductors baton, Ken Booth and Ian Smith, as the Band rehearsed the pieces they have requested for the concert. Their presence meant that the current conductor, Nigel Morgan, was relegated to a seat on the Euphonium line! He was joined by Terry Brown who had also not picked up the instrument in a long while. I am pleased to note that the jokes were old and all present had a good time!

Others who have graced the band room over the past few weeks include Robin Purser (cornet), Jane Smith (Baritone) and John Lampitt (Eb Bass). We hope to see others in the next few weeks, and are pleased to have received confirmation from many ex-players of their participation in some form at our Anniversary Concert. If you have not contacted us yet then there is still time, but the date of the concert is rapidly approaching so you will have to be quick!

Anniversary Celebrations: Part 3!
Having already had a fantastic march commissioned from Andy Duncan, and spent a very fun weekend touring the local villages playing 14 concerts in one weekend, the Band is now looking forward to the final instalment of the anniversary celebrations! This will take place over the weekend of the 3rd to 5th of September 2004, with the main focus being on the Anniversary Concert in the Roses Theatre on Saturday 4th September at 7:30pm. Tickets are now on sale at just 7 & 5 each so pop in or call the Box Office now on 01684 295074 and don't miss out on a unique concert experience.

The concert will involve past players and conductors from the current Band's 30 year history. Each conductor has chosen a piece that they particularly enjoyed playing with the Band during their time with us. The line up is as follows:

From Day One in 1974 it's Mr Miles Amherst
From 1975 to 1980 Mr Ken Booth
From 1990 to 1992 Mr John Shepherd
From 1993 to 1994 Mr Kevin White
From 1994 to 1996 Mr Ian Smith

Unfortunately, Mr Denis Grant (conductor from 1980 to 1981) and Mr Robert Jenner (conductor from 1983 to 1990) are not able to join us at this concert. Of course, the concert will also feature our present conductor since 1997, Mr Nigel Morgan, who will conduct and compere the concert.

It really looks set to be an exciting concert. It will be even more exciting however, the more ex-players that can come along and join us. If you are one of these, or you know anyone that is, then please download the Word document below and complete the form as soon as possible. Alternatively you can reply by email (melbo@zoom.co.uk).

Word Document for Ex-Players

The weekend will start with a rehearsal for the expanded band on the Friday evening and then conclude with an anniversary lunch on the Sunday. Also on the Sunday morning the Band will be playing in Tewkesbury to help send off a charity walker from Radio Gloucestershire!

So if you are an ex-member of the Band then we want to hear from you. Are you one of the people pictured in some of our historic photos on the following page: 1974-1976 , 1977-1979 , 1980-1983 , 1984-1986 , 1987-1989 , 1990-1992 , 1993-1995, 1996-1998 ?

August

Sunday 8th

Evesham Bandstand

Sunday 15th Cripplegate, Worcester
Sunday 29th Bromsgrove Bandstand

 

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