December 2003

Band members make the grade!
Congratulations to George Cullwick, Elly King and Helen Morgan for all passing their recent ABRSM grade exams with distinction. It was a first attempt for George with his Grade One Tuba; Elly's second distinction, this time in Grade Three Flugelhorn; and Helen's second, this time for her Grade Seven Cornet exam. Well done all!

Christmas Concert
Review to follow shortly

Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made the most progress during the year - Caitlin Moreby
Caitlin has made great progress in the training band this year and has now started coming along to the main band for a hour each rehearsal as well. She was very fortunate to have to give her baritone in to be repaired earlier this year and while it was being fixed we gave her a euphonium to play. The sound she produced on this bigger instrument was amazing and there was no going back to the baritone! Her progress in the training band has been phenomenal this year with her only problem being that she now sounds too much like Donna playing!! Well Done Caitlin and we hope you continue to practise and improve in 2004!

Fred Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - John Jemmett
John joined the band earlier this year (after regularly helping us out from September 2002) and has become a valued member of the band and its committee. John is the only band member who can claim 100% attendance at all of the band's engagements during 2003 and had a 93.2% overall attendance record during 2003. As you can tell he has proved himself a valuable member of the band during the year both musically and through showing a solid commitment to the band. 

Jeff Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Helen Morgan
Thank you to everyone who voted for me again this year! It means a lot to know that the band is supporting the work that I am doing with the training band. The results would not be the same though without the help of the other band members who work with the training band so this is for you as well I think. Thanks again everyone!

Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year - Trombones
The year 2003 has seen at many times a trombone section of 5 players [though one has now deserted us to join the back row cornets - boo hiss!!] which was great and has allowed us to feature a little more prominently at times, however 'raggy' that may have been. The members of the trombone section have also worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the benefit of the band. Deserved mentions go to my colleagues:
bullet  Peter Williams for his efforts both as a player and for his endless work improving the band room conditions, liaising with venues to identify the available facilities, issuing directions, and assisting with the day to day administration of the band. Peter reached the grand age of 70 this year and is still showing the younger members of the band the meaning of commitment.
bullet  Wendy Eamer for easily slotting into the section as a player and being flexible enough to provide support on 2nd trombone as well as cover for me on 1st trombone when I am absent. Wendy and her husband have also provided significant assistance behind the scenes in the efforts to improve the band room facilities.
bullet  Judy Bailey, who despite her misguided move to the cornet section in December has proved an invaluable member of the trombone section during 2003. Judy played bass trombone throughout the summer covering a vacant position. This she did fantastically despite the limitations of a tenor trombone. She also stepped forward to take the position of Band Chairperson at the AGM when volunteers were sparse, and has stepped into that role with enthusiasm.
bullet  Dan Slater, for kindly searching the job pages to find employment near enough to us to allow for his return as the growling bass trombone in September/October of 2003.

[Helen] - Can I put in a little mention for Hadrian who has worked very hard this year leading the trombone section, finding new music for the band to play, helping with the band room conversion and working very hard with the training band inspiring many to achieve their potential.

A well deserved award for a year of hard work and dedication! 


Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - Mark Windsor
This year Mark has continued to be a valued member of the band, behind the scenes as well as on stage. The third cornet seat is a very important position and Mark works hard to ensure that the standard of playing is high from the top of the cornets to the bottom. In our band, with this position also comes the responsibility of looking after most new cornet players that join the band as this is where they usually start. Mark has continued to do an excellent job of guiding these players along, not only in band practice but also in the training band where he teaches and helps there too. Mark has also provided significant assistance behind the scenes in the efforts to improve the band room facilities. Thank you for all your hard work Mark.

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


Matalan escapades!
On Saturday 6th and 20th December several members of the band went carolling at Matalan in Cheltenham. Being brass players the manager of Matalan placed us in the bra section for the afternoon.  [watch this space for a picture of the occasion!]. We played a good selection of carols and popular Christmas tunes during the afternoon to entertain the shoppers whilst they queued to make payment. We would like to say a big Thank You to Matalan and their customers for generously donating approx. 170 to our band funds.

Judy sees the light!
Band Chairman and Trombone player Judy Bailey has seen the light and moved from the trombone section to the cornet section! (Can you guess who's writing this??!!). Due to health reasons our multi-talented player has switched to her 'other' instrument! This move also helps us to fill a space created earlier in the year on the departure of Martin Ashworth from the Band. Welcome to the elite section Judy!! HM.


Enjoy the festive season with the Band!
December is due to be a busy month for the Band with lots of carol playing and a few concerts too! We will be playing carols in the afternoons of Saturday the 6th and the 20th inside the Cheltenham Matalan and on the morning of the 13th in Tewkesbury Town centre. Our own concert on the 14th, as I'm sure you're aware is all sold out so alas if you do not have tickets for this then we will miss you. However, you can still buy tickets to see us play at the Pied Piper Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey on Wednesday 10th December at 7:30pm. Tickets are available from the Pied Piper Appeal Office (01452) 394119, the Tewkesbury Abbey Shop (01684) 276655 and the Peter Hickman Hair Salon (01684 297860) priced at 7. Not only do you get to see us play at this concert but also the Choristers of the Abbey School, The Brothers & The Praize Crew Gospel Choir, Marie Elliot (Contralto), Air Vice Marshal Tony Mason and the one and only Dr Mark Porter!! Plus you get the comforting feeling that you're helping a worthy charity at the same time! See you there!!


Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre
Even Father Christmas paid a visit to listen to the training band play at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre on Wednesday 16th November 2003! The band played many carols as well as some of our concert items to add to the festive feel of the evening. It was a lovely event and the training band played superbly! Well done to all involved.


GBBA Contest
The 2003 GBBA Own Choice Contest took place on Sunday 23rd November at the Royal Forest of Dean College, Berry Hill. In common with many of the contests held this year, the GBBA contest was a celebration of one of the most significant brass band composers, Eric Ball. All competing bands were required to playa piece from the extensive output of this famous composer. You would have thought that this should have simplified the test piece selection process. However, choosing just one piece to play of more than 200 musical works by this prolific and consistently good composer was a test in itself!

We finally settled on an early work from his Salvation Army days entitled 'Exodus'. This piece was published in 1937 but was first performed during 1934, making it nearly as old as our 2nd trombone player! It is also the piece where Eric Ball first introduced his "death motif" that was made famous in one of his most popular works 'Resurgam'.

Exodus, as it's title suggests, musically depicts the story of the second book of the Bible. The piece commenced with a crescendoing roll on the kit percussion and bass drum, expertly played on the day by Peter Strawson and Keith Rose respectively. This leads us into Part I of the piece subtitled "In Bondage" and the first appearance of the Imperial March of the Israelites. The Band ensemble reflected this imperial feel effectively. In the appassionata section that followed, the band's playing captured the spirit of anguish felt by the Hebrew slaves, so well depicted here by Eric Ball. The first of three appearances of the "death motif" was wonderfully played by the bass end of the band, testing our lung capacities to the full. Part I of the piece then drew to a close with some sensitive horn and baritone playing in a further quiet appassionata section.

Part II depicted The Night of the Passover and the haste of departure of the Hebrews from Egypt. This section began with a wonderfully played horn solo by John Jemmett which was followed by some excellent soprano playing by Neil Crowe. The excitement of the chase and the race from Egypt was captured by the Band in the shimmering quaver triplets, and the reappearance of the "death motif", this time using the middle range instruments of the band.

Part III depicted the Deliverance of the Hebrews as God parts the Red Sea to allow them to cross to the other side. This section began pianissimo wit agitated trumpet calls by the baritone, cornets and horn. The passage of the Hebrews being reflected by a walking bass line. The playing by the Band continued to be of a high standard even as we were starting to tire towards the end of the piece! A final appearance of the the "death motif" led into the hymn of praise "The God of Abraham Praise" as the Hebrews sang the praises of the Lord for their deliverance.

The Band had played third out of three Third Section Bands on the day and so had a reasonable audience for its endeavours. We were pleased with our performance and received numerous good comments from those that had heard our performance. Unfortunately we did not satisfy the man in the box, Colin Hardy, and finished third on the day. Our congratulations go to Portishead Band who won the test-piece contest and Bream Silver who won the march contest.

"Click on me to make me bigger!"

Remembrance Day
Sunday 9th November 2003 saw the Band take its usual position toward the front of the annual Remembrance Day Parade. This years parade was very well attended and due to its length led to an additional circuit of the crescent having to be performed following the formal service at The Cross. During the service Martin Musto sounded a brilliant rendition of the Last Post and Reveille as the clock struck eleven.


TTB Training Band has a busy Christmas schedule!!
Previous years have seen the Training Band play at our Christmas Concert and also at the Alderman Knight School Christmas fayre. However this there is another date in their diary's - their very own Christmas Concert! The repertoire of the intermediate group is so great at present that they have more pieces than they can play at the Roses Theatre concert and so a concert of their own was needed! Also starring in the concert, for the first time ever, will be the beginner's band! The beginner's band was formed only a few months ago but already they are at a standard worthy of a concert performance. Their concert, which will be on Sunday 7th December, will then be followed by their own Christmas Party!


2004 is the Band's 30th Anniversary - Any Suggestions
Next year the Band will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary. To ensure that we have a memorable year we have started the planning process now. Any suggestions regarding what we should be doing to mark this special anniversary can be submitted to us via our e-mail addresses on the contact us page of this website and we will pass them on to Chris Poole who is acting as chief organiser for our anniversary year. 
Some early suggestions have included a concert involving participation by all our conductors over the 30 year period and as many of the players from this period as possible also. So if you are a former member of the band and would like to be involved in our 30th Anniversary celebrations please contact us so that we can assist in compiling a list of the contact details for past members of the band.


Sunday 9th Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury
Sunday 23rd Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Annual Contest
Sunday 30th Carols at the switching on of the Tewkesbury Christmas lights


Thursday 4th Round Table Dinner, Gupshill Manor
Saturday 6th Carols at Matalan, Cheltenham
Sunday 7th Training Band Christmas Concert and Party
Wednesday 10th Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey
Saturday 13th Carols in Tewkesbury Town
Sunday 14th Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury 7:30pm
Thursday 18th Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury
Saturday 20th Carols at Matalan, Cheltenham
Wednesday 24th Carols around town pubs, Tewkesbury [Evening]