December 2002

Happy News from the Bandroom

It is with great pleasure that Helen and I announce that we got engaged on 22 December 2002. The band will definitely be invited to participate at our wedding so watch this space for further news.

Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made the most progress during the year - Oliver Moss
Oliver has continued to make progress in the training band this year and has now started coming along to the main band for a hour each rehearsal as well where he has impressed us all with his playing! Well Done Oliver and we hope you continue to practise and improve in 2003!

Fred Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - Ken Smith
Ken joined the band earlier this year and has become a valued member. Due to Ken's skills as an arranger, our summer programme consisted of so many of his pieces we almost re-named it The Ken Smith Collection! Also, his natural ability to bring to life any piece of music continues as he always carries his jingle bells around to add that extra bit of feeling to the music as he plays his bass! 

Jeff Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Helen Morgan
Thank you to everyone who voted for me this year! It was a real surprise. I'm guessing that it is in recognition of the work that I have continued this year with the training band and for surviving as principle cornet for the first time ever. Thanks again!

Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year - Basses
This year the basses have impressed us all with their playing abilities. Nothing seems to scare them - from continuous moving quaver movements to slow soloistic passages and of course, Kens 'interesting' bass parts in his arrangements. A well deserved award for a year of hard work and dedication! 

Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - Helen Morgan
After our principle cornet left at the end of last year and we got through the areas without a permanent replacement, nothing could be lost so they gave me a go! I did my best taking the principal chair for the first time ever and have been rewarded for it so it couldn't have been that bad! I've really enjoyed the challenge and hope to continue until it's the next person's turn.

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


December 2002

This month saw the band take part in many Christmas celebrations in Tewkesbury, including our own sell-out Christmas concert.
Sunday 22nd December 2002 - Sycamore Chapel, Northway
A quintet of band member (Betty Ellis, Tom King, Sarah-Jane McCrorie, Helen Morgan, and Hadrian Walters) played several carols along with the organ and a flautist as part of the carol service at the Sycamore Chapel in Northway and received a generous warm reception from all who attended.
Saturday 21st December 2002 - Safeway supermarket, Tewkesbury
A hardy bunch of bandsmen wrapped up in several layers of clothing spent the Saturday before Christmas playing carols outside Safeway supermarket in Tewkesbury. The band had split into two groups to ensure sufficient players were present in both the morning and afternoon to cover the essential parts. Carols were played to an appreciative shopping public for approximately 6 hours with many players present for 3 to 4 hours and some exceptionally hardy (or is that crazy!) souls present for the full 6 hours. Special mentions must go to Helen and Chris Poole for their significant contribution, playing and collecting respectively, for five hours; Tom King and Oliver Moss for 4 hours of playing; Jonathan Allen, Sue Corrigan and Ken Smith for 3 hours of playing; and yes you know who the crazy ones were, Helen Morgan and myself. All I can say is that it is better than shopping! Thanks to all who played and all the Safeway shoppers who contributed to our collection for band funds.
Thursday 19th December 2002 - Civic Carol Service
The annual Tewkesbury Civic Carol Service took place at the Methodist Church on Thursday evening. The band provided the accompaniment to the selection of carols chosen to take the congregation through the Christmas story. At the halfway stage of the service the band provided a seasonal interlude with Helen Morgan playing a beautiful rendition of the theme from Vivaldi's 'Winter'. An altogether special tribute to her grandmother who had died the very same day. This was followed by the children's favourite 'Little Donkey'.
The day of the hugely anticipated Tewkesbury Town Band Christmas concert finally arrived. Those lucky enough to have purchased their tickets in October before the sell out was declared on 31st October, rushed to their seats in time to see the band march on to the stage playing 'Seventy-six Trombones' from the hit Broadway musical, The Music Man. Musical Director, Nigel Morgan resplendent in his American marching band style outfit!
The first soloist of the night was Neil Crowe on soprano cornet who soared sweetly through 'Catari, Catari' by Salvatore Cardillo and arranged by Dennis Masters.

Six of the seventy-six trombones then returned to frolic their way through the Germany tour favourite 'Frolic for Trombones', featuring our guest bass trombonists Alan Bobs and Daniel Slater, as well as the regulars on 1st and 2nd - Hadrian Walters, Wendy Eamer, Peter Williams and Judy Bailey. The seasonal weather then returned to see us 'Singin' in the Rain' with all the associated umbrella jokes!
The children of John Moore Primary School then took the stage in their hundreds (well, nearly!) to entertain us with songs from Babushka, a musical rendition of the Christmas story. (Part 1)
The members of Tewkesbury Town Band Training Band followed and showed the enormous progress they have made during the year as they entertained the audiences with a selection of music that they had been practising hard this year. 'Mini Rock' by Andre Waignein got the audience tapping their feet with its great beat. An arrangement of 'The Bare Necessities' from the Jungle Book written for the training band by it's conductor Helen Morgan had the audience dancing. We were then transported to the dusty deserts and rowdy saloons of the American West in David Beal's 'Wild West Yonder' before being reminded to have a merry Christmas by Helen Morgan's Christmas Selection. Well done to all the training band members!
The highlight of the first half of the concert had to be "Aunty Betty" telling us the story of 'Tubby the Tuba' (excellently played by the not so tubby Jonathan Allen) arranged for Brass Band by Andrew Duncan. Sammy the soprano cornet in the form of Neil Crowe proved to be Tubby's best friend as he discovered that the tuba can play the melody also. A special mention must go to Alan Bobs for his excellent playing of the down in the depths bass trombone solo.
To close part one of the concert the audience was invited to  put on their dancing shoes once more as the band led them around the dance floor with a rendition of the Isley Brothers' 'Shout!' in an arrangement by Australian conductor and arranger Graham Lloyd.
After the break it was the turn of the trombones to warm the audience by leading them in a bout of gospel clapping, appropriately dressed as choirboys/girls, in the wonderfully upbeat arrangement of Jot to the World by Alan Fernie simply titled, 'Joy!'.
The lush mellow tones of Helen Morgan followed as she stunned the audience to silence with her rendition of 'Winter' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, beautifully arranged for cornet by Darrol Barry. Taking us to the raffle and awards ceremony was a musical request for some true winter weather in 'Let It Snow!'.
After the awards, the school choir returned to complete their Christmas story before joining the band and audience in song for the last three items: 'Jingle Bells', 'Christmas Swingalong', and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'. Even after nearly two and a quarter hours, the audience wanted more and received a final singalong with While Shepherds Watched. A great night out for all!
A hardy bunch of bandsmen (players and collectors) gathered outside Boots in Tewkesbury High Street for three hours of carol playing with gloves and hats a plenty to keep the cold at bay. In a break with tradition, the band decided to venture to other parts of Tewkesbury this year rather than staying in one spot. This also enabled us to stay warmer through moving around to face different cold winds! So transient audiences were entertained at our traditional location outside Boots, at the Farmers Market in the Abbey car park, near WH Smiths and near to Somerfield as the band raised around 266. Thanks to all who donated.
Our Christmas celebrations commenced with our annual appearance as part of the Pied Piper Appeal charity concert in the Abbey. This concert raises funds for the provision of improved children's hospital facilities in Gloucestershire. Our performance of four seasonal items (Joy!, Winter, The Snowman and Let It Snow!) complemented performances by the Abbey School Choir, the St Cecilia Singers and amazing harpist, David Watkins. 

Joy! warmed the audience up by encouraging them to clap along to this excellent up tempo arrangement by Alan Fernie of Joy to the World. The audience were then treated to the sweet sounds of Helen Morgan's playing in Darrol Barry's cornet solo arrangement of the popular theme 'Winter' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The ever popular Phillip Sparke arrangement of Howard Blake's theme to 'The Snowman' had the audience dreaming of the days when Christmas TV was original and worth watching. Finally, the Sammy Kahn classic 'Let It Snow' left everyone wishing for a white not wet Christmas!

For more details of the following events,
click here!

Wednesday 11th Pied Piper Charity Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey
Saturday 14th Carols in Tewkesbury Town
Sunday 15th Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre - Sold Out!
Thursday 19th Civic Carol Service, Methodist Church, Tewkesbury
Saturday 21st Carols outside Safeway, Tewkesbury
Tuesday 24th Carols around pubs in Tewkesbury Town

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