March

Successful Weekend in Torquay
On Friday 9th March, after several weeks of preparation including a 5 hour workshop with Nigel Seaman on Saturday 3rd March, the Band made its annual trip to Torquay to participate in the West of England Regional Contest. This year the Fourth Section contest had moved back to the Saturday morning and the sports hall at the Riviera Centre complex, so it was a quick sojourn to the bar when we arrived at our hotel on Friday night before the requisite early night!

The Band met for a final rehearsal straight from breakfast at 8:45am, before waiting for our draw to be fed back to us by text message. We were drawn to play 7th and for the first time in a while we actually had to wait for over an hour after the start of a contest before taking the stage! At around 12:15pm we took the stage to give our performance of Philip Wilby's 'The Seasons'.

This is a very descriptive work that rather unusually begins with the fuller chorded, more melodic movement. This movement reflects the Autumnal turning and fall of the leaves as the days grow colder and the season moves from Autumn to Winter. The Band captured the changing colours of the leaves well and the various soloists around the Band all played their parts well. The Second movement is a waltz representing the opening buds of the Spring flowers, and the blossoming of trees. This movement significantly features the principal horn and the soprano; both Clive Miles (horn) and Kev Bennett (soprano) held their nerve under pressure and played beautifully expressive solo's that captured the spirit of the movement whilst maintaining its forward swirling waltz motion. I must also thank one of the adjudicators, Stephen Tighe, on his kind comments regarding the playing of the trombone solo at B! The Final movement is a march representing the hustle and bustle of the summer as the sun comes out, the fetes and garden parties take place, and the bands play their concerts on the bandstands. The Band kept a tight rein on this movement to allow the detail to come across in the boomy acoustic of the hall without losing any of the fun that is a key feature of this American style march movement.

After the playing it was time to explore Torquay prior to the results at around 5pm. Sadly, the Band did not feature in the top 6 places on the day. However, we were delighted to continue our upward motion (albeit slow) with a result of 8th out of the 23 bands competing on the day. Another 2 place improvement on the previous year's result!

The Band would like to thank Dave Butler for helping us out once again on kit percussion, Laura Sudworth for taking on the challenge of the glockenspiel part, and Jenny Miles-Kingston for helping us with the flugel part. Special mentions should also go to Sue Corrigan (who stepped up to the challenge of 1st Baritone), Martyn Sudworth (for moving down to the Eb Bass to fill our gap there), Will Norman (for taking on the challenge of the repiano cornet in Ollie's absence) and to Mandy Hounsome (for moving back to strengthen the 2nd Cornet part). It was also great to see another youngster making their contesting debut with the Band, Michael Blake on 2nd Baritone.

Finally we would like to congratulate: Bream Silver on their second successive qualification to the national finals, Wotton-under-Edge, Portishead and Polysteel on their qualifications to the National Finals. We wish them every success in September.

Training Band Concert
At 7:30pm on Friday 16th March the Training Band will be performing a concert in association with the bands of Tewkesbury Music Centre at Tewkesbury School. All proceeds from this concert will be going to charity. So please come along and enjoy some entertaining music from the various bands while supporting some good causes. Tickets are available on the door.

March

Saturday 3rd Workshop with Nigel Seaman [2pm - 7pm]
Thursday 8th Additional Rehearsal for West of England Regional Contest [7:30pm]
Saturday 10th West of England Regional Contest, Riviera Centre, Torquay - Test Piece: The Seasons  by Philip Wilby
Friday 16th Concert with Tewkesbury Music Centre, Tewkesbury School - Training Band [7:30pm]

April

European Representatives
During the week from 28th April through to 6th May 2007 the Band was proud to be represented by Helen & Hadrian Walters at the European Brass Band Festival in Birmingham. Helen & Hadrian were helping ensure the smooth running of the European Youth Brass Band. A mammoth logistics exercise requiring all of Helen's excellent organisational skills to ensure that the 39 members of the EYBB (from 16 or so different European countries) and their Musical Director, Ian Porthouse, were in the right places at the right times.

We had a great, if tiring, week meeting many new friends and experiencing some amazing music making. It was fantastic to watch a group of musicians gather together at the beginning of the week with only the language of music in common, progress through the week to develop into a fantastic friendly Band. The week concluded on a high with their performance of critically acclaimed concerts in the Symphony Hall at the Saturday Gala Concert and  in the Adrian Boult Hall on the Sunday for the Farewell Concert.

Mention must also be made of the role played by Nigel Morgan, the Band's musical director and Treasurer of the BFBB, who ensured that the financial aspects of the Europeans week went smoothly.

Bronze Award for Gloucestershire Youth Band
Tewkesbury Town Band was pleased to have three of its young members representing it in the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band that participated in the National Youth Brass Band Championships at the Royal Northern College of Music on Sunday 29 April 2007. The three members were cornet players: Oliver Moss, Hannah Williams and William Norman. They had a good day in Manchester and helped the County Band to a Bronze Award, with a performance that according to the Musical Director Steve Legge much improved on that of 2006.
 

Phoenix Festival of Brass: (Hymn) Tuned to Perfection
On Sunday 22 April 2007, the Band travelled to Hungerford to take part in the Phoenix Brass Festival. This is a friendly contest for Fourth Section and unregistered bands, that we enjoy going to annually (when eligible).

We began our programme with a prize winning performance of 'Nearer My God to Thee', reportedly the hymn tune played by the band on the Titanic as it sank. This years adjudicator was the top euphonium player Michael Howley of Brighouse & Rastrick Band, and he really enjoyed the performance we gave of this hymn tune. We then commenced our entertainment programme with the popular 'Fanfare & Soliloquy' by Trevor Sharpe, before our young Eb Bass player, George Cullwick, stood up to play the humorous 'Hippopotamus Song' which also starred Keith Rose on duck noises (a feature that left Michael Howley speechless, in the best possible way!).

The two Helen's and Robin then took centre stage to lead the band in Leroy Anderson's 'Buglers Holiday', a rather rapid holiday at that! Reference was then made to Keith's lead role as a lowlife in the recent film about the abolition of slavery 'Amazing Grace' (and as an extra in the popular TV drama Casualty), as our next piece was introduced being William Himes' skilful arrangement of the tune to the eponymous song. Our programme concluded with the joyful festival march from the pen of Salvationist Ivor Bosanko, 'Marching Onward'.

We had a fantastic day out and achieved third place in the Music contest and second in the Entertainment category. Our Congratulations go to Cricklade Band and Sherborne Youth Band on their 1st and 2nd places respectively.

 

Donkeys not Fools!
Palm Sunday this year coincided with April Fools Day, 1st April and saw several members of the Band and the Training Band provide the accompaniment to the hymns 'All Glory Lord and Honour' as the congregation of Tewkesbury Abbey paraded with a donkey around the Vicarage to the front of the Abbey. To prevent the usual fright to the donkey from the sound of a trombone immediately behind it, this year the Band followed at the rear of the parade. The parade successfully negotiated its way to the front of the Abbey where the initial part of the service was held prior to the singing of 'Sing Hosanna' to Band accompaniment whilst the congregation paraded into the Abbey.

April

Sunday 1st Palm Sunday Service, Tewkesbury Abbey [9:15am]
Wednesday 4th AGM - including Training Band Concert [7pm]
Sunday 22nd Phoenix Brass Band Festival, Hungerford

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Revised: July 15, 2007