June 2006

Summer Proms Concert: Saturday 17th June
On Saturday 17th June 2006 the Band held our annual Proms concert in the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. As always the concert was filled with fun, laughter and some stunning music. We were pleased to feature world famous Trombone player, Nick Hudson, as our special guest soloist this year and he entertained the audience with music that was fast, music that was fun and music that was simply beautiful! We were also pleased to welcome Julian Bissell who joined us to lead the singing and all the flag waving fun that is an essential ingredient of a Last Night of the Proms concert.

The Band opened with Alan Fernie's new arrangement of Sousa's 'Liberty Bell' march before leading the audience on a trip through 'A Persian Market' (complete with Caliph, Camel Drivers, Princess, Beggars, Snake Charmer and a Juggler!). An updated version of Beethoven's Romance completed the Band's first segment.
Nick Hudson then joined us on stage for his first solo showcase with the Tewkesbury Town Band. His sheer brilliance and outstanding technique was highlighted in his first piece ' Dick Turpin's Ride To York' by Rodney Newton. This was followed by a classy rendition of the Bill Geldard arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael's 'Stardust', beautifully played with Nick's trademark silky tone. Completing his first half set was the slightly unusual piece written by Leonard Bernstein in memory of his brother pet dog 'Elegy for Mippy'.
We were then treated to the vocal talent of Julian Bissell with renditions of 'Some Enchanted Evening' and 'Oh What A Beautiful Morning'. The Band then closed the first half with two Salvation Army pieces, the ever popular 'Amazing Grace' arranged by William Himes, and Ivor Bosanko's rousing 'Marching Onward'.
The second half saw the Band commence the flag waving audience participation Last Night of the Proms section of the concert with the evergreen clap along favourite 'Radetsky March'. The Band were then joined by Nick Hudson for his second half selection. The first piece was the wonderfully jolly 'Sing A Happy Song' by Terry Camsey, a piece whose tune sticks with you and you find yourself whistling when you're happy! Nick then played a jazzy work from the pen of Jiggs Whigham to a CD accompaniment. This was some of the most amazing Trombone playing I have ever heard. The Tewkesbury Town Band Trombone section then had the pleasure of joining Nick for a gallop through the trombone trio 'Frolic for Trombones' with steam coming from our slides on the D.C.
The concert concluded with the Proms favourites 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', 'Pomp and Circumstance No 1' and finally 'Jerusalem' with all the singing finely led by Julian Bissell. A fun night was had by all.


Norwegian Spirit
Last week we had a busy but exciting weekend entertaining the Flå Musikkorps, a brass band from Norway, in their first ever UK Tour from 1st - 5th June. We really enjoyed the weekend and it seems that they did too.

Thursday 1 June
An early start saw Helen & I join Ken the bus-driver at the Commandery Coaches depot in Worcester at 7am for the journey to Stansted Airport to meet our visitors from Flå in Norway. The journey to the airport went smoothly and we arrived early enough for breakfast, before Helen took up her position as chief name-board holder in the Arrivals area at 12pm. After a long wait our guests started to appear and the initial nervous greetings were made. Our worries that they would not much English were soon proved groundless and we were soon making new friends.

We guided them to the coach for the long journey back to Tewkesbury. They enjoyed the journey gaining their first glimpses of the English countryside and they were amazed at how green it was and the number of trees that we had! The coach journey was made more eventful by someone needing an emergency diversion to relieve themselves...no names mentioned!

We arrived at the Sleep Inn in Tewkesbury at 5pm. After ensuring our guests had successfully checked in to their rooms we made our way over to the hall at Tewkesbury School to help with the preparations for the evening's welcome social event, a Barn Dance. The Barn Dance began just after 7:30pm and everyone entered enthusiastically into the spirit of the evening. Despite the fact that they must have been tired after a long days travelling the Norwegians were soon up and dancing, and making friends with our Band members. It was difficult enough for most of the English speakers to get the steps and actions correct, so try imagining the problems that the Norwegian speakers had!! Sadly, they proved to be better at it than we were! Thankfully, we had a very patient band and caller.

A big Thank you must go out to Chris Poole and her team of helpers who put on a wonderful spread of food for our guest and us. They had spent a large part of their day helping with the organisation of the evening's events.

Friday 2 June
This morning we took our guests to experience some English history at Warwick Castle. There they were able to wander around the castle grounds and buildings, to gain an insight into life during medieval times. There were entertaining shows by long bowmen, falconers and swordsmen. The trebuchet fired a 5kg ball a very long way, and several ghosts were haunting the towers! The weather was amazingly warm and sunny after the weeks of rain that we had experienced.

Following lunch we moved on to Stratford upon Avon where our guests were able to either visit Shakespeare's birthplace museum or simply go shopping and sightseeing at their own leisure. Helen & I opted for the cafe and a strawberry crepe!

The evening saw Flå Musikkorps give their first UK performance at St John's Church, Churchdown. We had been privy to their rehearsal and knew that it was going to be a tremendous evening. They entertained us with a programme that was introduced by our very own, Nigel Morgan, and included the following items:
Silver Star - a stirring Salvation Army march that got the concert off to a rousing start.
With One Look
Hanen - a great soprano feature about a rooster!
Bohemian Rhapsody - a great arrangement of the well known ever-popular tune.
Tir Nà Noir - the Norwegians do Riverdance!! Well actually it was more of a Londonderry air!
I Will Follow Him - the trombone section displayed their great talents with this fun upbeat trombone feature.
Let Me Try Again - a beautiful solo by the principal cornet....he claimed to have been shaking and really nervous, but you wouldn't have known it from his beautiful tone.
Come Follow the Band - we were and we were enjoying every minute of it!
Cross of Honour - a traditional British march.

It was a great concert that was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance and Flå Musikkorps received a deserved standing ovation at the end.

Following the concert Nigel & Katy had ensured that there were plenty of refreshments available for our guests in the Church Hall, where the evening continued until the Norwegians returned to the Sleep Inn at 10:30pm. Then it was time for Helen & I to start producing the programmes for the Saturday Concert!! (we eventually completed the task at around 1:30am.....some would call us crazy...actually probably many!). I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all at St John's Church, and Katy & Nigel Morgan, for their efforts in ensuring our guests were made welcome.

Saturday 3 June
On Saturday morning our Norwegian visitors were treated to a guided tour of Gloucester Cathedral, presented by Rev Katy Morgan, complete with several embarrassing stories about Helen's childhood! After the tour there was time for the sightseeing and shopping in the city centre.

We then brought our guests back to Tewkesbury for a short trip up the river by boat to The Fleet Inn at Twyning. At The Fleet Inn Flå Musikkorps gave a short concert by the river for those enjoying a relaxing pub lunch. Keeping to a busy schedule, there was time for a 'quick' bite to eat before taking the bus back to Tewkesbury Abbey for a 6pm pre-concert massed bands rehearsal.

The evening concert showcased brass band talent from either side of the North Sea. Our Training Band made effective use of the Abbey acoustic to launch the evening's entertainment with an antiphonal performance of a tradition "Bugle Call". This was followed by an arrangement by Helen Walters of popular Disney tunes "A Disney Selection". The Beginner Band then played two movements from Dave Chapman's "Toy Shop Suite" before the Intermediate Band returned with some "Band Power" by Ivo Hounder. This was followed by one of the Training Band's favourite tunes "Here Comes Bobby The Bear". Their final piece was "African Funk" by Alan Fernie, another fun rhythmic piece which was specially composed to raise funds for the Brass Band Aid charity.

Our Norwegian guests then took the stage for their segment of the concert. They thoroughly entertained us with the rousing Rondeau from Denis Wright's "Purcell Suite". This was followed by the beautiful "Just As I Am" from the pen of Salvationist Wilfred Heaton. A little local flavour was added with movements 1 & 2 from Phillip Sparke's "A Malvern Suite". The Trombone section then had the audience swaying in the seats to the jolly "I Will Follow Him" from the film Sister Act, before "Heaven Came Down" in sonorous fashion from the music of Erik Herikstad.

There was a short interval before Tewkesbury Town Band opened the second half of the concert with a new arrangement of "Liberty Bell". William Norman stood up to play an amazingly mature rendition of "Buster Strikes Back" which was warmly received by our guests and was given a thoroughly deserved standing ovation. There was a little fun with Ken Smith's arrangement of "Don Giovanni" before our Euphonium & Baritone couple (Carole Murphy and Martyn Sudworth) who had just announced their engagement played the not so aptly titled "Softly As I Leave You". Our big finish came in the form of "A Klezmer Karnival", a great arrangement of Jewish tunes by Philip Sparke.

The concert was brought to a close with our Norwegian friends joining forces with us to play three massed band items and raise the Abbey rafters. First there was "Victory from Peter Graham's brass band suite "Cry of the Celts". This was followed by William Himes' beautiful arrangement of the popular hymn "Amazing Grace". The concert concluded with the rousing Salvation Army march "Marching Onward" by Ivor Bosanko.

Following the concert, in proper brass band tradition we sojourned to the pub for a pint or two and some good conversation!

We would like to say a big Thank You to the staff of Tewkesbury Abbey for helping us make the concert a success.

Sunday 4th June
Our final full day with our guests began with a magical mystery tour of the Cotswolds. I did my best tour guide impression, prividing numbers uselless facts about the places that we passed through on our way to an ice cream and cream tea stop at Stow On The Wold. Once the members of Flå Musikkorps had seen enough Cotswold stone buildings and pretty village greens we made our way to Bourton on the Water for lunch. We would like to say a big Thank You to the staff at the Duke of Wellington pub for accommodating our group at short notice and for providing such an efficient and friendly service.

In the afternoon Flå Musikkorps gave their final concert of their tour on The Green by the River Windrush at Bourton On The Water. It was a beautifully sunny day and so they had a fantastic audience to play to and there were many complimentary comments made by those taking the time to enjoy their playing. Sadly, the changeable nature of the British weather blew in a heavy shower cutting short the second half of their performance and ensuring they didn't leave with the false impression that it is always sunny in England!

After their concert we returned to Tewkesbury for a barbeques and goodbye social evening at the Queen's Head Pub at Aston Cross. We entertained our guests with a short concert programme whilst the food was cooking before exchanging goodbye / thank you gifts. We gave them a painting of Tewkesbury Abbey by our talented resident artist Penny Dron, and a copy of our march "Tewkesbury" to take back to Norway. They left us with a special wooden plate (now mounted on the bandroom wall for all to see) and a beautiful Norwegian piece of music "Ved Nesland Kyrke" that they also played for us. We enjoyed a good final evening together drinking, eating and exchanging stories before sadly saying goodbye to our new friends. We hope to see them again soon, possible at their home in Norway if we can raise sufficient funds.


The Band are pleased to congratulate Martyn Sudworth and Carole Murphy of their engagement and we hope that the title of their duet for this summer proves incorrect (Softly As I Leave You!). Rumour has it that their wedding will take place on a bandstand next May. More details when we know them!


Thursday 1st to Monday 5th Visit by Flå  Musikkorps  from Norway
Friday 2nd Concert by Flå Musikkorps, St John's Church, Churchdown [7:30pm - Tickets £4 Available on the door]
Saturday 3rd Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey featuring the Town Band, the Training Band and Flå Musikkorps [7:30pm]
Tickets £7/£5 - available from the Abbey Shop or from Hadrian & Helen Walters on 01242 678669
Sunday 4th Concert by Flå Musikkorps on the Green in Bourton on the Water [2:30pm]
Saturday 10th St Catherine's Church Fete, Gloucester - Training Band
Saturday 17th Brass Plays the Proms Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Featuring guest soloist Nick Hudson (Trombone)
Box office: (01684) 295074
Saturday 24th Lakeside School Fete, Cheltenham - Training Band

Brasstastic! 2006 - Don't Miss Out!
If you were lucky enough to attend Brasstastic! 2005 then you will be excited to know that a date has been set for Brasstastic! 2006; the date is Friday 18th August 2006. Brasstastic! 2006 is an opportunity for young brass players and percussionists to spend a day playing music together under the guidance of SONAR Brass, a quintet of brass stars from the UK, and Steve Barnett (freelance percussionist). Find out more and details of how to apply at www.brasstastic.co.uk . Don't miss out on our fantastic offer - if you apply for the course before the end of May then you will receive a great £10 discount, making it just £30 for the whole day!


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May 2006

Abbey Fete
Tewkesbury Abbey fete traditionally sees the Band provide entertainment sandwiched around a Punch & Judy show and a Tai Chi exhibition. Monday 29th May was no exception. Unfortunately, the British weather intervened in the form of several torrential showers to put a dampener on things.

The Band made several attempts to play its programme in between the showers, and did succeed in playing several of its pieces during the afternoon; however, we did get very wet in the process. After the performance it was home to lay our uniforms, stands and music out to dry!

Evesham Park - Sunday 28th May
Following last weeks washout, Evesham became our first bandstand concert of the Summer. The ground was damp but the sun had finally come out. We entertained a reasonable audience with a selection of old favourites, pieces from our recent programme from the Phoenix Festival of Brass, and a few new pieces such as 'Marching Onward' by Ivor Bosanko and 'Amazing Grace' arranged by William Himes.


Stratford Washout
Sunday 21st May saw the Band make the long trip up to Stratford upon Avon on yet another rain-soaked day in the fruitless hope of playing on one of its favourite bandstand. Sadly, the weather won and we all went for a coffee or enormous hot chocolate instead, leaving the ducks to enjoy the solitude of a wet park!


Phoenix Festival of Brass
On Sunday 17th May 2006 the Band took part in the Phoenix Festival of Brass hosted by the Phoenix Band at Hungerford School. We began our programme with our very own march ‘Tewkesbury’ to many positive comments from the adjudicator Mike Kilroy. This was followed by Ketelby’s ‘In A Persian Market’ complete with Caliph, Princess, Snake Charmer and Juggler! An old piece that proves entertaining to all ages when actions are added. The star of the show was our 10 year old 2nd cornet player William Norman, as he caught the hearts of the audience with his superb rendition of Alan Morrison’s ‘Buster Strikes Back’. The mood was quietened down with a rendition of Kenneth Downie’s beautiful ‘In Perfect Peace’ before a lively finish with ‘Klezmer Karnival’.

We had a fantastic day out and achieved third place in the Music contest and second in the Entertainment category. Our congratulations go to Gloucester Excelsior Band and AW Parker (Drybrook) Band on their 2nd and 1st places respectively.


'Norwegian Spirit'
The Band is looking forward to welcoming the Flå Musikkorps from Norway at the beginning of June when they visit Tewkesbury on their first ever UK tour. Their itinerary has now been confirmed and looks very exciting for them, and for all the brass band enthusiasts who will be entertained at the concerts that we have organised for them. The schedule of events includes sightseeing trips as well as three concerts; firstly they will perform in St John the Evangelist's Church in Churchdown on Friday 2nd June, then in a joint concert with our bands on Saturday 3rd in Tewkesbury Abbey and finally they will give a concert on The Green in Bourton on the Water on Sunday 4th before they travel back to Norway on the Monday. Below is their full itinerary and details of where to purchase tickets for the concerts. We hope that you will be able to join us at some of these events, including the welcome Barn Dance on Thursday 1st, and enjoy a little 'Norwegian Spirit'!...

Programme of Events

Thursday 1st June 2006


Welcome Event – Barn Dance at Tewkesbury School
Entrance £3 on the door.

Friday 2nd June 2006


Sightseeing trip to Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon


Concert in St. John the Evangelist Church, Churchdown, Gloucester.
Entrance £4 on the door.

Saturday 3rd June 2006


Sightseeing trips to Gloucester and Tewkesbury, including a boat trip up the river to the Fleet Inn.


Massed bands concert in Tewkesbury Abbey involving Tewkesbury Town Band, its Training Band and Flå Musikkorps.
Tickets are available from the Band on 01242 678669 or from the Abbey Shop priced at just £7 and £5.

Sunday 4th June 2006


Sightseeing trip to the Cotswolds.


Concert on The Green at Bourton on the Water.


Farewell Event at the Queen’s Head pub at Aston Cross, including an informal concert from the Tewkesbury Town Band. All are welcome.


Proms tickets now on sale!
Once you've enjoyed a little 'Norwegian Spirit', come and be entertained again in style with the Tewkesbury Town Band at our annual Proms concert on Saturday 17th June 2006. Always filled with fun, laughter and some stunning music, this year will be no different! We are pleased to feature world famous Trombone player Nick Hudson as our special guest soloist this year who is set to entertain the audience with music that's fast, music that's fun and music that is simply beautiful! We are also pleased to welcome Julian Bissell who will be joining us to lead the singing in all the flag waving fun of the Last Night of the Proms concerts. Tickets are available from the Roses Theatre Box Office on 01684 295074 priced at just £8 and £6.

International Brass Band Week 2006
The British Bandsman and Brass Band World magazines, along with 4barsrest and theMouthpiece websites, have joined forces to promote the International Brass Band Week 2006 with the aim of raising funds for the Brass Band Aid charity. The chosen week actually runs for ten days (in order to cover two weekends) from 19th to 28th May.



Sunday 7th Phoenix Brass Band Festival, Hungerford
Saturday 20th Innsworth Junior School Fete - Training Band [12 - 2pm]
Sunday 21st Stratford upon Avon Bandstand [2:30pm-4:30pm]
Sunday 28th Abbey Park Bandstand, Evesham [2:30pm-4:30pm]
Monday 29th Tewkesbury Abbey Fete

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