Training Band – Christmas 2006 
The Training Band had a very busy Christmas season which began in November and they didn’t finish until Christmas Eve! The first engagement was carol playing at the turning on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury on 26th November. Although a little early for carol playing, it was surprisingly warm on this day (and largely throughout December too!) and many of the Training Band traded the usual layers of coats and scarves for just a sweatshirt!

They then added a festive touch to the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre on Thursday 30th November, and to a junior ranks dinner at RAF Innsworth on Tuesday 5th December. The Training Band has also enjoyed playing in Tewkesbury Abbey twice over the festive period, firstly on Saturday 2nd December at the Christmas Fayre and then on Christmas Eve at the Christingle Service. Both were lovely events.

The Training Band was also busy performing at the Roses Concerts and their own Christmas Concert, as well as helping the Band raise much needed funds carol playing, at Waitrose and Morrisons, alongside members of the Senior Band.

Training Band Christmas Concert 
On Sunday 17th December 2006, the Watson Hall was filled with festive fun as the Training Band held their annual Christmas Concert. Our audience was welcomed with warm mulled wine and mince pies and we were honoured to have the Town Mayor, Peter Aldridge, in attendance.

The concert was split in to three sections which allowed both our Training Bands to showcase the music they had been practising over the year and in recent weeks. The concert opened with the Beginner Band and a new favourite of theirs, ‘Marching Saints’ arranged by Gary Young. They then continued with a stunning performance of a complete suite of music by Dave Chapman called ‘Toy Shop Suite’. The Band played the first movement of this. ‘The Soldier’s March’ at last year’s Christmas Concert and throughout the year they have been adding the other three movements; ‘The Music Box’, ‘Robots Dance’ and finally ‘Parade’. They then concluded their performance with a rousing rendition of ‘Can-Can’.

The Intermediate Band then took to the stage and opened with one of their favourite pieces from 2006 ‘Band Power’, a lively march by Ivo Hounder. They then continued with a relaxed rendition of the classic popular tune, ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. As the Band had played at a garden centre in Sidmouth and at the Churchdown Horticultural Society Annual Show during the year, they then continued with ‘Ground Force’ which they had previously rehearsed with those two engagements in mind! Just in case the audience were worried that we were about to dig up their gardens, they then played ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’! Not to be outdone by the Beginner Band,  the Intermediate Band have also been working on a suite of music through the year called ‘Three Celtic Dances’ by Gareth Key. At the Cabaret Concert in the Summer they played movement one, ‘Dance Battaglia’ and here they added the second movement as well ‘Love Song’. Listen out for the third movement in 2007!! The Intermediate Band then concluded their mini concert with a happy tune called ‘Circus March’ where they impressed the audience by standing up half way though and playing without the music!

The Bands then joined together for some festive fun where they played favourites such as When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney and Rudolph, and some jazzy arrangements of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen', 'Merry Christmas Shuffle' and 'Jingle Bells Bossa Nova'. Before the final carol, all the Training Band members were presented with a certificate to recognise that they had been a member of the band during 2006. Then the audience joined in with three verses of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'.

The Training Band then enjoyed their annual Christmas Party where much food and fun was consumed! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Concerts: 9th & 10th December 2006
The weekend of 9th and 10th December saw the Band and the Training Band entertain over 700 people at our annual Christmas Concerts in the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. This year, there was a slight break from tradition due to the late declining of the invitations to perform by the two primary schools asked to provide choirs. This meant more work for the Band and the audience to do!

Our programme began in festive fashion with 'Christmas Flourishes' by Darrol Barry, featuring two of our Training Band members on handbells during the opening phrase. A brief sojourn into the Christmas movies followed with Darrol Barry's collection of James Bond themes 'Best of Bond', and the theme from Finding Nemo 'Beyond The Sea' based on the old song 'La Mer'.

Our Front Row Cornets (Helen Walters, Helen Poole and Robin Purser) then stood up to present a 'Bugler's Holiday' by Leroy Anderson, showing off the great teamwork that has been a feature of their performance in 2006. The audience were asked to join the band in 'Away In A Manger' (arr Jan van Kraeydonk); this featured an additional two verses in which our three youngest cornet players (William Norman, Hannah Williams and Grace Windsor) provided a touching musical interlude.

The Tewkesbury Town Band Awards Ceremony followed (split over the two nights) with the various awards shown below being presented, along with a special award to Dave Dron (Bb Bass) for 50 years service to brass banding. He joins his Bb Bass colleague, Betty Clarke, in this distinguished long service club.

We had no choirs to sing so had to utilise the amazing vocal skills of our assistant principal cornet, Helen Poole, to lead the singing in our sing-a-long-a-'Sound of Music'. A performance that nearly brought the house down! Helen appeared dressed for the part, and astounded the audience with her brilliant singing, so much so that some did not know whether to join in singing or just simply listen! This was followed by a quick 'Russian Sleigh Ride' from the pen of Darrol Barry, before more audience participation in the singing of 'Silent Night'.

The next few moments proved slightly surreal as a short pantomime sketch followed featuring Peter Pan (Lucy Windsor), Captain Hook (Nigel Morgan), an inflatable crocodile, several pirates (the Band), and an over-sized Tinkerbell (Pete Williams). This provided the introduction to the theme by John Williams for the film 'Hook' (arranged by Rieks van der Velde). Sadly we have no pictures of the characters from this sketch, so if anyone has publishable material then please send them to us.

The first half concluded with Drake Rimmer's arrangement of Bizet's 'Farandole'; this piece was used as an encore on the Sunday night.

The second half, as the first, began in festive manner with Peter Graham's march 'The Wonder of Christmas'. Our young Eb Bass player, George Cullwick, then stood up to perform Flanders & Swan's 'Hippopotamus Song' skillfully arranged by Ken Smith. George showed how he has continued to develop as a player during the year with a great rendition of this fun piece. The Section of the Year, the horns, were then featured in an arrangement by Rieks van der Velde of the Christmas song 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year', providing plenty of evidence as to why they had received their award.

The audience were encouraged to sing-along once more with 'White Christmas' before the Training Band took the stage for their short concert. As usual the Training Band impressed with the quality of their playing and the diminutive size of some of the players! They performed several jazzy Christmas pieces ('Jingle Bells Bossa Nova' & 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen') plus some pieces from their general repertoire ('Marching Saints', 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' and 'Parade from the Toy Shop Suite').

The Concert was brought to a close with the usual Christmas sing-along featuring 'Jingle Bells', 'Rudolf', 'Christmas Swingalong' and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'.

Awards 2006

Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made most progress during the year - William Norman
William is another success story from our Training Band which he joined in 2002. He has rapidly progressed through its ranks, and was promoted to the Senior Band in time for the West of England Regional Contest in March of this year. During the summer he entertained audiences with his fantastic rendition of the cornet solo 'Buster Strikes Back' by Alan Morrison.

His talent and hard work practising have gained him a place on the shortlist of cornet players for the National Children's Brass Band of Great Britain (watch the website for further news during 2007). He has also been a member of the inaugural Gloucestershire Youth Training Band during 2006. He is a keen and enthusiastic player of whom we will hopefully hear much more in the future.

Fred Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - Helen Walters
Helen was the worthy recipient of the Musician of the Year trophy for 2006. In January she stepped back up to the Principal Cornet position following the departure of Martin Musto to pastures new. During the year she has once again made this position her own with solid performances throughout.

Helen also provides excellent leadership of the Training Band and has guided it through yet another successful year with a record number of public appearances, including a second camping trip to Sidmouth! The Band has seen the benefits of all this hard work in the past year with no fewer than 6 members of the senior band having started in the Training Band.

During the year she has also played a significant role on the Committee assisting with the Lottery Application (unfortunately not successful), producing numerous concert programmes, co-ordinating deps for players at engagements, and assisting with the organisation of the visit of Flε Musikkorps from Norway.


Jeff Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Sue Corrigan
Sue joined the Band on baritone in 1996 after bringing her daughter along to play with the Band. She has subsequently proved to be a loyal and hard working member of the Band, who rarely misses a practice or engagement.

She has been the Secretary of the Band since 2003 and has been the Band's Librarian for much longer than that. So she has opted to take on two of the most demanding tasks that assist with the smooth running of the Band, and performs them well. In October she became a grandmother but has still found the time to keep the Band organised music-wise.

Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year - Horns
The Horn Section comprising Clive Miles, Christine Warner and Betty Ellis were awarded the Section of the Year trophy for their consistently good performances and the fact that they rarely cause a fuss during practices.

They have provided many solid performances throughout the year on the horn feature 'You Raise Me Up' and entertained the Christmas audiences with the horn trio 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year'.



Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - Oliver Moss
Oliver is the longest serving member of the Training Band, and is one of its success stories since he has progressed from there into the Senior Band and has made his way along the back row to the key position of Repiano Cornet. Ollie also gained a place with the inaugural Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band, taking part in the 2006 National Youth Brass Band Championships with them in Manchester.

Ollie rarely misses a band engagement or practice and his enthusiasm means that he is a valuable member of the Band.

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

Pied Piper Appeal Charity Concert
On Wednesday 6th December the Band made its annual appearance at Tewkesbury Abbey as part of the charity concert to raise funds for the Pied Piper Appeal. The Band is one of the few musical groups that has appeared at every one of the Pied Piper Appeal concerts that have been held annually since 1997, and we have seen the popularity of this concert increase year on year. This year the Abbey was once again full of enthusiastic supporters looking forward to being entertained whilst supporting this good cause.

All in all a hugely entertaining evening that hopefully raised plenty of money for the Pied Piper Charity.


Saturday 2nd Tewkesbury Abbey Christmas Fayre - Training Band [12pm-2pm]
Tuesday 5th RAF Innsworth - Training Band [Private Event]
Wednesday 6th Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7:30pm]
Saturday 9th Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Sunday 10th Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Thursday 14th Carols for Bryant Homes Christmas Event [Private Event: 5pm-8pm]
Sunday 17th Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]
Tuesday 19th Bishop's Cleeve Rotary Club Christmas Concert, Woodmancote School [7:30pm]
Wednesday 20th Carolling at Waitrose, Cheltenham [5pm-8pm]
Thursday 21st Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7pm]
Friday 22nd Carols at Tewkesbury Marina [7pm]
Saturday 23rd Carolling at Morrisons, Up Hatherly [10am onwards]
Saturday 23rd Carols at Innsworth [small group 3pm-4pm]
Sunday 24th Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [4pm]
Sunday 24th Carols around town pubs, Tewkesbury [Evening; finish at Queen's Head Pub, Aston Cross]


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Just a reminder that all the views portrayed on this website are mine and Hadrian's (mostly Hadrian's!!) and may not reflect the views of Tewkesbury Town Band as a whole.

Copyright © 2001 Melbo Productions. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 08, 2007