our way to Christmas!
The weeks leading up to Christmas saw the members of the Band busy entertaining the public with Christmas Carols in the hope of raising money to fund the bands activities into 2009 (these include the provision of free tuition and membership of our training band, provision of instruments, music and uniforms).
We had a fun if tiring time playing at venues as exotic as Morrisons in Up Hatherley, Twyning, Tewkesbury Marina, Montpelier in Cheltenham and The Queen's Head Pub at Aston Cross raising up to £1,400. A big Thank You to all who donated to our funds and we hope you enjoyed our playing! The real highlight for me being the trip to Twyning to play carols for our long serving member, Peter Williams, who has sadly been unable to attend practices during 2008 due to the illness of his wife.
Training Band Concert - Sunday 21st
December 2008 at 2.30pm
Carols in Montpellier
Carols with Carol on BBC Radio
Our annual Christmas Concerts at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury took place on the 6th and 7th December 2008, and were once again sell outs. We opened the concerts with Erik Leidzen’s festive prelude ‘Christmas Joy’ to get the audience into the Christmas spirit. This was followed by Matt Kingston’s cleverly crafted selection of English carols ‘An Almost English Christmas’ featuring several of the less well known carols along with some more popular items.
The audience were then treated
to some spectacular playing by Hannah ‘Sinatra’ Williams as she stood up
to play Edrich Siebert’s ‘The Lazy Trumpeter’ from memory in a relaxed
but by no means indolent manner. The audience were then given the
opportunity to exercise their lungs and sing the popular carol ‘O Come
All Ye Faithful’. After this interlude the audience were treated to a
beautiful duet by our Soprano Cornet, Kev Bennett, and our Flugel, Helen
Poole. This was the Andrew Lloyd Webber tune ‘Pie Jesu’ from his
Requiem; a piece that may seem out of character with Christmas but whose
title translates as ‘O Sweet Jesus’, a sentiment definitely in accord
with the Christmas mood.
This was followed by ‘Let It
Snow’ by Rieks van der Velde before we were joined by Bobby the Bear
(aka George Cullwick) for the amazing arrangement of ‘The Bare
Necessities’ by Leigh Baker. This featured George in a full bear outfit
competing with wannabe soloists from all around the band, plus a crazy
back row cornet percussion section and much more. George led the band in
the tune excellently before leaving the stage in a huff at the numerous
attempts by others to steal his thunder, only to return a few minutes
later equipped with a sousaphone.
After this hilarity, the Training Band took to the stage for their short concert. They commenced with a version of the Scissor Sisters ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ that featured some impressive and very stylish dancing by the members of the Training Band. This was followed by two pieces composed on the same summer afternoon, the first by Helen Walters was entitled ‘Summer Sunshine’ and captured the positive mood of a warm summers day. The second by Robin Purser was entitled ‘Weekend Rain’ and featured Becki Wilmot on the glockenspiel as the sound of a summer shower.
Training Band played a fun piece called ‘Mr Jolly’ by Gary Young
complete with silly sounds from our percussion section. The penultimate
item featured several members of the Training Band as soloists at the
front of the stage, in a tongue in cheek version of ‘Hot Cross Buns’
arranged by the American Salvationist William Himes with the title of
‘Muffin’s Rhapsody’. The Training Band programme concluded with an
arrangement of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ by Helen Walters
featuring singing as well as playing.
The first half of the concert concluded with a little bit of pantomime and story telling as the Band played ‘Jericho Re-Visited’ by William Himes. This tells the story of Joshua marching on to Jericho narrated by our MD, Nigel Morgan, complete in fancy dress as Joshua and featured guest conductor Carlotti Spaghetti Bolognesi (aka Robin Purser). We had the wall of Jericho built and destroyed by members of the Training Band to cues in the story. The Band had to exercise their vocal chords as well as play their instruments.
interval followed before the Band commenced the second half with the
bright ‘Gaudete’ arranged for brass band by Rodney Newton. This was
followed by the final soloist of the night Martin Warner on Euphonium
playing what seems to be one of the popular Christmas tunes of 2008, O
More audience participation followed as the audience joined us to sing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ before they were able to check their tickets to see if they had won raffle prizes. The various Band Awards were handed out across the two nights, including a Life Membership award to our Treasurer, Christine Poole, for her 31 years involvement with the Band.
of the Year were then featured in Darrol Barry’s new Christmas trombone
trio (for five players in our case!!) ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’, a fun
piece that combines several Christmas melodies with some trombone
After this the school choirs (Lakeside Primary from Hatherly on Saturday / John Moore Primary on Sunday) took the stage to entertain us with a selection of festive songs. Following their songs the members of the school choirs joined the members of the Training Band to provide additional percussion to the Band’s playing of ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph’ conducted by that famous character from the North Pole, Santa Claus.
Michael Blake, our second baritone player, then managed to get his Christmas wish granted as he was allowed to play the glockenspiel as a solo item in ‘It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas’. The concert was brought to a close with full audience participation in the carol ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’. We hope everyone had an enjoyable time and look forward to seeing you at one of our appearances in the future.
Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made most progress during the year - Grace Windsor
Grace Windsor is a committed member of both our Senior and Training bands. She frequently helps with our Beginner Band and also plays in various groups in school. Grace is a member of the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band. Grace has continued to develop her Cornet playing skills and has gained in confidence throughout the year. Well done Grace!
Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - Hadrian Walters
Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Christine Poole
Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year -
The Trombones featured in our Christmas performances with their trio 'Santa's Little Helpers' which showed off their technique, wonderful sounds and a little bit of humour too! This was a fitting end to a year of hard work from the Section of the Year 2008!
Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - William Norman
is a fine young Cornet player and a worthy recipient of this award. He has
continued to develop his skills during the year and has really expanded his
sound and technical abilities. William has been promoted to Assistant
Principal Cornet in recognition of this during the year, a seat which he
also held this year with the National Children's Brass Band of Great
Britain. This opportunity has led him to work with some of the finest brass
musicians in the country today and perform at the Artrix Centre in
Bromsgrove and at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
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 3rd December the Band once again 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.
The Band opened the concert with Erik Leidzen’s festive prelude 'Christmas Joy' as the audience took their seats. The audience were then welcomed by the vicar of Tewkesbury Abbey, Revd Canon Paul Williams, before joining together to sing the carol 'The First Noel'. The compere for the evening Revd Geoff Crago then introduced the County Junior Choir and their conductor Vicky Barnes-Moffett. This group comprising children between the ages of 7 and 15 entertained the audience by singing a selection of festive pieces that ranged from the religious to the secular. My favourite pieces being ‘Mary & Joseph’ by L. Ager and K. Allen and ‘Make Me a Light’ by P. Wilby.
Everyone was asked to sing the carol ‘While Shepherds Watched’ with gusto before the talented organist Dale Wills entertained us with two movements from Leon Boellmann’s Suite Gothique [the Menuet and the Toccata]. Everyone then sang the carol ‘Away in a Manger’
The Band then began its short concert with the traditional tune 'Gaudete' (“Rejoice”) arranged for brass band by Rodney Newton. The fanfare passages rang round the Abbey and woke anyone who may have dozed off! We then took the audience on ‘An Almost English Christmas’. This is a showcase of English Christmas carols arranged by a local musician Matt Kingston featuring carols such as ‘Here We Go a Wassailing’, ‘Masters in the Hall’, ‘Sussex Carol’ and others. Next we played a tune that seems to have become popular again this year as part of an advertising campaign ‘It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas’ featuring our second baritone player, Michael Blake, as a glockenspiel soloist!! We concluded our selection with a rendition of the ever-popular ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ in a jazzy arrangement by Rieks van der Velde.
To warm the audience up once more they stood to sing the carol ‘As With Gladness’ before being treated to the beautiful singing of the mezzo-soprano, Amy Milliams. She sang a selection of festive tunes including ‘Bethlehem Down’ by Peter Warlock and the popular ‘Coventry Carol’. The Very Revd Nick Bury (Dean of Gloucester Cathedral) rounded the evening off with a thought-provoking address before the final carol of the evening ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’
Everyone had a great time and we hope that the concert raised plenty of money for the Pied Piper Appeal!
|Wednesday 3rd||Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7:30pm]|
|Saturday 6th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Lakeside School Choir|
|Sunday 7th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring John Moore Primary School Choir|
|Thursday 11th||Carols at The Courtyard, Montpellier, Cheltenham [5:30pm]|
|Saturday 13th||Cheltenham Racecourse [2-4pm] - cancelled due to waterlogged racecourse|
|Tuesday 16th||Bishop's Cleeve Rotary Club Christmas Concert, St Michael's Church [7:30pm]|
|Wednesday 17th||Carols around Twyning [7:30-9pm]|
|Thursday 18th||Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7-8pm]|
|Friday 19th||Carols at Tewkesbury Marina [7pm]|
|Saturday 20th||Carols at Morrisons, Up Hatherley [10am-6pm]|
|Sunday 21st||Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]|
|Wednesday 24th||Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [3:30pm]|
|Wednesday 24th||Carols around Town clubs & restaurants, Tewkesbury [Evening; finish at Queen's Head Pub, Aston Cross]|
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Revised: February 15, 2009