January 2004

Final Coda's

It is with deep regret that we announce the deaths of two banding stalwarts and great friends of the band.

On the 14th January Alan Bobs passed away after many months suffering from a rare form of cancer. Alan was a good friend of the band and regularly helped us out on bass trombone both at contests and concerts. He was a talented musician and one of the most genial individuals that one could ever meet. Our deepest sympathies go to all his family and friends.

On the 23rd January members of the band played  at the Service of Celebration of Alan's life in Tewkesbury Abbey, as part of a combined band with members of the band of the Gloucestershire Constabulary. As well as the hymns "Lord of All Hopefulness" and "Thine be the Glory", the combined bands played "Deep Harmony", "Evening Hymn and Last Post", and one of Alan's favourite marches "Old Comrades".

On 23rd January one of the band's biggest supporters and our own personal adjudicator, Mr Robert  Morgan, died. He has been a staunch supporter and follower of the band ever since his son, Nigel, took over as our Musical Director in 1997, and his granddaughter, Helen, joined our cornet section. His post contest analysis will be missed.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

Youth Music - 'Endangered Species' Instruments

In November, Youth Music launched a programme to encourage young people to take up and continue playing several instruments identified as being endangered species amongst the musical world. These instruments are the Tuba/Euphonium, Trombone, French Horn, Bassoon, Double Bass and Oboe. These instruments have become 'endangered' for reasons of cost, accessibility (due to their size and shape) and, in some cases, due to their street-cred amongst young people.

Music Service statistics across England show that only 915 children are learning the tuba in comparison to 90,875 learning the violin.

The listing of the Tuba/Euphonium and Trombone amongst the 'endangered species' instruments is of concern to those in the brass band community; so it is good to see this initiative to encourage the Music Services across England to focus on these instruments. Youth Music, in association with Classic FM and The Music Group, are also providing significant financial incentives via the Music Services to alleviate the cost barrier to taking up and playing these instruments.

For more information visit the Youth Music website at www.youthmusic.org.uk This website is packed full of information in relation to these instruments, and includes other useful information such as guides to the maintenance and care of your instrument. There is also a fun game called 'Tubagotchi' which encourages you to undertake a balanced programme of daily practice and instrument maintenance. Highly recommended, with the challenge being to beat Helen's score of 12,000 points.


Band practices begin in earnest for a busy 30th Anniversary year on Sunday 4th January. First up will be the pieces for the GBBA Entertainment Contest in February and "Vizcaya" the Third Section regional test piece for Torquay in March. After that there is that all important event of my wedding to Helen in April. The Summer will see the Band as busy as ever with plenty of 30th Anniversary events in the pipeline to supplement our usual bandstand and fete appearances.

The ever increasing Training Band begins its 2004 adventure on Friday 9th January. We look forward to meeting old and new faces then.

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