March 2003
Welcome Back
to our website! Thank you for being patient while we argue with Geocities over why we (and thousands of others) cannot update our websites (it's very one sided though as Geocities don't respond!). Hopefully you won't notice any difference using the site but we are currently working with a temporary solution bouncing you through to another site so that we can keep you up to date with all that's going on at Tewkesbury Town Band. Finally a review of our contest performance is here.. read on to find out what went on!

We are hard at work practising Northern Landscapes by Peter Graham, the Third section test piece (described in the January section below), ready for our trip to Torquay on April 5th. We have an evening rehearsal booked with Nigel Seaman on Wednesday 19th March to help us refine our playing of the piece ready for the big day. Sadly we will be without Neil Crowe, our soprano player, on the day due to the imminent arrival of a new member of the Crowe family...we wish them well and look forward to hearing news of the birth.

We are pleased to announce that John Jemmett who has been helping us out on solo horn since September of last year has now formally joined the band from Cheltenham Silver. John is relatively new to brass band contesting and our appearance in Torquay will be his first time at the West of England Area Contest. His arrival has added depth to the middle sound of the band and someone to help get the drinks in after band practise!

Our engagements list for 2003 is now filling up rapidly so please visit our diary page to find out where you can hear us during the coming months. The latest addition to our engagements results from our successful tour to Miesbach in Germany and is a concert with Churchdown Male Voice Choir at the Churchdown Community Centre on 30 May for the Tewkesbury Twinning Association. Further details closer to the day. 

The date of the band AGM has been set as the evening of Wednesday 9th April at Tewkesbury Town Hall.

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February 2003

This years Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Annual Entertainment Contest was held on Sunday 9th February at the RFDC, Coleford. As happened last year, all sections were mixed up and so a fourth section band could go on stage following a championship section band who may then be followed by a second section band and so on. Entry was limited to 15 bands and these were split into three sections, all with individual draws through the day. We were in the last group to play. 

As planned, the Band met at a local bandroom for our pre-stage warm up and our contest secretary went off to do the draw. Later, as we were blowing through the last notes of our practise, our contest secretary came rushing back in with the draw result. "When are we on?" we asked innocently, "NOW!!" she replied. Due to a mix up with the timings as one band had withdrawn and us drawing to play first after the break that should have occurred after the band that had withdrawn would have played, the contest committee had tried to move us up a group. I have never seen the band put their instruments and music away so quickly, then leapt into all our cars who somehow all managed to turn round and get away up the road to the contest venue in record time. Shirts were flying everywhere as the band hastily got changed and ready to go on stage. Never fear though, there's always the registration process to slow things down so that you get a little time to "relax", and then that was it, we were on the stage, played our little hearts out and it was all over so quickly! Although it didn't leave us much time to get nervous, I wouldn't recommend this approach to contest performances!

So what did we play and how did it go?
We opened in entertaining style as we marched on to a drum beat and in special formation played 'Seventy-Six Trombones' from The Music Man. Conducted in true style by Nigel Morgan, dressed in his best marching band style jacket and superbly made hat (by our very own Sue Musto)! A bright and entertaining opening moved Bryan Hurdley (adjudicator) to comment on our well staged opening, tight ensemble and some fine dynamics (yes! We've only been after that remark about the dynamics for a few years now!). 
Having woken everyone up, we then changed the mood completely with our solo item. Soprano cornet player Neil Crowe was the man who played 'Catari, Catari' with such passion that you could almost have felt he was singing it! As the remarks read, 'soloist plays with a full tone and confidence...Well Done!'
Next was one of the bands favourites from the summer, Mood Indigo. Again convincing playing according to the man that mattered on the day (and that's not my Grandad!), a lovely choice and a well done to the solo cornet (I like that bit!) in the remarks.
Following this was an up-tempo piece, again a favourite of the year, Ken Smith's arrangement of Don Giovanni. 'A bit of fun!' was how Bryan Hurdley described this piece but it got some praise for the kit player and woke the audience back up.
To close our entertaining programme, we played the huge march, 'He-Man: Masters of the Universe', again arranged by Ken Smith. This drew out of Mr Hurdley's pen words such as impressive, powerful, well done and then there was the euphoniums - wild!!

We enjoyed playing our programme and had hopefully provided the audience and the adjudicators, Mr Hurdley and Mr Wyatt, with plenty of entertainment. 

The wait at the end of the contest whilst the adjudicators and the GBBA committee members collated the results to (in the words of Dave Hayward, the compere) "ensure that they got it right" was interminable at over half an hour. This was the start of the farce that the results process was to become. Despite all the waiting time the numerous trophies (almost one for each band taking part and several additional best instrumentalist trophies) on offer at this contest had not been organised by section and position. Hence the wrong trophies being presented to band representatives and then being promptly recalled by the people on the stage, and the constant search through the trophy table for the next trophy to be presented. To cap it all the GBBA had to issue a letter to all the competing bands the day after the contest outlining the actual results since despite the lengthy collation and checking process they somehow managed to announce incorrect results! The beauty of being organised! Maybe one day they will discover that amazing new invention the laptop computer, the impact on the speed with results can be collated and announced will astound them.

At the final reckoning we were placed 2nd in the Third Section behind Ynyshir Welfare Band and ahead of keen rivals Portishead. The full results for the day can be found here.


Sunday 9th Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Annual Entertainment Contest - RFDC, Coleford

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January 2003

2004 is the Band's 30th Anniversary - Any Suggestions
Next year the Band will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary. To ensure that we have a memorable year we have started the planning process now. Any suggestions regarding what we should be doing to mark this special anniversary can be submitted to us via our e-mail addresses on the contact us page of this website and we will pass them on to Chris Poole who is acting as chief organiser for our anniversary year. 

Some early suggestions have included a concert involving participation by all our conductors over the 30 year period and as many of the players from this period as possible also. So if you are a former member of the band and would like to be involved in our 30th Anniversary celebrations please contact us so that we can assist Chris Poole in compiling a list of the contact details for past members of the band.

Calling all drummers/percussionists...

Both the main band and training band are in need of a bit of extra rhythm! The main band is looking for an extra percussionist/drummer to complement their section and the training band has never had one yet. As they now regularly play as a band, there are parts being missed out as we have no drums or percussion players. If you are learning to play then this is a great place to start playing with other people. The percussion section in top brass bands get to use far more percussion than in any orchestra so why not come along and have a go. Contact Us for more details or see our Vacancies page for other players required.

Contest Music
Since returning after our Christmas break the Band has been preparing itself for the GBBA Entertainment Contest at the Royal Forest of Dean College on Sunday 9th February and the West of England Regional Contest on 5th April. 

The set test piece for the Regional Contest is Northern Landscapes by Peter Graham. It was originally written for the brass quintet of the Royal Ulster Orchestra and comprises four movements depicting features of Northern Ireland: Industry, Seascapes, Earth Dance, and Flight. This version for brass band was specially commissioned by Boarshurst (Greenfield) Silver Band and sees the piece developed to encapsulate all of the brass band instrumentation, especially movements 1 and 3 which were solely for quintet in the original and wind band versions, and some minor changes to the original work. It is a challenging piece technically with frequent conflicting rhythms between different sections of the band. It does however have moments of great beauty, with the second movement being a particular favourite of mine.

Our programme for the entertainment contest comprises items that we played during the summer and at our concerts last year. These pieces are being fine tuned and we are looking forward to an extended workshop with Nigel Seaman tomorrow [26th January] to add to our understanding and improve our playing of these pieces and Northern Landscapes.

The Band returns to Germany for the night!
On Saturday 18th January the Band returned to the beer, plentiful food and laughter that we all remember from our tour to Miesbach, Bavaria last year. Unfortunately it was only the band social that was held in our local Tewkesbury pub but a great time was still had by all. Hundreds of photos were passed around to embarrass the vain ones and give those who didn't go on tour a flavour of the fun we had. We were also joined by a representative from the Tewkesbury and Miesbach twinning committee who presented the band with a copy of a photo that was printed in a German newspaper with a stunning report of one of our concerts. This picture will soon be on view for all to see in Tewkesbury Town Hall along with the rest of our gallery of band photos from over the years (it might also make it to this website in the near future too!). A BIG thank you must go to Christine Poole, our social secretary, for organising yet another brilliant social event.


Saturday 18th Band Social!
Sunday 26th Band event - Workshop day with Nigel Seaman

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