August 2006

Dear all, apologies for not keeping this as up to date as you are used to. What with the tour from Norway to arrange and moving house, we have let things slip a little! However, things are going to change now that we have settled in to our new abode and the Norwegians has enjoyed a successful tour. We hope to return to bringing you regular updates on what the band has been up to!

11th - 13th August - Training Band Tour to Sidmouth

Last weekend, the Training band enjoyed its second annual tour to Sidmouth. This year the tour was extended by one day as we left on Friday morning instead of Saturday. On Friday 11th we all met at the Ashchurch Army Camp to board the coach for Sidmouth. We just about managed to fit all the camping stuff, band instruments, stands and chairs underneath the coach, then it was off down the M5 and we arrived at the camp site bang on schedule at around 1pm. Then there was a quick dash to put the tents up as it threatened to rain (again!). Luckily, this year, there was just a sprinkling of rain and then although it threatened, we didn't really see it again all weekend!


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Once we had set up camp, including the Windor's Castle (!), we all sat down for our picnic lunch. Then there was time for a few games of rounder's before heading off to meet up with members of the Sidmouth Youth Band. Unfortunately, many of their players were away on holiday but we were pleased to meet up with those who were there and joined together to make some lovely music!

Following the rehearsal, we were invited to the Volunteer pub next door where their senior band were about to play and entertain the crowds at a hog roast. They generously invited some of our band to join in! Although some got a little cold, it was a very enjoyable evening.

Saturday 12th began with many comparing how cold they had got during the night - me included - it was freezing and I hardly got any sleep due to shivering! This didn't put us off our freshly cooked bacon and sausage rolls though or deter us from waking the camp site with a rehearsal at 9:30am! Following this we headed off to Ottery St Mary and then on to Otter Nurseries, a garden centre and our first concert venue. The Garden Centre made us feel very welcome and we entertained the crowds of shoppers for a good 2 hours with a break for lunch (or ice cream with clotted cream!!! Yum yum!!).

After a quick change back at the camp site, it was then time to hit the beach (or the shops in Sidmouth). Some were even brave (or crazy) enough to go in to the cold sea for a swim! Others just paddled and made sandcastles. That evening, we enjoyed a BBQ (courtesy of Waitrose) with fun and games on the camp site, topped off by a good old sing song!

Sunday morning began in similar style to the day before with breakfast and then practise on the campsite. The highlight of the tour, for some, was next with a visit to the worlds largest donkey sanctuary! Some walked from the camp site and others took the easy option of the coach. Then it was back to the campsite for lunch and to change in to our uniforms for our concert in Sidmouth.


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  We were pleased to play once again in Connaught Gardens where there is a fantastic outdoor stage. This year, members of the Sidmouth Youth Band joined us for the entire concert and did some stunning sight reading! It was a very enjoyable concert. Unfortunately, it was then time to head back to the campsite to pack the tents away and return to Tewkesbury.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend for everyone involved. We would like to thank Waitrose for the provision of our BBQ food, all the campers and owners of Kingsdown Tail Camp Site for putting up with our noise, and we would especially like to thank Adrian Harvey and Sidmouth Town Band for making us feel so welcome.

Churchdown Horticultural Society
On Saturday 5th August the Training Band appeared as the musical entertainment at the Churchdown Horticultural Society's Annual Show. The Training Band played their usual high standard entertaining the public as they sat enjoying a drink following their wander around the various exhibits. The theme tune to 'Ground Force' had the audience looking over their shoulders for Alan Titchmarsh but sadly he was not to be found! As well as Ground Force the Training Band played two half hour programmes including several recent favourites such as 'Three Celtic dances', 'Wallace and Gromit', and 'Band Power'.

Moving On
During August the Band said sad goodbye's to two member. George Raggatt, who rejoined the band last year on front row cornet, is leaving Tewkesbury to take up a lace studying jazz performance at Leeds Metropolitan University. The Band wishes him all the best for the future and hopes he has plenty of fun studying in Yorkshire.
Sue Musto, who has been a member of the Band for 8 years playing back row, cornet, flugel horn and tenor horn during this time, leaves the Band to team up with her husband, Martin, at West Mercia Police Band. We wish her all the best for her future playing. During her time with the Band she also undertook several important roles such as Contest Secretary and Uniform Manager; her organisational skills in these matters will be missed.

Moving Up
The Summer saw two more of our Training Band members, Grace Windsor and Hannah Williams, make the step up to the Senior Band. Both proved invaluable additions to our back row cornet section during the summer bandstand season. We wish them well and hope their enthusiastic approach to playing continues for many years to come.

Making the Grade
Several Training Band members took Associated Board Grade exams during July, and all came away successful. So it is a big congratulations to Hannah Williams who achieved her Grade 5 Cornet, George Cullwick who achieved his Grade 4 on Eb Bass and Charlotte Leatherby who achieved her Grade 2 on Cornet.

Tewkesbury Abbey Topping Off Ceremony
On the morning of Tuesday 1st August a small group of players from the Band (Robin Purser, Helen & Hadrian Walters, Sue Musto, Hannah Williams and William Norman) climbed the Abbey Tower with their instruments to provide a fanfare in accompaniment to the Topping Off Ceremony. The was to celebrate the completion of the renovation of the Tower roof and was led by Rev Paul Williams. The fanfare that was performed was specially composed for the occasion by our very own Robin Purser.


Tuesday 1st Topping Off Ceremony, Tewkesbury Abbey
Saturday 5th Churchdown Horticultural Society event - Training Band
Sunday 6th Ghulevelt Park Bandstand,  Worcester [2:30pm-4:30pm]
Friday 11th to
Sunday 13th
Training Band Trip to Sidmouth (concert with Sidmouth Town Youth Band)
Friday 18th Brasstastic! 2006 - Independent brass course for young players. Visit
Saturday 19th Ross on Wye Bandstand [2:30pm-4:30pm]
Sunday 20th Priory Park Bandstand, Malvern [2:30pm-4:30pm]
Sunday 27th Stroud Bandstand [2:30pm-4:30pm]

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July 2006

Postlip Beer Festival
The Band was once again pleased to be invited to provide the Saturday lunchtime entertainment at the 30th Cotswold Beer Festival. The Band performed its usual selection of crowd pleasers, and added a few new ones including 'In Munchen Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus' and the folk classics 'Irish Rover' and 'Wild Rover'. There were several short breaks for the band to sample the delights of the festival, and for some reason as the afternoon progresses we always seem to sound better! Judging from the audience response at the end of the session we did an excellent job of entertaining them. Hopefully we will be back again next year.

Multi-cultural Wedding Celebrations
On Sunday 16th July the Band were honoured to be invited to provide a short concert on the occasion of the wedding celebration of Dr Babar Vaqas and Aisha Ali Sohail at the Tewkesbury Park Hotel. This was a rather unique engagement that saw the Band perform a selection of traditional brass band tunes to a truly multi-cultural selection of guests, and being followed on by a group of Egyptian dancers!

Surprise, surprise!
On Sunday 2nd September the Band were honoured to provide the musical entertainment at a surprise party for Frank, one of our supporters (grandfather to William (cornet) and Hannah (euphonium) Norman and father of Jenny (horn) Norman!). He had been intending to go and listen to Black Dyke play in Cheltenham Town Hall rather than attend the party which he thought was for someone else. Thankfully the arm twisting from his daughter proved successful and he turned up to be thoroughly entertained by the Band, albeit to a standard just below that of Black Dyke! The Band were then invited to join Frank's family and friends in devouring a pig roast and enjoying the odd drink or two!


Sunday 2nd Birthday Celebration, Cheltenham
Sunday 16th Wedding Celebration, Tewkesbury Park Hotel
Saturday 29th Cotswold Beer Festival, Postlip Hall