July

Cotswold Beer Festival
Postlip Hall - 24th July 2010
One of the most relaxed Senior Band jobs of the year takes place at the Cotswold Beer Festival. Many lively pieces were played throughout the Band's 3 hour stint including crowd pleasers such as 'Viva Espana', 'Delilah' and 'Dam Busters' which encouraged the audience to join in and have a good sing-along. With limited space on the stage, percussionist Keith Rose chose to come out into the audience and hand out small percussion items to willing volunteers so that they could join in. Band supporter Steve Edgar was one of those persuaded to join in and even enjoyed a stint of un-rhythmic bass drum playing!

The band entertained the CAMRA members and supporters with four sessions of playing with very short breaks in-between each one. The team of roadies including Steve kept the band members stocked with the necessary refreshments to keep playing for this length of time. Good friends and past players of the band Martyn and Carole Sudworth were guest players for the afternoon and brought their new baby Eleanor along to meet the band, albeit she was as yet a little to young to join in the playing!

Ross on Wye Bandstand
Ross on Wye - 18th July 2010
On a grey but dry Sunday afternoon we visited Ross on Wye to play an afternoon concert on the bandstand there. We opened programme with the London inspired 'Fanfare Britannica' by American composer James Hosay. This was followed by an exciting arrangement of American spirituals by James Curnow 'Jubilation' that includes the popular spiritual 'Steal Away' combined with several other spirituals. Helen Walters then stepped up to play the fast and furious solo 'Glorious Ventures' from the pen of Peter Graham with her usual panache.

After that we entertained the audience of people sat by the roadside with a little Russian based classical music with a clever arrangement of Shostakovich's 'Second Waltz' from his light music suite. This was followed by the cornet section performing Bert Kaempfert's 'Spanish Eyes' in an attempt to bring some Spanish sunshine to the park. Keeping in the Latin vein we then played an arrangement of the traditional Mexican tune 'La Cucaracha' that had the audience swaying in their deckchairs! One of the oldest members of the band, bass trombonist John Warner, then stood up to give a fantastic rendition of 'Wandrin' Star'. This took us to the wild west of America and was an apt introduction to our final piece of the first half the American Indian inspired piece by Swiss composer Mario Burki 'Indian Fire' with all the band providing vocal and other effects to add atmosphere.

We opened the second half of our programme with another piece by a Swiss composer, this time it was the wonderful 'Hymn to the Mountain' by Etienne Crausaz. After that we moved over the Alps to Italy to play through Alan Fernie's clever arrangement of several popular Italian tunes into an 'Italian Fantasy'. This was followed by a trip to the movies with Clive Miles playing the ever popular song from The Wizard of Oz 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' before the band played a selection of tunes from the Disney musical 'Mary Poppins' and then moved to the modern day with the theme from 'Herbie Fully Loaded' featuring Susan Stayt-Mackey on car horn.

After our trip to the movies we then gave our tribute to the Welsh singer celebrating his 70th birthday this year, Tom Jones, and one of his most popular songs 'It's Not Unusual'. This was followed by the trombone gliss packed arrangement of Christina Aguilera's 'Candyman'. Finally we took 'A Stroll in the Park' before finishing our programme with Philip Sparke's excellent 'Klezmer Karnival'. A big Thank You to the three members of the McDougal family who helped us out on the cornet section, Debbie, Shona and Kerry.

Pershore Midsummer Brass Festival
Pershore - 10th July 2010
One of the best brass events of the year was revived on Saturday 10th July 2010 after a 5 year absence from the calendar. The Pershore Midsummer Brass Festival is one of those unique events in the UK where a multitude of brass bands get together to fill a whole day from 10am until 10pm with the sound of good brass music without a contest anywhere in sight! A fantastic day out for the lover of brass music and three great venues to listen in: Pershore Abbey, the Baptist Church and the Angel Inn where the alcohol flows.

The weather was great and fitting for the re-introduction of this event into the brass band calendar. Being one of the more local bands to Pershore we tend to get the early playing slots which allows us to play our programmes and then enjoy a day listening to bands, drinking and eating fish & chips. We arrived early to be the first band on in Pershore Abbey at 10:30am and opened our programme to a healthy audience with Etienne Crausaz's 'Hymn to the Mountain', a rousing opener that echoed around the Abbey and made sure everyone was well and truly awake! This was followed by a great arrangement by the American composer James Curnow of several American Spirituals including the well known 'Steal Away' in a piece entitled 'Jubilation'.

After the bright introduction it was time for our first soloist of the day to take the front of the stage. This was our principal cornet Helen Walters who gave a dazzling performance of Peter Graham's virtuoso solo 'Glorious Ventures'. After this amazing performance of finger dexterity we calmed proceedings down with a Russian interpretation of the waltz with Shostakovich's 'Second Waltz', a catchy tune which sticks in your head! This was followed by our tribute to the 200th Anniversary of Chopin's birth with the tune 'So Deep is the Night' which is based on one of his famous tristesse.

The back row cornets and the trombones were then featured in a wonderful arrangement by Leigh Baker of the 'Agnes Dei' from Faure's Requiem. A piece that suits brass instruments and fitted the Abbey setting that the concert was being played in. Moving back upbeat we played the jolly Salvationist march 'Goldcrest' before wrapping up our programme with another original piece for brass band by Philip Sparke 'A Klezmer Karnival', a piece that presents the traditional Hebrew tunes in a swirl of ever increasing drama.

We then had a fifty minute break in which to make our way over to the marquee in the gardens of the Angel Inn by the banks of the River Avon. We opened our concert in the by now warm marquee with a regal fanfare written by the American James Hosay following his visit to London 'Fanfare Britannica'. We then took a trip through the popular classical tunes from Italy in Alan Fernie's 'Italian Fantasy', a great arrangement that captures all those well known tunes and cleverly weaves them together into a satisfying whole (the tunes featured are Nessun Dorma, La Danza, O Sole Mio, Brindisi, Tourno A Surriento, Funiculi Funicula and the Grand March from Aida). Having visited Italy we then moved onto Spain for the cornet section feature 'Spanish Eyes'.
 

It was then time to take a trip to the movies with the fantastic symphonic arrangement of the popular tunes from the Disney musical 'Mary Poppins' which is full of great percussion effects. This was followed by the lilting calypso tune that features our percussionist Susan Stayt-Mackey on ancient brass horn, the main theme from 'Herbie Fully Loaded'. A great piece of fun that was immediately followed by some of that hip-swinging music made popular by a Welshman who is celebrating his 70th birthday this year, Tom Jones. The piece in question being his popular hit 'It's Not Unusual'.
 

Our playing for the day was brought to a conclusion with us in the guise of Native American's all wearing feather head-dresses and led by big chief Nigel Morgan as we played a clever atmospheric original brass band work from the pen of Swiss composer Mario Burki called 'Indian Fire'. The piece starts with rain effects and the beat of a rain dance, moves through a triumphant theme to some clever atmospheric effects before reaching a rousing conclusion. Great fun that left the audience and the Band smiling.
 

It was a great day for the Band, made more special as we welcomed back percussionist, Pete Strawson, to help us out on the day. Pete left the Band in 2005 when he went to University. Within months of leaving us, he had won the National finals at the Albert Hall with Leyland band! Many thanks Pete for coming down to help us out. We would also like to say a big thank you to Chris Daw who helped us out on Bb Bass and who along with our own players, Katie Travers and George Cullwick, played four consecutive sessions due to their membership of the Worcestershire Youth Brass Band.

Evesham Bandstand
Evesham - 4th July 2010
American Independence Day saw the Band squash itself onto the bandstand in the park by the River Avon in Evesham. How we managed to squeeze our usual compliment of 26 players onto the bandstand without having to stand up was an achievement in itself! It was a dry warm, if not sunny, day and so there was a reasonable audience in the park to listen to us give our afternoon concert.

We opened with the brilliant fanfare 'Fanfare Britannica' by James Hosay before continuing in traditional fashion with the overture from Sullivan's 'HMS Pinafore'. We then featured our first soloist, principal cornet Helen Walters, who played the finger-taxing 'Glorious Ventures' by Peter Graham with great panache. After Helen's brilliant playing we entertained the audience with a wonderful arrangement of Shostakovich's 'Second Waltz' that had the audience twirling around the park.

 It was then time to feature the cornet section as a whole with an arrangement of Bert Kaempfert's 'Spanish Eyes'. Continuing in a Latin vein we moved on to the traditional Mexican tune 'La Cucaracha'. The next soloist to take centre stage was the younger of our two bass trombonists, Jonathan Petticrew, who played a confident and swaggering rendition of 'Wandrin' Star'. We then played the happy Salvationist march 'Goldcrest' before rounding off the first half of our programme with Alan Fernie's collection of popular Italian tunes 'Italian Fantasy'.

We opened our second half with Etienne Crausaz's fantastic opener 'Hymn to the Mountain' and followed this with a cleverly arranged selection of American Spirituals by James Curnow 'Jubilation'. It was then time for another amazing soloist as our flugel player, Helen Poole, stood up to play the haunting Celtic tune 'How Can I Keep From Singing?'. Moving back to the world of musicals we then played a selection of tunes from the ever-popular musical 'Oliver' that included all of those favourites songs such a Food Glorious Food and Pick A Pocket or Two (hopefully this wasn't happening in the park whilst we were playing!).

We then took 'A Stroll in the Park' with Philip Sparke's Gershwin inspired original work for brass band that leaves all of the band with a smile on their face. This was followed by a little bit of fun as we feature Susan Stayt-Mackey of our percussion section on ancient brass car horn in the jolly calypso theme to the film 'Herbie Fully Loaded'. In recognition of a certain hairy chested Welshman's 70th year we played the Tom Jones favourite 'It's Not Unusual'. Keeping with the pop theme we then played the trombone gliss-fest that is Peter Kleine-Schaars arrangement of 'Candyman' before rounding our programme of with Philip Sparke's swirling arrangement of Jewish tunes in 'A Klezmer Karnival'. We had a good afternoon on the bandstand playing to a wonderful audience. We would like to say a big thank you to Robert Morgan who helped us out on front row cornet as Robin Purser was busy doing his day job at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music.

July

Sunday 4th Evesham Bandstand [2:30-4:30pm]
Saturday 10th Pershore Midsummer Festival of Brass
Sunday 18th Ross on Wye Bandstand [2:30-4:30pm]
Saturday 24th Cotswold Beer Festival, Postlip Hall [12pm-3pm]

June

Summer Celebration Charity Concert
Selby Abbey, Yorkshire - 26th June 2010

On the weekend of 25th to 27th June a group of Band members travelled up to Selby in Yorkshire to take part as a small group in a Summer Celebration Concert for the Children's Society charity. The concert was organised by Hadrian's Dad as part of his retirement year and the acts during the concert featured several of his family members.

The Tewkesbury Brass Ensemble featured Hadrian Walters on trombone, Helen Walters and Robin Purser on cornet, Helen Poole on flugel, George Cullwick on Eb Bass and a former member of Tewkesbury Band, John Jemmett on horn. At lunchtime on Saturday 26th we had entertained the fete-goers at Selby Abbey fete with a selection of popular tunes and some of the items that we were planning to play in the evening.

The evening concert was well supported with many of Chris Walters' family and friends in the audience as well as performing on the stage. The concert was compered by Brian Porter who did an excellent job at introducing each of the acts and filling the time whilst the stage was re-arranged. The concert was opened by the Canon Lee High School Big Band which featured Chris' grandson, Peter Fitton, in the trombone section and Peter played a fantastic solo in one of the pieces that they played. They really got the concert off to a great start with some excellent soloists and some great swing music. They were followed by Chris' niece Bronwen Walters singing  the theme tune from the popular musical 'The Sound of Music' accompanied by Dr Roger Tebbett on the piano.

 

We then played our first selection of music opening in traditional brass band fashion with the march 'Slaidburn' to mark the numerous years that my Dad spent taking me around Yorkshire to band practice and various other events.  We then played the traditional gospel song 'Just A Closer Walk With Thee', a rather tenuous title link to the trip my Dad and I took to Peru in 1998 to walk the Inca Trail. This was followed by the beautiful melody by Carole Becker-Douglas 'So Many Lives (A Millennium Prayer for Peace)' the lyrics of which pay tribute to those who have lost their lives needlessly in conflict. This was followed by a piece especially for my Grandad, the theme from his favourite cartoon 'The Flintstones'. We closed out first half programme with 'Classical Gold', a selection of all those favourite classical moments that we didn't have time to play the whole of without taking up two hours.

The first half closed with several items from the Abbey Choristers who sang beautifully and featured several very young members. There was then a short interval before the Abbey Choristers opened the second half so that their younger members were able to make their way home for bed. They were followed by Bronwen Walters singing the song 'Dream a Little Dream of Me'.

We then took to the stage to perform our second half programme which we opened with the Frank Sinatra classic song 'My Way' as a tribute to the way that my Dad has led his life! This was followed with a tribute to my Dad's faith and his fun attitude to life with the popular song from Sister Act 'I Will Follow Him'. I then got to play one of my favourite tunes in the wonderful Abbey acoustic as we played an arrangement of Vladimir Kosma's 'Autumn Leaves' with a false ending causing the audience to applaud early! Next it was a little Gershwin with an arrangement of 'I Got Rhythm' before we concluded our programme with the tune that Helen & I walked out to at our wedding, 'Rondo Romantica' by Otto Schwarz.
 

Canon Lee School Big Band then took the stage to entertain us with three more pieces that showed off the amazing sound that this talented group of youngsters make. Hopefully they will continue their playing throughout their lives! The concert was then brought to a close with various thanks and a big finale featuring the combined voices of Nell, Bronwen and Win Walters as they sang 'So Long, Farewell' from the Sound of Music with bird effects by Maurice Walters.

There was then a fantastic spread of snacks and drinks for the audience to enjoy before making their way home. The concert raised over 800 pounds for the nominated charity and a good night was had by all.

 


 

St Catherine's Church Summer Fete
Gloucester - 19th June 2010
On the afternoon of Saturday 19 June the Training Band made its annual appearance to provide the musical entertainment at the St Catherine's Church Fete. It was a blustery but dry afternoon and the Training Band played two half hour sets for an enthusiastic audience. The programme included all of the current favourites ranging from the Disney favourites, 'The Theme from Aristocats' and 'Belle' from Beauty and the Beast, via 'Irving Berlin Pops' and 'Anna Magdalena's Minuet', to 'La Bamba', 'Pinball Wizard' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger'.

In-between the two sets there was a time for hot dogs, popcorn and ice creams to keep our energy levels up!

 

A Night at the Proms
Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury - 12th June 2010
On the evening of Saturday 12th June the Band held its annual Proms Concert in the Roses Theatre. Despite clashing with the first England match of the football World Cup there was a good audience in the theatre, including both the Tewkesbury Town Mayor and the Tewkesbury Borough Mayor, who enjoyed a fun evening of brass band music.

We opened our programme with a bright regal fanfare written by the American composer James Hosay 'Fanfare Britannica'. We followed this with a traditional overture from the pen of Arthur Sullivan for one of his popular operettas 'HMS Pinafore'. We then moved into the 20th Century with a modern variation on the traditional waltz by Shostakovich. We played his 'Second Waltz' which is a great uplifting tune that brings a smile to the saddest of faces. This was followed by our first solo of the night featuring Clive Miles on tenor horn with the classic tune from the musical 'The Wizard of Oz' made famous by Judy Garland 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'. After that our whole cornet section was featured in the Bert Kaempfert classic tune 'Spanish Eyes' in an arrangement by Ray Woodfield.

We then had a little fun by inviting several members of the audience onto the stage to join with us on percussion instruments as we played through an arrangement of the traditional Mexican folk tune 'La Cucaracha'. This was then followed by a trip to the era of musical revues in a collection of Flanders & Swann tunes by the title of 'At the Drop of A Hat' that included the songs 'The Gasman Cometh', 'The Slow Train', 'The Wom Pom Song' and 'The Hippopotamus Song' all artfully combined by Sandy Smith into a fun piece of music. Our principal cornet, Helen Walters, was then featured as we paid tribute to the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Chopin by playing a tune base on one of his tristesses 'So Deep is the Night'. The Band then slowly dispersed from the stage as we played an arrangement of Haydn's 'Farewell Symphony' until there was only the conductor (Nigel Morgan), a euphonium (Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds) and the principal cornet (Helen Walters) onstage....everyone else was in the bar getting their interval drinks!

We opened the second half of our programme with a collection of American Spirituals put together under the title of 'Jubilation' by North American composer James Curnow. We then moved to the country of yet another of the participants in the football World Cup (a theme that had been touched on throughout the evening) with a selection by Alan Fernie of several popular and famous tunes by Italian composers in a piece entitled 'An Italian Fantasy'. This covered the Grand March form Aida, Nessun Dorma, La Danza and several others in a rousing and clever arrangement for brass.

Our second bit of audience participation followed with the provision of a flugel, trombone and tuba to three of the audience members (one being the Town Crier) and the request that they play along with the afterbeats as the band played the Blue Danube waltz. The concert was then rounded of with the ever-popular Last Night of the Proms favourites with singing led by our very own star singer, Helen Poole. We transported the audience to the Albert Hall with Arthur Wood's 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs' (including Rule Britannia), followed by the popular 'Jerusalem' and the big finale of Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance No. 1' (better known as Land of Hope and Glory).

A fun evening was had by all! We would like to say a special Thank You to our guests David Mason on euphonium and his brother Jim Mason on cornet.

Street Fair Fun
Bishop's Cleeve - 6th June 2010
It was a warm Sunday lunchtime and early afternoon for the Training Band's first appearance at Bishop's Cleeve's street fair. The Training Band set up near the fountain in the centre of the village and a small crowd soon gathered sitting on the nearby benches and low walls to hear them play. During the afternoon they played a selection of their pieces including a selection of popular tunes by Irving Berlin in an arrangement called 'Irving Berlin Pops'. There were tunes from the films of Disney including the 'Theme from Aristocats', 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Belle'.

There were also pop tunes for the young 'Don't Look Back In Anger' and for the old 'Pinball Wizard' and 'La Bamba'. As well as a few famous classical melodies 'Anna Magdalena's Minuet' and the eastern 'Hava Nagila'. The Training Band played two half hour programmes for their appreciative audience with a break for ice creams and burgers from the various stalls. A good afternoon was had by all.

 

June

Sunday 6th Bishop's Cleeve Fair 12pm - 4pm - Training Band
Saturday 12th Proms Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Box office: (01684) 295074
Saturday 19th St Catherine's Church Fete, Gloucester - Training Band [2-4pm]
Saturday 26th Charity Concert, Selby Abbey - Small Group of Band Members

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Revised: October 31, 2010