June 2002

Alderman Knight School Fete
Saturday 22nd June 2002 saw the Alderman Knight School celebrate their 25th Anniversary at their summer fete with a grand opening of two knights on horse back. Despite the blustery wind and a threat of rain, the event got underway with musical support from us, their friendly local brass band! The programme for the afternoon was similar to that of our other events so far this summer but this time with a new addition to the 'Children's Corner' collection - Postman Pat. Superbly arranged again by our very own Eb Bass player Ken Smith, the children got excited as they felt that they were transported away in Pat's little red van to deliver the letters and parcels to Greendale!

Evesham Bandstand
Our annual visit to Evesham Park occurred earlier than usual this year due to our trip to Miesbach in August clashing with our traditional date. The band gave its usual high quality performance on the bandstand to the delight of a sizeable audience, enjoying the sunshine and music in the park. Being the Queen's Golden Jubilee year our performance climaxed with the last night of the proms favourites. Ken Smith was also delighted with the rapturous applause from his home crowd to his wonderful brass band arrangements of popular tunes.

Brass Plays the Proms : Summer Proms Concert 2002
The audience went wild at our second ever 'Brass Plays the Proms' concert at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Saturday 15th June.

We opened our concert with a mysterious drum beat coming from behind the curtains and as the drum got louder so our musical director, Nigel Morgan, got closer to the stage and appeared in style to open with Darrol Barry's march, 'McArthur Glen'. The theatre was then greeted with thoughts of warm nights and young love as we played an arrangement of 'Summer Nights' from the hit film/musical 'Grease'.

The next item was due to feature our principal euphonium player, Gareth Marchment playing Roy Newsome's solo, 'Dublin's Fair City'. Sadly, his Mother was taken ill during the week and so he was at home looking after her. We were fortunate however to gain the services of Paul Horner from the Lydmet Lydney Band who not only came and helped us out for the evening, but also gave a stunning rendition of Dublin's Fair City. A big Tewkesbury Town thank you goes out to Paul!

This solo was then followed by a duet of sorts, featuring our two greatest sandpaper players? Yes, our percussionists, Peter Strawson and Keith Rose, did a fantastically amusing, 'Sandpaper Ballet', written by Leroy Anderson and arranged by Geoffrey Brand. This then led to our final item of the first half, Ken Smith's arrangement of the stirring music to the film, 'He Man and the Masters of the Universe'.

As our chairs and music stands disappeared, on to the stage came our special guests, the Churchdown Male Voice Choir and their musical director, Greg Abrahams. The choir gave splendid renditions of the Song of the Jolly Roger, Non Nobis, When the Saints (conducted by our very own Nigel Morgan!), Where Shall I be, the Huntsmen's Chorus and finally Love Could I Only Tell Thee. A great finish to an entertaining first half. 

proms 2002 photo 1.jpg (24562 bytes) After the interval, the band opened with 'Spanish Gypsy Dance' by Pasqual Marquina and arranged by W J Dawson and then Ken's upbeat arrangement of music from Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'. 

As the audience began to interrupt by blowing the hooters that were on sale, you could sense that they were getting into the Proms style party mood. They had to wait just a little bit longer though as our guest soprano singer, Sue Black, took centre stage with two special numbers. 

The party then began as we played the Last Night of the Proms favourites 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs' by Henry Wood, arranged for Brass Band by Denis Wright, which led into 'Rule Britannia' where we welcomed back soprano soloist Sue Black. The other favourites included an audience sing along to 'Jerusalem' and to 'Land of Hope and Glory' (Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance No.1').

The stage and audience was a mass of flags, including our conductor, who was wearing a specially made union flag coat (made by his loving wife!). Encores were flowing with several renditions of the hornpipe, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. The clapping, singing, whistling and hooter blowing of the audience was performed with such energy that I thought the concert would never end. Sadly it had too, but I'm sure a good time was had by all!

< < < Pictures of our concert and our fabulous audience. Click the pictures to enlarge.

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What we did in June

Sunday 2nd  Stratford Bandstand [14:30-16:30]

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Summer Proms Concert!
Buy your tickets now from the Roses Theatre Box Office!
Monday 3rd Woodmancote Jubilee Celebration [15:00-15:30 and 19:00-19:30]
Saturday 15th Tewkesbury Band Summer Proms Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury 
Saturday 22nd Alderman Knight School Fete [14:30-15:15]
Sunday 23rd Evesham Bandstand [14:30-16:30]

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May 2002

31 May - 4 June 2002: Jubilee Jamboree

Jubilee BBQ, Tredworth, Gloucester.
After a month of rehearsing music to entertain the crowds at the Queen's Golden Jubilee festivities the wonderfully hectic weekend of banding and partying finally arrived. Our long weekend of activities began at 7pm on Friday 31 May in Tredworth, Gloucester. Here the band provided the musical entertainment for a community Jubilee BBQ. Slight hiccups such as the late arrival of the supplies for the beer tent did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the partygoers who were presented with a feast of musical treats by the band. 

The event opened with the bright concert march "Missassauga Spirit" by Ty Watson which was swiftly followed by the audience favourite "Mr Jums", one of four pieces written by Chris Hazell to describe the personalities of his cats. Next came the theme tunes from "The Adventures of Tin Tin" and "Thomas the Tank Engine", two excellent arrangements by our talented Eb Bass player Ken Smith and the first of five of his arrangements to be featured during the evening. A change of pace and mood was provided by Marcangelo's rousing "Clog Dance". Ted Huggen's "Choral and Rockout" followed without the usual drum break due to a minor oversight by our percussionist in his packing leading to him having a drum kit with no cymbals!! Another Ken Smith arrangement, "He-man and the Masters of the Universe", took us to the refreshment break just as the beer arrived. 

After refreshments we began the second half with Darrol Barry's jolly concert march "McArthur Glen", an original piece commissioned for brass band by the well known shopping mall chain of the same name. The ever popular "Summer Nights" from Jacobs' & Casey's hit musical Grease followed. The final Ken Smith arrangement of the evening was "Don Giovanni", a masterful tongue in cheek arrangement which probably has Mozart turning in his grave and certainly left the audience smiling. As the audience was now in the mood for some dancing the bad led them in a paso doble in the form of "Spanish Gypsy Dance" by Pascual Marquina. A wonderful evening was brought to a close in patriotic style with renditions of Henry Wood's "Fantasia on British Sea Songs" and Elgar's "Pomp & Circumstance No.1". The former highlighting the sweet cornet sound of the band's principal Helen Morgan, who had soldiered on despite an upset stomach, and the striptease technique of musical director Nigel Morgan who ably removed his jacket in the middle of the hornpipe to reveal a union flag waistcoat.

 

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Our stall

Tewkesbury Street Fair

Tewkesbury began its weekend of Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 1st June with a street party in the High Street from 5pm until late! We (Helen & Myself) took this opportunity to promote the band and the training band, with significant assistance from Christine and Helen Poole. Union Jack and Jubilee cakes (especially iced by Chris) were on sale and were enthusiastically snapped up by the citizens of Tewkesbury. The hours spent creating leaflets and bookmarks to promote the band proved worthwhile. We also had plenty of budding players of the future taking the opportunity to have a go on the training band instruments. A profitable and fun evening was had by all!

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Stratford Park

Sunday afternoon saw a Jubilee appearance by the band on the bandstand by the river in Stratford-on-Avon park. The weather threatened to spoil the occasion but thankfully the rain stayed away until the end of our performance. At first the fact that the bandstand was in the middle of a funfair that had taken up residence in the park seemed as tough it would provide unacceptable competition with its recorded music. However, a big thank you goes to the courteous fairground ride  owners who turned their music off or down whilst we played.

Our programme for the afternoon included the items from Friday night supplemented by some old favourites (Sandpaper Ballet, Sweet Gingerbread Man) and some pieces totally new to our repertoire (Fantasy on German Folk Songs, March from Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony). 

Sandpaper Ballet featured our two percussionists (Keith Rose on claves and Pete Strawson on the snare drum to make the sandpaper parts heard outside) in a duet with a difference. Pete had also remembered his cymbals today and was featured as a soloist again in our first with an Animal-tastic outburst at the end of Choral and Rockout! Our debut performance of "Fantasy on German Folk Songs", an arrangement by Stephen Watkins, was slightly nervous but the piece was successfully negotiated without too much trauma to the audience or the musical director! This piece is to be featured during our forthcoming tour to Meisbach, Bavaria in August.

Sweet Gingerbread Man featured our guest (& good friend of the band) bass trombonist for the day, Alan Bobs, who kicked off this great little number with some great low notes. The March from Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony is another magnificent arrangement by our Eb Bass player, Ken Smith. Once again, the essence of a piece has been captured and its magic retained, if not enhanced, in its translation to brass band instrumentation. The afternoon was justifiably brought to a close with patriotic music on this special weekend in the form of 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs', 'Pomp and Circumstance No.1' and the National Anthem.

 

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Woodmancote Jubilee Celebrations

On Monday afternoon the band commenced the Jubilee celebrations in Woodmancote at 3pm with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem. A jubilant audience was then treated to 30 minutes of high quality music from the band. The programme for the first half being: Mississauga Spirit, Mr Jums, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, Thomas the Tank Engine, Clog Dance, Rockout and He-Man. The generous and enthusiastic applause fro the Jubilee revellers indicated their appreciation of our efforts.

Our second appearance occurred at 7pm and we were to be the catalyst to kick-start the evenings entertainment! "McArthur Glen" got the revellers in the mood for shopping before "Don Giovanni" sent them dreaming of Italian sunshine. Next, they were dancing to "Spanish Gypsy Dance" before finally singing heartily to the patriotic "British Sea Songs" and "Land of Hope and Glory". Rapturous applause and shouts of encore greeted the conclusion of our set. Unfortunately due to the constraints of our allocated playing time we were unable to oblige. A fantastic end to a wonderful weekend of Jubilee celebrations!

 

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May

Friday 31st  Jubilee BBQ at Tredworth in Gloucester [19:00-20:15]
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