December 2004

Festive Capers!
We are coming to the end of a hectic festive season! We don't seem to have stopped for the past two weeks and I have lost count of the number of carols that we have played. Hence the delay in updating the website.

The carol playing began way back in November with the Training Band's performance at the Alderman Knight School Fete and the Switching on of the Tewkesbury Lights. The Senior Band's first Christmas appearance was at the annual Pied Piper Charity Concert in Tewkesbury Abbey. This proved to be a fun-filled occasion with the Band leading a procession of Clowns through the Abbey to the rousing circus march by Fucik "Entry of the Gladiators". It also saw the Band provide the accompaniment to several carols and the "Twelve Days of Christmas" before providing a wonderful introduction to the Bishop of Gloucester's address with a rendition of "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer"!

This was followed by two sell-out Christmas Concerts at the Roses Theatre....and we are told there was a waiting list of nearly 100 as well! So we had a busy weekend entertaining over 700 people on two nights, supported by the Training Band (now so big that it takes over the whole stage and requires more chairs than the Senior Band!) and two local school choirs (Mitton Manor Primary and Tirlebrook Primary). There were plenty of surprises and audience participation to entertain all who were lucky enough to get tickets.

The 16th December saw the Band provide the accompaniment to the carols at the Civic Carol service in Tewkesbury Methodist Church led by a representative of the Salvation Army.

The next night the Band provided a festive feel to an evening held on Tewkesbury Marina with plenty of mince pies, warm sausage rolls, soup and mulled wine to feed all. Saturday morning saw the Band in Tewkesbury town centre for its annual carol playing stint of just under 4 hours collecting funds to enable us to provide the many services we do to the town for free during the year, and to help the training band provide individuals with a free place to learn how to play a brass instrument. We raised a total of 411 and would like to Thank the people of Tewkesbury for their generosity.

No time to rest.....Sunday saw the second annual Training Band Christmas Concert at Alderman Knight School with presentations of certificates to all of the members of the Training Band. There was also plenty of food for them to have a Christmas Party afterwards.

I think there was then a day off!!! Tuesday 21st saw the Senior Band play a short concert for senior citizens at Woodmancote School, excellently organised by Cleeve Vale Rotary Club. This concert was then followed by mince pies and tea, before an hour of community carol singing to the accompaniment of the Band. Everyone seemed to have a fun evening.

Wednesday evening was another session of carol playing....this time outside Safeways in Tewkesbury. A good selection of Band members appeared to play carols to the shoppers for two and a half hours, raising approximately 200. Another big Thank you from the Band to the Safeway shoppers.

Thursday saw a marathon 7 hours of playing for Helen and myself outside of Tesco in Bishop's Cleeve. We played from 10am in the morning until 2pm with Mark Windsor, Mark's daughter Grace, Jonathan Allan, Robin Purser, Sarah-Jane McRorie, Helen Poole and Betty Ellis. There was then a short break to eat some food and rest tired lips and legs before returning again at 6pm to play until 9pm. This time we were assisted by Martin and Sue Musto, John Jemmett, Martin Warner and John Shepherd. A big Thank you to all of the Tesco shoppers who contributed to our collection.

Band members make the grade!
Congratulations go to two member of our Band on the passing of ABRSM Grade exams.

Firstly, Pete Strawson who as well as being a talented percussionist has shown that he can master the art of playing brass as well. He has been learning to play the trombone with our Training Band during the year and took his Grade 1 exam in late November. He passed this with flying colours earning a Distinction. Congratulations!

Helen Walters, our Assistant Principal Cornet and Training Band Leader, took her Grade 8 exam in Bb Cornet in late November and proved that she is a worthy tutor for the training band members by gaining a clear pass. Congratulations!

Congratulations also go to two members of our Training Band who also passed Grade exams:

George Cullwick obtained Grade 2 with Distinction on the Eb Bass.

Rebbekah Musto passed her Grade 1 with Merit on Eb Horn.

Christmas Concert
Review to follow shortly

Miles Amherst Junior Progress Trophy for the Junior member who has made most progress during the year - Oliver Moss
Oliver has proven himself to be a very dedicated member of the Band and the Training Band over the past few years. He has made the step up from the Training Band to the Senior Band and proved himself a solid Back Row cornet player. He has shown great dedication and commitment to the Band during the year and had a great time on the 30th Anniversary Tour!
Fred Poole Memorial Cup for the Musician of the year - Pete Strawson
Pete has become not only a regular member of the senior Band and a very capable percussionist, but a regular member of our Training Band on the trombone!! Pete has helped with the Training Band throughout the year and encouraged our young up and coming percussionist, Will Duff, in his playing.

Pete also took on the challenge of learning a new instrument whilst at the Training Band and during the year has developed into a trombonist with potential. In late November he took his Grade 1 exam and passed with distinction.

Jeff Clarke Cup awarded to the Band Member of the Year - Sarah-Jane McRorie
Sarah-Jane has proven herself to be a very dedicated member of the Band and in the past two years has been one of the most consistent attendees at rehearsals and engagements. A well deserved award to a quiet but popular young lady.
Francis Martin Memorial Cup for the Section of the Year - Front Row Cornets
The year 2004 has been a difficult one for the Front Row Cornets with departures during the year leaving a team of just three, one of whom due to family commitments is unable to make all rehearsals. So on many occasions this year rehearsals have featured the dynamic duo of Martin Musto, Principal Cornet, and his able Assistant Principal Cornet, Helen Walters. The third member of the team, Adrian Pawley, has appeared at the majority of our engagements and all the rehearsals he could make.

Hopefully 2005 will see an addition to this team to allow them to relax a little.

A well deserved award for a year of hard work and dedication! 

Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year - Neil Crowe
Neil received the award presented in memory of his father for his high note soprano playing during the year!

For more information on why these awards are presented and for a list of past winners, follow this link! Tewkesbury Town Band Awards


Team TB Bowling
Much fun was had by all who came out on Sunday 5th December to compete in the Band bowling contest. Obviously it was just a bit of harmless Christmas fun - but then Andy came along and the competitive side in many was unleashed! Despite being threatened a few times by Hadrian, Adrian and Neil, Andy did come out victorious. Scarily he also come out top on the dance machine - something that has deeply disturbed me! He is not invincible though as John zoomed past him on the final straight of the Sega Rally Championships to tae the number one title! I am sure that a rematch of all three events will be competed at Butlins in January! Thanks to Neil and Sarah for organising a great day.
Euphoniums at their best! Juliet in action! Andy practising for the dance machine!  

Save Alderman Knight School
On Saturday 4th December the Band was proud to lead a parade through Tewkesbury to show support for Alderman Knight School, the special needs school in Tewkesbury that is threatened with closure by the County Council despite obvious overwhelming public support for it to be retained in its current form. The Band has had close links with the school over the past, and for a number of years was allowed to use one of its rooms for our weekly practices. The parade went well and was well supported. It was also notable for providing evidence that I am occasionally able to march in step, since footage of the march was broadcast across the West of England on the local news broadcasts!!

Welcome Back!

The Band was pleased to welcome one of its greatest supporters, Allan "Rob" Robinson, back into the bandroom on Wednesday. Rob regularly visits the band room to listen to the Band practice and is a keen Committee member. He has been seriously ill over the past few months and it was fantastic to see that he is now well enough to visit the band room once more. We have missed him over the past few months and hope that it is a long time before he is next unable to make it to our practice.


Busy schedule for our Training Band
Throughout the year our Training Band has been requested to play at more events than ever before and this Christmas season highlights how popular they are with no less than 7 engagements between now and Christmas and more keep coming! You can catch them at the Alderman Knight Christmas Fayre, the turning on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury, both of our concerts in the Roses Theatre, their own concert at Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury Abbey on Christmas Eve and some of them will even be making an appearance at the Pied Piper Concert!


Proms Concert Guest Soloist 2005: Steven Mead!!!
Yep, we will be host to one of the greatest Euphonium players in the World on Saturday 18th June 2005. Steven will be joining the band to entertain the crowds in the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury before jetting off the following day to Austria to perform again that evening! Get your tickets early so you don't miss out! More info as we get it...!
- Why not check out his website to get a taste of what's to come!


Friendly Bears looking for new homes!
We have a new delivery of the cutest bears you have ever seen. They are approximately 8" high, are very soft, and are sporting a lovely white Tewkesbury Town Band t-shirt! They are helping to raise much needed funds for the Band and have agreed to go to new homes for just 6 each. You can download the form below to order one or get one at our Christmas Concert... if there's any left by then!!

Bear Form - Click here!


We still have specific vacancies for a Solo Cornet player and a Bass Trombone player. We hope to fill these seats to strengthen the Band for our performances at the Butlins Contest in January and then the Regional Area Contest in March. If you're thinking about it then why not come along and play with us over the busy Christmas period! We're also quite happy to have extra players come along too if you have a partner, child, parent or even long lost cousin that plays too!! e.g. we want YOU!!!


Saturday 4th March in support of Alderman Knight School [10:30am]
Wednesday 8th Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7:30pm]
Saturday 11th Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Sunday 12th Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Thursday 16th Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7:00pm]
Friday 17th Carols at Tewkesbury Marina [7:00pm]
Saturday 18th Carols in Tewkesbury Town [10:00am]
Sunday 19th Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Alderman Knight School [ 4:00pm ]
Tuesday 21st Cleeve Vale Rotary Club Christmas Concert, Woodmancote School [7:30pm]
Wednesday 22nd Carols at Safeways, Tewkesbury [6:00pm till 9:00pm]
Thursday 23rd Carols at Tesco, Bishop's Cleeve [10:00am till 2:00pm and 6:00pm till 9:00pm]
Friday 24th Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [3:00pm]
Friday 24th Carols around town pubs, Tewkesbury [Evening]

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November 2004

Lighting up the Town!

On Sunday 28th November 2004 the Training Band made their second Christmas appearance of the year (that's two more than the senior band!!) at the turning on of the Christmas lights in Tewkesbury high street. The Training Band entertained the gathering crowds with a selection of Christmas favourites including carols, Walking in the Air, When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney and Little Donkey.

GBBA Contest - A proper write up!
On 21st November the Band entered its last contest as a Third Section Band before we return to the Fourth Section in January. The contest was that of our local Brass Band Association, the Gloucestershire contest at the Royal Forest of Dean College. To add to the challenge we were in a combined Second and Third Section Band contest; this proved satisfying at the end of the contest since we finished above second section Weston Band.

We were first on to play for the esteemed adjudicator Dennis Wilby. Our chosen piece was 'Seven Wonders' by the New Zealand composer Dwayne Bloomfield. A wonderfully descriptive piece which the band enjoyed playing. The comments from Mr Wilby were very positive and indicated that he had also enjoyed the piece and our performance. There were a few slips that obviously cost us points but the overall positive nature of the remarks indicated that the quality of the other bands in the contest was high.

Portishead won the contest playing 'Three Saints' by Goff Richards. Our congratulations go to them on their outstanding performance. Bream Silver pushed us in to third place, with the able assistance of our principal cornet Martin Musto, playing the piece Pontins, Prelude and Jubilate by Darrol Barry. To complete the picture Weston finished fourth place playing the difficult test piece 'Salute to Youth' by Gilbert Vinter.

We now look forward to all our Christmas activities before the return of the contesting season in January with our debut at the Butlins Contest in Skegness.

Festive Fun!
On Thursday 25th November 2004 the tinsel was out and the Father Christmas hats donned for our first Christmas engagement of the year. The Training Band went along to the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre and entertained the crowds for hours with some excellent renditions of all your favourite carols and a few other Christmas tunes too. The fayre was twice as big this year and much fun was had by all!

Seven Wonders

On Sunday 21st November 2004 we took part in the GBBA annual own choice test-piece contest at the RFDC, Berry Hill. We chose to play the piece Seven Wonders by Dwayne Bloomfield once again (for more info on the piece read our write up from 2002). This year there was no march contest. We played a good performance and came 3rd, ahead of 2nd section Weston Band who played Salute to Youth, and behind top quality winners Portishead who played Three Saints. The other band in the tasty sandwich was Bream Silver who played Prelude and Julbilate.

Remembrance Sunday 2004
Once again the Band turned out on parade for this years Remembrance Sunday service. As usual we marched from the Roses Theatre up to the Abbey playing favourites such as Slaidburn, 1914 and Kenilworth. Following the service in the Abbey we march back to cross for the laying of the wreaths and the silence. Timing wasn't the best this year as Helen Walters had to wait for the prayer to finish before sounding the last post on about the fifth strike of 11am. Following this ceremony the band went round in a loop and eventually ended up back where we started after adding in the RAF March as well.


Sunday 14th Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]
Sunday 21st Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Annual Contest, Royal Forest of Dean College, Berry Hill
Thursday 25th Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre - Training Band
Saturday 28th Turning on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury - Training Band  [ 2:30 - 4pm ]

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