Don't forget to tune into the Doctor Who Christmas Special where you might just recognise one of the cast members.....yes, it's our very own extra, Keith Rose, appearing without his percussion as far as I am aware.
Tewkesbury Abbey - 24th December 2009
The final Christmas engagement of 2009 saw the Training Band provide the introductory music to the annual Christingle Service at Tewkesbury Abbey. The Training Band played several carols and Christmas tunes for the half hour prior to the service whilst people were arriving for what is a magical Christmas service, especially when the candles are lit and the lights dimmed for the singing of ‘Away in a Manger’.
Supermarket Carols Part 2!
Morrisons Supermarket, Tewkesbury - 21st December 2009
Members of the Band undertook a marathon 9 hours of carol playing outside the Morrisons Supermarket in Tewkesbury. Once again players took it in turns to ensure there was a presence outside the supermarket throughout the day. Several including myself and Helen managed to cover the full 9 hours. Our efforts raised over £1,000 towards the Band funds. So a big Thank You to all who helped with the playing, collecting or donating!
Training Band Christmas Concert
Watson Hall, Tewkesbury - 20th December 2009
The annual Training Band Christmas Concert took place on the afternoon of Sunday 20th December at the Watson Hall in Tewkesbury. The concert was split into three sections. The first section showcased the talents of the Beginner Band and commenced with the popular children’s TV theme ‘Bob the Builder’. There was a little audience participation next as they joined in with the actions whilst the band played ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’. Next the band played one of its popular tunes from 2009 ‘Little Acorns’, subtitled ‘mighty oaks grow’ to indicate the future potential of all those playing in the Beginner Band. This section of the concert was then rounded off with another TV theme ‘Batman’.
After a short break whilst the bands changed over and non-alcoholic mulled wine was distributed to the members of the audience, the Intermediate Band took the stage for their part of the concert. Their first piece of the afternoon was the strident opener ‘Starchaser’, this was followed by the jazzy theme tune to the Disney animated film ‘The Aristocats’. The band then moved to the world of popular music with an arrangement of the Oasis hit ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, a piece that surprising for the older members of the Training Band was as much a piece of historic music as the piece by Mussorgsky that followed. That was ‘The Hut on Chicken Legs’ from his ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, a piece which had led to a picture competition for the Training Band members earlier in the year as they were challenged to research the story of Baba Yaga that is behind the music. This section of the concert was rounded off with the fun arrangement of several popular Disney tunes by Scottish composer Alan Fernie entitled ‘Disney Matter’.
Certificates were then awarded to each of the members of the Training Band to mark their membership of the Training Band during 2009. The Ron Caddock Memorial Trophy for the Training Band member of the year as voted by the Band members was awarded to Penny Windsor for all her efforts supporting the various younger members of the band and help organising various events, etc.
The final section of the concert saw the two Bands combine for some festive fun. The Bands opened this section with a medley of popular carols in ‘A Christmas Fantasy’. This was followed by a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the popular Christmas tune ‘Little Donkey’, the composer of which sadly died earlier this month. The tempo was taken upbeat with ‘A Christmas Pop Selection’ featuring ‘Last Christmas’, ‘Do They Know Its Christmas?’ and ‘Happy Christmas, The War is Over’. The audience then joined into sing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Rudolph’ before the concert was rounded off with a little ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.
The concert was followed by a short Christmas party for all the members and families of the Training Band.
Supermarket Carol Playing
Morrisons, Up Hatherley - 19th December 2009
Saturday 19 December saw numerous members of the Band spend several hours outside Morrisons supermarket in Up Hatherley playing Christmas carols to raise funds for the ongoing running costs of the Band and towards the replacement of our Eb and Bb basses. We played carols from 1pm until 6pm and raised £560. Thanks to everyone who helped with the playing, collecting and all who donated.
Carols at Tewkesbury Marina
Tewkesbury Marina - 18th December 2009
On a frosty Friday evening on the 18 December the Band took part in what has become another of our Christmas traditions the playing of carols for the inhabitants of the Marina to sing along to and enjoy a Christmas evening.
Methodist Church, Tewkesbury - 17th December 2009
On Thursday 17 December the Band provided the musical accompaniment to the annual Town Civic Carol Service led by the various church leaders from Tewkesbury and the Town Mayor. We led the congregation in a series of carols and the speakers read the story of the nativity and prayers in-between.
Pittville School Concert
Pittville School, Cheltenham - 16th December 2009
On Wednesday 16 December a quintet of players from the Band (Helen & Hadrian Walters, Helen Poole, Robin Purser and Nigel Morgan) along with one of Helen’s pupils (Gabbie Wheatley) played three pieces as part of the Christmas Concert at Pittville School. We opened with Derek Kane’s arrangement of ‘Three Kings March’ (with a brilliant Pines of Rome interlude in the middle on the cornets), ‘A Starry Night’ with a Latin American tango feel and finished with the Oasis song ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’.
Cleeve Vale Rotary Club Carol Service
St Michael's Church, Bishop's Cleeve - 15th December 2009
On Tuesday 15 December the Band provided the music for the singing of carols at the annual Cleeve Vale Rotary Club Christmas Carol Service at St Michael’s Church in Bishop’s Cleeve. The Rotary Club led the proceedings and kept the audience warm with plenty of carol singing. There were stories comparing a modern Christmas with one in Victorian times to entertain the audience and tea & biscuits to keep their energy levels up.
National Association of Retired Police Officers Christmas Concert
Pates Grammar School, Cheltenham - 11th December 2009
On Friday 11 December the Band performed a concert at Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham for the Police Benevolent Fund. We opened the concert with Rieks van der Velde’s ‘Christmas Prelude’ before inviting the audience to sing-along with the carol ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, the tune to which, adestes fidelis, the previous piece was based. The mood was then mellowed with John Rutter’s ‘Nativity Carol’ before a little humour was added with the playing of Gavin Somerset’s clever arrangement of the twelve days of Christmas entitled ‘A Partridge in a Pear Tree’.
The audience were then treated to the vocal talents of retired policeman, David Cooper, as he sang ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, ‘The Christmas Song’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’.
The Band then played the ‘Ukranian Bell Carol’ and ‘Lonely This Christmas’ before the audience sang ‘Silent Night’. The Band then led the audience in some swaying and festive fun in the Bavarian waltz ‘Schneewalzer’.
After a short interval the Band opened the second half of the concert with the jolly arrangement of Joy to the World by Alan Fernie ‘Joy’. This was followed by ‘A Carol Fantasy’ taking us through excerpts from several of the carols we didn’t have time to play in full. We then played another beautiful piece of music from the pen of John Rutter arranged for brass band by Doug Yeo ‘What Sweeter Music’.
The audience were invited to sing-along with ‘While Shepherd’s Watch’ before David Cooper sang three more Christmas favourites ‘Let It Snow’, ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Jingle Bells’.
The Band then played the wonderful theme tune to the animated Christmas film ‘The Snowman’ before leading the audience in a sing-along with ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Christmas Swingalong’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. We brought the concert to a close with Andy Norman’s calypso arrangement of We Wish You a Merry Christmas ‘Christmas Calypso’.
Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre
Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury - 10th December 2009
On Thursday 10 December the Training Band made its annual appearance at the Alderman Knight School Fayre to enjoy a festive evening raising funds for this special school. We played 40 minute sets of festive music including Christmas carols and various Christmas songs. During each set we accompanied the Alderman Knight School Choir as they sang several of items and brought a Christmas smile to everyone’s faces.
Tewkesbury Abbey - 9th December 2009
On Wednesday 9 December the Band played its part in the annual concert to raise funds for the Pied Piper Charity. The audience were welcomed into Tewkesbury Abbey to the sound of Rieks van der Velde’s ‘Christmas Prelude’ before settling comfortably into their seats for a fantastic evening of entertainment.
The audience were welcomed to the concert by Canon Paul Williams and invited to join in the singing of ‘Away in the Manger’. Reverend Geoff Crago introduced the Pied Piper charity and acted as compere for the evening. The King’s School Senior String Ensemble beautifully played John Rutter’s arrangement of the traditional song ‘O Waly. Waly’. The audience then sang ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
The Glebe Gospel Choir sang three upbeat Christmas items ‘This Little Light of Mine’, ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Joy’. The Highnam Young Players gave us some entertaining sketches in the form of newscasts from the Bethlehem Broadcasting Company about the Christmas story either side of the audience singing ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’. The King’s School Harmonists did some fantastic close harmony singing of ‘Still, Still, Still’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’.
The audience sang ‘Silent Night’ before the Band entertained everyone with several Christmas items. We began with the ‘Ukrainian Bell Carol’ featuring the glockenspiel playing of Susan Stayte-Mackey and the bell sounds of the band echoing around the Abbey. This was followed by Peter Graham’s excellent arrangement of carols into a ‘Carol Fantasy’. We then played an arrangement of the beautiful ‘Nativity Carol’ by John Rutter. Helen Walters then reminded everyone to think of those by themselves by playing the solo ‘Lonely This Christmas’ arranged by Jan van Kraeydonck. To conclude our part of the concert we took the audience on a sleigh ride with ‘Jingle Bells’.
of Gloucester Cathedral then gave a thoughtful and amusing address about
Christmas before the final carol ‘Ding Dong! Merrily on High’ and closing words
from Reverend Geoff Crago. The Band said Happy Christmas to everyone with the
playing of ‘Christmas Calypso’.
Tewkesbury Town Band
The cornet section then tried to play the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' only to be disrupted by interjections from the rest of the Band of other festive tunes at various intervals much to the chagrin of the conductor in the imaginative arrangement by Gavin Somerset entitled 'A Partridge in a Pear Tree'.
The Beginner and Intermediate Bands then joined together to play the Christmas carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' before the Intermediate Band brought this section of the concert to a close with a clever arrangement of Disney tunes by Scotsman Alan Fernie entitled 'Disney Matter'.
Certificates for several Grade exam passes were given out to members of the Training Band over the weekend. Our congratulations go out to Amy Williams (Grade One on baritone), Hannah Benbow (Grade Two on euphonium), Matthew Lee (Grade Three on trombone), Emily Brewis (Grade Three on cornet) and Lucy Windsor (Grade Five on tenor horn).
The senior Band re-took the stage only to be joined by a strange fellow in a detective's coat full of gadgets (an extending arm and a wacky hat!). This was the prelude to the Peter Ratnik's arrangement of the theme tune from the cartoon/film 'Inspector Gadget' featuring the percussion section on as many different whistles, rattles and other percussion items as possible! It was then story time as our euphonium player, Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds took the comfy chair with her storybook and narrated the tale of 'Tubby the Tuba' to band accompaniment featuring George Cullwick as Tubby the tuba, Kev Bennett as Sammy the soprano, Hannah Norman as the bullfrog and John Warner & Jon Petticrew as the bullfrog's song.
To ensure that the audience were not falling asleep after their bedtime story the house lights went up and they were join us in the singing of 'Silent Night'. The Band were then joined on stage by Anton Du Beke and his partner for a little ballroom dancing to the German waltz 'Schneewaltzer' arranged by Goff Richards. Nigel outshone the other contestants in his half man/half woman costume and qualified for the next round of the competition!
The second half of the concert began with Alan Fernie's upbeat and energetic arrangement of Joy to the World with plenty of clapping 'Joy'. Helen Walters, principal cornet, was then featured as a soloist in an arrangement of the Christmas pop tune by Mud 'Lonely This Christmas'. Playing from memory she walked across the stage to sit down in a comfy chair and stroke a dog whilst waiting for friends to join her. The Band then featured the glockenspiel playing of Susan Stayt-Mackey in Philip Sparke's arrangement of the 'Ukranian Bell Carol'.
There was then a welcome break for the Band as the school choirs took to the stage to provide some choral entertainment to the audience. Both choirs provided some fantastic singing and fun items much appreciated by the audiences.
After the choirs had finished the Band and the choirs joined together on the stage to round the concert off with our traditional Christmas concert closers 'Jingle Bells', 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' conducted by Father Christmas and several of the youngsters from the school choirs. Due to popular demand the Band then played 'Calypso Christmas', a calypso arrangement of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' as an encore.
At the end of our concerts retiring collections were held in aid of the Cumbria Flood Appeal, a cause that the people of Tewkesbury can clearly empathise with having suffered a similar fate in 2007 during the summer months. Our thoughts go out to all those inhabitants of Cumbria impacted by the winter flooding there and we hope that they are able to enjoy Christmas despite the problems.
The following awards were presented at our Christmas Concert.
2009 Award Winners:
Festive Cheer in Montpellier
On Thursday 3rd December a group of players from the Band participated in the Montpellier Festive Shopping Evening from 5:30pm until 8pm playing a wide selection of carols outside the Kitchen Shop opposite Brasserie Blanc at the gateway to Montpellier from the main Cheltenham Town Centre. A Christmas tree and pudding were walking around the Montpellier area promoting the 'Help the Heroes' charity that was the charitable beneficiary of the nights event. The generous shop keepers and traders plied the players with mulled wine, delicious soup and mince pies making the evening a thoroughly enjoyable affair for all!
|Thursday 3rd||Carols at The Courtyard, Montpellier, Cheltenham [5:30pm]|
|Saturday 5th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Alderman Knight School Choir|
|Sunday 6th||Band Christmas Concert, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury [7:30pm] featuring Tewkesbury C of E Primary School Choir|
|Wednesday 9th||Pied Piper Concert, Tewkesbury Abbey [7:30pm]|
|Thursday 10th||Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre - Training Band [6-8pm]|
|Friday 11th||Charity Concert for the Gloucestershire Police Benevolent Fund, Pates School, Cheltenham|
|Tuesday 15th||Bishop's Cleeve Rotary Club Christmas Concert, St Michael's Church [7:30pm]|
|Wednesday 16th||Pittville School concert (small group of players from the Band)|
|Thursday 17th||Civic Carol Service, Tewkesbury [7-8pm]|
|Friday 18th||Carols at Tewkesbury Marina [7pm]|
|Saturday 19th||Carols at Morrisons, Up Hatherley [10am-6pm]|
|Sunday 20th||Training Band Christmas Concert & Party, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [2:30pm]|
|Thursday 24th||Christingle Service, Tewkesbury Abbey - Training Band [3:30pm]|
Lighting Up Christmas!
On Sunday afternoon the Training Band played carols at the Tewkesbury Festival of Lights to entertain the people browsing the various stalls and enjoying the atmosphere of the Christmas market. The crowd gathered towards the end of our playing to be greeted by a snow machine and Father Christmas to turn on the Tewkesbury Christmas lights.
Wind Band Successes
Last Sunday, 15th November, several of our young players (George Cullwick, Katie Travers and Michael Blake) took part in the National Concert Band Festival in Monmouth as part of ensembles from the Worcestershire Music Service. These ensembles were awarded Platinum and Gold awards with potential invites to the National Festival in the Spring of 2010. Our Congratulations go out to all concerned.
On Sunday 8th November the Band gathered at 9:15am at Sun Street to lead the Remembrance Parade down the High Street, picking up the Councillors on the way, past the Cross to the Abbey for the Remembrance Service. The weather held for this part of the parade with the rain just starting to fall as the Parade arrived at the Abbey. Unfortunately by the time the service in the Abbey was complete and we were to lead the Parade back up to the Cross for the 11am act of remembrance we were in the midst of a heavy downpour. Due to this the Band was unable to take its place at the head of the parade, we could not read our music (those of us wearing glasses could only just see where they were going!) and those with upward facing bells were rapidly becoming water-logged.
The resourceful Hannah Williams appeared with several umbrellas from the Abbey so we could make our way down to the Cross and join in the act of remembrance as spectators. Despite the significant rainfall, Helen Walters soldiered on without protection from the rain to play the Last Post and Reveille before and after the two minutes silence respectively without missing a note. Following this she looked as though someone had just tipped a bucket of water all over her. So a big Thank You goes out to her for ensuring the Band was well represented at a very wet Tewkesbury Cross!
We'll Meet Again - Remembrance Concert,
On the evening of Saturday 7th November the Band played a concert with a Remembrance and 1940's theme to an audience of over 100 in the Watson Hall, Tewkesbury. The concert commenced with a first half similar to the annual Remembrance Concerts in London with the Band playing the 'British Legion March' whilst banner bearers from the British Legion and various military groups in Tewkesbury marched to the front of the hall. The Band's musical director introduced the concert and then led the audience in the singing of the hymn 'The Day Thou Gavest' (St Clement). Rev'd Katy Morgan said a few words in relation to remembrance and then led the audience in a prayer.
The audience then had a moment of reflection whilst the Band played Peter Meechan's hauntingly beautiful 'Hymn to Africa' whilst images of the various war graves around Europe were projected onto a big screen. Helen Poole played the unaccompanied flugel introduction and close to this piece with feeling creating a tranquil atmosphere for people's individual thoughts. Helen Walters then played the Last Post whilst the banners were lowered; this was followed by two minutes silence before the Reveille and the British Legion March was reprised as the banner bearers left the hall.
There was then a short interval before a more relaxed second half of music. The bar was open and the audience, seated around tables with snacks on, were free to go and refresh their drinks as they wished. The Band opened the second half of the concert with the film music from 'A Bridge Too Far'. This was followed by a traditional musical patrol that was made popular in the 1940's by the swing bands of that era, 'An American Patrol'. Keeping with the swing theme, and with the Band 'in the mood', the Band played Alan Fernie's compilation of several big band classics 'A Big Band Explosion!' with an invitation to the audience to get up and dance if they so wished.
Keeping with the theme of the freedom earned for us by the brave men and women of various wars the Band played Jacob de Haan's original arrangement of the main theme from the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony 'Song of Freedom'. A melody that became inextricably linked to the concept of freedom with it's playing at the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (the 20th anniversary of which was to take place on Monday 9th November 2009). During this peace various images reflecting freedom were projected onto the big screen.
Grace Windsor then wooed the audience on her cornet with a beautifully melodious rendition of 'Sunshine of Your Smile'. This gave our flugel player and vocalist, Helen Poole, time to change into her posh singing dress ready to lead the sing-along. The Band played several popular tunes from the 1920's through to the 1940's in two selections, 'The Black & White Ministrels' arranged by Edrich Siebert and 'Keep Smiling Through!' arranged by Darrol Barry. The words were projected onto the screen for all in the audience to join Helen Poole in the singing which they did with gusto.
The concert was rounded off with more film music in the form of Eric Coates 'The Dambusters' and a final sing through the great 'There'll Always Be An England'. All that was left was to play the National Anthem and say goodnight.
|Saturday 7th||Watson Hall Concert, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]|
|Sunday 8th||Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]|
|Saturday 28th||Bishop's Cleeve Christmas Lights Ceremony|
|Sunday 29th||Tewkesbury Christmas Lights Ceremony - Training Band [afternoon]|
Copyright © 2008 Melbo Productions. All rights reserved.
Tewkesbury Town Brass Band
Revised: March 31, 2010