Lighting Up For Christmas!
Bishop's Cleeve - 27th November 2010 / Tewkesbury - 28th November 2010
Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November saw many of the members of the Tewkesbury Town Band family provide musical entertainment for two Christmas lights ceremonies. On the Saturday 15 members of the senior band played carols in Bishop's Cleeve whilst sat on a stage made out of the back of a lorry. As dusk turned into a chilly night with sub-zero temperatures we played a selection of Christmas carols to warm the gathering crowd awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas to turn on the lights.


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. Despite the cold temperatures there was a good crowd gathered to hear our playing  and to see Father Christmas turn on the Tewkesbury Christmas lights.

Remembrance Parade
Tewkesbury - 14th November 2010
On a brisk Sunday 14th 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 Tewkesbury Abbey for the Remembrance Service. Unlike the deluge of last year it was a dry but chilly day that saw the Band lead a long parade of community organisations to the Abbey for the annual service of Remembrance.

Following the service in the Abbey the Band led the Parade back up to the Cross for the 11am act of remembrance. The Band played several hymns whilst the crowds gathered and the clock approached 11am. At 11am the Band's principal cornet, Helen Walters, played the Last Post to herald the start of the two minutes silence. This was followed by the Reveille and the laying of the wreaths whilst the Band played 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past' for the gathered crowd to sing. The Band then led the Parade back up the High Street (via the Crescent to allow the Parade to turn) past the gathered dignitaries to Sun Street where the Parade finished.

Remember the Fifties & Sixties!
Watson Hall, Tewkesbury - 6th November 2010

Due to its proximity to Remembrance Day, our November concert in the Watson Hall opened with a short act of remembrance which featured the standard bearers of the Royal British Legion and Tewkesbury ATC. The standard bearers marched to the front of the hall whilst the Band played the 'British Legion March'. The audience were then invited to sing the hymn 'Abide With Me' before a few words of remembrance were said by the Revd Charles Whitney. The Band then played the poignant theme music to the film 'Schindler's List' from the pen of prolific film music composer John Williams arranged by Sandy Smith whilst images of the Blitz and the persecuted Jews were projected onto a screen beside the Band. Principal Cornet, Helen Walters, then played a moving 'Last Post' before the Band and audience joined together in two minutes silence. The 'Reveille' followed before the Band played the 'RAF March Past' for the standard bearers to parade out.

After a brief interval for the audience to fill their glasses at the bar the Band opened the second half of the concert with Irving Berlin's upbeat tribute to Broadway 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. This was followed by music from a Jewish New Yorker, Seymour Kaufman (Cy Coleman), who became a popular Broadway composer. We played his swing number 'Opus 1' which had the audience swaying in their seats! This was then followed by an arrangement of the popular song 'Blueberry Hill' which featured some gravelly low brass playing in the style of its most famous exponent Fats Domino.

Next we travelled to Denmark for a song based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales made famous in the film about his life and featuring a cygnet that turns into a swan, 'The Ugly Duckling'. More rock and roll followed with a Alan Fernie's clever arrangement of Rock Around the Clock and See You Later Alligator into 'Rock Around the Croc'. More musical fun ensued with a selection of the popular tunes from 'The King and I' before a trip through some of the hits of that Peter Pan of Pop, Sir Cliff Richard, in an arrangement by Derek Broadbent simply entitled 'Cliff'...I think this was the most popular sing-a-long item of the evening!

The cornet section were then featured in the Bert Kaempfert number 'Spanish Eyes' before we took to the air with 'Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines'. Another tribute to a long standing member of the pop community in his 70th year, Tom Jones, followed with the ever popular 'It's Not Unusual'. The concert was brought to a rousing close with a selection of hits from the Fab Four in 'A Beatles Medley' and was rounded off with the march 'The Dambusters'.


Saturday 6th Concert including Act of Remembrance & Music from the 1950/60’s, Watson Hall, Tewkesbury [7:30pm]
Sunday 14th Remembrance Day Parade, Tewkesbury [Meet 9am; March Off 9:30am]
Saturday 27th Bishop's Cleeve Christmas Lights Ceremony [4pm - 5:30pm]
Sunday 28th Tewkesbury Christmas Lights Ceremony - Training Band [afternoon]

2011 Test Pieces Announced
The Band regularly enters two set test piece contests in the first quarter of each year. These are the Butlins Mineworkers Open Brass Band Festival at Skegness in January and the West of England Regional Contest in Torquay in March. The test pieces for these contests in 2011 have now been confirmed as 'Hungerford Town' by Darrol Barry for the Butlins Contest and 'A Little Light Music' by Philip Wilby for the West of England contest.

The piece 'Hungerford Town' by Darrol Barry was commissioned by the Hungerford Town Band and captures four elements of the history of the town of Hungerford in four musical interludes (The Black Prince, The Coach Road, St Lawrence's Church and The Bear) that are sewn together into one continuous piece of music. You can read about the history of the town of Hungerford that inspired the music here and here.

The Area test piece 'A Little Light Music' by Philip Wilby was composed for the Welsh Brass Arts Festival in 2002. It is split into five movements of "light" music. The two outer movements are 'Fanfares' that if played in accordance with the score feature two antiphonal choirs of trombones and cornets either side of the seated upward facing instruments of the band. The second movement takes us on a traditional 'Clog Dance' before the beautiful slow middle movement 'The Lady of the Fountain'. The fourth movement 'Cardiff Bay Ice Cream'  is a tricky tarantella with lots of running quavers. This piece has also been used at the Dutch National Championships for their 2nd Division Contest and a recording of an actual winning contest performance of the piece can be found from minute 25:30 of the following internet radio show (Click on Harkje nei it programma).


Friday 8th Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]
Sunday 17th Praise Concert, Holy Trinity Church, Longlevens [7pm]



An Evening of Praise!
Holy Trinity Church, Longlevens, Gloucester - 17th October 2010
On the evening of Sunday 17th October, Holy Trinity Church Longlevens, was the venue for the Senior Band to perform their first Praise Concert. A concert with a religious theme it featured all genres of music including marches, gospel and traditional as well as solo items. For Holy Trinity Church, too, it was the first time they had hosted a concert instead of their usual evensong service. Cannon Tim Newcombe introduced the band and throughout the evening readings, poems and hymns all added to the occasion.

The band opened the evening with the Salvationist March 'Service Our Joy!' from the pen of Noel Jones, a bright march to commence an evening of spiritual expression through music and word. This was followed by an item from our summer programme, the fantastic arrangement of three gospel songs by James Curnow into a collection called 'Jubilation'. Our principal cornet then stood to play the popular Salvationist cornet solo 'Share My Yoke' which she played beautifully in an acoustic made for such a piece! A special mention must also go to our euphonium players, Martin Warner and Julia Edgeworth-Simmonds, who are also heavily featured in this piece.

Then it was the turn of the audience to join with the band and sing the hymn 'Praise Our Soul'.

Once the audience had exercised their legs and their vocal chords it was back to the band who calmed the mood down with William Himes beautiful arrangement of the traditional melody 'Amazing Grace'. The band then played a touching set of variations on the children's hymn by John Stainer, In Memoriam, composed by Wilfred Heaton and entitled 'A Children's Friend'. This is a piece that only came back into the brass band repertoire shortly before Heaton's death despite being over 50 years old when he decided to rescore it from memory, the original score having been mislaid. Brightening the mood the band then played Peter Graham's wonderful arrangement of a 'Swedish Folk Song', the tune to which the hymn How Great Thou Art is sung to.

The Salvationist march 'Goldcrest' with its jaunty themes that bring a smile to everyone's faces followed before Martin Warner stood to play the second solo of the evening, 'Benedictus' from Karl Jenkins 'The Armed Man'. Part way through this piece the beautiful quiet sound of the euphonium is interrupted by a sudden loud section of music. Although the audience were given a ‘health warning’ about this section many were still startled.

The band then played a few lighter items, starting with Gordon Langford's arrangement of Sullivan's 'The Lost Chord'. This was followed by Alan Fernie's arrangement of the popular hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers' which opens quietly and slowly grows to a grand climax in the style of Respighi's Pines of Rome. The audience were then treated to the popular gospel song 'O Happy Day' cleverly arranged for brass band by Swiss composer Jean-Francois Michel. It was then the turn of the audience again as they stood to sing the hymn 'O For A Thousand Tongues'.

The band then added a bit of theatre to the occasion with 'Jericho Revisited' by William Himes. This tells the story of Joshua marching into Jericho, and was narrated by the band’s MD Nigel Morgan. Gerry Petticrew one of the band’s Eb bass players stepped into Nigel’s shoes to conduct. The band also exercised their vocal chords during the piece. The concert was brought to a close with Goff Richards arrangement of several popular hymn tunes into 'Hymns of Praise'.

Throughout the concert images and words were projected onto a screen, adding to the emotion of the music as each piece was played. Our thanks for operating the media equipment go to Katy Morgan.


Mop Fair Fun!
Tewkesbury - 8th October 2010
On a mild autumn evening in October twenty four members of the Intermediate and Senior bands lined up ready to lead the town’s dignitaries from the Abbey to the Cross at the start of the towns annual Mop Fair. For many of the younger Intermediate band members this was the first time they have had to master marching whilst playing. The concert march played by the band was Touchdown . A small crowd had gathered at the cross ready for the opening ceremony by the time the band had arrived. Many of the younger members then enjoyed all the fun of the fair which was spread over many of the town centre streets. [article by Penny Windsor]


Friday 8th Tewkesbury Mop Fair Parade, Tewkesbury High Street [6pm]
Sunday 17th Praise Concert, Holy Trinity Church, Longlevens [7pm]

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