October

Sliding Up to 70!
On 14th October 2003 Peter Williams, the band's second trombonist and longest serving member (having been ever present in the band since it was reformed in 1974), celebrated his 70th birthday. To mark this special occasion the band ended its' practice on the 15th October by playing an arrangement of 'Happy Birthday' (by fellow trombonist Hadrian Walters]. During the playing of 'Happy Birthday' a birthday cake with candles was brought in to the bandroom (thankfully they make candles in number shapes, otherwise the smoke alarms would have been triggered!). An impromptu party to consume the cake and a bottle of sparkling wine followed the practice and continued at the Queens Head public house.

Congratulations Peter and here's looking forward to celebrating your 76th birthday in 6 years time with a rendition of '76 Trombones'!

Regionals Test-piece 2004
During September the test-pieces for the Regional Contests of the Besson National Brass Band Championships were announced. The piece that has been selected for the Third Section contests is 'Vizcaya' by Gilbert Vinter.

A description of this piece taken from the sleeve notes to the recording made by Fairey's in 1993 of this piece provides the following information:
'Vizcaya' in common with some of Gilbert Vinter's "lighter" pieces, started life as an orchestral work. His interest in the national music of other countries was with him all his life and the MLO broadcast many of his works which were based on folk music from around the world. Fête Basque (1966) was one of these, describing the atmosphere of a festival in the Basque region of the South-West region of France. Vinter used the piece as the basis of 'Vizcaya' arranging it the following year for band whilst also adding a slow introduction based on two further Basque melodies and altering the ending for the sake of musical completeness. It has to be said that there are moments in the work when its orchestral origins have led to unidiomatic brass writing, but it remains an intoxicating optimistic piece, full of Mediterranean sunshine.

RAF Innsworth
On 22nd October the Band made a welcome return to RAF Innsworth to provide the musical entertainment for a dining out night at the Sergeants Mess. The Band played a programme of light music suitable to such an occassion including old favourites such as 'Rock Around the Clock', 'The Enteratiner', 'Best of Bond', 'Georgia', 'Misty', 'Ground Force', 'The Floral Dance', etc. The programme also included items inspired by the location such as the 'RAF March Past', 'Dambusters' and '633 Squadron'. A good evening was had by all.

The Growling Bass Returns!
We are pleased to welcome Dan Slater back to the ranks of our trombone section. Dan played bass trombone with us during his work placement year for his degree in 2002. He has now completed his degree achieving a 2:1, and has found himself a job at a location near enough to Tewkesbury to allow him to come to practice with us. It is nice to see that his first experience with us did not scare him away! Welcome back Dan!

 

Another star is born!
Congratulations go to two of our cornet players, Susan and Adrian Pawley on the birth of their first child Edward Nicholas Ellman Pawley. Eddie was born on Friday 17th October at 10:25am, weighing in at just 6lb 7oz. Mother and baby (and father!) are doing well and the family are all now back at home.

Mop Fair
The annual mop fair arrived in Tewkesbury on the 9th October. The Band led a procession of Councillors and dignitaries from Gander Lane to The Cross to the sound of the 'March of the Cobblers'. Once at The Cross, the formal opening ceremony for the mop fair was held and the fun and festivities commenced.

Band Room Improvements
During the Summer months Peter Williams and several other band members and their families have been working in the background to improve our bandroom facilities. In the past few weeks we have seen the completion of a dividing wall in the larger part of the old rifle range creating a second room for the band. Supplemented by proper lighting and heating (essential with winter approaching), the additional room proves a great bonus for the training band teaching sessions on a Friday evening. Needless to say, there is still plenty of work to do in improving the bandroom facilities. However, a big thank you goes to all those who have, to date, spent time and effort in improving the facilities for everyone. Thank you.

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September

Young people in Training!
The Training Band has been through a few changes over the summer and the results are already beginning to show. All training band practises now take place in the main bandroom rather than at the Town Hall. Not only is this easier for us, but allows the training band to get a feel of what happens in the senior band. This also allows the training band to have two rehearsals a week now on Fridays and Sundays (it also mean that they can play football in the break!). Also new is the Beginners Band that now meets on a Sunday. This gives the less experienced players a chance to learn to play in a band from an early stage. The standard of playing from this new band is amazing and they will definitely be performing in our sell-out Christmas concert this year! For more details of the Training Band  why not have a look at their page.

Burgers and Band!
Saturday 27th September saw the Band play at the Alderman Knight School BBQ. The band played a selection of popular tunes and, of course, all the children's favourites from over the years - from Tin Tin to Teddy Bears Picnic and from The Ugly Duckling to Scooby Doo! A group of fine young conductors from the audience led us in Thomas the Tank Engine and then the band could not help but follow the beat of James Musto conducting Postman Pat - he's only 2½ years old but already has the band under control! Much fun was had by all.

Christmas Concert has sold out already!
That's right, it's only September, the tickets have only been on sale for a few weeks but already they have all been sold!! This even beats last year's record of October as a sell out date! The people of Tewkesbury obviously have good taste and word must have spread about how our concerts are always such enjoyable evenings! If you haven't managed to get a ticket then watch this space for news of any extra concerts this year!

Summer Round-Up
This summer has been a busy period for the band, particularly towards the end with engagements on six consecutive weekends throughout August and September. We started the season back in May at Evesham Bandstand on a dull, grey, chilly day and played a further 14 well attended performances at bandstands and fetes across the region, before ending the season on a sunny September day in Tewkesbury at the Battle of Britain Parade. Also during the summer we moved band room from the hut that we had been using to the old rifle range on the army camp, a building that is now beginning to shape up nicely and become the home of our band.

Towards the end of the season we were privileged to play under the batons of Jim Mason and Peter Nutt while Nigel was taking it easy in the south of France! Jim made the band work hard in rehearsals and achieved some great results in just a few hours, while still managing to make it a fun experience. The band and audiences alike were then treated to the skills of professional conductor, Peter Nutt, when we played at Cripplegate and The Fountains in Worcester.

 

Unfortunately for us, I have to announce the departure of Martin Ashworth from the band. Martin has been playing with Tewkesbury Town Band since 2001 and was steadily working his way up through the cornet section and even won the Dave Crowe Memorial Cup for the Cornet Player of the Year in 2001. An active committee member and a friendly band member, we are all sad to see him go. However, Martin decided that he needed to expand his brass band experience and we wish him well with this. Thank you Martin for all your hard work with the band.

September

Sunday 7th The Fountains Bandstand, Worcester www.bandsinthepark.org.uk
Sunday 14th Battle of Britain Parade, Tewkesbury [Afternoon]
Saturday 27th Alderman Knight School BBQ

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Revised: January 24, 2004