December 2005

Training Band Christmas Cheer!
I'm not sure what exactly it is that they love, but the public do love our Training Band as much as our Senior Band! Over the past few weeks, the Training Band has performed at their own Christmas concert which was a great success at the Watson Hall [some people even came from Gloucester as they had heard us the week before at the Roses and were so impressed that they came back to Tewkesbury for more!], at the Morrisson's supermarket in Up Hatherley where they collected over 438 [I'm sure that's a record!] and in front of over 1000 people at the Christingle Service in Tewkesbury Abbey on Christmas Eve.

It has been a successful period for some of our players too who have recently taken exams of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, either through the Band, or through their private teachers at home or at school. Silvina Howard [Cornet] and Victor Andrew Howard [Baritone] have both passed their Grade 2 with Merit, Hannah Williams [Cornet] has passed her Grade 4, William Norman [Cornet] has passed his Grade 4 with Distinction and Megan Taylor has passed her Grade 5 Theory exam with Merit...phew!...what a lot of results! Every member of the Training Band also received a certificate at our concert celebrating their membership of the Band during 2005!

As the players are improving so much, I have now decided to ban some players from the Beginner Band as they are just too good! I am pleased to welcome some more players from the Beginner Band into the Intermediate Band and I hope that more will join them throughout 2006. If you fancy having a go or know someone else who might, then please get in touch and join our ever growing Band!

 

November 2005

Christmas comes to Town
On Sunday 27th the Training Band began the carolling season with an appearance at the turning on of the Christmas Lights in Tewkesbury. It was a slightly chilly but dry afternoon and the Training Band entertained the gathering crowds with a selection of Christmas carols and tunes. The Training Band played two half hour selections from 2:30pm to 3pm and from 3:30pm to 4pm drawing a large crowd of onlookers and plenty of applause (especially from Caitlin's school friends!). This was the first of many Christmas performances by the Training Band, their next being at the Alderman Knight School Christmas Fayre on 1st December.

August 2005

Training Band is off on 'tour'!!
Our training band is heading off to Sidmouth on Saturday 13th August for a weekend away at band camp! The Band will be meeting up with the Sidmouth Town Training Band and playing a joint concert on the Bandstand the following day.

More Grade Success
Another of our Training Band is proving to be a star in the making. Ten year old Hannah Williams has just passed her Grade 3 Cornet exam with distinction, getting full marks of 30 out of 30 for one of her pieces! Congratulations Hannah.

June 2005

Cabaret Fun
Saturday 16th July 2005 saw our Training Band take part in their very first Cabaret Evening. Held at the Reddings and District Community Centre, the concert involved band pieces and solos, trio's and quartet's. Over people attended the evening and were all seated around tables with a plentiful supply of wine, soft drinks and snacks to hand. 

Our compere for the evening, Nigel Morgan, welcomed the audience and invited them to sing along as the Training Band Mousketeers entered singing the Mickey Mouse March, all complete with Mickey Mouse ears and some actions. Following this, the Band took to the stage to play an arrangement of the same tune.

The first act to follow this was some members of our trombone section. Jonathan Petticrew, Matthew Lee, Cameron Purveur and Peter Strawson chose to play a piece from their tutor book and from Beethoven's 9th symphony, Ode To Joy. These players set the standard high for the rest of the night. It was great to see a line of four straight slides all moving together!

Then it was time for two solos. First up was Trumpet player Megan Taylor. Megan chose to play a piece that she is practising for her Grade 6 exam, Transposition Blues. Then entered a "Chinese" girl. Grace Windsor chose to play the beautiful slow melody from the film Mulan, Reflections, and dressed up to look the part as well as impress the crowds with her playing.

The Intermediate Band then took over with the theme music from the popular cartoon, Scooby Doo. The next piece shoulde perhaps have been the first piece of the evening as it was titled Curtain Up. Rehearsed by the Ashchurch Trio [Ellen McGillivray, Matthew Lee and Nicole McGillivray], unfortunately Ellen was ill over the weekend and so had to be substituted on the night. Unfortunately it was by me! Back to the slow melodies, Silvina Howard then played a lovely rendition of Danny Boy, appropriately dressed in short trousers, waistcoat and flat cap. The audience was then called to stand to attention as a British Grenadier entered by the name of Rebbekah Musto who played their tune on her Tenor Horn dressed in a fantastic soldiers uniform.

The audience was then invited to buy a teddy bear, have a go on the raffle (to win a fantastic chocolate cake, among other prizes), and top their drinks up as we broke for an interval.

As tradition stands in many concerts, the raffle followed the interval. Everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting to see who was going to win Frank Dreighton's chocolate cake and The Little Penguin bottle of wine (unfortunately we didn't play The Little Penguin on  this occasion!). Anyway, the cake went to Megan's family and Caitlin won The Little Penguin. Plenty of other prizes were won and shared out amongst the tables, well mostly amongst one table anyway!!  

The Band then returned, donned their cowboy hats and rode off into the sunset playing Wild West Yonder. Cornet player, Oliver Moss, then stood up and played Henry Purcell's Trumpet Tune. The audience began to get worried as a policeman entered the hall, only to be relieved that it was George Cullwick, dressed ready to play The Policeman's Song, from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, on his Eb Bass. George was then presented with the news that he had passed his Grade 3 with distinction! The audience then dared to ask for 'more' as Oliver Twist did. Luckily, William Norman was on hand to play a selection of three tunes from the musical. His selection was titled 'Please Sir, Can I Play Some More?' and included As Long As He Needs Me, Consider Yourself and Where Is Love?. 

"It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to meet the Muppets on The Muppet Show tonight!" The Intermediate Band then entertained the crowds with Cameron Mabon's arrangement of The Muppet Show Theme.  Cornet player Hannah Williams then took centre stage, dressed as an American Indian from the Disney film, Pocahontas. Hannah played the beautiful melody from Pocahontas, 'Colours of the Wind'. So quickly we had got to the last 'solo' item. William Norman, Megan Taylor, Lucy Windsor and Charlotte Leatherby raced through the audience dribbling footballs and then stood on one foot to play the football favourite, Match of the Day, arranged as a duet by Peter Lawrence.

The Band and a number of different cardboard bears then joined the together to play Here Comes Bobby the Bear. This is a piece about Bobby, who is a happy circus bear and throughout the pieces you hear cries of "hear some Bobby the Bear!". The audience loved it and even asked for more!

Our first Cabaret Evening was a great success. I was very proud of every band member who took part and there were endless positive comments from the audience. Thank you to everyone who helped to organise the day and who was drafted in to help on the night! Well done everyone!

 

Grade Successes

We are pleased to be able to write about more exam passes within the Training Band.  George Cullwick, Oliver Moss and Rebbekah Musto have all recently studied for various Associated Board of the Royal School of Music exams on their respective instruments and have passed with flying colours. 

Rebbekah Musto passed her Grade 2 Tenor Horn exam with a merit despite being quite ill on the day! George Cullwick has kept to his form and passed his Grade 3 Tuba exam with distinction, and Oliver Moss has passed his Grade 5 Cornet exam, also with merit. Congratulations to all of you on your great achievements.

 

Croft Primary School Fete
The sunny Sunday afternoon of 10th July was the occasion of the Training Band's third fete appearance of the summer, this time at the picturesque venue of Croft Primary School in Painswick. A new audience were provided with entertaining music from the current repertoire of the Training Band in three short performances. Sandwiched between the performances a local group of Morris Dancers provided a display of their talents and even managed to encourage some of the Training Band parents to join in their last number.
The Training Band performances included the popular 'Here Comes Bobby The Bear', 'The Cathedral Suite', 'Germany' and the 'Netherlands' from the Little Europe Suite, the Training Band's signature tune 'Festival March', the tricky but fun 'The Simpsons', plus many more. The audience feedback was excellent with many comments of surprise at the high standard of the Band. 

Fete Complet
On Saturday 25th June the Training Band, ably assisted by several members of the Senior Band, entertained the crowds at the Alderman Knight School Fete. The Band played inside due to inclement weather but this did not prevent us and the keen supporters of Alderman Knight School from having fun whilst raising funds for this special (in every sense of the word) school. The Senior Band members were treated to the delights and complexities of the Training Band programme; such as The Muppet Show, Netherlands [from the Little Europe Suite] (complete with bicycle bells), Handbags & Gladrags, The Cathedral Suite, and of course Here Comes Bobby The Bear!

Training Band are out again!
Our Training Band was out in force again last weekend on Saturday 11th June 2005, playing at the prestigious St. Catherine's Church Fete in Gloucester! They entertained the crowds while they were queuing to get in and then as they browsed around the many stalls there. Our programme included favourites such as Scooby Doo, Muppet Show and even our bicycle bell ringing Netherlands from the suite Little Europe. We also believe that we probably premiered a great new piece from Goblin Music (Netherlands) called 'Here comes Bobby the Bear' - complete with lyrics!! The Training Band did an excellent job once again and much fun was had by all! - We were even recorded by Radio Gloucestershire - did anyone hear it?!

We even had time to have a go at milking a cow!


Click picture for a larger image

Innsworth Junior School Fete

The Training Band (Intermediate Band) entertained the crowds at the Innsworth Junior School fete on Saturday 21st May 2005. The Band played favourites such as Scooby Doo, The Muppet Show, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Star Wars and Dr Who amongst other pieces to add to the atmosphere of the fete. We were due to play two slots but following our break for much needed burgers, our second slot was cut short by the wonderful British fete weather - rain! The Band enjoy the day though and it looked like most of the fete-goers did too! Thanks go to our super-sub for the day, senior band MD Nigel Morgan who picked up a Euphonium to strengthen the ranks as we were a little light on that day! It was great to get to tell my Dad what to do!! Well done everyone!

AGM Concert is fantastic!
The Training Band impressed the crowds once more at the Tewkesbury Town Band AGM in the Town Hall on Wednesday 13th April 2005. 37 players (out of 44) took their seats and played a fantastic concert.

The concert began with one of the Band's favourites pieces, Gary Young's arrangement of 'Marching Marines'. Helen then commented on how 2004/5 has been a great year for the training band as we had managed to top the 40 members mark. Let's hope it continues to grow as much in 2005. The Intermediate Band then continued with a quite tricky but exciting piece by Bernard Hazelgrove called 'The Big Wig Wam'.

Following this, it was noted that the Training Band has been very fortunate to receive several major grants in order to support all the new players. Early on in the year we received 250 from the Royal Bank of Scotland. This money has all been spent on much needed tutor books, band music and uniforms (jumpers). Then, later in the year, thanks to a tip off from Martin Cullwick, we received a grant from the Upton Jazz Festival to purchase a new instrument. With this we purchased a brand new JP171 cornet. This is now being played by one of our newest and youngest members, 5 year old Emily Brewis. Thanks to Town Band supporter Angela Musto, we have recently received a third grant. This time from the Co-Op for 975 to buy a new Euphonium. We actually managed to get two brand new JP174 Euphoniums with this money which was great. Christmas came early for Nicole, who was playing one of the oldest and most awkward euphoniums I've ever seen when she was presented with this new one. The other instrument is now being played by Hannah Norman who has changed from playing cornet to euphonium. Thank you very much to all those involved in finding the grants, and of course to the organisations that gave them to us. Without grants and donations like this, the Training Band could not be as successful as it is.

The concert then continued with a Helen Walters original, 'The Little Penguin' played by our beginner band. It was then "time to  play the music, time to light the lights, time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!" as the Intermediate Band bounced through Cameron Mabon's arrangement of the 'Muppet Show Theme' (from Two Cartoon Classics). Then the mood slowed a little as they played Alan Fernie's arrangement of 'Handbags & Gladrags'. This song has been hits for Rod Stewart and the Stereophonics but tonight it was ours and featured two of our cornet and trumpets players Oliver Moss and Megan Taylor in the beautiful opening oboe theme that recurs several time throughout the piece.

In the Training Band we like to have some fun together when we're not playing as well - whether its on the field outside the bandroom, at our Summer Picnic or our Christmas Party! We thought that we couldn't let the audience get away with just sitting there listening and so we got them to join in our next piece. Arranged as a round, we played 3 Blind Mice, quite successfully accompanied by 3 choirs made up from the audience! Thanks go to our 3 lovely assistants, Helen & Christine Poole and Sarah Crowe for leading the audience in their starring role!

Getting back on track, the Intermediate Band then played Cameron Mabon's arrangement of 'Scooby Doo' (from Two Cartoon Classics). The last year has seen the Training Band perform at many new engagements, including school fetes, many Christmas events, the Mayor's Activity Day, and of course their own concerts. It was great to play along side other bands at the GBBA event last October, even though we ended up being 'adjudicated' by Nigel Morgan! One of the highlights of the year was playing to around 900 people in Tewkesbury Abbey on Christmas Eve (including Roy Newsome!!).

Back at this concert, the Band had three pieces left to play; 'Wobbly Waltz', Stuart Johnson's 'Cathedral Suite' and Gary Young's arrangement of 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.

Before we finished our concert, we had three presentations to make from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. Firstly, Megan Taylor was awarded with the highest certificate that we have presented in the Training Band so far as she achieved her Grade 5 on Trumpet. Secondly, we presented Grace Windsor with another certificate (she got her Grade 1 at the last AGM concert!) as she has achieved her Grade 3 on Bb Cornet. Finally, we had a slightly more special presentation as this member did not know his result yet! William Norman did very well in achieving his Grade 3 Bb Cornet with Distinction. Congratulations go to all of you.

The concert was fantastic, and thanks to all those who came along to support it. Lets hope that its the first of many successful performances this year! Well done everyone!

 

Farewell
Whilst the Training Band continues to attract new members, unfortunately we've had to say goodbye to 3 great members of the Band. Cornet player Emily Baker, Tenor Horn player Martha Baker and Baritone player Trudi Baker have left Gloucestershire for brighter shores in Devon. We wish them all the best and we will miss you! Good luck - and make sure you find another band!