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Massive Open Day Success

The Gillingham Imperial Silver Band 'Open Day' was held on Saturday 8th September at our practice and social facility in Gillingham, and offered the chance for the general public to come along and see what we can offer every generation of the town.  From the people that want to learn music and take up instruments, to the further education of others that can already read or play music.  Not forgetting those that just want to enjoy listening the music of the band, and look through the history of the town, it's band and its members.

The fantastic weather on the day really helped, allowing us to play outside, whilst a steady flow of people could enjoy Tea, Coffee and cake, or have a go on the many and varied instruments of the band.

There was a great crowd around midday for Nick Crump's fun and informative performance, which captivated the crowd, and inspired them to have a go at not only his unusual instruments, but also the bands standard instruments such as Cornets, Trombones, Basses and Percussion.  Nick's instruments ranged from an old immersion tank beaten into a musical instrument called the 'Crumpled Horn', a converted marine public address horn, aptly named the 'Seahorn', to the 'Boghorn' made from lengths of plumbing pipes and an Armitage Shanks toilet bowl.  Training band member Harley Stone (aged 11, soon to be 12) was lucky enough to be serenaded on the Boghorn, accompanied by the audience with an alternative rendition of Happy Birthday.
It was not only the inspired youth that were up for having a go on the 'Boghorn', band members were equally keen to try out such an odd instrument.

The younger visitors enjoyed making as much noise as they could with percussion instruments, taking the rare opportunity to try the band's Drum Kits, Timpani, Cymbals and hand percussion.  A great attraction mid-afternoon, was the percussion session run by Paul Williams; resident Musical Director, and percussionist for the championship section 'Woodfalls' Band, that allowed a 14 strong ensemble to be made mainly from the general public to perform a piece of music written for a percussion only group.

"It was brilliant to see so many youngsters come along to our bandroom and try out a whole variety of brass and percussion instruments. And it was also great to see so many people from the town come along, have a cup of tea and slice of cake and talk about how the band is doing." - Paul Williams, Musical Director

On display was some band heritage, with vintage drums, uniforms and photographs that brought memories flooding back for some, and inspired others, by discovering how long the town has had a band, and to hear the stories and tales of it's members.

It seems that this has been  great day for sharing with the community what we do, as well as getting new talent into the training sections of the band.  Although the open day wasn't planned to be a fund raising exercise, the band have certainly covered the costs, giving them the opportunity to run similar events in the future.  The band would like to thank everyone that came along to support the band, as well as those that helped organize and run the event.

In the short term, the Senior band is still looking for skilled Percussionists, Bass players and Cornet players, but for the future, we have a glut of new recruits to the Training band, that will hopefully develop and flourish into a strong, enthusiastic, youthful band to carry Gillingham Imperial Silver Band, and it's traditions well into the future.

The Beginner / Training band session held on Wednesday day was busier than expected, with the bandroom filled, and a brief shortage of mouthpieces!

The positive vibe from the day will hopefully herald a renewed support for the band, which should be evident over the coming months at upcoming concerts, and into the Christmas carolling period.

Anyone wishing to support the band or is interested in joining the supporters club they can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone 07776 167731.

The Band practices on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30, all players welcome.  Please come along to the band room and introduce yourself.
The Training band meets on Wednesday from 6pm.  Anyone interested in joining please contact Jackie Adams on 01747 823387

 


 

Joint Concert with Downton Band announced

The date and venue has been announced for the joint concert with the Downton Band.

The Gillingham Imperial Silver band will host the concert at the comprehensive school hall,  starting at 3pm.  The afternoon concert will be free to attend, with a retiring collection at the exit, where proceeds will be split between both bands. Both will perform half of the concert, and they will also play a massed band piece in the programme.   

 


 

Simon Dobson takes band for 'Penlee' masterclass

The band were very fortunate on a rather wet and windy Tuesday evening in November, to be in the company of the composer of their chosen test piece for the Wessex Contest, Simon Dobson.

In November he has a fairly busy month, traveling to Norway to conduct a top Norwegian band in their country's championships, then to Scotland to conduct one of the best bands over the border, Whitburn for the Brass in Concert contest at Gateshead as well as going to Belgium to adjudicate in their national finals!

Around all of this, Simon managed to squeeze Gillingham band into his busy schedule to take them through his piece 'Penlee', written about the Penlee life boat disaster of December 1981.

It was a great evening giving the band the rare opportunity to see the piece through the eyes and ears of the composer.  Simon brought top tips and ideas on not only how to play the piece, but how to perform it.  He gave every player something to think about, and pointers on how to progress the piece for the benefit of the band.

The positive feedback from the band members, and musical director proves this was a valuable and worthwhile experience. It has been said that Simon's music always takes the brass band on a slightly new journey. His is not orthodox, and challenges the listener, although his music is often programmatic.

Fantastic rehearsal last night. Thanks Simon and thank you band! - Paul Williams (Musical Director)

In May 2011 'Penlee' was voted in at number 106 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame. It was the highest new entry of any genre and Dobson was the seventh highest living composer in the 300-strong list. This work has been used world wide as a test piece in brass band competitions; it was the set work for the Swiss national finals and the North American championships.

The band will putting all the hard work to the test on the 1st of December in Weymouth at the WBBA Winter Contest.

 


 

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