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Percy Fletcher comes to St. Gregory’s Marnhull

 

Saturday 26th April saw the band perform a short concert at St. Gregory’s Church, Marnhull, in aid of the Church Flower Fund. This was the first in a series of concerts organised by the Church organist Stephen Binnington.

The band opened with a rousing rendition of the classic contest march “Knight Templar” by George Allan. This was followed by the well-known selection from Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, “Danses Polovsiennes”. This featured a haunting solo from the band’s assistant Principal Cornet Emily Hill, and some tricky technical passages for all the cornets. Next was a complete change of mood in the form of Debussy’s classic piano prelude, “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair”. This piece was the first of several in the programme to showcase our Flugel Horn player Marcus Adams, a band stalwart who has recently made the move to Flugel Horn and is making wonderful sounds.

The band then brought out the drama and power of “Labour and Love”. This was written by Percy Fletcher in 1913 and was the first piece ever written specifically as a contest piece for brass bands, being used in the National Finals of that year. A genuine test of brass bands, this piece requires tight ensemble playing, contrasting dynamics and strong soloists. Well done to Nathan, Sarah and Liam for their lovely cadenzas. We will be playing this piece at the Weston-Super-Mare Contest on 18th May so this was a great opportunity to give it an “airing” before the big day.

Musical Director Jim Bennett then lightened the mood with “Mr. Jums” – a piece by Chris Hazell written in tribute to his scruffy ginger tom cat. This piece finishes with the band’s Soprano Cornet Tom (scruffy but not ginger) doing his best to sound more tuneful than a cat!

To close the programme GISB showed off their versatility with a Glenn Miller Collection – again featuring the dulcet tones of Marcus on Flugel Horn.

Our encore was a taste of things to come this year, the march “1914”. For more music commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, join us for our centenary concert on July 12th!

 

The band would like to thank Stephen and Marnhull Church for giving us the opportunity to play to a new audience in such a great venue. 

 


 

Band reshuffle - seat changes strengthen lower band

A recent change of instruments for two of the band's players has helped fill our vacant Eb bass seat. Sarah Barnes, formally principal Euphonium, has moved to Eb bass alongside Pete Gatehouse. Sarah is no stranger to the dark arts of bass playing having spend many years playing Bb bass in the past. 

This move sees Stuart Ingham move from 2nd to Principal Euphonium.Band Manager Tom Malleson said: "Stuart's playing has been going from strength to strength in recent months, something with which our audience at the recent "Walking with Heroes" concert will no doubt agree, having heard his wonderful rendition of Karl Jenkins' Benedictus."

Michael Gatehouse has moved from 2nd Baritone to fill the vacant 2nd Euphonium seat, a very exciting move for another of our up and coming young players. Residents of Mere report at least 2 hours a day of practice emanating from Lynch Close! 

The band is delighted to welcome Tracy Williams back to the band on 2nd Baritone. Tracy is one of the band's stalwarts and whilst taking a short break from playing duties, remained a member of the committee, following up her sterling work as Band Treasurer in previous years. 

The band still have vacancies for front and back row cornet players, a trombone player (position negotiable) and tuned percussionists, so please contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

"Gillingham Remembers" - Poppy concert a rousing start to the centenary appeal

Gillingham's annual Poppy concert this year featured a return for GISB alongside the Pipes and Drums of the Wessex Highlanders. Much hard work and organisation from the Gillingham branch of the Royal British Legion saw a packed hall enjoy a wonderful evening's music from the band and the Highlanders. 

GISB's programme featured a wide range of music, from Jacob Vilhelm Larsen's spectacular "Ad Astra", to the oriental flavour of Gareth Wood's beautiful "Japanese Slumber Song". The oriental theme was picked again later with Peter Graham's "With Fire and Sword", and the evening's featured soloist was principal trombone Nathan Biss playing Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Sun Whose Rays". Following many old favourites from the pipers, the evening would not have been complete without the hair-raising sound of the band and the pipers playing together; "The Rose of Kelvingrove", the evocative "Carlingford Lough" and of course the encore "Highland Cathedral" which saw the bands end the evening to a standing ovation. 

Many thanks to all involved - Gillingham RBL, Gillingham School, GISB's guest players and Gillingham RBL Club for providing delicious teas and sandwiches in the afternoon. 

The total funds raised will be posted here as soon as we know.

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