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GISB ends the year on a high

Gillingham Imperial Silver Band recently celebrated another successful year at their annual Christmas concert on Sunday 13th December, organized by their ever faithful Supporters’ Club. Gillingham’s mayor, Councillor David Walsh, presented the annual prizes which this year went to Jess Hudson, most improved under-18 in the senior band, Sarah Barnes received the John Fricker shield for highest rehearsal attendance, and Tom Malleson was awarded the Tim Baker memorial trophy for the greatest contribution to the band over the year. In the training band Megan Bokker received the award for most improved player; and in the beginners’ group this award went to Ellie Stiles. The award for the youngest player went to Maddie Currie. 

The Dorset band ended the year on a high with a number of successful events, in particular their recent 3rd section win at the Wessex Brass Band Association’s winter contest in Bournemouth. Playing a hidden gem of the brass band repertoire, Granville Bantock’s “Prometheus Unbound”, the band thoroughly enjoyed their performance at Bournemouth’s Life Centre, with the cherry on the top being the adjudicator placing the band 1st in the 3rd section and 11th overall, only one place behind Championship Section Bournemouth Concert Brass. 

This result comes at a time of rebuilding for Gillingham. At the end of 2014 the band lost 3 regular players due to relocation to Devon, one on maternity leave and one to University, and later in 2015 another 2 players leaving for University left a large number of vacancies to be filled. However over the year the band have signed some great new players. Star Flugel horn player Michelle Hudson returns to the band after a 16 year sabbatical with some of Cornwall’s finest bands, Elaine Laurence joins the solo cornet bench and Sam Vaughan and Clare Chapman join the back row cornets. 

Band Manager Tom Malleson said “We are delighted to welcome Michelle back to the band, bringing experience of playing at the highest level. She joins her mother Jackie Adams on solo horn and daughter Jess, who at only 14 is an exciting prospect for the future on solo cornet.” He added; “Elaine started playing with Mere Manor Band many years ago, so we are delighted that following her recent relocation from London, she is joining her sister Mary Burfitt to boost our cornet section.”

“Clare has been a regular helper with the band for a while now, and Sam Vaughan is another promising young cornet player who is new to brass banding. Great thanks must go to our stalwart 2nd cornet Marcus Adams, who teaches most of the band’s youngsters and gives help and support to those joining the back row.” 

The band also recently held a very successful beginner’s open evening. Organised entirely by training band percussionist Lottie Dean as a school project, the evening attracted over 20 people, of which 9 are now regular members of the Monday evening beginners group. 

With a packed schedule for 2015 now drawing to close, including a fantastic weekend visit from German friends Musikzug Viktoria Hille, and a feature concert with the Cory Band’s Glyn and Helen Williams, GISB are looking forward to 2016, starting with their “Winter Warmer” concert in early February, and the annual trip to Torquay for the West of England Regional Championships. 

 

The band still have vacancies on Euphonium, Cornet, Tenor Horn, Trombone and Percussion so please contact Tom Malleson on 07890 661259 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

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