With a mere hint of spring in the air, the band took the annual trip to Torquay this year on Saturday 12th March. The band were brimming with confidence this year, with the recent return of Malcolm Francis on Principal Euphonium, wife Val on 3rd Cornet, Rob Stone playing Timpani and Martin Perrin on 2nd Trombone. In recent months we have also welcomed to the band Elaine Laurence on Solo Cornet, Claire Chapman on 3rd Cornet and Holly Chapman on 2nd Baritone.
With these additions to our regular ranks the band were well rehearsed, in good spirits and functioning as a highly cohesive unit!!!
Taking to the stage in rather a hurry due to the contest running ahead of schedule (an unusual occurrence for a band contest!), the band gave a highly detailed, confident and musical account of Michael Ball's delightful take on Welsh tunes, "A Cambrian Suite".
Here are the comments made on our performance by brass band website 4barsrest, who were present broadcasting live critique of every performance over the web:Nice relaxed style in the opening movement and all sections contribute to one of the few really consistent openings we've heard so far.Excellent lead into 2nd mvt where soloists all play with a touch of panache. Best moment of the day so far from the lovely, delicate solo horn, but soprano and flugel don't let her down at all!3. Very secure opening and but for a moment of poor tuning in the horn section it is very good indeed. Continues in similar vein through a well-controlled return of the main theme. We liked this one, a lot!
And here are the live comments from the British Bandsman Magazine, on Twitter:Bags of style from @GillinghamBand & it’s all delivered with precision. Solo horn player the star but there was quality all round
All in all 4th place out of a strong field of 18 bands was very satisfactory and secures the band's place in the 3rd section for another year.
Special thanks must go to Ruth Eshelby who stepped in at the last minute to play 2nd horn following an illness, and Scott Mills who learnt to read music and play percussion in just 4 weeks, and both played fantastically well on stage!!!
We will endeavour to post the adjudicator's remarks on our Facebook page as soon as possible.
A nice surprise arrived recently in the form of a letter inviting GISB to compete at the National Finals in Cheltenham on 18th September. After the recent West of England qualifying contest in Torquay, the top three bands in the 3rd section received the invitation, with the top 2 or 3 from the other seven regions also invited. However, this year's 2nd placed band from Weston Super Mare were unable to accept the invitation due to a band member's wedding, so the invitation is the sent to the 4th placed band.
Needless to say the band are delighted to be accepting this invitation, the last time qualification was achieved was 2006. All bands in the 3rd section will be playing Belgian composer Kevin Houben's fabulous "Lake of the Moon". Watch this space for details of an open rehearsal nearer the time, a great chance to hear this wonderful music.
Attending this prestigious event doesn't come cheap, with travel costs and entry fees totalling nearly £1500, so the band will be working hard to raise these funds over the summer. Join us on 30th April for a "Transatlantic" concert, 7:30pm at the Olive Bowl Gillingham. Our wonderful training band will also be performing. Entry £6 on the door, with a raffle and the bar open!
Our next coffee morning will be on 7th May at the Bandroom, with light music from the band, cakes and tombola.