Welcome to the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band website. We are a friendly brass band located in the south west of England, and we are currently graded nationally in the 3rd section. Please check out our vacancies page as we are currently looking for various players
The band’s most recent concert was warmly received by the audience at Gillingham School on 12th July. The theme of the evening was a commemoration of the outbreak of World War One, and the band’s programme included a range of music both traditional and modern, on this theme. The band opened with Jacob Vilhelm Larsen’s “The Call of the Brave” – a rousing march written in 2013 to honour the 10,000 men who lost their lives in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Musical Director Jim Bennett then turned to Ralph Vaughan Williams – another WW1 veteran – and his suite of English Folk Songs. Gabriel Faure was a prolific French composer of the early 20th century and the band’s solo Tenor Horn player Jackie Adams gave a beautiful performance of “Apres un Reve”.
Following von Suppe’s Light Cavalry and a lovely rendition of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, the band paid tribute to composer George Butterworth, whose life and composing career was cut short in the Battle of the Somme. One of his best known compositions was “The Banks of Green Willow” – an idyll fittingly ending the first half of the concert in a reflective mood.
The second half opened with Jackie’s wonderful training band (with some discipline for the audience dished out by Sergeant Steve the Vicar!). Then to the band’s title piece – Walking with Heroes by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. This piece features the band’s cornet section split into two ‘choirs’ standing either side of the band. This impressive piece by the ever popular contemporary composer involves some serious technical playing by the cornets and received rapturous applause from the audience!
The band completed the second half with works both military and light including Glenn Miller – the unforgettable composer whose plane disappeared without trace in 1944 over the English Channel. The band’s encore was a tear-jerking “Nimrod”.
The wonderful sum of money raised by this concert would not have happened without kind sponsorship from many local businesses – The Copy Shop, Jeans of Mere, Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Show, Crockers, Perry and Son, Winning Smiles, Whitebridge Hire, Gillingham Press, 3 County Locksmiths, Adesign and Sprout and Flower. The hard work of the band’s supporter’s club also raised a considerable proportion of the total through the raffle, and ably manned the door as ever. The band was delighted to welcome guests David Walsh, deputy mayor, and David Wathen, town crier.
Many thanks to all involved! The proceeds have been put to one side to fund further commemorative events in the town until 2018. After this the profits from all events will be donated to the Poppy Appeal. There is talk of a major military tattoo in 2018 so watch this space!
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.