Tutbury Band News 2003

The Band provides regular articles for the Rollestonian. It therefore seemed appropriate to reproduce them here for those interested in this local band.

Winter 2003 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Winter 2003 issue)

Tutbury Band & The C.B.S.O. 

How, I hear you cry, can you possibly link Tutbury band with the prestigious City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra? Well, it wasn’t all of it, but some of the best came to conduct a workshop for the Band last month, and it was brilliant! What was so nice was that there wasn’t a hint of side from any of them. They were cheerful, practical, and keen to make a difference – as well as being awesomely talented. What’s more they seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we did.

The workshops took place, not in Tutbury but in the Belvedere School, Burton and we are most grateful to them for making the premises available. We needed not only a large hall to hold the whole Band but also training rooms for each section; flutes/oboes, clarinets, brass, lower brasses, percussion, saxophones, etc. We had one CBSO musician for each section. The poor chap with the clarinets was a bit overwhelmed as there are dozens of them (you need to build up the volume levels to match the brass). But he struggled manfully and got a better sound out of us, and the first clarinets were coached through some twiddely bits that had been rather daunting.

Some of the saxophone section had been vastly admiring of the leader of a saxophone group that they had seen performing on stage recently and were gobsmacked to find that he, their hero, was to dedicate his talents to coaching them. It worked - they are better! 

Any of us who might have excused our lack of playing ability on the fact that the instruments we use are not all of the highest quality were humbled by the CBSO trumpeter who produced coruscating cascades of notes from a very beat up trumpet held together with an elastic band! No excuses now!

A common comment from Band members was that the experts kept coming back to the basics of playing and practising; proper breathing, tone and tune, breaking difficult pieces of music up into small playable bits. We were comforted that even in the best of orchestras players count the bars when they are not playing on their fingers so that they come in again on time!

Best of all I suppose, was the motivation. To have such gifted musicians (and such nice people) working with us to improve the Band was a real tonic. It makes practising less of a chore now that we have role models.

We didn’t have Sir Simon Rattle brought back from Berlin to coach Malcolm in conducting – shame really.

Autumn 2003 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Autumn 2003 issue)

Following the twinning visit by Tutbury Band to Ollainville, one of our players, Paul Rundle, has kindly put together his observations of a most successful trip as follows:-

“At 11.00pm on Friday 24th May, 2003, two coaches filled with players and supporters departed from Chatsworth Drive, Tutbury. With instruments, food hampers, an abundance of Georgian Crystal, pillows, magazines, sandwiches and drinks all on board, the adventure had begun!

Arriving in Dover we caught an early ferry and just about ninety minutes later we were in France.

Gradually we homed in on our target – the College de la Fontaine aux Bergers, Ollainville.

After meeting our families for some lunch we headed off to their homes before meeting up again at 4.00pm at the Espace Aragon for our first concert in this very impressive community centre. All things considered – lack of sleep, wine with lunch and a very warm room – the band played remarkably well with “feelings” and “Georgia” being particularly well applauded.

The concert was followed by a civic reception which was followed by bed for most of us though, for the more energetic, “Paris by night” beckoned with river trips, the Eiffel Tower and more food and drink!

Sunday 25th May began after breakfast with an open air concert that was even better than Saturday’s. Afterwards, we made our way to the Parc de la Butte au Grès where the hosts prepared a wonderful lunch that included salmon, pork meats, roast joints, various salads, French cheeses – of course! – Normandy Tart, exotic fruit – need I go on!

Throughout the weekend, language barriers seemed to collapse with the warmth of the welcome. Nothing was too much trouble for our hosts and everyone – even those who had been a little nervous at the prospect of resurrecting long-forgotten French and staying with a family – had the most brilliant time. The only problem now is how to follow it!”

Many thanks to Paul for an excellent report, a full version of which is available through me at Tutbury Band.

Shortly after the Band’s return from France, concerts were performed at Sudbury, Hatton and Alkmonton followed by a tremendous day at Belvedere Junior School where a CD of our music was recorded for general release in a few weeks time for a modest price of under £10.

Concerts followed at Richard Wakefield, Elvaston Castle and at Cubley.

September 20th will bring a music workshop to the Senior Band under the guidance of members of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

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Last updated: 2 March 2004