Tutbury Band News 2004

The Band provides regular articles for the Rollestonian. It therefore seemed appropriate to reproduce them here (and any other news) for those interested in this local band.

Autumn 2004 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Autumn 2004 issue)

I hadn't been to the Alrewas Show before and I was most impressed. A proper country show with Pony Club events, fun rides, ancient cars and tractors, junk stalls and junk food, huge shire horses and tiny American minatures, morris dancing and of course Tutbury Band. It was our last performance of the season and a suitable climax to a memorable collection of shows for all parts of the Band. Earlier in June, Tutbury Junior Band played like professionals at the Rolleston Junior School fete which seemed to us to be a great success.

We are very fortunate in being able to play at such delightful places as Sudbury, Cubley and Bentley Hall in Alkmonton. The locations are superb and peoples' gardens were really beautiful. One of the favourite bookings is at Elvaston Steam Fair at Elvaston Castle. I am always amazed that so many of those vast vaporous machines are still around the country, all in immaculate condition.

Tutbury Festival in July, had Tutbury Junior Band again playing in the High Street in the afternoon and the Senior Band at the "Musical Extravaganza" in the evening. But that evening the palm for sheer English grit went to the young people from De Ferrers school who put on performances of songs and dances from their school show "The Boy Friend" in the teeth of a howling gale and drenching rain. They did really well in appalling conditions and their concentration was scarcely bothered by a gaggle of small boys kicking a football through the dancing! The Tutbury Festival included a visit from about 50 French citizens from Ollainville, Tutbury's Twin Town. The French guests were sheltered in a tent watching the performance with a slightly bemused air. After all, why would anyone want to go out in weather you wouldn't take a poodle out in. They did respond rather well to Tutbury Band's playing of a selection from "Les Miserables" and a rousing rendition of "La Marseillaise". 

So another season closes. We don't play in August as so many people are away on holiday that it is difficult to get a reasonable group together. It means that we miss some events that we would like to contribute to but we don't want to put on an inferior show. 

So this is the time when we all retire to our rooms and practice our scales and arpeggios and go through the twiddley bits that we stumbled on before (does this ring true).

If there is something you'd enjoy hearing us play, why not visit our website at: www.geocities.com/tutburyband or send us an e-mail at davidcwalford@aol.com and tell us what it is? We can't guarantee that we'll get your favourite - with the price of band parts being so expensive - but we might! 

Thank you for your support over the last year and we look forward to seeing many of you again soon.

David Walford, Publicity

Summer 2004 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Summer 2004 issue)

“Quite a Send Off”

The car park of "The Beacon" on the Tutbury/Burton road was absolutely awash with people on the evening of the 25th April. To raucous cheers and cries of "Veterans in Vintage" and "sort 'em out they're all in the same box", a splendid Riley "Super Six" drove up. (That is a proper car - with running boards and back doors that open to the right so that passengers can get in with some dignity). From this stylish transportation emerged Vickey and Malcolm Heywood for their "farewell" party. We couldn't quite make out what it was that made Malcolm seem odd until it was mentioned that he was very well groomed - not part of his usual style. This was obviously a sincere gesture of appreciation for the spread that Tutbury Band and its supporters had laid on for the two Heywoods. And what a spread! They were still giving cake away the following Saturday!! 

There was eating and drinking, speeches and a peroration in Latin (not all the band members are lacking in culture although some of the ablative absolutes were a little shaky). This had been prompted by Vickey's slogan "Spectatores numquam videbunt" which I need hardly tell you means "The punters will never notice". I think Vickey had meant it as a comfort to the less talented of us but it has been taken to heart by the whole band! 

Kevin Orton, our new Musical Director and stick waver, made the presentations. There were lots of them; engraved Tutbury glass, original cartoons depicting memorable moments in Malcolm and Tutbury Band's career (accompanied by significant salient saucy stories on the side whispered deafeningly by various members of the Band), a special brew of bottled beer (Malc's Best), gardening equipment vouchers, flowers and a huge pile of good wishes and thanks for all the dedication, hard work and sheer talent that Malcolm has put into Tutbury Band over the last 24 years. A memorable occasion and many were quite moved by the whole thing. 

Thanks to the vagaries of an eleven house "chain" Malcolm and Vickey Heywood may not actually leave Rolleston-on-Dove just yet, but Tutbury Band set loose from its nurturing apron strings, surges forth purveying punter pleasing music for a fully booked summer season. 

Not least of these future engagements is the "Musical Extravaganza" - that's what it says in the brochure - at Richard Wakefield school at 6.00pm on 10th July. This is at the end of the Tutbury Festival week. The Tutbury Twinning Association are arranging for 50 or so people from our Twin Town, Ollainville (of which it has been said: "where?"), to visit for this occasion so that they can get their own back on our visit/invasion to them last year!! Actually, Ollainville is a delightful town to the south of Paris and not far from Chartres. Well, I thought it was delightful but I was influenced by the charm and hospitality of my hosts - and great deal of excellent food and wine. The Festival will be another great "do" at Tutbury. 

David Walford. 

"Ave et Salve"

I am loath to use such a hackneyed phrase as " the end of and era" - but it is. Malcolm Heywood, the founder and Musical Director of Tutbury Band, is leaving. Malcolm started the band at Richard Wakefield School, where he was Headmaster, in 1980. Staffordshire County Council Education Department refused to provide any assistance to help with band parts so the Arts Council was approached and they agreed to help, provided that the band was not a school band. So the band was called the Tutbury Village Band, the grant was received and the rest, as they say, is history.

An excellent, detailed history of Tutbury Band with lots of pictures, and it's predecessors going back to the time of John of Gaunt and The Tutbury Horn, can be found in a book by David Kennedy called "Tutbury Variations" available from Tutbury and Rolleston Post Offices at a very modest price. 

Malcolm's enthusiasm and dedication to the band have made it what it is - one of the best community wind bands that you are likely to come across in a long day's travel. It is called Tutbury Band but it's 155 registered members come from all around the area. Nearly an eighth of the band come from Rolleston-on-Dove, a tenth from Hatton, a fifth from Tutbury and over half from Burton and its suburbs. Some intrepid souls come from as far away as Ashbourne, Cromford, Barton and Uttoxeter. They wouldn't come all that way for rehearsals and performances if there was not something special about the band. And that special something has been provided by Malcolm. His remarkable musicianship is half hidden by his good humour and encouragement. You only notice occasionally when he stops a rehearsal to point out that someone has not played the correct harmonic and demonstrates on the piano just what should be there. To pick that out of nearly a hundred people belting out something by Gustav Holst is no mean feat. 

When the printed scores and arrangements of works that we'd like to play do not include some of the instrumentation that we have in the band Malcolm will beaver away to produce his own arrangements that are eminently suitable. For many pieces in the past the entire arrangement has been produced by Malcolm. We shall miss him - but some people might feel they now stand a better chance of winning a prize in the Rolleston Village Gardens competition. 

However, we are fortunate in that Kevin Orton (he of the dreadful jokes at the Burton Town Hall performances) who has been conducting the Junior/Training Band, now takes over. It's not just standing at the front waving a baton to keep us all in time with the music but also maintaining a discipline and focus on the music without the aid of a thirty foot stock whip which is so demanding. You have to be a very special person to do that - and Kevin does it well.

So we go on. Our Summer Programme is decided on and we are busy practicing (well some are) for the summer performances which start at Sudbury village fete on 5th June and carry on every weekend until the holidays. It gets a bit hectic but it's always great fun. It is also a sound investment for the people who hire us for events as when you have eighty to a hundred thirsty musicians they all want cups of tea, plants, books, ice creams, cakes and cokes so the cost of hire comes back with interest very quickly!

David Walford

Spring 2004 News
(This article is taken from Rollestonian - Spring 2004 issue)

One year is over and another begins! You can always tell when Christmas is near; it’s not the weather but the red folders! When the red folders with the Christmas music in them come out you know that we’re near the Christmas Spectacular in the Burton Town Hall. Last Christmas’s Spectacular was again a sell out event – and great fun! When the two parts of Tutbury Band are altogether (140+ musicians) the Band spills off the stage and out onto the floor of the hall. The conductor is set up on an elevated platform and thanks to the brilliant stage lighting is completely invisible to a large section of the Band! I think we do very well to start at more or less the same time and finish together! We usually have a carol or two and it is very noticeable that the audience singing is much more abandoned after the drinks interval! Its nearly as much fun putting up the decorations for the event; swinging from the rafters with bunches of balloons and sticking stars on anything that doesn’t actually move. All in all a ‘good do’ and the proceeds of which stand in good stead for the purchase of the expensive sets of music that we need and help to keep the membership subscriptions down to a very cheap one £1.25 a month!

Having said that about the red folders I’m now completely confused because we’re getting them out again! We’re recording a CD of Christmas music in February. This may seem a little early but it does give time for the sound engineers to remove the noise of a boiled sweet being dropped down the bell of a tuba or (horror of horrors!) somebody’s wretched mobile ‘phone going off in the middle of it all. Last time we made a recording (‘Thank You for the Music’ available at just £7.50 a copy from Vikki Heywood) it was jolly hard work and took most of the day. We are being bribed this time, with a sumptuous repast, courtesy of Wendy at the ‘Cross Keys’ in Tutbury.

The Junior Band are working hard for their next engagement; Mothering Sunday at St Mary’s Priory Church in Tutbury. These rehearsals are a real harbinger of Spring and it is great to look forward to what is always a delightful event where all the mothers get a posy of flowers.

David Walford

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Last updated: 11 September 2004