This week the band held its AGM at the Woodmead Halls, which was chaired by the band President, Councillor Owen Lovell.
The Bandmaster’s Award for the most improved player was presented to Viv Wright, who plays solo horn, and the Musical Director’s Award for the band member who goes that extra mile went to Adrian Pearson, trombone player, who has recently taken over responsibility for the band website, in addition to his duties as Treasurer.
The Chairman’s report included these remarks: “Another successful year for the band. We have played well, with another successful season on the seafront, where I thought the band played particularly well. As usual, December was a very busy time for us but we sailed through all the engagements with flying colours. Once again the Christmas Concert was a resounding success making a very good profit for the band, which is always welcome with the barren months up to July….I received a phone call from Rachel Mackenzie who was the lady who hurled herself out of a plane and for whom some of us played at Hawkchurch last weekend. She said that it was a wonderful performance which made her quite emotional and she could not thank the band enough….I have a list of thank yous to go through. First, many thanks for the Mayor for chairing the meeting tonight; we are very grateful for the support he shows the band as our President and its always a delight to see him. I also want to thank Viv for the hard work she does ferrying a full drumkit and John around to rehearsals and performances. To Jane for her work with our learners which may well reap benefits in terms of future additions to our cornet line; to Ralph for his contribution to the collecting and his photography; to Adrian for his work on the website and also to Kathy and Luke for their contribution to the committee as the newest members. Also a special mention to the young dancers, coached by Kathy, for their performance at the Christmas Concert. Many people said how much they enjoyed their dancing. Thanks also to Brian for his work with the band. We have progressed under his direction and it’s also so nice to have fun in rehearsal. And finally, thanks to you, the band.”
Lyme resident and band supporter Nigel Ball brought the meeting to a close by thanking the band for their hard work throughout the year, particularly the concerts on the sea front throughout July and August. He felt these had been particularly good this year given the fact that the band was short on numbers at the present time. He pointed out that the comments from visitors were always very positive. Nigel expressed his view that the band was a credit to the town and he wished members every success in the future.
On Saturday, 14th January the band was invited to play for the MacKenzie family from Hawkchurch. It was Mrs MacKenzie Senior’s 80th birthday and to celebrate the occasion she did a parachute jump to raise money for the Devon Air Ambulance. The band was asked to play as a surprise for her when she returned home, which she did thankfully in one piece.
The Old Inn at Hawkchurch was the venue and the band played a selection of lively music including “Those Magnificant Men in their Flying Machine”, “For she’s a jolly good fellow” and “Happy Birthday”.
The band has enjoyed a long association with the MacKenzie family, having played for several important family occasions in the past, and were very pleased to do so yet again.
For our last appearance of 2016 the band convened on Christmas Eve under the Christmas tree at the bottom of Lyme’s Broad Street to play carols to shoppers. The owner of the nearby Fudge Shop generously provided tea and coffee to players and collectors (left and below) to warm us up and wet our whistles.
Dawn (bottom left), Nigel and Ralph (bottom right) were our hard working collectors today.
Once again the band went to Axminster on Friday, 9th December for the Axminster Rotary Club “Lighting Up” Evening (pictured right, courtesy Ralph Herbert). This annual event is very popular and well supported by local primary schools who run a variety of festive stalls. Entertainment included a visit by Father Christmas, Punch and Judy and Majorettes while the band provided the accompaniment for several sessions of carol singing.
As part of a busy programme of events throughout December the band has played carols in Broad Street, Lyme Regis (left) and outside Tesco in Seaton (below right). The band will also be taking part in the Lyme Regis Rotary Club’s Carols around the Christmas Tree event on Friday, 23rd December before a final round of carolling in Broad Street on the morning of Christmas Eve.
After a well earned rest the band will return to the rehearsal room in January to learn a new programme of music in preparation for our summer concerts on the Marine Parade in July and August.
As ever the band is always keen to welcome new members, of all ages and abilities, including learners and “rusty” players. Anyone interested in joining what is a very friendly and sociable group of people is encouraged to pop along to one of our Tuesday evening practices at the Woodmead Halls in Lyme Regis which will be recommencing from Tuesday, 3rd January 2017 at 7.30 pm.
Our annual concert once again provided for many the ideal lead into Christmas celebrations. “A Musical Christmas” contained the usual balance of musical diversity from the band whilst two guest slots offered a variety of pace and dimension. This was followed by the playing and singing of a selection of Christmas carols and, with compere Nigel Ball thrown in, made an ideal afternoon’s entertainment.
Among the audience at the Woodmead Halls were guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Lyme Regis, Councillor Owen Lovell and Christine Lovell. As the concert was again held on Sunday afternoon, it allowed residents and staff of the residential homes in the town to attend.
As usual there was a diversity of music with the band opening with “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Down Bourbon Street” (a selection of New Orleans jazz numbers) and a collection of songs from “Oliver”. Besides Christmas songs, there was also the haunting “Mood Indigo” and the reading of the story of “The Night Before Christmas” by our chairman Paul Snowball, accompanied by the band softly playing “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
The first guest spot involved five young cousins, Josie and Klara Smith, Edward and Sophie Rattenbury and Bethany Tattershall, who gave an accomplished and energetic display akin to a scene from “Calamity Jane” as they danced through “Jambalaya” and “Cotton Eye Joe”, complete with checked shirts, boots and straw cowboy hats with tinsel trim. In the audience was proud grandfather Phil, who used to play in the band.
The second guest spot featured local musician Julian Shaw who captivated the audience with a soothing, lyrical interlude as he accompanied himself on guitar singing Ralph McTell’s “Streets of London” and the more upbeat but lilting George Harrison classic “Here comes the Sun”. Nigel, besides keeping the concert moving along, also recited a couple of his own poems.
The band this year has been led by our Musical Director, Brian Scott, who took control of the baton in January. During the concert Brian was awarded for his dedication with The Gordon Broom Memorial Shield, as the Band Person of the Year, presented by Gordon’s son, Stuart Broom (pictured left, courtesy Ralph Herbert).
There followed a second presentation. Robert Poulton was surprised and delighted to receive a special award from Chairman, Paul Snowball (pictured right, courtesy Ralph Herbert). Robert is a great supporter of the band, and never misses a chance to collect on our behalf during the summer concerts on Marine Parade, as well as helping in so many ways. Our chairman Paul was full of praise for his dedication and commitment and nominated him a worthy winner of the award. Robert’s father Geoff is in the band, as is his sister, Catherine Lancaster. Robert, who is 28 and comes from Charmouth, attends practice every week and is learning to play percussion with the band. (This report is based on an article written by Stuart Broom, one of our guests mentioned above.)
The band was pleased to make its usual trip to All Saints on Wednesday, 7th December to take part in the Annual WI Concert which was this year organised by David Knight and Steve Holt. As usual this event was a sell out and the very appreciative audience was treated to a varied selection of entertainment including performances by the children of All Saints Primary School, beautiful piano solos by the very talented Toby Willis, the excellent All Saints Offbeats, an amusing reading by Michael Shaw and a hilarious item by the WI members themselves.
The band played five numbers and our euphonium soloist accompanied David and Steve for their rendition of “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. One of the highlights of the evening was “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which was performed by the audience, including the band, who not only sang it unaccompanied but also added various actions to match the words.
A good time was had by all and the band was very pleased to receive a Christmas card from Steve and David with the message “Just a short note to express our thanks to all the band for joining us once again at the All Saints Christmas Concert. Great playing and enjoyable company. Many thanks to all.” We are pleased to announce that the band has already been booked for a return visit on Wednesday, 13th December 2017.
Plans are well in hand for the band’s annual Christmas Concert which this year is taking place at 2.30 pm on Sunday, 11th December 2016 at The Woodmead Halls in Lyme Regis.
Tickets, costing £3 including refreshments, are now available from Martin Diplock, Estate Agents, or by telephoning Band Secretary, Gilly Warr, on 01297 442719.
Moving the concert from the evening to the afternoon proved very successful last year, with all seats taken, so people are being advised to buy their tickets early this year to avoid disappointment.
The compere will again be local resident, Nigel Ball, whose lively banter is all part of the afternoon’s entertainment. As well as a full programme of festive music the band is pleased to welcome several guest artists. Julian Shaw has kindly agreed to play his guitar and sing some songs for us, and a group of youngsters are busy working on a couple of dance routines. The latter is very much a family affair as Josie and Klara Smith are the daughters of band member Kathy Smith and they will be joined by their cousins, Edward and Sophie Rattenbury and Bethany Tattershall.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming our audience to what we are sure will be a fun afternoon.
The band is now hard at work preparing for a busy few weeks in the run up to Christmas. Events include an appearance at the All Saints Christmas Concert on Wednesday, 7th December and the Axminster Rotary “Lighting Up” evening on Friday, 9th December. In addition to our annual Christmas Concert, which is taking place at the Woodmead Halls on Sunday, 11th December at 2.30 pm, we will be playing carols in Broad Street in Lyme Regis on three Saturday mornings: 3rd December, 17th December and 24th December. On Sunday, 18th December we will be playing outside Tesco in Seaton and we will also be supporting Lyme Regis Rotary Club on Friday, 23rd December providing the accompaniment for their extremely popular “Carols Around the Tree” event in Broad Street.
A busy time for the band but a lot of fun helping people to get into the Christmas spirit!
(Photos by Brian McConkey and used with kind permission)
Members of Lyme Regis Town Band were pleased to attend the Remembrance Service held at St Michael’s Church in Lyme Regis earlier today.
The service was attended by the Mayor, Councillor Owen Lovell, and members of Lyme Regis Town Council together with representatives from the many organisations within the town.
The band played “Blow the Wind Southerly” as the congregation gathered and accompanied organist Alex Davies for the hymns and the National Anthem.
Cornet player David Tozer was note perfect in his rendition of the Last Post and Reveille and his excellent performance was commented on by many members of the congregation as they left the church.
Following the service the band joined the Parade down to the Square and played the National Anthem prior to the dismissal.
The band is delighted with its new photo, taken by well-known Lyme photographer Maisie Hill. Our President, the Mayor of Lyme Regis, is in the front row alongside our Chairman Paul and Musical Director Brian.