NEWSLETTER: October 2000

The Band performed a highly successful "Last Night of the Proms" concert in Market Square Aylesbury on 23rd September. The local newspaper, the Bucks Herald, reported that "Market Square was packed with a thousand people during Aylesbury's millennium Charter Day", and continued...

"The highlight of the day was Aylesbury's own Last Night of the Proms with the town's Community Concert Band conducted by Alan Mossford, performing a musical programme for all ages. People came to the square not just from the town and the Vale, but from further afield including Chesham, Thame and Milton Keynes."
The story was accompanied by pictures of the band and of singer Jill Neenan, and of enthusiastic people in the audience waving flags.

The day's events raised money for the Mayor's charities, the Calibre Talking Book Library in Weston Turville, and Stoke Mandeville Hospital's Scanner Appeal. A great success, which has done much to enhance the Band's reputation, so much so that the organisers are already talking about repeating the event next year.

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Cublington Fête couldn't have had a nicer setting for the band; an English country garden, a gloriously sunny day and a spreading tree to shade the band. Thanks to all concerned for a good turn-out, they have already requested us again for next year.

Bledlow Fête wasn't so lucky with the weather, but we only had to stop once for rain. Thanks to all who turned out, especially as it was the same day as...

...The "Song for the Vale" concert. The band was in the spotlight for the climax of the festival of music and arts in Market Square, Aylesbury, organised by the Aylesbury Vale Arts Council, at which we accompanied soprano Jill Neenan in the world premiere of the "Song for the Vale". Written by Denise Erlandsen, the song won a competition out of 26 entrants. The band played a half hour concert beforehand and was on top form, doing much to boost our reputation. Well done everyone.

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Congratulations must go to Phil and Patricia on their recent wedding, and I'm sure I can speak on everyone's behalf firstly, in thanking them for allowing us, their colleagues in the band, to share their day (which was most enjoyable), and secondly, in wishing them a long, happy and healthy life together.

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Tickets are now on sale for our next concert in Stoke Mandeville on 20th May. If everyone sells two tickets we will have sold more than half, and I'm sure everyone would prefer to play to a full hall.

It looks as if we shall lose our rehearsal premises in September. Greenhill Church is moving to a brand new building on the new Coldharbour estate, but although this will not be ready until next year the existing building is already up for sale and they hope to complete in September, after which they plan to worship in a school hall or community centre until the new church is ready. Needless to say the committee is actively searching for somewhere else to rehearse, and we shall move as soon as we are able to find a suitable hall.

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Not much news this month as the band occupies itself rehearsing for the next concert on 20th May. Thanks are due to Harry Dudley who is deputising for our Director of Music while he is on holiday, and making sure that we don't slacken in his absence.

Several new engagements have been received, see the engagements page for details.

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NEWSLETTER: ISSUE NO. 21 February 2000

The hot news this month is that the band has been invited to make an exchange visit to the USA as guests of the Watauga Community Band of Boone, North Carolina. Obviously there are a great many details still to be settled, but if all goes well we hope to be going in Autumn 2001.


It is nice to see a few new faces this year, and of course the old ones (that has nothing to do with age by the way!). This month, sadly, we say goodbye to two of our long standing members. We wish Hannah Pipkin all the best both for her adventures to come during her "gap year" in Chile and then at university. We also must say goodbye to Bryan Frost who, as many of you know, has supported the band from a distance for some months. Bryan retires shortly and will be moving to Scotland where his wife runs her own business. We wish them both well.

Those members who remember John Caldicott will like to know that he sends his best wishes to everyone. John has been unwell for some time now, but hopes to get along to the band again in the near future. We look forward to his return.

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NEWSLETTER: ISSUE NO. 20 January 2000

Happy New Year to everyone.
This is probably the shortest newsletter we have had, as you can see our diary for the coming months is rather light. This is not unusual for the winter months, but we have only one confirmed engagement in April and nothing for the summer, so if anyone has any ideas or is willing to assist in the organisation of our own concert then please talk to one of the committee members, or send us an e-mail.


Our Christmas engagements are the ones we have come to know and love! The Cherry Trees old people's home made us most welcome as usual, and many thanks are due to Jean for the wonderful spread. In addition we played carols at Watermead (where the snow came down right on cue) and the Rotary Club carol concert in Market Square. We also played for the Christmas carol service at Greenhill Church, where we were pleased to be able to play for our hosts who so kindly let us use the church for our rehearsals. Now we can put away the carol books for another year and begin working on some new music.

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Concert with Chante Cours We were only required for the first half of this concert in the end and a reasonable audience, swelled by the 60-strong French choir, gave us a warm welcome. This was the first public performance of our festival programme, which certainly gave some food for thought! The second half of the concert had a noticeably smaller audience, but a reasonable number of the band remained to see some if not all of this and the choir did well to continue through the incident going on outside involving a group of drunken youths.

Concert Band Festival Despite the later arrival of the coach at Watermead we arrived in good time, and before we knew what was happening we were on the stage. It was disappointing that there wasn't a larger audience but we did slightly better than the band who preceded us, who began their performance to an audience of four. As our first experience of this event, we received some very favourable comments, and were pleased to have been awarded a Bronze in the Community Band Class. This is a considerable achievement as it is the first time the Band has ever entered such an event. The Band's program consisted of:-

The adjudicators (including Guy Woolfenden, Chairman elect of BASBWE) praised the band's musicality, and made special mention of the playing of Trevor Davies, the soloist in Panis Angelicus, and the euphonium solo played by Paul Dowson in Freefall.
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Before this date the news is arranged with the oldest news first.


ENGAGEMENTS The 30th June concert at the Civic Centre proved to be an immensely well received climax to a busy period of engagements. The Band significantly enhanced its reputation; thank you to everyone for your support, balancing work and family commitments, so we could fulfill all of the engagements.

As our reputation grows and we attract even more important bookings, we will be under more pressure to ensure that we put out a full band. We can fill any gaps in the lineup if we have adequate notice, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are unavailable. This is essential to maintaining and developing our standard.

To ease communication and facilitate this we are considering a number of ways in which band members can contribute. A first step will be to define sections and section leaders who will have responsibility for ensuring all parts are covered.

Watch this space and, in the meantime, thank you once again for your continued support.


William Harding School Fete Well this year it didn't rain. It looked threatening when we arrived so we took the percussion's lead and set up inside. This didn't attract the required audience, so the second half was performed outside. This a small turnout, so thank you to everyone who made the effort.

Mayor Making We were promised that this would not be a repeat of last year and they were right! We didn't sit through all the speeches this year, only half of them. We did get the opportunity to play much more than last year, but it was still extremely hot.

Bletchley Rotary Concert Well, the stage canopy looked like a big bouncy castle, would it have protected us if it had rained? Luckily the rain held off, although it was a little chilly. The audience was around 250, which didn't quite fill the field, and was a little disappointing for the organisers who, undaunted, are talking about a repeat performance. Despite several last minute changes in instrumentation the concert went well with plenty of positive feedback received. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts.

Women's Institute Concert This was a marvellous evening, and I'm sure everyone will agree that the atmosphere was ideal and this must have been our largest audience so far. Lots of kind words afterwards and lots of praise for our choice of programme. Well done and thank you to everyone.


Well, we are well into August now, and have completed the summer fete season having played at only two this year. So, everyone who groans about them, take heart, there are fewer each year and hopefully next year they can be eliminated altogether.

The committee considered suspending rehearsals over the summer, but decided that there is still plenty that can be achieved, and we have two important events in September. We know it is the holiday season, but please attend whenever you can.

Plenty of events have been added to the diary, both for the autumn and next year, and the committee hopes that you will all agree that the coming year looks to be quite exciting, what with the National Wind Band Festival in the autumn, and also with another concert tour next year.

July '99 Newsletter


I hope that everyone has had a pleasant summer and that you are all ready for lots of hard work. We have lots of things lined up for the autumn so we need all your support to make a success of them all. It is nice to see a couple of new faces, not to mention old ones returning after a prolonged absence. We are sorry to lose Martin Brown, who is moving to the USA, Sophie, who is going off to college, and Susan, who is off to Italy.

December looks busy as usual, please make a note of the dates now, but all the regular jobs are already booked so we don't anticipate anything else cropping up. I'm especially looking forward to the warm welcome and lovely food at Cherry Trees!

August '99 Newsletter


CONGRATULATIONS are due to Sarah and Lyndsay Gray who both won prizes for cookery at the County Show. Sarah won 1st and 3rd for preserves and cakes, and Lyndsay two 2nds for lemon curd biscuits. Well done.

Bucks County Show. If the amount of traffic was anything to go by, the Show was very popular. The trailer did turn up at the car park to transport the equipment and those members unable (or unwilling) to walk to the bandstand! The percussion equipment (and Matthew's uniform), finally got to the right place, albeit a little late. There was a small but steady audience listening to us who appeared to be enjoying our performances and feedback was good. The day was long and hard work due to the heat, but hopefully everyone found the experience worthwhile. Many of the band took time off work to play, and it shows that we have a lot of dedicated people who are willing to give up their time for the good of the band. Well done and thank you to everyone. Unfortunately, they have turned down the offer of our services next year.

Recording at St. Mary's Church. I don't know about anyone else, but I found it very strange sitting in a nice cool church on a glorious September day (and we don't get many of those, do we?), playing Christmas Carols! I'm not sure I appreciated having to play twice as much as everyone els, playing both brass and woodwind verses! By all accounts this was a very successful session, so again, many thanks to everyone who gave up their time.

September '99 Newsletter


CONGRATULATIONS are due this month to Alison, Gideon, Annabelle, Francesca and Georgina on the safe arrival of Harrison Michael Gideon Wright on 16th October. Harrison weighed in at a healthy 7lb 15oz, and Alison (who plays clarinet in the band) hopes to pay us a visit soon.


Lacey Green and Loosley Row Village Hall. The small (and select) Band had to be in place inside the hall while the opening ceremony took place outside, but the fanfare provided by Trevor and Alan was audible from where they sat. The junior spies enlisted for the day insist that the ribbon was cut by a sword but certain grown-ups doubt the accuracy or this version of events. The band managed to fit in one short piece before sitting through the speeches, where anyone and everyone who could claim any connection to the rebuilding fund presented a plaque. Then the local singers took over, and by the time they had finished the band managed three pieces before a comfort break was called for, they had been in place an hour and a half by that time. However, as the audience had, by then, drunk all the wine they rapidly began to disappear, at which point it was decided our job was done. The event did seem to mark a turning point for us, though; in the press coverage we were finally recognised by the correct name! Many thanks to everyone who gave up their time for this event.

Recording at Aylesbury Grammar School (of further tracks towards a Christmas CD). Well, we did fit into the room - just. I'm sure everyone will agree (particularly Trevor, whose legs as well as his lip were probably tired by the time we finished), that recording is not an easy activity and requires a lot of patience and hard work. Thanks must go to Craig Nathan and his assistants for their time.

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