50 Days and Counting

21 May

50 days

There are only 50 days left before the RNVB Festival in Portsmouth on 7th July. Rehearsals are underway and tonight it was  the concert band. Once again there was a number of absentees, guys it only takes a minute to email Sid to say you cannot make it (manners cost nothing). Rant over.

Sid welcomed those present and talked about several requests for engagements which he will be emailing to you and will need an answer as to whether you are available.  With the Parish notices over we rehearsed music for the Festival and also music that will be played at these other engagements.

Catastrophe!!!!!!!  No!!!!!  The urn has packed up so no coffee was available at half time, not good news.  Hopefully Sid will have a new one by the next rehearsal.

Next Monday (28th May) is Bank Holiday AGAIN, so another rehearsal will be off the calendar so stand down please.

The following week,  Monday 4 June, will be a mixed rehearsal with the first part of the evening being taken up by Marching Band with the second half being Concert Band.

If you have said that you are going to the Festival please ensure you make every rehearsal possible.  We don’t have enough time as it is, what with Bank Holidays, so the evenings we do have need to be attended by everyone going to the Festival, whether it be for both Marching and Concert Band or just Concert Band.

If you are not attending the Festival in any guise can you please email Sid beforehand to see if your attendance is required that Monday evening.

50 Days to go, we need to get on top of this.  Hopefully some information from HQBSRM will be forthcoming in the near future so we know what is happening over this marvellous weekend.


Band On The Move

14 May

Marching band cartoon

And so it has begun, The first official marching practice for the RNVB Festival.  As we mustered in the Gymnasium (as we don’t have a drill shed) morale was high as just for a change it was decided that it was time to put away the music stands and break out the lyres.

With a brand new trainee Drum Major, Jessica Brock ,out front, and under the watchful eye of Phil Hayward we fell in, 4 across in some semblance of a marching band.  After a quick band drill lesson from Phil it was time to get on the move. With instruments ready and drums leading we pounded up and down the gym waiting for the halt signal, which even when it came still caught several people out.  After several demonstrations from ‘Phil the Drill’ we were ready to try again.  After several successful applications of this movement it was time to tackle the ‘SLOW MARCH’ echo… echo… echo.  Once again after a marvellous explanation by Phil of what he expected we set off wobbling down the gym. After a short while most people had the hang of it and with Phil encouraging us to point our toes we glided up and down the gym. With this under our belt we broke into Quick Time and onto the next march.  With our finale piece rehearsed and the advice to learn the marches from Sid  time was called on the evening with a promise that there will much more to come……Oh Joy!!

Next week we will be back in the concert hall for full concert band but the shadow of marching practice is lurking there in the shadow of the very near future.




By The left

13 May

Just a reminder that Monday evening will see the first of our marching practices for the RNVB Festival. This is only for those who intend to partake of the marching band aspect at the Festival.  We will be marching in the Gymnasium so please wear trainers or light coloured soft soled shoes.  This is another chance to hone your skills and remember how to stay in line, read your music and stop with the rest of us (no pressure then.

REMINDER:  We will not be able to get into Caspar John Hall beforehand so please ensure that you have everything you need for the practice and please bring any march cards you had for the Easter Ball display.  7.30 start, please be on time.

BRNC Big Band Swings

13 May

Dartmouth Music Festival once again saw the Big Band performing to a very appreciative audience.  It’s a great gig to do and one we really enjoy.  Many thanks to everyone for putting this on with very little rehearsal, well done Lucy and Mike, once again you were the icing on the cake.

Bank Holiday and We’re Open for Business

7 May

bank holiday 1

The problem with rehearsing on a Monday evening means we have to deal with the Bank Holidays.  Bank holidays are there for a reason and many people use them to celebrate family events etc but for those boring people amongst us it was rehearsals as usual.  Sid and I were quite surprised by the excellent turnout this evening with coverage in all sections.

Another excellent rehearsal tonight looking at some of the marches and music for the Festival in July.  Now although we have already been on the march at the BRNC Easter Ball, even if it was is a somewhat restricted performance, practice starts in earnest next Monday at 7.30 either in the Gymnasium or either on the Parade Ground or top field if weather permits.  Now if you were one of the chosen few who performed at the BRNC please ensure you bring along your march cards, you will need them. PLease do not go into Caspar John Hall on Monday evening as there will be lectures going on.

Later this week it is the turn of the Big Band to step up to the plate. We have our final rehearsal in Caspar John Hall on Thursday evening with the gig on Saturday morning on the Bandstand in Dartmouth for the Dart Music Festival.  Sound check at 1030 with the gig from 1100-1200 hrs.  See you there for some foot stomping, swinging music.


Engagement Cancelled

3 May

cancelled 1

Unfortunately due to a large number of members not being available on 24 June we have had to cancel our involvement in this event.

A Plan has been formulated

30 Apr


Tonight Sid told us about his plans for the RNVB Festival to be held in Portsmouth in July and what he intends us to play.  We were all in full agreement and spent the evening rehearsing some of the pieces in some depth.  Once again I am not at liberty to tell the public what these pieces are but I am sure that the band are very happy playing his choice.

Please keep your eyes on the emails as he will be sending out rehearsal schedules for the next few weeks.

There are still two more engagements before the festival, one for the big band and the other for the concert band so we cannot rest on our laurels.

From now on it is imperative that your attendance is fully committed if you intend to partake of the engagements and the Festival.  If for any reason you are unavailable to attend a rehearsal please take two minutes to notify Sid via email, it’s only good manners.



Big Band Swings and Removals have Started

27 Apr

Thursday evening saw the big band rehearsing for the Dart Music Festival. The rehearsal went really well which is good as we only have one more rehearsal before the big day on Saturday 12 May.

Friday morning saw the ‘Four Musketeers’ in the form of Sid, Les, Bart and Phil P digging deep into their reserves to move the College’s costumes out of their large room and into the small band store and vice versa.  Some of the costumes were in an extremely bad way and fell to pieces as they were being moved. With the dust flying we pushed, pulled and eased the clothes hanging rails out of and into the rooms. We wiped down all of the band equipment from the mouldy old store and ditched all of the rubbish that had accumulated over the years. I did put all of my clothes in the washing machine afterwards ensuring I didn’t bring any moths home with me.

We still have quite a bit of equipment still to move to the store but time did not allow us to do this so we will complete this with the help of the band during rehearsal. Once this is completed we need to move the library as well and hopefully we will be more centrally located.

A Little Light On The Ground Tonight.

23 Apr

After a busy Friday on Parade it was time to get back in the saddle and carry out some Repertoire Research to see what we should perform at the Royal Naval Volunteer Band Festival in July.  Although we were a bit short on numbers in several areas of the Concert band.  Sid has come up with several numbers which we spent some very intense rehearsal on.

What were they?  Not going to tell you.

Question Mark

It is fare to say that the pieces are all loved by the band and I don’t think we will get bored playing them.  The final  list is still to be completely filled but I think we are well on the way for the Concert Band programme for  the Festival.

Now the Marching Band programme is still to be decided, but I think Sid will have to decide soon as it is getting towards that time of year where we will have to carry out marching practice………..not my favourite time of year at all!!!!

The Big Band are up next, Thursday evening will be one of the few Big Band rehearsals for the Dart Music Festival on 12 May.  Time to Swing me thinks!

Monday will see the concert band rehearsing again and hopefully we will have a few more in attendance.

PS: This was our first rehearsal without Jackie Mayer. She has been a regular of the Band since its start way bay when.  We wish Jackie all the very best for the future and I am sure our paths will cross again soon.

BRNC Easter Ball

23 Apr

On Friday the Brass Sextet, Corps of Drums and Marching Band all performed for the BRNC Spring Ball.  This was the first time we had been asked to perform at one of these events as it is usually undertaken by one of The Bands of HM Royal Marines.

Brass Quitet Easter Ball 18

Easter Ball 18 2

With a shortened rehearsal on Monday evening due to a double booking of the Quarterdeck we put into action what we were able to do.  Come Friday it was all change as the Ball Committee decided we must perform the Mess Beatings and Finale out on the Parade Ground. So with a quick brief the Corps of Drums marched on and performed Mess Beatings to entertain those present. On completion of this the Marching Band linked up with the Corps of Drums to take up position for the Evening Hymn, Sunset and Rule Britannia.  After the applause died down and we had played the National Anthem the Band marched of to Heart of Oak.  This was our first marching event since Remembrance Weekend and a small taster of what is to come for the RNVB Festival in July.

Easter Ball 18