Spring Concert

15 Mar

Spring 18 poster final.jpeg


Home From Their Hols.

12 Mar

The wanderers returned tonight. Bill, Don and Phil returned to the band from their exotic holidays and cruises. Welcome back.

This was not the only surprise for the band tonight. The heavy, awkward metl music stands have been confined to the storeroom as in their place were 40 brand new Wenger music stands from Black Cat Music. I would like to thank BRNC for supporting us in paying for half of the stands the other half being paid by the band fund.


Tickets are now on sale for our SPRING CONCERT on Tuesday 10 April from the Britannia Association (poster to follow).

Back to the music.  Tonight was a rehearsal to round off the edges and smooth the corners down.  The programme is almost chosen with 1 or two pieces still to come in.

mar 12

Their is still a lot of personal practice to be done to ensure that we perform to our best possible standard.


FRom The Fridge To The Oven

5 Mar

Last week’s rehearsal was carried out in the Caspar John Hall in a temperature which was indicative the weather we were about to endure whe ‘The Beast From The East’ arrived.  This week the hall was like an oven.

Phew 2


First up this evening was the Corps of Drums. Great work is being carried out to form this group which are showing great promise and are carrying out Mess Beatings on a regular basis.

Once the band was comfortable Sid gave out a few ‘Parish Notices’ and the rehearsal commenced with ‘Dover Castle’ from The Castle of Britain Suite by Laurie Johnson.  He was also responsible for TV themes such as ‘The Avengers’ for those of you with good memories. This was followed by ‘The Girl I left behind me’ before a break from the heat was called.

After Coffee we continued with ‘My Fair Lady’ and then ‘Gershwin.  The band is starting to jell very nicely and Sid is pleased with the music we are making although he says the there is still a long way to go.

Thursday will see the Big Band back in rehearsals getting ready for the Dart Music Festival in May.

Let’s hope that the temperature is a little less like the Bahamas in Summer and more like a warm Spring Day in Dartmouth.


One for your diary

27 Feb

For those of you who cannot make it to the Royal Albert Hall to watch The Massed Bands of HM Royal Marines you can live stream it to your laptop PC tablet or phone:

MFM 2018

MFM phot

Brass Monkey Weather

26 Feb

Brass Monkey

‘It’s Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey’ is a Royal Naval term.  As you can see above the brass monkey was the most effective way of securing iron cannon balls onboard a ship.  The plate was made of brass and when it got really cold the brass and iron would contract at different times which caused the balls to roll off. Hence the saying, not an primate in sight.

On a bitterly cold night those brave enough ventured to band practice with a view of playing music in a balmy concert hall.  Their dreams were cut short as they entered the Caspar John Hall to find that the heating was not on again.  Not to be put off we set up, looking more like a group going carol singing with coats, hats and scarves on than a band of musicians in for a good night’s rehearsal.

Sid spent quality time on John William’s ‘Cowboys’ before we had an early coffee break to warm up. After the break a more intense rehearsal was made of Warren Barker’s arrangement on ‘Gershwin’.  Sid is pleased with the progress the band is making and we are waiting to see if BRNC will allow us to put on a concert in April.  We should find out tomorrow.

Hopefully next week we will have some heat on and we can play without shivering!

New Entry Dinner

20 Feb

Tonight saw a 16 piece concert band under the direction of Sid Davis and a Corps of Drums perform for the New Entry Dinner in BRNC.  This would be their first taste of a Mess Dinner and the band and Corps of Drums performed to their best  standard to show them what they can expect in their future careers.

N E Dinner Feb 18 2

N E Dinner Feb 18

The music played was from the concert band pack and some of the pieces were a lot more difficult than the average dinner music. One small surprise was when 10 Officer Cadets came up on the balcony to sing Sea Shanties, which we had no prior knowledge of. Thank goodness for ‘Tunes and Toasts’ Books.

As always the caterers looked after us with the now familiar sausage and chips. ‘Snorkers, the Captain’s favourites’ (Cruel Sea)

N E Dinner Feb 18 3

Gershwin to My Fair Lady

19 Feb


My Fair Lady


Tonight saw a really good turn out from the band as we expected a visit from Head Quarters Royal Marines Band Service. Unfortunately Warrant Officer Bandmaster Ross Hunt RM was unable to visit BRNC due to a close friend’s funeral but did have time to give Sid some Orchestral Cymbals and two arrangements. He hopes to return soon to see us.

The two pieces were ‘My Fair Lady’ arranged by Cacavas and Warren Barker’s arrangement of ‘Gershwin’.  Both are excellent arrangements and both known to some members of the band.  The first part of the evening was taken up rehearsing these arrangements and everyone agreed that they are great to play. The rest of the rehearsal was taken up with some of the music we had previously looked at.

We tried out a new formation of the band today and talking to Sid he much prefers this layout.

It was very nice to see Charlotte, Jessica and Jack back in the band after their acquaint trip to the Royal Marines Band Service. I hope that you all enjoyed the experience and have the opportunity to choose this as your career.

We have the New Entry Dinner to play for tomorrow in BRNC with a small concert band. We sure are proving our worth to BRNC this year.

New Entry Weekend Cocktail Party

17 Feb



Brass Quintete Feb 18Tonight saw the Brass Quintet serenading the Mums and Dads and families of the New Entry Officer Cadets at BRNC.  As we sat up on the Poop Deck the hoards were assembled down below passing the time of day and having nibbles and wine etc.

During the evening we were visited by an old friend in the guise of Michael (Mick) Carrington and his family, as his son has joined BRNC this term as an Officer Cadet.

Unfortunately Mick is in poor health and we wish him well for the future, our prayers are with you and your family Mick.

Mick C Feb 18

Rehearsals on Monday, where we will be visited by Warrant Officer Bandmaster Ross Hunt from HQ Band Service so all hands to the pumps please.

Half Term, but the show must go on.

12 Feb

show must go on

The rehearsal tonight was a little light on players as it was half term and quite a number of players were unavailable, a couple of which were swanning it up in Cologne with the Massed RN Volunteer Band on their annual visit and ‘wine tasting!!’

Sid explained that BRNC had not discussed the date for the concert in March so he would re-submit a request for a Spring Concert, date to be discussed.

Last week Pete Johnson found himself playing tenor sax parts on his valved trombone, tonight he moved from trombone to euphonium, versatile or what!.

We started the evening off with a good march ‘On The Square’, a cracking march if ever there was one.  Sid then took us through some of the lighter pieces in preparation for next week’s dinner in BRNC.  Some old favourites were rehearsed in the form of ‘La Mascarada’  ‘Tom Boy’ to name just two.

After the coffee break we once again looked at ‘Scramble’ (I’m still not sure if I like it but Sid wants to persevere with it, maybe it will grow on me).

Next up is the brass quintet, a rehearsal tomorrow evening in preparation for the New Entry Weekend on Saturday for all the proud Mums, Dads and families visiting their Officer Cadets.


Week 3 – It’s Starting To Come Together

5 Feb

Week 3

Tonight’s rehearsal saw the band rehearsing in more depth some of the pieces previously played through in the first two weeks. We started off with Laurie Johnson’s ‘Dover Castle’ just to get our lips in.  Laurie Johnson is also responsible for many TV themes from the 60s and 70s including ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Professionals’.  We then turned a little more classical with Gordon Jacobs’ ‘Blow The Man Down’.

Before the break we started rehearsing ‘Marvin Hamlish Showcase’ which was completed after the well earned coffee break. After the big tunes of years gone by it was time to look at a new arrangement by Phil Evans of Disney’s ‘Frozen’ . Unfortunately Sid has not seen the movie unlike those of us with young children or grandchildren who may have seen it more times than necessary. Sid wants a little more time to look at the score so he can become more familiar with the songs from the film.  So we ‘Let it Go’ for another week.

The evening was rounded off by Michael Brand’s arrangement of Debussy’s ‘The Girl With The Flaxen Hair. A piece of music that takes a lot of control to play well.  Room for improvement still needed.

Looking ahead the Brass Quintet will be playing for the New Entry Weekend where all the Mums and Dads and relatives come to BRNC to see their young  Royal Naval Officer Cadets (very proud people).  Then later in the month a small concert band will be playing in the Senior Gunroom for a Dinner.

It’s starting to come together!