WOLVERTON TOWN BAND

The oldest brass band in the Milton Keynes area

THE END OF A BUSY AND SUCCESSFUL YEAR

22 December 2012. As another year comes to an end, we must say a huge thank-you to both everyone in the band and all our supporters for another year's brass banding and for a very busy festive period. It's been an excellent year. We've attracted some new members, got our name out and about and performed more than we did in 2011. We're starting to be in demand! It certainly looks as if things are coming together so here's hoping 2012 will be a springboard to even better things in the future.


Here's to a merry Christmas and we send our best wishes for a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year.


The band's first practice of 2013 will be on Monday 7th January.

PLAYING ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

22 December 2012. The band will be making its traditional appearance playing round the Christmas tree in The Square in Wolverton on Christmas Eve. We'll be there between 2 and 3:15pm, bringing some festive cheer to shoppers out and about on the last day before Christmas.

STOMPING AND PLAYING AGAIN BRINGS RESULTS

22 December 2012. The response to our second night of stomping and playing round the streets of Wolverton on Thursday was great, thanks to the generosity of the people of the town. One lady said she only thinks of Christmas starting once we’ve played down her street! An encouraging and friendly comment. Thanks to everyone who took part on what was a dreary evening.

WELCOME TO OUR LATEST NEW MEMBERS

18 December 2012. Welcome to Chris, Beth and Scott. Chris plays front row and was previously in a 'big band' style band in Luton, although he lives in Wolverton and works in London. Beth has moved to the area to work at the Open University. She plays the euphonium and used to play in a band in the north. Scott is a clarinetist who is up for the challenge to learn the bass.


We hope to see more of all of you in the future.

STOMPING THE STREETS OF WOLVERTON COMES UP TRUMPS

18 December 2012. As is tradition, the band plays round the streets of Wolverton bringing some festive cheer to local residents in the run-up to Christmas. Last night was the first of our two nights stomping the streets. We were given the occasional round of applause, some people came out to take photos and received some great compliments: "The highlight of our Christmas."

FROSTS RETURNS TWO DAYS ON THE TROT

17 December 2012. The band played at Frosts Garden Centre again yesterday, making it two days in a row. We performed at a private event after the centre closed to the public and it was made available to the staff of a local company who could use the ice rink, etc.

AVOIDING THE FROST AT GARDEN CENTRE GIG

16 December 2012. We had the luxury of performing in the warm indoors at Frosts Garden Centre yesterday, which made a change for the band's activities in the run-up to Christmas. David had forgotten we were inside and turned up fully prepared for rattling a collecting tin outside, so he was wearing five layers of clothing - some of which soon came off!


Many thanks to everyone for bringing some Christmas cheer to the day, especially those who were there for both the morning and afternoon sessions. The shoppers were very generous and we also received some compliments: "Excellent, thanks very much." "It was so nice to hear the music when we came into the store." Photo Gallery

STACEY BUSHES CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY EVENT

15 December 2012. Thanks to everyone who attended and played at the Christmas community event at The Meeting Place community centre in Stacey Bushes last night.

SECOND SUCCESS AT TESCO

15 December 2012. Our second stint outside Tesco on Thursday evening was another success - albeit a bit chilly. Many thanks to everyone who played and collected, and special thanks to the generous shoppers. Well done everyone.


Photos are in the Photo Gallery.

WOLVERTON LANTERN FESTIVAL

12 December 2012. The band took part in the annual Wolverton Lantern Festival last Saturday evening. We got a fantastic reception from the crowd. It was cold but the organisers brought us mince pies and hot drinks!

Following the band's performance, we received a thank-you note from the organisers: "I just wanted to thank you all for playing at the Lantern Festival last Saturday. You did a sterling job despite the cold, and everyone who dealt with you said how friendly you were! 

Many thanks once again, and a Merry Christmas to you all."

SUCCESS AT TESCO

7 December 2012. Playing outside Tesco on Thursday evening proved very successful. It was a change from our usual weekend stints in previous years but it went well with some festive Christmas music and happy shoppers. There was a good turn-out so a big thank-you to both players and collectors. Well done everyone.

THANKS FROM PEOPLE AND PETS

3 December 2012. Following the band's performance at the recent People and Pets Christmas Fair, we've received a thank-you note from the organisers: 'A note to say THANK YOU very much for your excellent performance on Sunday. We had lots of complimentary comments (on your behalf). We are intending to host other events (in warmer, dry weather!!) and hope that we will be in a position to ask the band to perform again. Once again, thank-you.'

PEOPLE AND PETS

25 November 2012. The band brought some festive spirit to Bradwell Abbey this afternoon, playing Christmas tunes and carols at the People and Pets Christmas Fair. It was chilly so hats and scarves were the order of the day. Fortunately, we were only playing for an hour! It was nice to see Cherry again and good that Perry had recovered enough to be there. Thanks to both for rattling tins. A small amount was collected. Photo Gallery.

REMEMBRANCE DAY

11 November 2011. Congratulations and many thanks to everyone who took part in the Remembrance Day parade earlier today. It was a excellent display with everyone in uniform again. Special thanks and well done to Heidi who played The Last Post and the Reveille.


Have a look at the photos in the Photo Gallery.

ARMED FORCES CELEBRATIONS

22 October 2012. The band participated in the armed forces celebrations at the stadium:mk, which took place during the MK Dons' match against Stevenage.

The event included the Army, Navy, Air Force and British Legion, and the band played during half time.Photo Gallery.

CHERRY BOWS OUT AFTER 10 YEARS

27 September 2012. The band recently said goodbye to one of its longest-serving and most stalwart members, Cherry Harris, who retired after 10 years.


Cherry first wanted to play a brass instrument (the French horn) when she was 12 but she was told she didn’t have enough puff! It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she discovered brass bands and found that she could learn to play for free. She leapt at the chance and was taught on the baritone by Perry Harris in Bradwell Silver Band. She admits that she wasn’t a natural but she enjoyed learning and playing. In fact, she got on so well with her teacher, she married him!


Unfortunately, Cherry developed ME in the late 1990s, and had to stop playing for a while. By the time she was able to go back to playing, Perry had moved on to Wolverton Town Band, so she joined as well in around 2002. The band’s numbers fluctuated quite a lot over the 10 years Cherry was a member and, at one time, the number went down to about six with occasionally only Perry and Cherry turning up on practice nights!


Cherry experienced both good times and bad with the band, but she did her bit by taking on the secretarial duties once or twice during her membership, and doing what she could to teach new learners. When she first joined, the band was contesting (possibly 3rd or 4th section) but, as numbers declined, it had to stop. Actually, Cherry was quite pleased as she didn’t like competing, being of a nervous disposition!


In her last couple of years with the band, Cherry found she could play the cornet far better than the baritone so she moved to playing 3rd cornet instead of 2nd baritone, and enjoyed it as well.


After a few flare-ups of her ME recently, Cherry decided to direct her energies to other things in her life. But, although it’s not long since she hung up her cornet, she already admits to missing the other players, their wonderful senses of humour and their ability to enjoy playing together. However, she doesn’t miss the ‘hassle’ of having to get ready to go out in the evening – which she confesses is her worst time of day - or practising when she really doesn’t feel like it!


She expresses her thanks to Peter Thompson and Liz Sunasky who took over the band’s secretarial duties between them, as it finally released her from responsibilities that she was finding difficult.


Cherry will continue to support the band when she can and, with Perry still being a very active member, she will continue to have contact with everyone. She hopes that WTB grows from strength to strength and wishes everyone who plays in it all the best for the future.

Cherry sends her thanks to everyone for the beautiful sunflowers presented to her on the night she retired. They are such gorgeous flowers and are still going strong nearly two weeks later!


Everyone in the band sends their best wishes to Cherry and we all hope she enjoys her thoroughly-deserved retirement.

CAR SALE BOOTY

3 September 2012. Thanks to David for doing the car boot sale yesterday at The Bowl, which raised £53.50 in aid of band funds. Thanks also to everyone who donated items. David is now pleased to get his garage back!

IN SUPPORT OF WOLVERTON TOWN FC

26 July 2012. It was a lovely summer's evening last night and the band played at an exhibition match between Wolverton Town FC and an MK Dons XI to celebrate WTFC's move to a new ground. Everyone played well (band and football teams) and we benefited from the publicity. We also received some positive feedback from the club. However, the bucket collection only raised £13.08!


See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

PLAYING TO CELEBRATE THE IRON TRUNK

22 July 2012. The band had a successful afternoon playing in the celebrations to mark the refurbishment of the Iron Trunk aqueduct, which is part of the Grand Union Canal. We played in beer garden of The Galleon pub, alongside the canal, and in the sun! Much too hot for jackets and ties. The band played various sessions and lots of jolly tunes between 1:30 and 4pm. Many thanks to everyone for such a good turnout.


See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

BAND SOCIAL THANKS TO PETER AND MARGARET

22 July 2012. Many thanks to Peter and Margaret for hosting the band social yesterday, after the recent wet weather made Emberton Country Park out of the question. It was sunny and warm and everyone had fun - especially on the electric mobility scooters! Thanks also to everyone for coming and for all the contributions of food and drink. Hopefully, we'll have more social events in the future.


See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

SPORTS DAY EVENT, WOLVERTON PARK

14 July 2012. Thanks to everyone for the very good turnout at today's Sports Day Event at Wolverton Park, which took place in view of the new award-winning apartments near the railway station.The band did two slots at 12:30 and 3:30pm. The weather kept a lot of people away but it turned sunny in the afternoon. Fortunately, the band was able to keep dry under its own little grandstand!


See the photos taken at the event in the Photo Gallery.

FACEBOOK - A NEW FACE FOR THE BAND

11 July 2012. We're busy revamping and updating the band's Facebook group page at the moment. There's still quite a bit of work to do but have a look at the fab photos that have been added recently - Wolverton Town Band.

IT'S IN THE SQUARE

7 July 2012. Many thanks to everyone who played at our session (12 - 1) at today's 'It's In The Square' event, Wolverton's one-day annual summer music and dance festival. It rained but we were under cover (sort of) and the worst of the downpour held off until just as we were finishing.


Lots of complimentary remarks and applause, especially from a local vocal drunk! Photos taken at the event are in the Photo Gallery

NEW PHOTOS ADDED TO THE SITE

26 June 2012. Photos of both the recent Wolverton Twinning Trip to Ploegsteert in Belgium and yesterday's Royal Garden Party in Henley-on-Thames have been added to the website. 


Lovely weather on both occasions, marvelous hosts in Belgium and a close-up of Her Majesty the Queen at Henley.


Have a look at the photos in the Photo Gallery.

RAISING MONEY IN THE SUNSHINE AT FROSTS

19 May 2012. Thanks to everyone who played and rattled a collecting tin during the band's performance outside Frosts Garden Centre today. It was a bit breezy but the sun shone and the shoppers were very generous. It was good to see everyone in uniform and our new pull-up banner gave us some great publicity.


A fantastic £181.94 was raised for the band's coffers and we received some very complimentary comments. See the photos in the Photo Gallery.

NEW LOGO CONTINUES TO SPREAD ITS WINGS

8 May 2012. The spread of our new logo continues with our new pull-up display banner, which should be delivered in time for our playing and fundraising at Frosts in Woburn Sands on Saturday 19th May. Photo of the new banner to follow.

BAND INVITED TO ROYAL GARDEN PARTY

1 May 2012. We've been invited to a royal garden party! The Lord Lieutenants of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are planning a major, three-county event to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.


The event will take place on Monday 25th June on the banks of the River Thames, near Henley-on-Thames, and will be attended by both HM The Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. It will take the form of a garden party and 4,000 people from across the three counties, representing all walks of life, have been invited.


The garden party will include a specially commissioned river pageant celebrating the role that theThames has played in the social and economic development of the three counties over a thousand years. There will also be displays from both the business and voluntary sectors.


The preparations, already well under way, promise to produce a splendid occasion and an appropriate celebration of a remarkable anniversary. 110 voluntary organisations from across the county have been selected to attend, and Wolverton Town Band is the only local brass band to have been asked.


We'll be sending two representatives; Perry Harris, who has been with the band for 10 years, and Paul Welch, our new Musical Director.

WELCOME BACK TO A FAMILIAR FACE

7 April 2012. The band welcomes back Susan who used to play with us until about a year ago and is now in a position to do so again. Susan is also a keen Girl Guider and has a wicked sense of humour! She is re-joining us on solo horn and Liz has very kindly agreed to try solo cornet to give Bob a hand.

PERFORMING AT FROSTS - SATURDAY 19 MAY

31 March 2012. The Band will be playing outside Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands (Newport Road MK17 8UE) on Saturday 19th May from around 10am to sometime in the afternoon.


Refreshments will be provided at lunchtime and we'll be able to rattle our collecting tins and raise some money for the band's funds. All band members are asked to let Cherry know of their availability as soon as possible. 

NEW LOGO FINALISED AND READY TO FLY

25 February 2012. After the band decided last month to change its logo and move to something more striking, the new logo has now been agreed and finalised.


Here it is!


Many thanks to Liam and David who did the technical and design work on it. The new logo will be introduced gradually over the next few months but is already featured on Twitter, press releases, etc.

CAR BOOT SALE BOOTY

17 February 2012. To raise some extra money for band funds, we plan to have a stall at a car boot sale - when the weather gets a bit warmer! Everyone is asked if they could hunt through their lofts and garages for one or two good quality items that could be sold for a few pounds. 


If everyone contributes, we should get enough for a reasonable stall. David has volunteered to collect any contributions at Monday practice nights and store them until he fancies getting up early one Sunday morning!

OUR SEARCH FOR A NEW MUSICAL DIRECTOR IS OVER

16 February 2012. Our search for a new Musical Director is over after Paul Welch has agreed to take on the role.


Paul is highly experienced and respected in the world of banding and everyone is looking forward to him being part of the band's future development. Paul started playing the trombone at the age of 13 while at school, where his instrumental teacher encouraged him to take part in music courses all over the country.


After he left school, Paul joined the Band of Her Majesty’s Irish Guards. He served for 24 years travelling all over the world, playing in concerts and taking part in broadcasts, marching displays and tattoos. The last three years of Paul’s service was as Band Sergeant Major.


Paul also spent 15 years as a peripatetic brass teacher with the London Borough of Croydon, and was the Musical Director for a local Boys’ Brigade band, which he coached to win the national championship.


After retiring from the army, he was a frequent guest conductor for Eynsford Concert Band, a group of professional and semi-professional musicians based in Kent. Paul conducted the band both in this country and on tours abroad - most notably two trips to music festivals in Malta.


Paul joined the band after he saw an article about it in a local paper.

NEW LOGO COMING

8 February 2012. At the recent band meeting it was decided to introduce a new logo - something more modern and more striking. The basics of the new design have been agreed but not quite finalised. The phoenix is about to rise. Watch this space!

TWITTER TAKES OFF AND FLIES

8 February 2012. We set up a Twitter account in early November last year and have been tweeting to publicise our events and activities ever since. We ended the year with nearly 70 followers and had over 120 by mid-February - mainly other brass bands across the country and people interested in brass band music.


Twitter is now an important method of communication for the band and it's  sometimes the quickest way of finding out what's going on. It would be good if more band members could make use of it - so, if you have a Twitter account, please follow us @WolvertonTBand

NEW YEAR BEGINS WITH MORE NEW MEMBERS

29 January 2012. Welcome to Paul who plays the trombone. He played about 20 years ago and hopes to take it up again. Welcome also to Sarah and Tim (cornets) who played some years ago with Stantonbury Brass. We look forward to seeing more of you all on Monday evenings. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

1 January 2012. Happy New Year to everyone and here's hoping for a successful 2012. A reminder that the band's first practice of the year will be on Thursday 5th January.