Royal Marines Association
Concert Band www.rmacb.org.uk
NEW S LETTER
DECEMB ER 2013 A BUSY YEAR
The RMA Concert Band has continued to be busy. Since our last newsletter in the summer we have: performed 11 more concerts, passed the 100 mark in completed gigs since our formation in 2006, raised over £11,000 for the RM Charitable Trust Fund, achieved several full houses (notably at Bognor Regis and Romsey Abbey) and established an excellent relationship with two further Military Wives Choirs, Portsmouth and Colerne.
Romsey Abbey, setting for our September concert
It’s always good to report a full house and our visit to the magnificent Abbey at Romsey, one of the most imposing churches in Southern England, with its distinctive Norman architecture, was no exception. Not a spare seat to be had, a sell out two weeks before the concert, such was the popularity of this event. Those who could only get tickets for the side aisles behind the massive roof columns did not miss out, however, as large video screens had been erected each side and the event was filmed to ensure a decent view for everyone not sitting in the central nave. Credit for this successful concert must be shared with the popular Portsmouth Military Wives Choir: they are quite superb thanks to their able director, Ben Charles, who has trained them to a high standard. Their beautiful voices, exquisite harmonies and diction made every song come to life, one particularly stunning example being Rhythm of Life, from the show ‘Sweet Charity’, which brought considerable applause. In the first half they performed four pieces with great effect: Annie’s Song, Imagine, Vera Lynn Medley and Gareth Malone›s Stronger Together. Incidentally, that recently won the Classical Single of the Year Award at a Classic Brit Awards ceremony as the fastest selling single in six years when it reached No.1 in the Christmas charts, in the process raising RMA CONCERT BAND NEWSLETTER 15
over £500,000 for SSAFA Forces Help and the Royal British Legion – a remarkable achievement by any yardstick. In the second half they sang Wherever You Are, a song made famous last Christmas, followed by Gary Barlow’s ‘Take That’ hit, Rule the World. Finally they concluded with the soulful On My Own from ‘Les Miserables’ to more well-deserved and lengthy applause. But what of the band? The concert opened appropriately with Sir Vivian Dunn’s Mountbatten March which was warmly received by the Abbey audience: Earl Mountbatten lies at rest in this Abbey which is a stone’s throw from his home, Broadlands. Jon Yates followed to perfectly execute John Stanley’s Trumpet Voluntary taking full advantage of the pulpit to perform this stirring piece from a commanding height! Next the Les Miserables Selection, then the distinctive sound of Elaine Coker’s oboe with Morricone’s hauntingly delightful Gabriel’s Oboe. The first part of the evening was rounded off with an arrangement of Beatles’ music entitled Echoes of an Era, a selection which featured soloists Robert Scarrett (horn), Brian Allen (euphonium) and, Jon Yates (trumpet). The second half opened with a further Dunn march, the ever popular Cockleshell Heroes. Then Eric Payne (alto) played Rodrigo’s Adagio following which an arrangement of ‘Oh Praise Ye the Lord’, Laudate Dominum, brought more sustained applause. Finally the choir then returned to perform Sing, a lovely melodic arrangement by David Cole of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s and Gary Barlow’s popular song composed for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. For the finale Mac McDermott’s poignant arrangement of ‘Eternal Father’, Hymn to the Sea, was performed jointly by the band and choir before the audience
Romsey Abbey, a full house
Right: Romsey Abbey, 7 September 2013. From top: David Cole and the Band in rehearsal; the concert perfomance with the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir; Jon Yates plays the ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ from the pulpit; Ben Charles conducts the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir: David Cole conducts the concert finale, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.
was given an opportunity to show their enthusiasm during Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No.1 which of course never fails to get everyone singing lustily. In short this was a great concert which we will remember with affection for years, and given the opportunity we will gladly return to Romsey sooner rather than later. Special thanks go to Jan Blandford and Flo Flood for organising yet another magnificent meal for both band and choir, and for providing drinks and snacks throughout the afternoon’s rehearsals. Well done indeed ladies, our thanks are limitless. During September we had the honour of playing during the RMA Reunion weekend at Lympstone. During the second half of the year we also gigged at Farnham, Bognor, East Grinstead, Margate, Andover, Trowbridge and Portsmouth Guildhall, the latter as guests of the Milton Glee Choir, and in early December we took part in a charity carol concert in Glaziers’ Hall, London in aid of Treloar’s School and College for severely disabled children, deemed by all members of the band as a magnificent and thoroughly worthwhile occasion for a significantly important cause. At the time of writing we are about to travel to Southampton for a Christmas concert with the Southampton Choral Society; then across the Solent to give a concert in Shanklin, a week later to Woking to perform with the Epworth Choir, and finally back to Portsmouth Guildhall for a massed choirs Christmas concert. A well-earned rest over Christmas and the NewYear is eagerly awaited. Retirement: you must be joking! Next year is likely to be as busy and challenging but we are particularly looking forward to being invited to play at various Corps and RMA events during the 350th anniversary celebrations. However, the highlight of our year’s programme will almost certainly be our week’s tour of Malta in late May. Six or seven concerts in eight days is, of course, a demanding schedule but we eagerly await this our first ‘foreign accompanied’ trip for some years – in 2007 we were invited to play at the Torrevieja Music Festival on Spain’s Costa Blanca, which was a most interesting and enjoyable week: so we thought we should repeat our little working holiday in the Mediterranean sun. Incidentally, the total strength of the tour party is just over 90: that’s 50 band members plus various family members. Well done Andy Wood (incidentally our President’s Award winner for 2013) for masterminding the considerable number of travel, accommodation, gigs and recreation arrangements that this tour inevitably involves. By the way, for the financially curious, the band members are funding this tour themselves. No sponsorship – yet! But all offers would be very welcome. PAGE 2
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Clockwise from left: June: Taking a bow at Farnham Maltings; Paul Coker solos ‘What a Wonderful World’ at Bognor Regis; loads of brass at Bognor Regis; July: Major John Burcham conducts at East Grinstead – in a frock coat – in a temperature in the 80s.
Follow the RMA Concert Band in 2014 The list of public concerts provisionally arranged for 2014 is as follows, for further updates please see our website at www.rmacb.org.uk: Date Time Venue Box Office Saturday 2nd February 3.00 pm Worthing, Assembly Hall 01903 206206 with Portsmouth Military Wives Choir Sunday 16th February 3.00 pm Hedge End, the Berry Theatre 01489 799499 Sunday 2nd March 3.00 pm Yeovil, Octagon Theatre 01935 422884 Thursday 15th May 7.30 pm Southsea, Royal Marines Museum 02392-819385 25th May – 1st June Malta Tour Sunday 29th June 3.00 pm Bognor Regis, Alexandra Theatre 01243 861010 Thursday 3rd July 7.30 pm Southsea, Kings Theatre 02392 828282 in aid of Portsmouth Hospitals Rocky Appeal Saturday 2nd August 11.00 am Worcester Cathedral, Three Choirs Festival 01905 732900 Thursday 18th September 7.30 pm Southsea, Royal Marines Museum 02392 819385 Sunday 28th September 3.00 pm Margate, Winter Gardens 01304 210600 Thursday 2nd October 7.30 pm Winchester Cathedral (to be confirmed) 01962 857200 Sunday 12th October 3.00 pm Trowbridge, Civic Hall 01225 765072 Tuesday 21st October 7.30pm Mayfield, St Dunstan’s Church 01435 873484 Sunday 14th December 3.00 pm Portsmouth Guildhall 02392 824355 with the Milton Glee Club Choir RMA CONCERT BAND NEWSLETTER 15
Personality Profile No. 38: Lara Jelliff I was born and grew up in Portsmouth but as a young child until the age of 8, I initially took up dancing as a hobby. Appearing in several of the annual pantos at The Kings Theatre, Southsea, even at this stage when us young dancers took a break from our rehearsals, I would gaze down from the Dress Circle with amazement at the players in the pit orchestra below – thinking how wonderful it would be to do such a thing! Bizarrely I have much more recently learnt that I was watching Sid (Steve Tanner) playing his flute and saxophone and probably a few other current band members too! From the age of 9, I had the opportunity to begin learning the clarinet in school. Indeed I was immediately inspired by the incredible range and versatility of the instrument. Well-supported by my parents and family and encouraged by my teachers, who included locally acclaimed player and teacher, Rob Blanken, I rapidly gained a Hampshire Music Service award for clarinet and piano which afforded me the opportunity early on for one to one music tuition on both instruments. As a result I was able to participate in a great deal of music-making throughout my school career both in a solo capacity and as a member of school and Hampshire-based ensembles and orchestras. Gaining Grade 8 clarinet by the age of 15 and shortly after, Grade 7 piano, I went on to study music among my A levels at Havant College before studying for a joint honours degree in French and German at Royal Holloway, University of London. I followed this with an MA in German then moved nearer to home for a PGCE in primary education at King Alfred’s University College, Winchester. Over this period, however, I was never long without my beloved music and whilst gaining my teaching qualification, concurrently studied for a performance diploma on clarinet under Ian Peters. Currently as Deputy Head of a local school which celebrates its achievement in the arts through the national Artsmark Gold accreditation, I enjoy sharing my passion and experiencing the unrivalled fulfilment of motivating others through music. Indeed the range of leadership roles I have undertaken including that of Artsmark Assessor have seen me able to support others to nurture and develop opportunities for young people in music and the wider arts across a range of schools. I have also provided instrumental tuition and guidance to many players and assumed a supporting role within local youth bands. Since returning to Portsmouth after my studies, I was fortunate to benefit from many rich and varied PAGE 4
opportunities to develop my music further. Having been invited to support the clarinet section of Highbury Area Band I was encouraged to broaden my experience and branch out to the saxophone section and since then have never ceased to enjoy the challenge of discovering the sounds of a range of instruments! (Sorry, Sid’s fault once again – although admittedly in my earlier story we weren’t actually acquainted!) However, as a result I really do feel I now have an extremely broad and eclectic musical taste. I have played for a range of orchestras including the Solent Symphony Orchestra, Havant Orchestras, Petersfield Orchestra, Chichester and Winchester Symphony Orchestras, but you need to check the clarinet and percussion sections to spot and hear me! I can also regularly be found in the pit - who would have believed it! – playing for productions by local dramatic societies such as South Downe Musical Society, Portsmouth Players, Humdrum Amdram and Petersfield Players to name but a few, especially relishing the challenge and excitement of multi-reed parts! In 2003 I became a member of the REME TA band, based in Bordon and following a happy 5 year association with the Territorial Army combining music with sport, military training and recruiting, I felt both humbled and incredibly privileged to be invited to join the Royal Marines Association Concert Band. Although I initially joined the clarinet section, in my earlier years with the band I was often seen ‘hopping’ from section to section to cover for absent colleagues but since then am also grateful for the patience and encouragement of the band to enable me to learn and develop my bassoon-playing skills until a regular player could be found. Indeed believe it or not, if you made it to one of the most recent shows in which I played – ‘White Christmas’ – you would have been treated to many a low and powerful BY every night! It really has become one of my favourite pit orchestra instruments! And now... returning to my ‘home’ back with the clarinets I never cease to appreciate being able to play regularly for such a wonderful band of musicians with a wealth of musical experience which is unlikely to be matched anywhere else in the world. Indeed, whenever I come to play, whatever challenges the day may have brought, are rapidly overshadowed by the power, strength and support constantly provided by none other than the Royal Marines Association Concert Band. Thank you. [Lara is a valued, rather well-educated member of the band committee! - Ed] RMA CONCERT BAND NEWSLETTER 15
RESPLENDENT GLORY This is David Cole’s first recording with the band. Its title is taken from a new composition by a young, highly talented American composer, Rossano Galante, and this recording of it really is quite stunning: powerful yet exquisitely beautiful. The tracks are: 1. The Liberators – Ancliffe 2. Morning Noon and Night – Suppé arr Morelli 3. Prelude from the Te Deum – Charpentier arr Cole (Trumpet: Jon Yates) 4. Nibelungen March – Wagner arr Stretton 5. Resplendent Glory – Galante 6. The Admiral’s March – F Vivan Dunn 7. Prelude from the 49th Parallel – Vaughan Williams arr McDermott 8. Cavalry of the Steppes – Knipper arr Woodfield 9. The Redwoods – Galante 10. Barnum and Bailey’s Favourite – King arr Bainum 11. Linden Lea – Vaughan Williams arr Stout 12. Kingdom Triumphant – Ball arr Cole When we sent Galante a copy he was kind enough to write: “WOW! The recordings sound excellent and I’m enjoying the entire album. The performance of my pieces made me very emotional. I am so honoured; please thank everyone for me. With best wishes, Rossano.”
Desert Island Discs The long-running biographical and factual radio programme invented by Roy Plomley in 1942 is now recognised as a national icon. Possibly the reason for this is that there is a fascination about people’s tastes in music, especially if they are celebrities; and of course their selections, are intriguing if the subject is a professional musician, including members of the RMA Concert Band. Stand by for a few surprises!
Castaway No.2: Steve ‘Sid’ Tanner (RMB4175) Principal flute (see Newsletter No.6). Steve writes: 1 Overtures. I got into classical music by listening to a wide selection of them whilst I was in the Junior Wing, under training. I kept a radiogram by my bed with headphones. 2 Mozart. I especially like his piano concertos. I find them really relaxing to listen and unwind to. 3 Beethoven. All his symphonies, especially when they are played by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. However, I also chatted to James Galway after hearing him play Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic in Folkestone, shortly before he joined the Berlin Philharmonic 4 French music like Daphnis and Chloe by Ravel, and La Mer by Debussy. Being a flautist it is wonderful to sometimes have the opportunity to play this music. 5 Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. I saw the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play this work in Plymouth in the ’70s and this triggered my love of the music by this Russian composer. 6 David Sanborn (saxophone). I really like his sound and have most of his albums. 7 Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy and the Holst Suites. I like music written specifically for wind bands 8 Status Quo. I like the style of their music but I also enjoyed seeing The Who live at The Birdcage in Portsmouth as a teenager.
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Castaway No.3: Derek Usher (RMB3645) Trumpet (see Newsletter No.10). Derek writes: One of the most difficult decisions to make, if it were for real, for I could so easily select another 8x8 for 8 separate islands. However, I‘d be very happy to while away the hours with my memories and to enjoy the selection I have made here. 1 Cherry Pink featuring Eddie Calvert. Topped the charts in May 1955 and it was this that really inspired me to learn to play the trumpet [me too! – Ed]. I later learned to play the piece and performed it at a local talent competition where I came second to a bird song impressionist! 2 Stuck on You, Elvis Presley. Was one of many tunes featuring on the juke box in a coffee bar in Bude, Cornwall where I met my wife Pauline in 1960. In May 2014 - the Corps Birthday! – we celebrate 50 happy years of marriage. We spent our honeymoon at Walmer as I couldn’t obtain any leave due to being required for daily rehearsals in Deal with the Massed Bands: we later performed on Horse Guards Parade to celebrate the Corps’ 300 Glorious Years! 3 Crown Imperial, William Walton (BBC Symphony Orchestra). This has to feature in complete contrast as the piece was one of the first I played on 2nd violin on completion of training at RMSM. I was seconded to play in the Staff Band Orchestra for a Friday Night is Music Night concert, a very proud evening for me. 4 ‘Foxhunt’ Duet by Maynard Ferguson & Bob Summers – the Stan Kenton Band. There are many trumpet players I admire (including our own Jon Yates!) but this rendering alone represents complete mastery of the instrument. Maynard was a one off – I later met him at The Concorde Club in Eastleigh in 1970. Great guy: I wish I could have captured his high note secrets. Triple E’s were no problem for Maynard! 5 The Weather Song, Flanders and Swann (early 1960s). I’d need some humour to accompany me on a desert island and of the many people I admire, I absolutely loved this pair. They’d guarantee a tear to my eye. This song says it all about our British weather I think! 6 The Easter Hymn from Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni sung by Jessye Norman. This surely has to be one of the most moving and uplifting arias. I could listen to it many times over and enjoy it just as much as the first 7 Carnival of Venice by Wynton Marsalis. One of the finest exponents of the trumpet the world has known both in the classical and jazz genres and this piece is just one small example of the guy’s amazing mastery of both the cornet and/or the trumpet yet again. 8 Adagietto from Symphony No.5, Gustav Mahler. This is one of Mahler’s finest and is a most moving piece of music, just right for me to reflect upon things whilst sitting alone on my island. Such a beautiful and harmonious score – also used as the theme music for the film Death in Venice. Clockwise from right: The Dance Band, Dave Clackett leading on tenor, plays at a wedding in Wiltshire, August; Carol Concert in Glaziers’ Hall, London, in aid of Treloar’s, December; Portsmouth Guildhall, with the Milton Glee Choir and Corps of Drums, October; With the Trafalgar Drummers at Lympstone, September.
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President’s Christmas Message What a year! – with our reputation going from strength to strength after more than twenty Full Band concerts and many other gigs by our Small Ensembles. Good to see too our new Dance Band in full swing. Moreover we have raised some £11,000 for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund. Incredible to think that we have now completed our one hundredth Concert with a full house at Bognor Regis and high profile sell-out concerts too at Gloucester Cathedral and Romsey Abbey. Furthermore, we have much enjoyed working with four of the Military Wives Choirs who have added greatly to our performances. I was delighted to receive our latest CD, Resplendent Glory, another excellent album which is, not surprisingly, proving extremely popular. It is a masterly recording and great credit goes to all involved not least David Cole. Next year we much look forward to the Corps’ 350th Anniversary and already we have plans for a full and challenging programme including a week’s tour of Malta GC in the early Summer. I very much hope to be present for some of the later Concerts on the Island. None of these plans can be possible without the sterling work of Andy Wood, our Events Director, who was the most worthy recipient of my Annual Award this year. I could not be more proud of the Band’s achievements in 2013 and have no doubt that 2014 will be equally successful and rewarding. I hope that you all have a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.
David Cole presents another cheque to Lt.Col. Rich Kenworthy for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
The President’s Award this year has been awarded to Andy Wood, pictured here with Band President Sir Jock Slater, for his outstanding work as the band’s Events Director. The Brass Quintet led by Jon Yates carried out numerous commitments during the year. One significant event occurred at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes where the quintet was invited by the Churchill family to play at a special lunch celebrating the 140th anniversary of the first meeting of Sir Winston’s parents, Lord Randolph Churchill and Jenny Jerome! Apparently they met by chance while being ferried between Royal Yacht Squadron and the Cowes Week guardship, HMS Ariadne. Legend has it that her saw her dance a ‘quadrille’ which was being played by Ariadne’s band – and the rest of the story is, of course, rather significant history! For this anniversary lunch Jon Yates found and specially arranged a quadrille, a gesture most warmly appreciated by the Churchill family hosts and all guests present. Ian Thomas Our congratulations go to tenor saxophonist and band committee member Ian on being elected chairman of RMA Portsmouth branch.
Barney Wilson We offer our very best wishes to Barney who has decided to step down from the clarinet section properly to enjoy his retirement. Barney has been a tower of strength in the band since its formation and is greatly respected as both an experienced musician and a man of considerable charm and common sense. RMA CONCERT BAND NEWSLETTER 15
With best wishes for a Happy Christmas & New Year to all Band members, patrons and supporters We send our readers the very best wishes of all members of the rapidly expanding RMA Concert and Dance Bands for a very happy Christmas and a thoroughly enjoyable New Year. We look forward to seeing you at one of our gigs next year – in UK, if not in Malta. Anyone for Jesse’s Bar?!
Acknowledgements We are indebted to Keith Tellick and Stefan Ventner for photographs in this issue.
The Royal Marines Association Concert Band The Band’s own website: www.rmacb.org.uk
The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund
Behind the scene: waiting in the wings at Andover: Wendy Yates, Sian Brace, Ian Thomas, Laura Vane
www.rmctf.org.uk This recently launched RM Charity is run by Royal Marines for Royal Marines particularly those seriously wounded on current operations in Afghanistan. It aims to raise £6M by 28th October 2014 to ensure proper support can be provided to them and their beneficiaries in the short, medium and long term.
The Royal Marines Museum www.royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk The home of the Royal Marines Association Concert Band, which provides us with the world’s finest band room!
The RMA Concert Band Newsletter is published occasionally for friends and sponsors of the Band by RMA Concert Band, Building 32, Whale Island, Portsmouth, Hants PO2 8ER. Tel: 02392-651519 www.rmacb.org.uk Email: [email protected]
News and views for inclusion may be sent to The Editor, RMA Concert Band Newsletter, at the above address.
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