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8th Annual Festival of Remembrance 

The band held their 8th Festival of Remembrance on Saturday the 11th of November at Central Church in Torquay.  This year the focus was on 'Unsung Heroes'.  The evening commenced with the entrance of the standards to the familiar tune of the British Legion March.  This was followed by an arrangement of popular war time songs, 'Keep Smiling Through'.  The first set of readings were recollections from some of the 'unsung heroes'; a typist who had worked in war torn London, a nurse who had served on the beaches of Normandy, a home guard member and a young ARP warden.  The band then continued with a selection of themes from some of the great war films which was arranged by our Chairman Ray Lloyd and a tribute to St John Ambulance with a rarely heard rendition of the St John March.  A wreath was laid on behalf of the children of Torbay by Rosie Purdy, Lizzie Purdy and Samson Spooner.  They did this to the beautiful Goff Richards arrangement of 'All Through the Night'.  The evening was complimented by yet another brilliant multi media presentation by John Spooner.

This year we were delighted to welcome back Theresa Moorin to sing for us.  Her clear and easy to listen to voice delighted the audience as well as her fantastic Land Girl outfit (complete with dirty wellies!)

The Minister of the Church lead the audience in hymn singing, more readings and prayers to remember the fallen and two minutes silence was observed with the customary bugle calls and readings.  

The band were so happy to play to a full Church once again and to know this event is needed to focus peoples' remembrance.  Although we have not had a final total from the Royal British Legion yet, we hope to be able to publish a final figure soon.  Our big thanks to all who made the event a success.  Please check out our gallery to see if you were snapped at the event.   

 


Joint Concert

On Wednesday the 26th July, we were delighted to take part in a joint concert with the Torbay Police Choir.  It is always a pleasure to join together with the Choir and this year was a great success with a full Church and much positive feedback. 

Over £800 was raised for the Choir and Band's own funds which allows both groups to function and raise much money for charities during the year.  If you missed out on this concert, the Choir will be joining with the band again for our annual Christmas Concert in aid of Combe Pafford School in Torquay.  For details, see our events diary.

 


 Spring Concerts 

 

Last Wednesday saw the band back at Central Church in Torquay to play for the Church who provide us with such a good venue throughout the year.  The band enjoyed playing for the lively and enthusiastic audience and were pleased to raise nearly £400. 

This Saturday we are looking forward to playing in Dawlish as part of the Dawlish Arts Festival.  There is lots going on so come along to hear us. 


 

Well done Garry 

Congratulations to our second horn player Garry who has recently been awarded his long service badge from the Coop for 23 years of working for them.


Cancer Research UK Concert

Yesterday evening saw the Band back at Central Church for it's first concert of the year.  The annual concert is to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of Malcolm Nellist.  This year we raised a grand total of £435 for the charity. 

The Chairman's cup was this year presented to John Spooner as Bandsperson of the year.  John was voted for by members of the band and in special recognition of the work he does in making the visual presentations which accompany the band's playing at various times in the year.  He delighted the audience with a beautiful rendition of 'Over the Rainbow'.  

We were pleased to have four new players with us last night.  It was also great to see John Reeves and Fred King in the audience and we wish Fred a speedy recovery. 

 


 


 A Grand Total

 

I am very proud to announce that this year we have raised £3,546.50 for various charities (not including the band).  This means that since the Band's formation in 2005, we have raised nearly £54,000 for various charities. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported the band and has helped us to achieve this fantastic result. 

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2017.  If you would like to know more about our concerts, please get in touch and we can keep you up to date with band events. 

 


 Christmas Concert

 

Our annual concert in aid of Combe Pafford School has raised £600.  Every year we do a concert to recognise this fantastic school where we rehearse. 

The band played a great selection of music with some new numbers which appealed to the younger members of the audience - an arrangement of pieces from 'Frozen' and an arrangement of 'The Polar Express' from the pen of our Band Chairman.  The audience was fantastic and joined in with Sleigh Ride and the congregational carols and were rewarded with a visit from Father Christmas.  The pupils and staff from Combe Pafford School formed an angelic choir under the leadership of their Music Coordinator, Karen Puffett and our resident soprano Jenny Abbott sang some new songs from the Muppet Christmas Carol and Elf the Musical.  A surprise item of alpine bells was given by our trombone player, Colin Mealing who we were pleased to have back with us after his long sojourn.

Thank you to everyone who supported this event and to Ursula Purdy who provided festive treats in the interval and Marion Farley who supported the event with a raffle. 

 


 Torquay Remembers

 


We are delighted to announce that our 'Salute to Heroes' last night raised £900 for the charity SSAFA, the UK's oldest tri-service charity.   SSAFA were the only service charity operating during the First World War and as we remember the 100 year anniversary of the Somme, it seems fitting that we were able to support them in the work they are doing.  If you would like to see more about this charity or make a donation here is a link to their website http://www.ssafa.org.uk

The band began the evening with The British Legion March and the audience were able to welcome the 13 standards present under the direction of Sergeant Dave Tribble and Mike Paul.  We continued with a fantastic arrangement of songs from the Great War arranged by Ray Lloyd, the band's Chairman.  The words from these songs were highlighted by the slide show pictures and films that John Spooner put together.  Three letters from Somme soldiers to a Mother, Brother and Wife were read and were followed by the march 'Fame and Glory'.  During this march, a list of those who received VCs at the Somme was shown.  A member of the audience commented that during this, she saw a photo of her Great Uncle for the first time.  Another of the highlights of the evening was the childrens choir directed by Jenny Abbott who delighted the audience with their songs from the war.  Two of these children then placed a poppy wreath onto the drumhead whilst the band played Handel's Scipio and Departure by Mendelssohn.  The Reverend Jon Doble of Central Church lead the service part of the evening.

There are so many people we could thank for making this evening such a success but this year the band would like to publicly thank their MD Mike Griffiths who wrote the outline for the Festival, liaised with all the standard bearers, cadet forces, Church etc etc.  He does such a great job of putting it all together and I know that he considers it an honour to be able to provide Torbay with such an event for remembrance.  He was thrilled to have a packed Church and to be able to provide such a good amount for the charity. 


The above display was done by Marion Farley of Central Church. 


  Fanfare Team

The band's fanfare team once again provided a fanfare at Buckfast Abbey for the county celebration of St John Ambulance.  As well as providing their own fanfares, the group also joined with the organist during the rendition of the National Anthem with the Gordon Jacob's Fanfare.  This is always a highlight for those in the service and for those playing!

 


 Tower House School Proms

Although we were rained off this year, the Tower House Proms was another great success. It is always a joy to play to a full house and this was no exception with not even any standing room in the school hall.  The evening began with songs from the musicals from the talented students of Tower House directed by their Head of Music Jenny Abbott.  The band followed this with some light entertainment and then a full proms with flag waving, dancing and raucous singing.  It was great to see the young people in the audience enjoying the band too.  Congratulations to Jenny on her organisation. 


 Veterans

Once again, we were delighted to be able to play for the Normandy Veterans at Beacon Quay.  Although last year was supposed to be the last parade, the veterans were on parade and stood in remembrance of their comrades at the memorial.  Both Spotlight and Westcountry News were also there as two of the veterans, and the son of another veteran who has recently passed away, were given the Legion d'honneur medals. More information about this can be found on the Herald Express site.  http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Normandy-veterans-honoured-emotional-D-Day/story-29366324-detail/story.html#Sr8lRfBCAcYyi5K7.03 

This year, due to peoples work commitments, Mike was playing euphonium and so we were grateful to Phil Watson who came and directed the band.  For those who don't know, Phil was a Major and Director of Music in the Royal Marines Band Service and is also a great friend of the band's.  

 

 

 

A small group from the band played at the annual decoration day in Newton Abbot Cemetery and below is a photo from this event.  We have done this for many years now and it is always a pleasure to be a part of it.   The Newton Abbot Royal British Legion is twinned with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Medicine Hat where there are the graves of British Servicemen who were killed whilst training in Canada during the Second World War. The Decoration Day comprises of cleaning the headstones before the day and placing poppies on all except the front two rows.  In Newton Abbot, the same ceremony takes place.   

 


 


 Central Church Concert

After a great audience at St Gregory's Church last month, we are hoping for another good turn out for our next concert at Central Church.  The Church help out the band throughout the year with various charity concerts and this is our chance to raise a bit of money for their causes.  Unfortunately, we will be a couple of players down with Mike Cox recovering from heart surgery and Ray Lloyd from a hip replacement.  We will also miss Charlie as he continues his training in the RAF but wish him every success in his future career. 


 Rehearsals Under Way 

The band have enjoyed having a long rehearsal session to the start of this year and are looking forward to our first concert on Wednesday the 23rd of March at Central Church, Torquay.  This concert is in aid of Cancer Research UK and we hope as many of you as possible can come and support this very worthwhile cause.  We have some great music planned with highlights from West Side Story, Glenn Miller, Henry Mancini.  We also have some traditional marches, film music and a beautiful meditation from the pen of the fantastic brass band composer Kenneth Downie.  Check out our gallery to see some unedited photos from our last rehearsal. 



 Happy New Year

The band would like to wish all our friends a happy 2016.  We hope you will continue to follow the band this year.  We have some great events planned so remember to check out our events page or contact Mike Griffiths or myself to get onto the friends of the band contact list.  You can also follow the band on our Facebook page. 


 Christmas Concert

 

The band love doing this fun concert for Combe Pafford School who provide us with such a great rehearsal space.  It was great to have such a large and lively audience and together we raised over £600 for the school.  For those of you who missed out... check out our picture gallery of the concert.  Thanks go to Julie Shapter who really captured the spirit of the concert under quite difficult circumstances.  


 Salute to Heroes 

We are proud to announce that our 6th annual Festival of Remembrance raised over £850 for the Torquay Royal British Legion Memorial Fund.

The band played to a full Church and this year commemorated the Battle of Britain and VJ Day.  We were particularly pleased to see many young people from youth associations and cadets and were delighted to include songs from a choir of talented young singers.

We would like to thank those who paraded the standards, and special thanks go to Paul Zaple and Jenny Abbott who helped us remember through song.  Thanks also go to John Spooner who provided the media presentation to accompany the music. I know how many hours and days he spent getting this just right.

We would also like to thank the Reverend Gavin Hancocks and the people of Central Church for supporting this event yet again as well as John Lawrence who read for us.  The whole evening was a fitting tribute to those who have fought for their country in the past and to those who are still fighting for our freedom.  

Next year, the Festival will be on November the 11th again at Central Church.  Make sure to put this date in your diary.


Last Post

Riviera Concert Brass are always proud to support remembrance services in our local areas.  In remembrance week, we have provided twelve Last Posts.  If you need any bugle calls or fanfares, please get in touch with us and we'll see if we can help. 


Sunday Morning Services

Today we were very honoured to take part in the Plymouth Royal Naval Association's remembrance service of the Battle of Trafalgar.  The Battle was 210 years a go and we were reminded of the sacrifice of the men who fought and died for the freedom of their country such as Lord Nelson.  

We always enjoy taking part in services for military associations and this marks the second service we have provided music for this year.  Earlier on in the year, a small ensemble played for the HMS Ceylon Association's service of remembrance.  We hope we will be able to help both of these groups in the future.  

If you would like to remember those who have fought in past and present conflicts, we have our annual Festival of Remembrance at Central Church, Torquay on the 11th of November.  The 'Salute to Heroes' starts at 7:30 pm  and everyone is welcome to attend.  The band will be joined by standards from many local groups and local singers Paul Zaple and Jenny Abbott will join the band in entertaining in the first part of the evening.   Mr John Lawrence will provide some fitting readings and the Reverend Gavin Hancocks will be leading the service at the end of the evening.    We look forward to seeing you for this very special event.


 Bands Own Concert

We are pleased to announce that we made over £400 for Cancer Research UK from our annual concert in memory of Malcolm Nellist, one of our former trombone players.

Ray Lloyd was delighted to present the Bandsperson of the Year Award to our band librarian Julie Gill who as well as putting up with the 'organisational' skills of our band members [yes, that's you Curly!], is always ready to back up John Reeves as part of the solo cornet row with her skilful and musical playing.  Well done Julie!

 


 

 

 


Proms Season

This year we have three proms concerts booked in the diary and if you haven't been to one yet, you only have one more chance.  The band will be performing at Coleton Fishacre this Saturday in aid of the Save the Children charity.  You can come and have your picnic in a beautiful setting whilst listening to some light music and then can take part in our traditional proms antics whilst raising money for a very worthwhile charity.

If you want to see what you have been missing, check out some of the photos from our other two proms concerts at Tower House School in Paignton and at Combe Pafford School in Torquay. 


 Normandy Veterans Parade and Decoration Day in Newton Abbot

After making way for the Royal Marines Band last year, we were proud and honoured to be asked to play for the annual commemoration service at Beacon Quay for the Normandy Veterans Club.  This year they marked the 71st anniversary of the Normandy Landings and the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk Evacuation.  Whilst standing there, it is amazing and humbling to think that 71 years ago, troops embarked from Torquay Harbour to fight for our freedom.  The event seems to grow every year and we hope we can continue to be a part of it in the future.

The day after, a small group took part in a Decoration Day at Wolborough Cemetery.  The Newton Abbot Royal British Legion is twinned with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Medicine Hat.  They carry out a similar remembrance in June each year.  In Medicine Hat, there are some hundred graves of British Servicemen who were killed whilst training in Canada during the Second World War.  The Decoration Day comprises of cleaning the headstones before the day and placing poppies on all except the front two rows.  A short service of remembrance takes place on the following Sunday.  At Wolborough, there are twenty eight war graves including three Canadians and it is very moving seeing young cadets and slightly older veterans placing crosses and poppies onto the beautifully kept graves.