We’re just five months into the year, about to start the summer season, and we’ve already done so much. Let’s take a look back at everything we’ve been up to.
We kicked off the year with a visit to Essex, where we were hosted by the prestigious Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps, as they taught us their style of music on the march in preparation for our performances at the Harrogate International Youth Festival in April.
With just over a week until the trip, we took the opportunity to visit our friends, the Band of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, an Army Reserve Band, at their Barracks in Canterbury. A day well-spent working hard on our drill, aesthetics and music with professional military musicians.
Before we knew it, Harrogate was upon us and we embarked on the tiring six hour coach journey up to Fan Wood Campsite in Spen Valley, West Yorkshire. The following day was a first for all of us – the first time we’d marched in public with our new instrumentation, and with our smarter ties on instead of our traditional green-and-white scarves.
We were very well-received by large audiences at both the Easter parade through Harrogate town centre and in concert in front of the Victoria Shopping Centre. Our third and final performance took place at the stunning venue of Harewood House, a grand country home, with perfect weather to top it all off. The night was marked by two birthdays in the band and of course a band party.
Our last day was spent at the campsite, doing some ‘Scouty’ activities, low ropes and archery, succeeded by a colossal campfire in the evening.
Just three weeks later, the Band was back out in Tonbridge, proudly leading the St. George’s Day Parade up the High Street and onto the Castle Lawn, providing musical entertainment as Tonbridge district Scouts and Guides paraded in front of a packed crowd.
Senior Drummer Katie had the honour of playing in the Combined Corps of Drums at the National St. George’s Day Parade at Windsor Castle – meeting Bear Grylls and UK Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt in the process!
St. George’s Day was our first big recruitment drive of the year, complete with goody bags and leaflets. As a result, we took on a record nine new members. Welcome to the Band, Ben, Isobel, Olivia, Fern, Kit, Rose, Lucy, Mia and Holly.
We’ve also launched a brand new Cadets section so that we can take members from seven years old, which is growing steadily and now up to around 10 young members learning the basics of music and rhythm every Saturday morning.
At the beginning of May we celebrated the 70th Anniversary of VE Day as a selection of our senior musicians played Sunset with the Clefhangers Big Band, accompanied by standards from the Royal British Legion, at a sold-out community event at the River Centre in Tonbridge. It was a massive thrill & an honour to march in and out of the venue to such a huge round of applause.