May the 24th saw the Band head off to Ghent for their latest tour to Belgium, the 3rd such trip in recent years. Belgium’s fourth-largest (and most beautiful) city, Ghent is home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade. An important port, Ghent’s city centre is a pedestrian area that is like a museum to early Flemish architecture and a testament to the city’s medieval might.
The band were to be based in Ghent once again, having previously visited on their tour of 2008. Despite some very unseasonal cold weather for the first concert, which had many of the band shivering and trying to find extra layers to put on under their jackets, the band performed well and an appreciative audience got to listen to an a varied programme ranging from contemporary film music such as “Mission Impossible” through to the more traditional brass band fare in the form of the medley of English/Folk tunes “A London Celebration” ; the euphonium solo “Blaydon Races” and the classical genre with the “Flower Duet” from Delibes opera Lakme.
It would not have been a band tour without the presence of Alcohol in some form, and so it was that many of the band found themselves on a “boozy” beer tasting “Boat Trip” around Ghent. More than a few glasses were enjoyed and many “extra” tastings took place in the brewery (where the trip ended) to help warm up after the concert and river excursion in the cold.
After the second concert of the tour the band were awarded this fine plaque from our contact in Belgium in recognition of our participation in their music festival.
Thanks to our deps and guests and congratulations to Ben Bishop for the “International Recognition” he received for his drumming. We are sure his fame will only continue to grow!
We also partook of many trips to local bars and restaurants to get a taste of the Belgian food and beer.
Front Row (Left to Right)
Geoff Collins (BBb Bass) — Alan Mallion (Eb Bass) — Robin Traves (Eb Bass) — Carole Spry (Eb Bass) — Ian Lanceley (Musical Director)
Trish Baker (Second Cornet) — Siân Lanceley (Solo Cornet) — Liz Hatcher (Second Horn) — Vicky Mace (Solo Cornet) — Brian Lewis (Third Cornet)— Dave Pettifer (Repiano Cornet) — Graeme McAusland (Third Cornet) — Alan Smithers (Solo Horn) — Chris Cannings (Flugel Horn) — Yvette Hutchin (Second Baritone)— Viv Lovewell (Euphonium) — Chris Willard (Solo Cornet)
Viv Lewis (Tuned Percussion) — Bob Turner (Soprano Cornet) — Emma Pettifer (Second Cornet) — Ben Bishop (Kit Percussion) — Natalie Barden (Second Baritone) — Mark Hayman (First Horn) — David Newsom (Euphonium) — Paul Bullough (Second Horn) — Richard Warren (Principal Cornet) — Rosemary Gower (Solo Cornet) — Jonathan Vokes (Solo Trombone) — Louise Arkley (Second Trombone) — Hilary Grieg (Bass Trombone)