It’s that time of year again, Flora Day is once again upon us - the senior band have completed their final rehearsal before the Flora Day fortnight, the beginners group have worn out the band room tarmac, and the usual mad scramble to locate enough blue jackets has ensued. For the first time in what seems an age, the 10 day forecast looks pretty good
for My the 8th, but let’s not get carried away just yet…..
In previous years I have written a ‘Flora Day Diary’ but as it was becoming increasingly difficult not repeat myself, this year I will be providing simple updates to each event we attend and of course a full write up of the big day itself - obviously with any interesting side notes or occurrences that may take place.
I will begin with a quick recap of the last 12 months.
An emotional finish to Flora Day 2013 saw MD John Hitchens stand down after an incredible decade of success at the helm of the band. The crowd and band reaction at the end of the 5 o’clock dance was really something special.
John’s departure ushered in a busy and transitional year for HTB.
The band began the post John era on the hunt for a new Musical Director, which ultimately led to the appointment of Derek Johnson. Derek led the band throughout the summer season as well to the SWBBA contest in November and he continued in the role until the end of 2013, also helping to establish the Helston Town Concert Band during his tenure.
During this period the band also appointed a new principal cornet in the form of talented 14 year old Andy Wingham, this followed Demelza’s regrettable but understandable decision to move to Camborne band.
The New Year saw a new man in front of the band, January saw RAF musician Jim Gribben take over the reins on a temporary basis and lead the band to the West of England Regional Championships. Jim made an immediate impact on the band with his enthusiasm and obvious musical ability. Our appearance at the West of England Regional Championships gained a mid-table finish thus securing the bands national 1st section status until at least January 2016.
Jim has now moved to Oman to take up another post with the RAF and we sincerely wish him well in his new career.
The band also saw the departure of some well-known players, as well as the afore mentioned Demelza, Louise Williams and Kathryn Stinton decided to take a break from banding and top young percussionist Justin Strike also made the move to Championship section Camborne. Justin has recently been successful in attaining a place in the Nation Youth Band of Great Britain where we wish him every success.
I also took a 7 month break from the banding world, but am delighted to again be back with HTB.
The band also welcomed back some old faces – Ann Pascoe, Lowenna Christophers, Ben Martin (who will play the bass drum this year) and Gavin Pascoe made their full time returns to the band. HTB also welcomed Shaun Carter, Katy Wilson, Steve Matthews and Hannah Matthews into their ranks, all of whom have made a positive impact on the band.
Long term, the band has some very exciting news about the appointment of a new full time Musical Director……..but you will have to wait to find out more about that one!
So that, in a very small nut shell covers the last 12 months.
Our fortnight, as tradition dictates, begins with our trip to Culdrose this evening to help rehearse those naval dancers who will be taking part in this year’s Midday dance. Check back tommorow for an account.