Dick Bouchard MBE | Memorial Concert
This article was written by Jeff Brown – Jeff was a band member in the 1960′s/70s and went on to be the Bandmaster of the Haverettes Girls Band.
“Romford Drum and Trumpet Corp members, parents, ex members grouped together at the Broadway theatre to celebrate and reflect on the life of “Dick Bouchard” the bands founder and bandmaster who sadly passed away August 2013.
Prior to the sell out concert there was a bubbly atmosphere in the theatre foyer from all that attended, even the older ex-members, some now in their 60s meeting each other for the first time since their band days.
The concert got off to a formal start with the National Anthem and a tribute to “Dick” from former band member and now President Captain James Marshall. The band then swung straight into a cracking march piece “Great Little Army” where the theatre lights hit the band, highlighting the stunning gold and green uniforms.
The concert was compered by Warrant Officer Adrian Beckett MBE, who started by introducing the present band to the members of the audience.
Bandsman Ben Widdop played a flugel solo, Neil Sedaka’s “Solitaire” with the band backing him, this young 13 year old lad had the audience in the palm of his hand.
A Mary Poppins selection was next to celebrate 50 years since the film’s release, was an eye catching idea to have scenes of the film showing on the big screen whilst the band were playing.
Julie Andrews dancing to bands music was certainly something to remember.
The bands Musical Director Samantha Barrand BA composed an anthem dedicated to “Dick” entitled Reflections. The audience grew silent as they all thought of Dick and the times good and bad (mostly good). Reflections was the theme of the concert and Samantha’s composition certainly seized the moment. This was followed by an uplifting selection entitled “Bloody Marvellous” Dicks catchphrase.
Band showed just what they could do with the next piece ”Cossack Fire Dance featuring several solo’s from members, trumpeter Daisie Foreman brought the house down with her solos, perhaps the best solo trumpeter ever heard from a youth band.
Great tunes were played by the band “Mechanised Infantry”, ”Contender”, and even Gary Barlow’s ”Sing” where members showed off their vocal skills.
Highlight of this memorial concert was a magnificent rendition of Dougie MacLean’s “The Gael.” This has to be Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps finest tune, made even more emotional when joined by the bagpipes of the Epping Forest Pipe Band, the pipes stayed for the haunting “Highland Cathedral”.
The concert started to draw to a close but not before we heard the march “Green and Gold” written by Clint Bray in 2001 and dedicated to Dick Bouchard.
Band Director Paul Binder gave a touching speech about Dick explaining his love for the band he was married to, the band was his family. One tune meant the world to him, “My Way” The band played it many times for him, most memorably at his funeral service. The entire theatre was united as one while the band played his favourite song – My way, a very emotional and touching tribute to this remarkable man.
The Bugles of 17th Tonbridge Scout Band brought the concert to a close with the bugle call “No more parades today”
A brilliant night full of music and laughter. The compere Adrian Beckett MBE was funny, witty and did a great job in helping us to remember the life of Dick Bouchard.
Band Director Paul Binder, you are doing an amazing job, and as Dick would say “Bloody Marvellous!”
Author: Jeff Brown
We have been flooded with requests for footage and we can confirm that a professional videographer was present and we will be producing a DVD of the event, click below to register your interest: