On 7th May, the last game for West Ham United was held at the Boleyn ground – home for the team since the start of the 1904/1905 season. West Ham were up against Manchester United and the band were delighted to be a part of the last ever game at West Ham United’s Boleyn ground. The band has played at this ground on numerous occasions in the past and to play one last time on such a momentous day was a huge honour. Playing before the game and at half time, the atmosphere was amazing and a show we will never forget.
Sunday was competition day – the first competition for the band this year. The Nautical Training Corps Contest 2015 was held at The Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill, West Sussex and aside from the NTC classes, they had offered an Open class which the band entered into.
We had been practicing for the month leading up to the contest and put in two extra weekend rehearsals to make use of what daylight was left of the season and the excitement of the band grew for our first competition of 2015.
The contest involved a 12 minute arena performance and the band entered to the march; Glorious Victory – more on the victory later The band formed into 3 ranks of 16 as Drum Major, George Foreman saluted to start our performance. The routine started with the march; Imperial Echoes which entailed a series of quick and slow marching as well as an array of visual manoeuvres. Moving on to something more contemporary, the band then formed a circle to play Uptown Funk (the 2015 hit by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars). Lastly, but by no means least – in fact, most in some ways – the band played Zorba which starts at around 45 beats per minute (bpm) and gradually increases up to around 190 bpm. It starts as a slow march, one pace at a time, and by the end resembles something just short of a jog – this was made famous by our friends at The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas
For the results – we did rather well! We won a collection of 8 awards including:
- Best Overall Band (Open Class)
- Best Turnout
- Best Musical Performance
- Best Visual Performance
A thoroughly enjoyable day on all counts and the band did an excellent job, with additional thanks to our Band Director Paul Binder, and the rest of the tutors, and supporting staff.
The Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps were invited to open Beating Retreat 2015 at Horseguards Parade, London which we last appeared at in 2013.
This year was themed around the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo so it had a strong historical prominence, and situated against the backdrop of St James’ Park.
The band last appeared at Beating Retreat in 2013 and we thoroughly enjoyed it two years ago, so all of the members we’re looking forward to going back for the two night event. The event itself featured music from the Massed Bands of The Household Division and a military re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Band had a 20 minute programme to put on for the audience so we combined some traditional miltary marches and a 2015 chart hit. We opened with a quick march – Great Little Army – followed by Imperial Echoes where the band started to show its experience of visual displays. Alternating sections of the band mixed slow and quick marching before breaking into a slow march – Royal Standard.
At this point, our drum section moved forward to show their precison of playing and stick movement, before the band brought things up to date with the chart it “Uptown Funk” – a 2015 hit from Pharell Williams.
Bringing the performance up in tempo, the band finished their display with Zorba (The Greek) often performaned by The Band of the Brigade of Gurkahs. It started with a very slow march, moving one step at a time and as the piece progresses, so does the tempo along with the band’s marching, where it finished at around 150-160 bpm.
The band were well received in person and on social media and the members were also full of excitement after both nights, a job well done!
”What a show, Colour, military music and precision and great entertainment. The Waterloo theme was a bonus and really made the evening go with a bang. Well done the Household Division, Britain’s military at it’s best assisted by the German marching band and the very professional marching band from Romford during the warm up.”
For more images of the Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps at Beating Retreat 2015, see our collection below:
The band returned for another year playing at the London Marathon, at our usual post – mile 23, outside the Tower of London.
The fun always starts with getting the marquee up and learning our lesson from last year, we marked the connecting section and beat our own personal best of 26 poles in 18 minutes. The day is always good fun and this year didn’t let us down, entertaining the runners – some of them even joined in – and bringing out some new pieces like: “Manhattan Skyline” (Saturday Night Fever)
This year, some extra encouragement was due as our very own Aaron Uglow (1st Trombone) ran in aid of the band. Looking well at mile 23, Aaron went on to finish in 5 H 23 mins – a great achievement.
This year we held the band Christmas Concert at our HQ in Taunton Road, Harold Hill on two nights. The performance itself was split into two halves. The first half featured some of our new and favourite pieces – to name a few:
- Mechanized Infantry (March)
- Game of Thrones Theme
- Solitaire (Trumpet Solo by Ben Widopp)
- Hey Jude – The Beatles
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
The second half had a much more festive approach with:
- Happy Christmas (War is Over)
- The Christmas Song (More Commonly Known as Nat King Cole’s Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
- Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
- Silent Night
- Jingle Bells
- The Nut Rocker (An upbeat arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Nut Cracker)
…and of course, everyone’s favourite “The 12 Days of Christmas” with the usual Audience Participation!
The band were honoured to return again this year to Hornchurch to lead the procession of future, present and past service men and women through the town centre and to the Remembrance Memorial for the annual service.
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:
The band love Cromer. It’s a chance to bond and get to know each other
After loading up the coach and minibus we arrived at Comer Junior School on monday afternoon. While the dinner ladies (Kelly, Heidi and Steve) cooked up the first meal of the week, everyone had to blow up their airbeds and unpack. Then the games and (controlled) chaos begun! The band were set up into 4 teams where they compete for points in various games – They also have duties of washing up and tidying the hall, which is of course the favourite.
On tuesday morning, we had a somewhat relaxed rehearsal for the concert we were due to perform that evening in the Church. In between shows, we were set various tasks such as the “match box challenge” and had some free time in the town while our lovely welfare staff made us lunch. While in town we had a run through some of the musical pieces at the beautiful Church that the concert was in. The concert went very well and afterwards it was back to the school for more fun and games, including seeing how fast you can eat a doughnut with no hands!
Wednesday was carnival day and we had an area performance to do. We marched the carnival Queen up to the carnival field then around the arena. We played various marches and “crowd pleasers” to boost the excitement and we were given a great reception. When doing arena performances to the public, we always select a march where the children in the crowd can come into the arena and march behind the band, which is great fun for everyone and makes a counter march tricky. One lucky person from the audience even got selected to take over the Drum Major position, and wear one of our hats! Wednesday evening was when we had the main carnival around the town. Thousands of people flocked to the streets of Cromer from all over the country to watch the carnival. It’s exciting for us to watch all of the different floats up at the carnival field before we set off.
On thursday we had the torchlight parade in the evening – So a whole day for team activities. We had the task of making our own hats for the parade as we don’t wear our full uniform for that parade. People also made good use of glow sticks on their instruments and hats which is one of the favourite parts of the carnival. All lit up with the three best floats of the carnival following us, we marched around the town for one last time before reaching the carnival field for the annual firework display which ends the carnival week. People are invited to walk behind the floats with their flashing accessories and glow sticks.
After an amazing fireworks display, it’s back to the Junior School for more games and challenged followed by bed time in preparation for packing and going home on Friday morning
Author: Claire Roseberry, Cornet Section.