Proudly supporting the Royal Marines Association reunion at the Lympstone RM Training Centre in Devon the band’s concert here rounded off their days activities and dedication parade for many 100's of former RM personnel. A packed gymanasium converted into a concert hall in the evening to seat over 800 members and guests, and judging by the many complimentary comments on completion, no one was disappointed.
Joining the band for this concert, was the Napoleonic dressed “Trafalgar Drummers” based at HMS Nelson to add an appropriate slice of drama & spectacle to the event which they did very well indeed.
Prior to the concert commencing, it was announced that our Chairman Major Paddy Dunn (below) was to step down following 12 years as Chairman of the RMA. Thankfully, Paddy also stated in his farewell speech, that he would however remain as Chairman of our band, which was a relief to us all! The amount of work that Paddy puts in behind the scenes on our behalf is invaluable and as such would be an extremely difficult person to follow – should the day ever come.
An appropriate time perhaps to say, thanks Paddy for all you have done to promote this band to date – and continue to do, to make this band the success that it is. Many congratulations too for all of the fine work that you have done for the RMA in total. Your efforts were clearly appreciated judging by the applause!
As we had a concert the very next day (Sunday 29th) in Andover, it was decided that we'd stay the night in Exeter to rest and bond in the hotel bar, before journeying on in the morning! Needless to say, (in true bandsmen fashion) we succeeded in draining the bar of all stocks until the early hours and still managed breakfast between 8 and 9 a.m! Living up to the adage of “working hard, and playing hard!!”
The concert was equally well received in the Lights Theatre Andover where (due to Elaine Coker – lead oboe – sadly cracking her elbow in an accident at work), Laura Vane, (Bassoon – right of picture) IMGP5922unexpectedly stepped into the breach to make her debut as a Solo Oboeist to play the lovely “Gabriels Oboe” and she did not let us down. A perfect rendition. Well done Laura, and get well soon Elaine. You were missed this w/e none the less!
It was also really good see our other oboe player (Sian Brace) back in the fold following a very lengthy illness. Welcome back Sian!
Two brilliant concerts once again and brilliant soloists to boot! Thanks to them all. Jon Yates, Paul Coker, Eric Payne, Bob Scarrett, Laura Vane, Sid Tanner, Michael Rice, Mal Kennard, Brian Allen, Ian Thompson, and even the boss Dave Cole on Sousaphone for our “Dixieland Jamboree” spot!
See more images below from Saturday’s Concert at RM Commando Training Lympstone including a bouquet of flowers for Paddy’s delightful wife Annie Dunn. Annie’s presentation Trombones to the ForeClarinet section Lympstone