One of the band’s most rewarding “gigs” to date must be on Thurs 2nd May 2013, when they were invited to play a series of instructional concerts at Treloar’s College Hollybourne Nr Alton in the heart of Hampshire.
This very special event was attended by the band’s President, Admiral Sir Jock Slater who happens to also be the college’s President too! We were therefore both very honoured by his presence, together with the band’s Chairman Major Paddy Dunn RM and his wife Annie who also attended.
The college had already decided to entitle this as “A Mad Musical May Day!” with both staff and many of the pupils dressed in suitable fancy dress to crown the occasion, making the whole day a bit of fun – as well as being a little educational!
(For more details of this wonderful place of learning for the physically disabled and just what it achieves, please see a small clip below from their more comprehensive web site which you may visit at www.treloar.org.uk )
This event will go down as being one of the most rewarding that the band has had the pleasure of playing for. Our thanks must go to their Head of Music Jocelyn Watkins who arranged the the whole day, via our esteemed bass player and “Mr Fix It” Andy Wood! Jocelyn compered the whole day’s events and we commend her massive enthusiasm throughout, to ensure that both pupils and band alike were fully alert at all times!
It was an enormous privilege to witness the sheer pleasure and intense interest on the faces of these (mainly wheelchair bound) pupils here. Most either happily sang along, waving their arms, whilst others were given an assortment of percussion instruments, (bells, tambourine’s, drums etc;) to help out our percussion section! This alone will live long in our memories!
It may also serve as a reminder – should any one of us consider moaning about our aching limbs, bad back’s etc; We all know that it will be nothing compared to what these wonderful pupils have to go through day after day and yet they still manage to achieve so much despite having to put up with the most excruciating pains imaginable!
Some of these young children had such obvious difficulties, that would make the most hardened individual weep. Yet somehow they still had a smile on their faces and really seemed to make the most of what God has dealt them.
Initially, one would think that it was perhaps a little ironic for them to happily sing along to, “What a Wonderful World!” – but on reflection, perhaps they genuinely consider their world to be so!? Who could argue?
In the 3 sessions played, the pupil’s all seemed to delight in, “Hey! Mr Miller” (A song with words that was based on a couple of well know Glenn Miller numbers!) They also loved singing along to “When you’re Smiling” too! – All of the words to the singalong songs, were clear for all to see, as they were projected on to a big screen behind the band to join in to! – No excuses!
Others they enjoyed were the themes from “Star Wars” and “Superman” and they certainly seemed to enjoy the “Theme from the Muppet’s Show” too!
The day consisted of three separate mini concerts to varying age groups and abilities. The first two sessions, were also instructional with Dave Cole explaining the various sounds and differences between respective instruments, that all go to make up the overall sound of the band. In each case, a musician from each section would ably demonstrate their specific instrument, often much to their amusement. John Hill in particular succeeded in “Hamming it up” very well on his Trombone, as did our 84 year old Albert Hall who put his Bass through it’s paces from the top to it’s very lowest note! (we thought he’d never end!)
Dave later invited one or two out to assist him to conduct the band and that clearly proved to be a very special treat for some! Particularly as they had to conduct music from the James Bond Themes and the theme music to “Bridge over the River Kwai” – featuring the piccolo playing of Keith Wishart who was forced to ably “busk” most of it, after he somehow managed to break his reading glasses there!!
The 3rd session (after a wonderful lunch provided by the College) was more of a full concert played to all of the college pupils together. This gave them a good flavour of what the band can really do and sound like.
Overall it gave us all a great deal of joy and now there is talk of us returning again sometime in December to no doubt provide a little bit of a Christmas flavour perhaps, so we can look forward to that!
We care for students with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, as well as many other physical disabilities.
Whatever their condition, our priority is to enable our students to lead as full and fulfilling a life as possible. Providing excellent medical care is an integral part of this.
In providing that care, we are able to draw upon the dedication and expertise of a team of over 30 medical staff, including therapists and nurses.
Healthcare around the clock
The Health Centre is part of the Clinical Services Directorate and is run by a team of nurses and managed by the Nurse Manager. It is a 24-hour facility that supports students while they recuperate from illness or surgery under the care of the nursing team with a minimum of disruption to their studies. As well as caring for students who are unwell, our nursing team carry out routine screening and immunisation programmes.
Our Medical Officer is a member of the local Chawton Park Practice and holds daily clinics at Treloar’s. We have an excellent relationship with the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke and one of their paediatricians runs an outreach clinic at Treloar’s each term.
Parental involvement is encouraged and the nursing team can be contacted at any time.
As well as our our own medical team, our students have regular access to visiting consultants and specialists including regular visits from paediatricians, orthopaedic; on-site auditory clinics; optician visits and access to a dietician.