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Mendlesham Marathon

Foresters Friendly Society began sponsoring the band back in 1953, and has meant that ever since we have been tasked with performing and providing entertainment at various Foresters courts all over the UK. One of our staple bookings is that of Mendlesham Village Hall, Suffolk.

Booking liaison Dawn met us on a beautiful day out in the east countryside after a three hour coach journey, ready and eager to perform.

Foresters were treated to food and drink and by 2pm were on stage. We ran some new pieces and solos, featuring Ben Smith with a Goff Richard's arrangement of Midnight Euphonium, Darrol Barry's arrangement of The Summer Knows for Rob Wilshaw on Trombone and Under the Boardwalk, arranged by Philip Harper, for Helen Parker-Bates on Flugel with a bit of help from Bbb Randy Hudson!

After finishing with Disney Spectacular, we loaded up the coach and headed back to the midlands. The extra time on the road helps us to gel and spend time together as a band, but more importantly, as friends. The addition of a band quiz always seems to spice up the journey, however we might have to begin to dumb down the questions set by MD John Davis!

The end of a long day travelling

Keeping it in the family...

Foresters Brass have also been boosted by the brace of signings in the last few weeks.

Debra Smith joining the band on Repiano Cornet has strengthened our Cornet section and joins from the Gresley Colliery band,

"It's a lovely bunch of people and the chance to be part of the band whilst pushing for promotion and to keep the good form going wasn't something I could turn down, so I'm really pleased to join!"

Another player joining the ranks is Bass Trombonist Stuart Grainger. Already having connections with the band after recently playing with the band at the Bolsover Festival of Brass, Stuart joins up with nephew Ben Smith and Brother-in-law Jason Smith. A lifelong Harborough Band player, Grainger expressed his drive for signing,

"I've always had a huge connection and love for Harborough Band, and I've given them a commitment to continue with the band, alongside Foresters duties, until the Butlins Mineworkers Open National Brass Band Festival in January 2018. However, when the opportunity came up to test myself as a player and to join the midlands top 1st section band, I had to see where it would lead."

MD John Davis praised the incoming players,

"Debra and Stuart are under no illusion - they are here to work. We're pushing for promotion. We don't want to go up to the Championship with a 6th or 7th placing at the next areas, we want to go up with a brace of wins. We've spent time reviewing the performance of both players during the time they've been helping out the band recently and it's been hugely positive. Both section leaders are pleased, Debra and Stuart add to the strength around the stands as we push for our place in the Championship section."


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