March was a busy recording month for the ISB, with 2 recording projects being progressed. The first weekend in March saw us back at Henry Wood Hall in Borough, a superb facility where the band's sound is made the most of. To record both Friday evening and all day Saturday is challenging both physically and mentally, but the band always seems to produce the standard required from the BM. This time, the recording sessions were of the 1960s repertoire for the next CD in the historical Heritage Series, Volume 4. Among the pieces recorded were The Holy War, The Present Age, Never Give Up and Wonders Begin When The Lord Comes In. This decade certainly was a productive one in SA musical terms, and has led to the production of a double-album, one CD containing new recordings and the other 'lifted' from previous CD recordings. Towards the end of the month, a Wednesday evening session at HWH progressed the next ISB 'current repertoire' CD including pieces that we have featured in recent festivals and weekend visits.
Our monthly visit this month was to Leeds West Hunslet, home corps of our own resident Yorkshireman, Lyndon Moorby (1st Trombone), who is also the Songster Leader there. The Saturday night festival in Morley Town Hall was well-attended and well-received by the local audience. Sundays meetings were memorable for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the particular privilege for us all, both band and corps, to have General Shaw Clifton (R) with us to lead the weekend's meetings. His presence arose from the indisposition of Major Noel Wright due to recent surgery, and Major Wright rests easy in the knowledge that we had to find a General to replace him! The General's spiritual leadership and fellowship with the band will be long remembered.
The weekend also saw a temporary replacement for Bradley Turnbull (Bass Trombone), who has left the band due to family and work commitments. His place at Leeds and for the next few engagements was taken by James Case from Bristol Easton, who slotted into the vacant space admirably. Brad will be very much missed, both for his playing ability (he sat in every seat on the trombone section during his career with the band, which must be some kind of record!), his encyclopaedic musical knowledge, and for his occasional dramatic Children's Story on away weekends. During March, Rob Hayward of Birmingham Citadel (Percussion) was officially appointed to the band, although he has been playing with us now for some months. Assistance from Gavin Lamplough (Soprano/Solo Cornet) and Martin Blessett (BB Bass) was also much appreciated for the Leeds weekend.
The band is now looking forward to a Mini-Tour of Switzerland at the end on April. We will be participating in a major brass banding event, including a Gala Brass Band Concert, as well as visiting several towns where we will present concerts, lead meetings and open-air festivals. More details of this will follow.