Presentation Concert To: Mr. W. A. Scholes On His Retirement From The Kibworth Band.
January 9th 1982, At The Old Grammar School, Kibworth
Presentation Evening For Mr. W. A. Scholes
At The Old Grammar School Kibworth January 9th 1982
We are here tonight to honour a gentleman who through the years has been a friend and the best supporter the Kibworth Band has ever had.
Without this man's unfailing devotion, dedication, guidance and patience we could never have risen through the ranks to compete amongst the champions of Great Britain.
Tonight, Bill, we are going to try and recall a few memories through the years, which we - who had the honour of living through will never forget, and those members of the band who joined later find difficult to understand.
On your first visit to us on September 14th 1961, the band at that time having been without professional tuition for some 5 years, was at a fairly low ebb, and we now appreciate how fortunate we were to obtain your services, even if they were only on a part time basis.
You will remember you were still conducting one of the finest amateur bands in the country - the then Rushden Temperance Band.
After a few months of your tuition the band entered a contest at the Assembly Rooms in Market Harborough, winning both sections.
We would now like to play for you an excerpt from. . . . Moonlight on the Ulster
After that performance the members of the band realised the possibilities before them, a point you had seen and commented on several months before, to our Band Master then, Oliver Kemp.
The band continued to improve out of all proportion and develop the precision of attack and tonal quality that had been characteristic of your method of conducting and teaching.
By April 1963 the Band had reached the point where they were easily able to win the 3rd section of the Midland Area in Nottingham. Again in 1964 you repeated this feat in the 2nd Section at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester.
We couldn’t find a copy of the piece played that day but we would like to play one of your favourites . . . . Lorely (Lor-el-lie)
During this successful year the band were pleased to welcome some rev members - who - if you look round Bill, are with you tonight. At the following A.G.M. the traumatic decision had to be taken as to whether the band were ready and should accept the invitation to play in the championship section, the outcome of the meeting-being an equal amount for and against, the decision then fell on the shoulders of Mr. Jim Roach the president at that time, and we are pleased to welcome him here this evening.
We thank you Jim for your decision, the band went forth to the De Montfort Hall and won the Midland area championship at their first attempt, and became the first band in the country to win 3rd, 2nd and championship sections in consecutive years. Mention should be made at this point, that you Bill, with your great wisdom and foresight enlisted the aid of two brilliant men, your great friend the famous composer and conductor Eric Ball, and the 'wee' professor Walter Hargreaves; both of these gentlemen taking many first class and memorable rehearsals.
We would like to remember this by playing Walter's arrangement of . . . . Redetsky
Following your groundwork professor Hargreaves was able to inspire the band to a point weeks they were able to win the midland area championship for a second time beating G.U.S. Footwear band by a large total of points into 2nd place. The band that day sounded something like this . . . . Record of Bethoven’s
Performances such as this led to our appearance at the Royal Albert Hall from 1965 until 1969 without a break, gaining 13+h position on our first visit and improving to gain 6th position on our last visit. On these occasion being conducted and rehearsed by your good self, and the Kibworth band being conducted by W.A.Scholes was a force to be reckoned with on a contest stage.
Your late friend Frank Wright engaged us for many prestigious concerts in the London parks, and at a rehearsal in the local fire station for one of these concerts to be held on the embankment, you had occasion to point out to one of the younger players from the City of Coventry Band that you required the bandsmen to play on your beat and not following it.
That young man is here tonight - following in your footsteps our new M.D. Ray Stuttard. You may recall music such as this.
Numerous broadcasts followed, with probably the most enjoyable for us being 'Friday Night is Music Night', one of which had the added spice of the lights going out just as we were to start a live broadcast. Recognition of your work with brass bands came in 1970, with the presentation at Belle-Vue of the Silver Medal of The Worshipful Company of Musicians, and again in 1971, at the Royal Albert Hall National Festival you were presented with the Baton of Honour. Unfortunately, nothing can last forever and following what, in hindsight, proved to be a most unfortunate error of judgement on part of the band, we were without your services for four years.
Predictably, during these years the fortunes of the band gradually declined, until having reached crisis point three long serving members of the band took their courage in their hands and visited you with a request for you to return.
To your eternal credit, you agreed to undertake this task, although what those first series of rehearsals must have been like to you Bill, can only be imagined.
However, the old magic worked again and re-building the band by rehearsing for local contests playing such numbers as this excerpt from the . . . . New World Symphony
Bt 1977 you were able to take us to Corby, carrying off 2 First Prizes modest by the successes of the past years, but never the less impressive under the circumstances.
If you remember we played a test piece composed by your friend from the Salvation Army . . . . Resurgum
On a more light hearted occasion you again unselfishly laid down the baton for a guest conductor, you joined the horn section of the band in a 35 minute symphony of Elvis Presley music when we opened their convention at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester. We now hope to awaken some memories from that day. . . .
After being unsuccessful in contests against Coventry Imperial, we found ourselves in 1980 sharing the De Montfort Hall stage with them for the final of Radio Leicester's brass gauntlet.
Your selection of music, your directorship and the presentation of the band was soon apparent to the celebrity compere that night - Mr. Roy Castle, whose opinion was backed by Mr. John Berryman the adjudicator when we won the brass gauntlet cup, your snare drum and the soloists cup.
As you will have noticed, Bill, many old and new friends have journeyed to be with you tonight, but unfortunately not everyone could get the night off, but we have a message from a man who was impressed by both yours and your band's performance . . . . Tape recording
And now from that night we would like to play . . . . Children of the Regiment
Tonight Bill, we salute your dedication and hard work, which you proved with running the ‘Temps’ (which I’m sure George Sayer & Ernie Denton will endorse), the building of Towcester from 4th Section to Championship and all the hard work you have done through the years.
I now quote from one of your former players; “I have had 5 years with my present band but in no way compares with the 8 years I had at Kibworth”.
And from another of your players; “I enjoyed playing with a works band, but with nowhere the same spirit that existed at Kibworth”.
We would now like to play a piece of music with which you gained a First Prize at the De Montfort Hall, when your experience of musical interpretation reigned supreme . . . . Tchaikovsky’s Grand Selection
To end our tribute, Bill, we would like to turn the clock back 12 years and once again ask the Old Boys of your old brigade to play for you . . . . March
** At the end of this march Lou Mason will leave the stage to present Mr. Scholes with a book. On his return . . . .
It is now my pleasure to introduce the band’s president Mr. David Palfreyman . . . . . . . . .