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A very Happy New Year to everyone from all at Tintwistle Band.

And firstly, a very warm welcome to our new MD, Andrew Mallon. For those who were not aware, towards the end of 2018 Sarah Groarke, our MD for the last 8 years, decided that it was time to seek challenges elsewhere both in music and in the theatre. So, in addition to the usual engagements in the run up to Christmas, we held a number of auditions for her replacement, and from a number of strong candidates we finally chose Andrew. Our first proper rehearsal with him was on Thursday 10 Jan and very enjoyable it was - especially for the bass section, since Andrew is a bass player as well as a stick wagger, so he knows all the tricks that bass sections tend to get up to!

At the same as welcoming Andrew, it is also au revoir to Sarah, and we wish her every success in her developing careers, I'm sure we will still see her around in the future. To misquote the old brass band joke; Sarah, you are very accomplished using 1 stick as a conductor, so how are you fixed using 2 sticks to help Simon on percussion for the Area contest in March? 😂

And have you seen and heard members of Tintwistle band on the recent crop of adverts for the National Lottery? They are being screened on ITV, and C4, and I believe a similar advert has been heard on Virgin Radio. The adverts were recorded back in August, in the bandroom and in studios in Gorton, with some exterior shots recorded in Handforth. Starting at 8am and finishing around 11pm, it was a very long day but enjoyable. This follows on from the Village Store in New Road, Tintwistle, which also featured in the lottery advertising late last year. So maybe Tintwistle will now be famous for something other than traffic jams between the Woodhead Pass and the M67!!!

We also held the Annual General meeting last week. As with most bands these days, there was much discussion about attracting players (especially the younger players) and trying to increase the numbers of engagements and income. However, a proposal to increase the band subscriptions was reluctantly accepted - those bandroom bills continue to get bigger.

And finally, it was a very special birthday for one of our cornet players last week. Modesty prevents me giving the details, apart from it's not her 21st birthday, but here is a picture of her serving portions of birthday cake in the bandroom. Happy birthday Christine.

And there are 3 others with the same significant birthday this year, so watch this space.