100+ musicians rehearse for massed bands concert in March

On Saturday 29 February, more than 100 local musicians got up bright and early to rehearse for our Massed Bands Celebration Concert on Saturday 14 March.

Our lead flute player Karen, tells us more…

Massed bands rehearsal in school hall

All three bands gathered in the hall at Twynham School

Christchurch Music Centre (CMC) welcomed both Christchurch & District Band (CDB) and Bournemouth & District Concert Band (BDCB) to their regular rehearsal venue of Twynham School.

As players arrived, they were tasked with finding their seat and meeting their new stand partners. A well-needed warm-up was provided by Simon (BDCB) to get everyone playing together and listening to each other. As there will be over 100 players performing together for the massed bands finale on 14 March, listening to each other will be ultra-important for everyone.

Massed bands concert rehearsal gets underway

Conductors Emily (CMC), Michael (CDB) and Simon (BDCB), took turns to conduct the full band. This gave everyone the opportunity to experience being led by different conductors, and introduced us to Emily and Michael who have recently taken over baton duties at CMC and CDB respectively.

Three band conductors

The three band conductors: Emily (CMC), Michael (CDB – right) and Simon (BDCB – front)

Michael was first and put us through our paces with Batman. Michael helped us to work on our ‘swells’ as these help to make it a really atmospheric piece. There were a few ‘solos’ at the end of the piece – each time we practised the ending, someone different managed to play during the rest – but it’s better to do it now than in the concert! It also helped the massed bands to bond through lots of laughter!

Emily then conducted a piece called MacArthur Park. We learnt that it’s important to relax for the quiet sections to give better contrast for the faster, exciting sections. Also for the double speed section, it is vital to maintain energy for the repeat, and to the end of the piece.

Simon then worked on one of BDCB’s favourite pieces, Moment for Morricone – a dramatic piece of film music which everyone enjoys playing. Importantly we need to remember dynamics but also as we enjoy playing it, to avoid overplaying particularly at the start. This will help keep the excitement at the end of the piece.


There was lots of cake to eat during the breaks!

Cake breaks

No band rehearsal is complete without cake! CMC continued their hospitality at break times, and with assistance from Bev (BDCB), supplied refreshments to keep everyone going. The gingerbread cake and the chocolate chip and smartie chunks were particularly popular!

Fantastic finale

Once we had enjoyed more cake and some conductor/band photos had been taken, we had a run-through of the three pieces in the order they will be played at the concert. As band members are mixed together, this has fostered inter-band friendships and it was great to hear how having started as three separate bands, we all came together as one to produce an amazing sound.

Get your tickets now for the concert!

Massed bands concert posterTickets are selling fast for the Massed Bands Celebration Concert. It’s on Saturday 14 March at 7:30pm at the Citygate Centre in Bournemouth – 138A Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth, BH8 8AS.

Get more concert details/buy tickets

There will be tickets on the door, subject to availability.

More about the three bands

CMC, CDB and BDCB are always looking to welcome new players. For more details visit:


By Karen on flute