Mini band tour to Weymouth and Dorchester

Our autumn mini band tour to Weymouth and Dorchester was a hit, with a morning boat trip, great food and drink, a sunny walk – and all topped off with our music from the movies evening concert. Flute player Declan remembers the weekend…

Band members sitting round tableThe 8, 9, 10 October 2020 had originally been down as the band’s tour to Cornwall, however due to what can only be described as one of the weirdest times in living memory, we decided to reschedule the Cornwall tour and do a mini trip to Weymouth and Dorchester this year.

Boat trips to start the day

Some band members in Weymouth

Hotel goers posing for a quick photo on Weymouth seafront

The plan was simple: meet at Weymouth seafront to start the day with a nice relaxing boat trip. As we got closer to departure time, more and more people joined the band crowd (more than 20). The rowdiest looking entrance award went to the mob of musicians who had stayed in a Weymouth hotel the night before. The mob described the previous night and seemingly had their stories straight where the restaurant ‘closed’ at 10pm, rather than them being kicked out.

Band members on boat taking selfie

Selfie time for boat group number 1 as we left Weymouth Harbour

Boat 1, the boat with almost all flautists, a clarinettist, some brass and the conductor, left on time – something that comes naturally to them just like their playing. Boat 2 seemed more relaxed on the timing. Both boats enjoyed the ride and seeing Weymouth’s historic harbour from the sea. We saw picturesque views of the Georgian seafront, of Portland and of cruise ships. Sue, our Chair, even had a go at ‘driving the boat’, while piccolo player Kerry enthusiastically commented on the surroundings over the tannoy.

Pizza, pasta and prosecco

After a leisurely stroll around Weymouth and a coffee, everyone got their Italian on and ate pizza or pasta. Eyes were darting over the table to see what people had wished they had ordered. And then there were those who went for sheer volume of pizza. Bandmaster Nick seemed keen to subject a full restaurant of paying customers to the band’s Zoom rendition of happy birthday; now you can start to see why the restaurant ‘closed’ at 10pm the previous night.

Band members eating lunch at table Band members eating lunch at table

Once full of food, we were ready to go to Dorchester to set up or have a nap, those were the options. The band arrived at St Mary’s church in Dorchester, a lovely looking church from the outside and inside. All members of the band were excited to perform live again and everyone helped set up in whatever way they could. Once set up, the band went into performance mode.

Music from the Movies evening concert

With the ladies in their dresses and the gents in their suits, we were finally ready to perform the movie classics. With Kim leading the charge, the band made a formal entrance onto the stage to a good sized and eager to listen audience.

Band rehearsing in church in Dorchester

Last quick rehearsal before the big concert, in St. Mary’s Church in Dorchester

It was obvious that each band member enjoyed playing in the concert. There were several players with solos who absolutely smashed it: flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones and percussion. There were a number of new band members who all effortlessly got into the groove of things on the night.

At the end of the concert, the band were applauded and there was even a standing ovation from some audience members. To perform music that other people enjoy is a huge reason why the band does what it does.

After packing up, with 2nd flutes signing autographs for fans and Andrew single-handedly fitting everything into his car, it was time for everyone to go home. Or for the mob to go back to the hotel before the bar closed.

A great weekend was had by all, friendships were made and strengthened, and we have stories to tell. Often, it’s easy to turn up to rehearsal on a Thursday evening and only talk to the people immediately next to you. These types of events are fantastic for getting to know other members of the band. A huge thank you to the committee for organising the trip, particularly Sue. And to Simon for putting the programme together and conducting, and to the band members who make the band what it is.

Until the next one.

By Declan on flute