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The band really started in 1956 when Bill Sparkes, who only hung up his trombone last year at the age of 89, and three of his friends got together to form a trombone quartet under the name of the Sparkenham Trombones.
They were very successful winning 47 cups and plaques in 52 competitions. In fact they were so successful that they were accused of not being a band and also of being professionals, which they were not.
The outcome was that they were banned from competing, so the quartet decided to regularise their position and form a full band. In 1960 they placed an advert in The Citizen asking if anyone wanted to be in a brass band and they had enough replies to form a band, thus the Gloucester Excelsior was born.
Practices were held at the British Legion Hall near the Cathedral and so the band was named the Gloucester British Legion Band. Later this was changed to the Glevum Band and still later the band became the Gloucester Excelsior Band.
Over the years, in addition to playing in various parks and at fetes, the band has competed in a number of competitions such as The Phoenix Brass Festival, Coleford and the Hungerford Entertainment Competitions.
The band is very much a family band with young players attracting their parents to try their hand at brass playing and at any one time we have children and parents all playing in the band, in fact several families have enough expertise to almost form a small band of their own!
Our repertoire is as varied as the ages of the band members and covers traditional brass music such as marches, as well as classical, swing and jazz. We really enjoy playing big band music and film themes which have been adapted for brass.
We meet every friday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm at Christchurch, Heron Way, Abbeydale GL4 5EQ. New members and visitors are always given a warm welcome.
Stratford Park is a 56 acre park located just outside the centre of Stroud, with a great range of facilities to suit all kinds of recreation.
As well as the Bandstand, the park includes a leisure centre (including an outdoor pool and tennis courts), museum, play area, skate park, lawn bowling green, children's nursery, miniature railway, arboretum/woodland, lake, and free parking.
Stratford Park has a large and varied children's play area for children between 4-11 years. Set on the large grass area at the rear of the centre, the area has climbing frames, slides, swings, runways, activity frames and springers. The play area is complimented with seating for adults and children, which makes the area ideal for family picnics. The area is managed in accordance with the European play safety guidelines and is maintained by the on-site ground staff.
The park has one of the finest collection of mature trees in the area and rivals the nearby Westonbirt Arboretum.
In April 1935 the Stratford Park estate, including the grounds and mansion house was purchased by the then Stroud Urban District Council (one of the predecessors of Stroud District Council).
The bowling green and tennis courts were developed first, followed by the outdoor pool (lido) in 1937. The first head groundsman took up residence in the mansion house (now the Museum in the Park which opened in 2001).
In 1975 the Leisure Centre building was opened within the grounds of the park to provide a whole new range of leisure provisions for the people of Stroud.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.