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The Railway Swing Band consists of a mixture of Professional musicians, serious amateur musicians and players living with a 35 mile radius of Deal. Their ages range from 13 to 87.They are proud to have built up a local reputation by raising money for local charities which, they feel is a constructive result of their music making. Many local charities have benefited from the proceeds of their concerts, to date we have raise over £240,000 through our music making.
The band’s first rehearsal was on Wednesday night, 26th August 1992 in the back room of the Railway Public House, Walmer (whence their name originates.)
Jon Yates (then Principle cornet of the Royal Marines School of Music, Deal. Now retired from the service and Professor of Cornet at RMSM Portsmouth) was asked to take charge of a rehearsal band in the hope of fulfilling a few local musicians longing to play Big Band music. The music played at the first practice was Elmer’s Tune, A Little Street in Singapore and A String of Pearls. The overall sound and balance of the band was excellent and has remained so ever since.
Because of work commitments, Jon asked Dave White (a former member of the Royal Marines Band Service and long-time friend) to take over the running of the band and he has been in “semi-control” of this unruly bunch of musicians ever since.
The band still rehearses on Wednesday evenings but now at Bay Point Sports Club.
The band plays a mixture of music of the great Swing era: Ellington, Goodman, Basie, Miller, Kenton and Herman to name just a few with some more modern compositions thrown in too.
A standard Big band consists of 17 players, the RSB have 22 Saxophones, 8 Trumpets, 5 Trombones, Drums, Bass, Keyboard and 2 Guitars, plus up to 3 vocalists. A Big Big Band in every sense of the word and East Kent is extremely fortunate to have them performing for local charities.
On 22nd September 1989 the IRA exploded a bomb at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal that killed 11 Musicians and seriously injured 11 more. The Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust (Registered Charity No 1045095) exists to maintain The Memorial Bandstand (built in 1993) to stage a serious of 'free' public concerts on the Bandstand between May and September each year.
The Memorial Bandstand Trust is managed by a Board of 4 unpaid Trustees and a Committee of 14 volunteers, each of who bring significant experience and expertise to assure the competent governance of the charity and successfully stage concerts for the benefit of the public.
The aim of the concerts is to keep alive the memory of the 11 Royal Marines Musicians who were killed by the bomb. The Deal Memorial Bandstand is seen as a 'living' Royal Marines Memorial to those who died.
The Deal Memorial Bandstand is located on Walmer Green in Deal. It is a memorial to the 11 musicians killed when the Royal Marines barracks was bombed on 22nd September 1989. Eleven of the twelve-sided structure have engraved tablets bearing the names of those that lost their lives.
Concerts are performed on Sunday afternoons from May to September each year, commencing at 2.30pm. We also hold a Carol Concert each December.
The concerts are free of charge, as are the chairs, although we do hold a collection and sell raffle tickets to cover the costs of hiring the bands and towards the upkeep of the Bandstand.
We also have a Bandstand Chaplain - The Reverend Seth Cooper who is the vicar of St Marys and St Saviours churches in Walmer.
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