As recently reported on 4BR the Oakmead School Band from Bournemouth was looking to celebrate its 60th anniversary in style with a reunion a concert.
Formed in 1959 at the Oakmead School for Boys in West Howe, Bournemouth by Head of Music, Courtney Bosanko, the event at the Hallmark Carlton Hotel in Bournemouth was a great success, with one member travelling from New Zealand whilst another turned up in full school uniform!
The assembled musicians opened the concert with his march 'Oakmead', whilst the included the band secretary, Alan Dean, who had organised all the band's overseas concert tours, as well as former teachers and many past players.
The band was conducted by organiser, John Grinnell who taught at the school before becoming Head of Performing Arts in Barnsley, as well as past players, Don Lloyd, a former Royal Marine bandmaster, Mike Dunnings and Paul Williams. Mike and Paul continue to train young players in Verwood and Downton Bands.
As one player later commented; "What a fantastic weekend. It was a privilege and an honour to play alongside so many talented players and incredible to see so many people proud of their Oakmead heritage and rekindling the spirit of the band that was a starting point for so many fruitful journeys in the world of music."
A social event allowed players to reminisce and remember both Courtney Bosanko and his successor, Colin Courtney who led the band to further success and overseas tours. Some players dusted off instruments having been encouraged to start playing again.
The talent displayed at the concert was exceptional, with players making great music from the start of the first rehearsal to the final note of the concertOrganiser John Grinnell
Organiser John Grinnell told 4BR: "The talent displayed at the concert was exceptional, with players making great music from the start of the first rehearsal to the final note of the concert.
It was clear that a number of strong friendships were formed from the great shared experiences of being in this school band and it was a wonderful and memorable occasion."