Day 4 of our adventures focussed on the drum section with the drum throw down and the march parade where the Drum Major had his work cut out. all was good but I'm afraid no flag dancing today!!
Day 3 saw the band take to the arena to perform the biggest routine of their lives, this was followed by boogying on the dance floor!!
Day 2 of our adventures was all about the funk and lots of it. Uptown funk was the tune of the day!!
Day 1 our of trip saw lots of great moments, and getting into the spirit of the week ahead. Let me entertain you was the song of the day!!
Before the blog moves into the activities of today, we would like to reflect on what we have achieved, experienced and learnt over the past five days. Six months ago the band was still waiting for the WAMSB information and application packs to be issued. No-one knew what the competition requirements, travel arrangements or sleeping arrangements would be.
This did not stop the specially convened Denmark Committee from getting to work and having the foresight to consider what could be required. Many hours, if not days of people’s time was invested in competition routines and music, travel arrangements, wardrobe, fund-raising & sponsoring and catering.
During this time the band’s players, young and old, supported the preparations right up to the wire.
And when we arrived and performed in Copenhagen, our playing members repaid that investment of time, resources and money through their spirit and professional approach. The band have constantly heard the support from the WAMSB judges and organisers, and GDSB has put the UK back on the Marching Band World Stage, which is something we must be very proud of.
Rise & Shine and Clear Out – The adult members woke from the little sleep they were permitted to have, to oversee Operation Clear-out. Young members were woken and had a modest time to get up and get dressed. Young members were assigned to a leader who helped supported them in packing away and ensuring their hand luggage for the plane did not contain restricted items. Our logistics team, ably assisted by the leaders loaded the van so that there would have been room to load at least three cub scouts as well.
The band worked really well together to sweep, tidy and return the classrooms and common room areas back to their pristine magnificent condition that it was when we first arrived.
Copenhagen by Water – Tranquil and Full of History - The coach collected the band from Brondby School for the last time and travelled into the centre of Copenhagen, pulling up in front of the parliament buildings. A short walk across the main roads exhausted our eyes and necks as we constantly looked left and right to spot cars and cyclists emerging from many roads. The band stopped at a river boat mooring and took in the scene…cars and buses nose to tail, and as many cycles as motor vehicles passing by.
Our open deck boat arrived and set off to journey through the waterways around Copenhagen. The person who designed the bridges must have been a oompa-loompa…..standing on the boat gets your head chopped off.
Our guide described the sights in both English and German….some of the highlights being:
A band member took the opportunity to get a picture of TYMBA bear and ‘Mavis’ (our mascot cow) within the court yard, when a Japanese tourist imposed on the photo-shot with his own selfie-stick.
Leaving a memento – During our excursion on the River, a band member felt the urge to leave a present to the people of Copenhagen to remind them of GDSB’s visit to their city. The said present happened to be her hat which said its goodbyes and jumped into the water.
Souvenir Buying - After a bit more sight-seeing we were dropped off at the beginning of one of the main shopping districts. In their teams, the band descended on the souvenir shops, ice cream stalls and waffle stands, as they made their way towards the town hall. Our coach was waiting at the other end of the shopping district ready to take the band on its final journey to Copenhagen airport.
Airport - After a spot of lunch, the band moved through the airport towards gate F5. Our journey coming to and leaving Copenhagen had one familiar annoying trait. It is believed that Ryanair were aware of our group travelling on the flight therefore annoyingly announced the flight was boarding one hour before the scheduled departure. Cue the 100m dash, a scene that looked like the McAlister family from the film Home Alone rushing through the airport, only to find…………the plane had not yet arrived the gate!!
Journey Home - The flight was a quiet affair with not much coming from the band…..much needed catch up on sleep was taken advantage as we sped towards London Luton airport. Our coach was waiting to ferry the band back to Roade village, with the excitement of getting home growing with every minute.
A Warm Welcome - Upon turning into Bailey Brook Close the band were pleasantly surprised to see a welcome party complete with banner and family members eagerly waiting to see their loved ones. As the band departed the coach, said their hellos and goodbyes, the Copenhagen 2015 team went their separate ways, with the memories of their experience and laughs fresh in their minds
Gentle Starts….A Common Theme and Saying Thank-You – This morning was like many of recent days, the opportunity to sleep in and catch up on rest to counter our late nights. With all our competitions now finished, the band set its sights on going to the Brondby Stadion to watch the WAMSB Finals and Closing Ceremony.
This morning, members of the band took the opportunity to write personal postcards to the people and organisations that sponsored or supported the band in some way for this trip to Denmark.
The weather this morning felt like Groundhog Day, the repeat of humidity and sun in the mid-morning but with less breeze….today was going to be a scorcher. Our coach journey to the stadium began to feel normal, passing the rear gardens of small maisonette houses and families going about their daily lives. In the distance a large chimney that resembled the Northampton lift tower blended into the skyline….all large stacks are painted here instead of the silver or black versions we come to know in the UK.
The first activity upon arriving was lunch, before heading over to the other side of the stadium for this afternoon’s performances.
Getting Exercise – We had two main aims when selecting our seats for this afternoon’s finals and closing ceremony….1 – Get a good spot that enabled us to see the performances but also let us drape our fleur-de-lis and Union Jack flags over a balcony…..2 – Keeping out of the sun and in the shade. To achieve this we also gained an additional aim – exercise. Eight flights of stairs was our journey to the top of the stadium terrace – eight steps on each flight.
To make this tiresome journey more fun, the Band Master and Deputy Band Master set themselves a challenge…..to descend the stairs following the same pace as the Kan-Kan tune that was being played by the band on the pitch.
The Finals…Show Band Marching At It’s Best – This afternoon was the first time that the band could see all of the best bands performing. As we were taking part in other competitions and having staggered meal times, it meant we could not see all of the performances taking place. One by one, each band came on to the pitch and provided spectacular musical displays. Some of the highlights of this display included:
It was not surprising that the top three bands to win awards this afternoon included those mentioned above.
Just before the results of the final competitions, Malaysian and Brazilian percussion groups came together again for the final of the Drum Throw Down. The face-off was as intense as that experienced by our own percussion section; with the Victorian Institution claiming victory.
After the final results, each of the band finalists left the stadium playing their departing tune as their Drum Majors saluted the watching crowd. It has always been said that the Brazilians know how to celebrate and today the band were. As we left the stadium walking towards the car park, the vibrant sound of the celebrating Brazilian band could be heard from afar. As we approached closer our band was transported into a mardi gras, with dancing and music flowing in all directions.
The Food Just Gets Better – Following the closing ceremony the band made their way to the restaurant area where we were treated to a gala dinner. Servings of turkey and salmon together with salad were followed by chocolate cake. Following a shaky start to the meals, an improvement could be seen every day that was centred around cold salads, cooked meats and pasta.
Discotheque…Last Band Standing – Immediately following dinner some members of the band changed their clothes ready for the disco party taking place up stairs. The band members young and not so young all joined in with the songs being played by the host DJ. The band danced, laughed and chatted over the couple of hours spent at the stadium and as the night wore on GDSB was the only band left in the building. Some band members had to be pulled away from the dance floor so that we could meet our chariot at 11.00pm.
A Warm Message on a Warm Night – Alas our hope of our chariot arriving on time was dashed and our Musical Director once again pressed the WAMSB organising committee for support and answers as to where our transport was. The band members were generally in good spirits with chilling, playing and talking helping to pass the time. We were also entertain to a lightning display with a little thunder that also brought warm rain – a welcome sight given the beautiful summer weather.
The Band Master passed her thanks on behalf of the band to all the people in Copenhagen and back in the UK who played a key part in making WAMSB 2015 a great success for the band.
Having already waited for around 35 minutes, the band was joined by Al DiCroce the World Chairman of WAMSB. Upon hearing that the band’s transport has been delayed, Al came down to see the band and personally oversee the co-ordination to ensure our coach would arrive as soon as possible. It was while we were waiting that Al spoke to the whole group, thanking us for our participation. His excitement on having a UK band come to Copenhagen was given a boost when he found out that we had entered multiple competitions. We believe GDSB brought to WAMSB 2015 what Al and his committee were looking for, new emerging bands that came for the experience and have taken priceless memories away with us.
The Final Countdown – Having arrived back at the school close just after midnight, the young people make ready their escape to bed, whilst the adults commenced operation packing. Cages were packed, lifted and tied down in the van whilst the storm light-show continued overhead. Wardrobe and catering provisions were also whittled down to the bare minimum, so that the band would be ready to leave the school by 08.30 the following morning.
The GDSB School for Achievers – Saturday morning and following breakfast, the band moved into education mode. For some of the young band members, they brought homework with them. The education and motivation team made of leaders and young people provided support and encouragement to complete their assigned task.
Open Wide – Our journey from the school to the Brondby Stadion allowed the GDSB Dental Team to conduct some dental inspections. We were lucky that we were supplied with a coach that is normally used by dentists. The slide show below tells a thousand words !!.
GDSB – From Marching Band to Record Deal – In our quest to overcome the mundaneness or waiting for …… coach pick-ups……competitions……lunch…..dinner……..and any other opportunity, some members of the Band have commandeered a song. When we say commandeered, more like acquired, evolved and improvised to the point we believe there is great potential for the next Britain’s Got Talent. We have consulted the Wardrobe Manager (Inspector) about arranging suitable costumes to support this wonderful tune and contact has been made with ITV to acquire the Spitting Image (for the adults that can remember) puppets for the sketch…….. Hold a Chicken In the Air. Video to follow when we get back to the UK.
Youth Inspiring Youth – Throughout our trip to WAMSB 2015 in Copenhagen, our young band members have mingled together more than our normal Sunday afternoon sessions permit us. During these mingling times…coach journeys….eating times…….watching times some of our band members have unsuspectingly shared some of their talents. An example of this is our Band Member from Daventry District who for the coach journey to the Street Parade earlier in the week managed to almost continuously rap (impromptu-style) for the entire trip. He was ably supported by drums on the coach dash and rhythmic beat-boxing…..Why do we bring this up today?
Well, one of our young cub scouts (aged 9 years and 2 days) decided to test her own impromptu rap skills on her leaders. This display of creativity was inspired by the actions of someone else earlier in the week. A message to our young band members….do not underestimate the power you have to inspire someone….you may not see the benefits on the day…but know that someone is watching and listening.
It’s Not Just About the Children – The Grafton District Scout Band’s moto is “A MARCHING BAND FOR ALL” and this trip to WAMSB 2015 has certainly proven this. Until this week, a Scout Leader from 1st Roade Scout Group had never taken part in a competition EVER and coming up later on today, he would be taking part in the Drum Throw Down – a competition where only the percussion group perform; which meant there would be no-where to hide.
The Drum Throw Down – Great Britain meets the Malaysian ‘Haka’ – As mid-afternoon approached, the time of reckoning was upon us; the moment GDSB’s percussion element would pitch their skill and courage against fellow bands in the Drum Throw Down. As our band walked on to the pitch, they were ushered into a face-off stance…the GDSB would be playing against the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps Band, the same band from Malaysia that played the bag-pipes at the Open Stage competition earlier in the week. Our five-piece percussion section made up of three drummers and two cymbalists was pitched against Victoria’s 25-strong band…..a challenge we accepted without fear.
The Drum Throw Down provided each band with the opportunity to play two tunes; each one in turn. GDSB took the first challenge playing their tune confidently to great applause from the watching crowd. The Victoria Band’s performance was formidable and showed the skills you possess to perform on the World stage. During these performances, the judging panel consisting of three members (including John Dillion – who warmly congratulated the band at our Grafton Funk) who stood (actually, more like jumping around like a boxing referee) between the face-off closing observing our playing skill and attitude.
Our second performance contained the ‘piece de resistance’; two of drummers approaching the front of the face-off and proceeded to drum whilst throwing their drumsticks to each other. The watching crowd thoroughly enjoyed this performance. Victoria Institution against played a great tune that portrayed the drummer’s version of the Rugby All Black’s ‘HAKA’.
GSDB put up a valiant fight and as the first time on the World Stage demonstrated that the Scout Association are not afraid to put themselves out there, compete and lose humbly. Our courage was rewarded by the friendliness of the Victoria Institution and Brazil’s Fanfarra Mun De Tabubate – Famuta band when the competing bands congratulated each other on their performances. One of our cymbalists will be famous in Malaysia as she asked to be in a selfie with one of the Victoria band’s members. The final privilege for our percussion section was the opportunity to take part in the departing tune as all the bands left the football pitch.
On the performance of our Roade Scout Leader, he showed great skill and composure given the experience of our competition who are regular WAMSB attendees to the Championships. Once again the judges congratulated GDSB on taking part in this competition; a recurring theme that has shown WAMSB and the Marching Show world that taking part and having fun is more important than winning.
Our Daily Siesta – After the buzz of cheering our percussion group on the Drum Throw Down, the band sought shade in our usual spot and band members took up their usual positions – footballers on the pitch, tunnellers still tunnelling to Northamptonshire and the Events Manager back into contemplation mode – i.e. lying horizontal.
The March Parade – The band made the last effort get into their competition uniform – a courageous feat in the summer heat we have enjoyed this week. The band were the first to begin the afternoon’s heat of the March Parade, a test of our ability to work together to move around the pitch as described in our previous blog – One Man and His Dog. The band performed brilliantly, navigating around the various obstacles through the leadership of their Drum Major.
Copenhagen Meets the Scouts and the Brand Lives On – After dinner, we left the Stadium and were coached to point approximately 10 minutes from Vallensbaek train station. Our walk to the station tested our knowledge of European roads and enabled us to teach the green cross code to adults and young people when crossing numerous roads and junctions.
Our band, all 31 members travelled on mass on the A-Line route. On the journey we passed through nine stations until we arrived at KØbenhavn H (Copenhagen Central Station). On our train, a young member of the band struck up a conversation with a commuter sitting next to her. Their conservation evolved into a short lesson on the Danish language where the kind lady helped our scouts with pronunciation of the phrases contained in our Denmark 2015 programme.
Our heading about the ‘Brand Lives On’ brings back nostalgia from a previous generation where the seven-11 chain of shops has the same presence as our WH Smith shops in the UK.
Tivoli Gardens – Time to Chill to and Have Fun – The band made the short journey across the road from the train station to Tivoli Gardens; a place within the heart of Copenhagen City Centre that resembled Wicksteed Park on a lovely summer’s evening. Band members were provided with a wide array of entertainment from theme park rides, live musical performances and lovely gardens, fountains and lakes to walk around. Three and a half magnificent events happened at Tivoli this evening involving the band. The first was a very romantic marriage proposal, the second, the changing of the guard at the Tivoli Palace and third the band partaking in playing of tuned percussion instruments. The band members enjoyed the evening albeit a late finish to a brilliant day.
As the sun set on Tivoli, the band were entertained further by a laser-light displayed on the lake and the finale – a spectacular firework displayed. At this point we will mention the ‘half’ leftover from the paragraph above…..when one of our younger Cub scouts has found it very easy to stop, sit and sleep; regardless of the location. This evening was no different as she found the comfort of the grass. This was until the fireworks stirred something inside our young Cub Scout and once again arose to the display. Is a firework display just a display?.... well tonight I think we saw something different…..displayed played to the backdrop of music being played over the sound system.
The moment the display show its true effect was when a soft gentle tune played over the speakers with intermittent beats. At each of the beats a synchronised single red firework softly danced through the air; creating an amazing effect.
It’s a Small World – At this point is worth mentioning small world we live in and how our presence both at WAMSB and in Copenhagen has re-kindled relationships and led to nice encounters.
Our first blog described us meeting Pat from the Riverwood Hornets of Australia, over ten years since some of the band first met Pat at a band camp in the UK.
During the week, we met the conductor of one of the Danish bands performing here who is from Northampton.
We also met a Stadium worker who is responsible for maintaining the football pitch, who originally was from Northampton; living on Abington Avenue.
During our visit to Tivoli Gardens, some of the band met some tourists from Oxford who were excited to see Scouts bearing the Union Jack on their travels.
Finally, on our way back to the train station we were stopped by a family from Greece also on holiday. Their daughter is part of the Scout Association in Greece and she was very excited to meet scouts from another country whilst on holiday.
Day Four has yet again demonstrated how this trip has positively impacted the band's members....so many memories that will make Denmark 2015 a memorable experience.
The Band Community
A belated post about mini teams we have been working within the enable us all to get ready for coaches, meals and getting out and about on our trip. We have four teams whose members help each other to get to our coach pick-up points and meals times. Team names were decided by the young members of the teams as it was felt they possessed more creative flare than their aging leaders.
Team 1 – SoapCows (taken from the 1st initial of the surnames of band members)
Team 2 – Big Hero 7
Team 3 – Bear and a Half
Team 4 – Mavis
The young people in these teams have been encouraged to be independent and help the band prepare for all the practising and competitions. The leaders have been very impressed with how all the teams have performed well; enabling the band to be on time for events and building stronger relationships within and outside the band.
The Finishing Touches – The process to get to a ready-state for competition is perfection at its best. The work of the band leaders the night before helped ensure our band were neat and professional looking for their performance today. But first each member must pass the Wardrobe Inspector; a formidable person with strong attention to detail. Fluff disappears at the sight of the Inspector, who has brought the Band’s ‘turnout for inspection’ to a new level for our competitions.
This is it – We arrived at the Brondby Stadium mid-morning and watched some of the bands coming off the pitch; applauding them as they went by. The band members collected their instruments and made their way towards the stadium side entrance; whilst the media team and other SAS member supporters made our way to the stands. GDSB was welcomed into the stadium as the first international band taking part in the main competition; by the host of the previous night’s Open Stage event. The host took the opportunity to congratulate the band again on its Grafton Funk performance; a good morale boost for the band as they marched under drum-beat to their starting position.
The main stand had a good crowd including other bands and local Danish people. Our performance was themed on the ‘Best of British’ with a wide range of new songs and old classics including:
The band played their hearts out, drawing in the watching crowd who applauded the instrumental percussions pieces and clapped in rhythm to many of our tunes. The performance was completed within the permitted 8 to 12 minutes time limit and a very happy Grafton District Scout Band left the pitch.
A True Learning Experience about Show Bands and Milking Cows
After the performance and lunch, the band took the opportunity to sit in the stands and watch the other bands perform their competition pieces. Many of the bands attending this year’s Championship have come from Denmark and other local European countries. Other bands have come from further afield including Brazil (the reigning Champions for 2014), Australia and Eastern Asia.
The band were spoilt to a wide range of bands – some with 25 to 30 members and others with 75 to 100 members all performing on the competition pitch. Some highlights included:
On our way to take the SoapCows for a refreshment break, we saw the opportunity to allow the members of the team to explore the art of milking cows. You may ask yourself how this could be possible within a Football Stadium and the slideshow below reveals all. We demonstrated the role of the udders and teats which helped our younger team members understand how milk is taken from dairy animals.
Taking on the Challenge – The March Parade a.k.a One Man and His Dog
Towards the end of the afternoon the first of the March Parade competitions commenced, which gave our band the opportunity to watch the routine ahead of our own competition on Saturday. We watched as a highly precisioned German adult band flawlessly moved through a defined route. The Drum Major was somewhat like a shepherd on One Man and His Dog; his sheep following in unison. This gave the Drum Major and Musical Director brilliant ideas for our turn tomorrow.
After dinner, we practiced our March Parade routine on the nearby playing field, setting the band member’s rucksacks as markers.
Get Down On It – Mingle and Groove – Tonight the Brondby Stadion played host to an outside disco, played under cool and slightly cloudy skies. The atmosphere here was amazing with the Brazilian band taking the lead in motivating the other bands to get in the spirit. A DJ supported by brilliant Brazilian dancers set the scene and it wasn’t before long that GDSB was absorbed into this magical place where friendliness and happiness prevailed.
Band members old and young showed WAMSB in Denmark our open and friendly nature, paying careful attention to emulate the moves being demonstrated by our fellow Brazilian dancers. Band members joined the Conga and during a GDSB group dance, we were joined by members of another band who joined in and demonstrated their jiving moves. Alas the night was finished sooner than we hoped as our chariot had arrived on time to take us back to our school for the night. The buzz our band members received from tonight’s party spilled over onto the coach that we were sharing with the Malaysian Bagpipe and Drum, who performed at the Open Stage competition the previous night. A band member was given the opportunity to try on their head-dress.
We finished off the evening by celebrating the birthdays of one of our Cub Scouts and Musical Director. A birthday cake made by the Junior Band Master was cut and shared with the band; making it a special occasion when so far away from home.
The Band were read comments received via Facebook and our Website which they very much appreciated – a big thank you to those that have taken the opportunity post comments.
Taking part in WAMSB 2015 has been both a huge challenge and great opportunity for Grafton District Scout Band. The hard work of the Band’s leaders, playing members and support teams to create and perform routines for five different competitions has been rewarded by huge praise and support from the event organisers, the judges, the watching public and our fellow bands.
Today the band’s vision for future performances and routines has been strengthened through being able to sit in the same stadium and watch, and observe – our cymbal players watching cymbalists, our drummers watching drummers, etc.
Each band member will take very special memories away from this trip and the once again the band would like to thank its members, parents, Grafton District Scouts and the sponsors who donated in a multitude of ways; to make this trip possible.
A Gentle Start – 7.45am and all was quiet. Apparently the band’s activities of the previous day had worn out our young members, so much so that our leaders had to wake them all up. Our breakfast was thankfully delivered on time consisting of a continental assortment of breads, cheese, ham and muesli; along with our traditional staples of British cereals and toast.
Some of the band practised the ‘Grafton Funk’ for this evening’s Open Stage competition performance. As we were last on the rota for meals yesterday, we got the early slot and visited the Brondby Stadion for lunch.
Copenhagen – Mind the Cyclist – Today’s competition was built into a street festival in the centre of Copenhagen. The journey by coach into the centre of the city took 25 minutes where we were found out that the cyclist is king / queen. We were amazed by how many cyclists and cycle lanes criss-cross the various roads and junctions we drove through. We thought it was funny that cars and lorries have the normal traffic lights and cyclists have their own miniature version as well.
The band set up base within the grounds of a military barracks and congregated in a nearby park, which was a pleasing sight for normal members of the public relaxing in the glorious sun. The weather in Copenhagen has been fantastic so far; plenty of heat, plenty of shade and enough water drank to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
Wowing the public – We were the second band in the street parade, setting off from one of the major junctions and performing our routine over a distance of 900 metres. The competition part of the routine covered just 110 metres, with judges standing in the crowd as we passed by. Breaking out in tunes such as ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep’ created a buzz amongst a group of people watching the parade passing, with some dancing to the tunes we were playing. After our performance, we made our way back through the streets of Copenhagen to the military barracks. We met with shop owners, Danish people and tourists along the way intrigued as to why a band of young people and adults were carrying musical instruments through the streets of Copenhagen.
We returned back to the Stadium for an early dinner, before the Open Stage competition in the evening.
The Grafton District World Cup and A Needle in a Haystack – After dinner we had time and for some, ENERGY to spare. And so the Grafton District Football World Cup took place. Two teams (called The Caps and the Uncaps) played each other for the coveted title of elite football and their players had many talents including one so small she simply walked between the legs of her opponents. The result of the match was The Cap 1 and The Uncaps 5.
Taking place a short distance from this, a team of young tunnellers began their quest to escape Denmark and tunnel back to Northamptonshire. Their progress was amazing, having achieved 6 whole centimetres in 30 minutes. We have been informed that they hope to make it back to Northamptonshire by the turn of the next century.
Oh and the needle in a haystack – the band members not playing football watched from afar as both teams stopped playing and formed a single row walking the length of the pitch in unison. We initially thought they felt the urge to practise their slow step routine. Approximately 30 steps later all was revealed when the ear-ring of a band member was found and returned to its owner.
“Grafton Funk” – A Wicked Tune played with Courage and Conviction – When the Band first received the details of the WAMSB 2015 event, we were given a range of competitions to enter, one of which was the Open Stage event. Open stage is a freestyle event which nine members of our band stepped forward to enter. Over the past months, they worked hard to use the limited practice time to learn Bruno Mar’s Uptown Funk song. Our band players played their hearts out against some very high quality acts. The Judges when giving initial X-Factor style feedback to our band said they were impressed by the young age of the playing members. On pure coincidence the same song was performed by two other bands this evening.
We were also entertained by a bag-pipe band from Malaysia and a huge diverse band from Tasmania, amongst others. A member of the Tasmanian band (adult band) came to see us at the interval to tell us they were amazed at the ability of our band and its youth.
At the announcing of the results, we were surprised and over-joyed that one of the judges made a special announcement to thank GDSB for having the courage and determination to take part in such an event. John Dillion (judge) spoke to us following the results and congratulated the band members for being courageous in taking part, as one of the main objectives of the Open Stage event is to engage young people to compete.
All members of the band who did not take part in the Open Stage event cheered and clapped for our friends. We are all truly proud of you – Grafton Funk lives on!!
The Night is Young – We expected the ending of this blog to be short given the long day yesterday. The Open Stage event finished at 10.15pm and we waited for a coach to take us back to our school for the night. Alas our wait was longer than hoped and in the 1 hour and 20 minutes waiting for the coach, the band played games and even practised their route as extreme dusk. All the time we were waiting, the band members showed their true spirit and friendship with no complaints. For one of our younger band member’s the business of the last two days caught up with them and sleep came before the coach arrived.
Whilst the young people departed for bed, the adult band members and support team got to work, getting the uniforms, Neckerchiefs and shoes checked, ironed or cleaned ready for tomorrow’s main competition event in the Brondby Stadion.
Today’s events and timings did not allow us to mingle with fellow bands as much as we wanted to. We did manage to do some swaps of token gifts with some bands. We look forward to spending the day at the Brondby Stadion tomorrow and meeting new people from different countries.
We asked a number of band numbers what they enjoyed about today and they all came back with the same response – Grafton Funk!
Another big well done to everybody who performed or supported the performance today.
Roll on for the main competition on Friday, where we will be taking our place on the pitch at the Brondby Stadion.
The Journey – Our day was upon us, the moment the members of Grafton District Scout Band would enter onto the world stage of Marching Show Bands. An early start to the day was helped by a strong clap of thunder heard over Roade and Northampton. All members of the band arrived on time for our short journey by coach to London Luton Airport; departing Roade Village Hall at 04.30hrs.
Please see our slideshow at the bottom of this blog, of pictures taken through the course of first day"
We mingled with the holiday makers jetting off to cooler climates (lol considering the heat wave weather we are enjoying this week) drawing looks of intrigue from passers-by at the size of our band and its youth.
Our flight to Copenhagen went quickly and made more exciting by our Events Manager being able to take over the PA system and introduce the Band to our fellow passengers.
A short delay in being collected from Copenhagen Airport allowed the band to experience its first taste of Denmark. To help the time pass the band showed their true musical talent by playing a number of the band tunes with kazoo’s. Their performances of Let It Go and the Queen Medley received applause from members of the public stood nearby. (Note video coming soon)
First Experience of Denmark – Our journey from Copenhagen airport showed wide open spaces with little areas of housing, schools and shops. The band’s home for the next six days is a large school that is accommodating a number of bands from across Europe. A great playing field right next door will give us plenty of opportunity to practice – we wasted no time this afternoon and went through our routine.
The Competition Venue – The BrØndby Stadion is Copenhagen’s main football stadium with a capacity of 29,000 people. The band gets their lunch and dinner at the stadium in their restaurant and dining facilities. WAMSB, the event organisers have over 3,500 people to feed every day. The actual stadium is a breath-taking sight with high-tiered seating around the whole stadium; that will give the judges and fellow bands a great view of our performance.
The Opening Ceremony: Living the Dream - As we mentioned before, taking part in the WAMSB World Championships was a dream of our Bandmaster – Jane Bailey for many years; following on from her experience of attending the same event with the Northampton Scout Band. Our proudest moment this evening was our Bandmaster and Musical Director representing the band, scouting and our country on the main stage of the opening ceremony.
Following the ceremony, the band were able to meet other competing bands and in true scouting style, we struck up some great friendships and as well as rekindling old friendships too.
We shared photo opportunities with bands from Brazil and Australia and our drummers played the Brazilian band’s Quins drums. Today we met an old acquaintance – Pat – who is part of the support team for the Riverwood Hornets Drum and Bugle Band from Australia. Pat attended the same band camp at Drax in the early noughties (2000’s) with some of the older members of our band.
We also brought together two Bailey families; one from GDSB and other from the Riverwood Hornets Band.
Good Night After a Long Day – After arriving back at our school this evening, the band members enjoyed a late pizza and chips supper and turned in for the night, after a very long day. We are proud of all the band members for their patience today with all the travelling and waiting around for coach lifts. We look forward to Thursday and will bring you the next instalment of this great experience for band members.
Some comments from band members about what they enjoyed on our first day:
"We met the Australian band who gave me a koala teddy bear that attached to my lanyard" - Cub from 1st Roade Scout Group
"I thought it was quite fun when we were wearing the Brazil band's Indian Head Gear and went I got to play their quins (five drums set side-by-side drums that is strapped to you)" - Scout from Daventry District
"Today was the first time I flew on an airplane" - Explorer Scout