So finally, in the year 1985, with much fanfare (it was more of a racket actually, but we were only little), the band was formed from local scout groups by Jeff Johnson (bow when The Name is spoken). In 1986 when the instructors finally realised that we had no talent, the membership was opened to the local guides, who brought with them the hitherto unknown concepts of Musical Ability and Sense of Rhythm. Around this time the change was made from playing bugles to playing cornets (giving us lads many more notes to play badly).
Many parades and a few small concerts later, we were called upon to play in a local Scout production 'Scoutaree 1988'. It was at this time that we first came across the wild haired individual known as Nick Coope (or the Bom Bom Man in other circles). This latter-day Beethoven took the tunes we weren't quite so bad at playing and fused them together into the piece we now know as "The Bogeymen of Harlech". Our paths crossed again at the next Scoutaree the following year when the Maestro arranged an original piece consisting of some soap opera themes and the Film 89 (as it was then) Theme. This was cunningly called "Soap Film". After this Nick became a full-time part-time instructor.
In the break between these two Scoutarees, we made the daring step of entering our first competition in Manchester (the Sale competition I believe) where we managed to win a Best Woodwind Trophy in the Novice Class. Our next competition effort was in either 1991 or 1992. Details are sketchy here because we were still hungover after our celebrations for winning a trophy in 1989.
Our biggest breakthrough came in 1993 when we won our first class champions trophy in Manchester and realised that winning was actually more fun than not winning. The following year at Manchester we were informed that as we had won the previous year we had to move up a class. Undeterred, we did as requested and, with a reworking of "Bogeymen", we were triumphant in the Contest Class. The following year, 1995, was our best so far when we were Contest Class champions in every competition we went to with "Oh, What a Lovely War" - the piece which won us our first class champions trophy in 1993. This was also the year we first attended the TYMBA National Finals, where we won the league trophy and came a respectable second place.
In 1996, we tried our hand in the Championship Class with an arrangement of American music - "New York, New York". We weren't as successful in the earlier competitions as we had hoped, but by the time the Nationals came round we had sorted most of the problems out and managed to win the Championship Class Champions trophy. Another new arrangement by Nick Coope called "Wild West" - a medley of western themes and songs - came the next year, and once again after a bad start we claimed the Championship Class Champions award at the National Finals.
1998. Oh dear. With a reworking of the previously successful "Oh, What a Lovely War" in hand, we marched our way to many competitions. And then we trudged home again. Now in the National Class, we found ourselves up against some VERY tough competition. Put simply - we weren't good enough. A not too disappointing 5th out of 10 at the National Finals rounded off the year. 1999. Worse was yet to come. "New York, New York" was the music, and again we failed to shine at any of the competitions finishing 6th out of 9 in the Finals. We were informed by TYMBA that after a restructuring of the classes we would be competing in the Championship Class the next year. Bummer.
Back in the Championship Class, we marked the new millenium with a new arrangement called "Classic Moments". Unfortunately the routine, the music and the band weren't ready in time for the earlier competitions, so we made a late start to the competing year in Halesowen. Again we failed to impress many judges, and finished last at the national finals.
2001. The tide turned once more. Using the previously unsuccessful "Classic Moments" we won four out of five competitions and came second in the fifth. The Nationals? First. Promotion back to the National Class.
2002. The disqualification. After an AGM (with only a handful of faithful members present), the TYMBA comittee introduced a new rule which they believed outlawed conducting (shortly to be followed by a ban on all music) under which we were disqualified at the first competition. All the correspondence regarding this can be found here. After a year long appeal 19 member bands voted firstly that everyone must abide by the Constitution, and then that the Comittee was justified in breaking the Constitution. This has heralded a parting of the ways between ourselves and the Association and after the National Finals (where we were placed 5th) we left TYMBA.
Who knows? BYBA? Some other association? The future's bright - the future's orange. Or something.