We have lots of photos of the bands throughout the decades in our photo album section.
Stories and photos relating to the School/College Bands are most welcome!
At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Mary Rand broke the world record for the Long Jump, leaping 6.76m to take gold. To add to her gold in the long jump, she won a silver medal in the pentathlon.
On her return, she was feted by the town of Henley-on-Thames, where she lived with her husband, oarsman, Sid Rand.
She was driven through the town in an open-top car led by the Brass Band and Corp of Drums from the Army Apprentice School, Arborfield.
Following the parade she agreed to pose for the attached photo with “the lads” in the Town Hall.
Phil Moran (64A)
The lilt of music fills the air, the Boys School bands are on the square !
Rythms dancing on the breeze, as marching feet stretch out to sieze
And hold the beat in four-four time, while horns and trumpets, drums and chimes
Breathe life into the weary soul, raising spirits – that’s their role,
To give that music added pep, and put spring into weary step.
Then, marching paused – inspection time – the skirl of Pipes begins to climb
In slow, such slow close harmony, the plaintive airs and melody
Rise over the assembled throng, soothing sounds that cause the songbirds
To cease their trills, and hesitate to compete with such a thrilling, great
Uplifting sound that evokes in men, visions of a Scottish glen.
And, stepping off, they all combine to give a rousing, roaring, fine
Rendition of a well known air, as,playing, marching with great flair,
They pass the dais, straight as a die. Drum Majors, maces held on high
Salute – eyes right – and then proceed along the Square to finally lead
Tem off parade, their task complete. Now all that’s heard is tramping feet.
But versatility is the norm, and the Military Band is quite at home
Playing dances, jazz, palm court, or tuneful sounds of any sort
At functions grand, or venues small, they’ll persevere and give their all
In pursuit of the excellence that marks their sheer accomplishment.
They give the School good value too, their efforts great, achievements true.
The Pipe Band also gets around, at village fetes they’re often found,
And carnivals at summertide, but on Burns Night they hit their stride
With Haggis Pipings to attend, demand’s so great, to avoid offence
They move around at double speed, toasting Rabbie, then they need
To move on to the next venue – another toast, or one, or two !
This really tends to slow them down, but not for shirking they’re renowned,
They carry on so manfully that even if there’s two or three
More places they must go to play before the finish of the day,
They’ll valiantly consume the tot, then play until they’ve done the lot,
Then totter back to their cold beds, and on the morrow, nurse their heads !
But both the bands are at their best on ceremonials, that attest
To skills they learned while at the school, of discipline, and keeping cool
At all time under pressure, so, they’ll play until it’s time to go.
As “Sunset’s” last notes die away, remember these boys as they play,
These are not full time careers – it’s just their hobby – for three years !