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     Jedforest Instrumental Band opening of Commemorative Bandstand and Park


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 Please note these are low resolution copies for the web. 300ppi hi-res available on request.

Abbey Brass conducted by Mr Cameron Mabon Bandmaster, entertain the Princess Royal
The Princess Royal meets from the left: Len Wyse - Honorary Provost of Jedburgh (out of frame), Mr Kenneth Crookston - representing the Scottish Brass band Association, Mr David Sutherland - Principal Cornet Player and Bandstand Project Manager, Ms Eilidh Dickson - Representing the young players, Ms Marion MacAfee - Longest serving player, Mr Cameron Mabon - Bandmaster, Mr Alan Fernie - Musical Director. On the right, Mr John Young (President)
Mr Len Wyse - Honorary Provost of Jedburgh is introduced to the Princess Royal with Ms Eilidh Dickson looking on.
The Princess Royal entertained by Abbey Brass.
Mr Alan Fernie - Musical Director for the Jedforest Instrumental Band conducts with Princess Anne enjoying the music and the sunshine.
HRH The Princess Royal unveils the Commemorative Plaque, sponsors and guests in the background with Mr George Miller (Vice President) commentating.
A few Band Committee members listen intently, Mrs Norah Richards, Mrs Margaret Graham, Mrs Joyce Lightbody (Chair, Fundraising sub-committee) and Mrs Myra Younger (Treasurer)


Commemorative Bandstand and Park.  The new Bandstand and Park has been constructed by Jedforest Instrumental Band to commemorate its 150th anniversary in 2004, in order to create something permanent and for the benefit of our community, to mark the band’s central place in local life, and to thank local people for their superb support for the band over the years. 

There was no park previously in the centre of Jedburgh. At the same time there are areas of grass (formed by the demolition of a factory, and construction of a relief road) which are currently underused, and unusable because they have an open boundary to the A68 main road.  The Bandstand is the centrepiece of a new park of about an acre which has been formed by the installation of a fence (initially fenced, the band will also plant a beech hedge to form an attractive boundary in keeping with its surroundings).

Already, local organisations are donating park benches, and the Community Council has plans to develop a play area adjacent to the park.  The bandstand will be used by other organisations as well as the band, such as the Jethart Callant’s Festival, the pipe bands, local pop groups, the Jedburgh Singers, and other performers.

Fundraising for the project, which has cost �76,000, has been carried out by George Burt, the band’s secretary.  Funding was obtained from the EU Leader+ programme, Scottish Borders Council, Forward Scotland and Scottish Power. 

The Project Manager has been David Sutherland, principal cornet with the band and a Chartered Surveyor.  As well as designing the Bandstand he has supervised the work which will have taken 6 months to complete.  Other voluntary work has been carried out by band members, in landscaping, painting, etc.

Jedforest Instrumental Band.  The band was formed in 1854 and has been in continuous existence since then, despite some lean times, including the closure in 1955 of a factory employing almost 1,000 people (this bandstand and park now sits on part of its site) when the band was reduced to just a few players. 

Over the past 10 years, the band has enjoyed its most successful time, both in terms of numbers of players (overall, we have some 60 players and trainees) and of success in brass band competitions (this year we reached our highest point ever in the brass band grading system).

Last year, we were joint winner (out of all 1,000 brass bands in the UK) of the award for the best development of young people – “a beacon of excellence” in the words of the judges.

Abbey Brass Jedforest.  Our “junior” band was formed 5 years ago.  As well as providing training for new players (mostly young, but also a few older recruits), and being a feeder for the senior band, Abbey Brass is a competing band in its own right with many prizes to its credit (including Scottish Youth Champions in 2003 and 2005).

Abbey Brass receives its players from our training band which takes young people with little or no musical experience and provides initial tuition.

John Young is the band’s President. He has previously been a player for some 60 years, initially with Jedforest Instrumental, then with other bands when he left Jedburgh for work.  He resumed playing with the band about 12 years ago and retired from performing only 3 years ago.

George Burt is the band’s Secretary.  He started playing with the band when at school, left the town for many years, and returned to play 15 years ago.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Brass Band Association.

Alan Fernie has been our Musical Director for 6 years, and has been the key factor in the improvement to the band’s musical standards and its competing successes.   He is an internationally acclaimed arranger and composer (very few brass band concerts in the world do not contain at least one of his compositions).   Recently, he was elected as Chair of the Scottish Borders Brass Band Association.

Cameron Mabon has been our bandmaster for 4 years.  A former player in the band, he is now a music teacher.  He has been the major element in the development of the musical ability of our young players.  As well as assisting the Musical Director with Jedforest Instrumental, he is conductor of Abbey Brass.  He has arranged many pieces for both bands, and is establishing a reputation for his published arrangements.

Marion MacAfee has played with Jedforest Instrumental for 35 years, and is our longest continuously serving member.  In all that time, she has rarely missed an engagement or a rehearsal.

Ms Eilidh Dickson has been playing cornet in Abbey Brass for 2 years having previously receiving tuition in our training band.  She is a primary school pupil.

David Sutherland is the band’s Principal Cornet player.  A Chartered Surveyor, he has been responsible for the design, contracting, supervision, and a lot of the physical labour, of the creation of the bandstand and park.

Kenneth Crookston is Editor of the “British Bandsman”, the world’s premier brass band journal, established in 1887.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Brass Band Association, and was formerly a player in the famous Whitburn Band.

Len Wyse is Jedburgh’s Honorary Provost and Chair of Jedburgh Community Council.  He was a former Herald of the Jethart Callant’s Festival.



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