The Coseley Comets, Breaking Into A New World
Sunday 19th July saw The Coseley Comets break into a new world. For the first time, the band entered the competition under the Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK) banner when they entered the field at the Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium in Leicester.
They were competing against the top bands in DCUK including The Company and Kidsgrove Scouts, and for the first time were being judged on a level playing field with the cream of Drum Corps.
The experience was made even better when the host band of the day, The Company invited the instructional staff and the performers to their pre-contest rehearsal. This was to see how they operate and how the practice is put to the performers by the staff. Our members found this experience very inspiring and set up the rest of the day.
As this was our debut in the world of DCUK we were the first open class band to perform. They unleashed their 2015 production, Musical Diversity, A Night At The Theatre to an audience that was far larger than what they are used to. All That Jazz a bright opening number taken from the musical ‘Chicago’. They then moved on to a contrasting slow yet emotion packed I Dreamed a Dream from the smash hit ‘Les Miserables’. Then to lighten the mood they moved on to Defying Gravity taken from the West End hit show ‘Wicked’ and finished the show with the foot tapping number December 1963 Oh What A Night from the smash hit show ‘Jersey Boys.
Upon completion of the performance, there was a fantastic reaction from the audience which gave the young members a massive boost, and wanting to do it all over again.
As The Comets PE were the only BYBA Championship band taking part on the day (the others from BYBA being in The Premier Class), they were aiming for a respectable score comparative to the other bands, and demonstrating that there is some quality in the BYBA Championship Class.
At the end of the day, they were credited with an overall score of 40 points, which was far in excess of the expectations of the staff and members. This has now given the band a much needed boost as they approach the second half of the season with finals approaching.
Kate Anderson, Assistant Corps Director said ‘ Sunday was one of the best days the band have had all year. We were pleased with the overall performance and then it was a real boost at the end when The Company asked if we would like a photo of our members taken with theirs. Many thanks to everyone involved for making the day possible’
Ruth Poole, baritone player with The Comets said, ’Everybody was really friendly. It was nice to feel welcome and not like an outsider’
The last two months has seen The Comets break the boundaries and perform in competition under all three banners, British Youth Band Association (BYBA), at Grantham and Daventry, Traditional Youth Band Association (TYMBA) at Himley Hall, Dudley, and Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK), at Leicester. The different codes have brought up their individual challenges but as a band both on and off the field, those challenges have been faced and won. We have enjoyed performing at all of them. Steve Poole, Secretary said ‘it has been interesting to see how the different judging panels of the three codes have interpreted our production, and their comments have been very beneficial. However the main aim was to give the members different experiences, which they certainly have had over the last two months, together with all the community performances’.
The staff and members of The Comets PE would like to say a thank you to John McNamara, Mark Nicholson and the staff of The Company for making the day so special for our youngsters and to Alan Thompson and the team from DCUK for facilitating our entry into the competition , and with the help of all the DCUK bands the judging team and the officials of DCE and DCUK for making our day such a great experience. We were never made to feel inferior to even the best bands, everyone was friendly and we appreciated that very much.
To view the photos that were taken on the day of the band please go to the facebook page ‘Comets Media Team’, like the page and the photos are there to view together with photos from other events we have taken part in. We would also like it if you would like or leave a comment that we as a team can respond to.
Anyone interested in the band, whether to join, to check on our future events, or to book the band for an event please come and see us where we are performing. Alternatively we have our website, www.thecometsymb.co.uk. We have our facebook page under The Comets Performance Ensemble and we have our own You Tube and Vimeo channels under The Comets PE. Our e mail address is email@example.com. We are also on Flickr and Instagram. We are also on twitter and you can follow the band. The address is @cometspe
Alternatively we would like to see you at any of our practices. We rehearse at Upper Ettingshall Methodist Church, Upper Ettingshall Road on Tuesday Evenings from 7pm till 8pm and at The Coseley School from 7pm till 8.30pm on Thursday Evenings. Please check that practice is going ahead as we are shortly on our mid season break.
The Comets are now taking a well earned mid season holiday break to recharge the batteries ready for the challenges that lie ahead in the second half and business end of the competition season, and the community events including Christmas, and culminating with the prestigious Birmingham International Tattoo, at the Barclaycard Arena