On June 2nd 2007 Keith was to conduct the band with many of his ex-army colleagues. We had taken him to see the Coldstream Guards just a few weeks earlier and he had asked if we could find some more concerts for him. Unfortunately there were none close by so we decided to bring the music to him. Keith chose so much music that we did two concerts one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was a true testament to Keith that whoever we phoned just simply wanted to be there for him. Unfortunately Keith died just a few short days before the concerts, but as he would have wished they went ahead in his memory.
Thank you to everyone who attended and sent their best wishes, June 2nd was a very special day that we will never forget.
Following the concerts in June there was a celebration of Keith's life in a service at St Mary's Church on July 28th at 1pm, if you would like to see some of the readings click on here
Mel & Steven Parker
Keith's Concert - Programmes
Everything I do I do it for you
A Tribute to Glen Miller
English Folk Song Suite – 1st Movement Seventeen Come Sunday
Bari Bari Good
Is this the way to Amarillo
Beyond the Sea
Pomp & Circumstance No.4
Pirates of the Caribbean
Land of Hope and Glory
Fandango for Flutes
My Fair Lady
James Bond 007
Can you feel the love tonight
West Side Story
Celebration of Keith's Life
Following the concerts in June there was a celebration of Keith's life in a service at St Mary's Church on July 28th at 1pm
Below are some of the readings from that day......
Lorraine Gray (nee Smith) - Band Chairman & Clarinet
"I was at Lindridge School aged 10,when I first met Keith and was introduced to Tenbury Town Band. I hadn’t been learning the clarinet for very long but Keith encouraged me to go along to a rehearsal to see how I got on. Obviously I was apprehensive, but I knew a few people who were from school, and my brother already played the trombone in the band.
Soon I was settled on the front row looking at a page of music trying to figure out how I was going to make it look like I knew what I was doing! It then dawned on me that I was sitting right in front of Keith and I was terrified that he would know when I played wrong notes or got lost.
There was no need to worry because Keith made everyone feel at ease and explained that even if you were only able to play one or two notes in the beginning it was just as important as being able to play the whole piece. To quote one of his phrases he would say, “ Have a go, just play what you can”.
I’m sure many people here today, who either played in the band, or supported the band over the past 24 years remember those earlier pieces, such as, Captain Beaky, Guantanamera, and of course The Batman theme! It’s funny how just hearing a piece of music can take you back so vividly 15 or 20 years.
I heard on the radio, the theme tune to “Dynasty”. – Just listening to it, I could picture the band on stage in the Regal playing it at one of our concerts, with Melanie and Claire playing the Trumpet & Flute solos. This was one of Keiths’ favourites!
It’s difficult to begin to count how many people have passed through the band over the years. But I’m sure no matter how long someone was a member, or how long ago, knowing Keith and being involved in Tenbury Town Band has had a positive bearing on their life, and brought happy memories. Keith made sure the audience could see that we all enjoyed playing the music. It’s always about getting the balance right, between enjoyment and fun but also having the discipline and concentration to play the music to the best of our ability.
Today the band is as varied in age and ability as much as it has been over the years. The commitment everyone gives is amazing considering work, family, and involvement in other organizations. How Keith managed to juggle his full time job as a policeman to be able to organise and conduct the band just showed the passion he had for the band to be the best it could, and succeed as it has. This was most obvious when Keith proudly lead the band on the various parades through Tenbury Wells.
It is absolute testament to Keith and the years he devoted to Tenbury Town Band, that it is as stong now, as it ever was. All the band members have proved this by enabling us to continue with our summer engagements over these difficult past few months. As a tribute to Keith at the end of every fete or concert we have played, and will continue to play, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental March.
Keith’s memory will always remain strong as part of Tenbury Town Band, as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary in March next year, and over many more years to come."
Melanie Parker ( nee Walker) Trumpet
"I first met Keith when I was 14 years old. The Late Ewart Morgan had asked him to conduct the band. He said he would for 6 months, which he did. We then had another conductor which didn’t work out. Keith then came back again saying he would help out for another 6 months. This turned out to be 24 years of conducting and playing in the band. In fact he played many instruments, tenor horn, euphonium, trumpet and clarinet always choosing the instrument where we were short in the band.
Keith and Ewart were a formidable duo. Keith designing the band crest and Ewart and all his helpers raising large sums of money for Music and uniforms.
Band Practise for a long time was on Saturday evening and over the years the band has practiced in many locations in the town. In the early days Ewart and Gertie’s dining room, the Bridge Hotel, the tennis pavilion, the library, the Methodist hall, but in all these places my abiding memory of band practises was Keith in uniform, popping in and out when things weren’t quite so busy outside! Conducting a few pieces and then his radio going off and the band members knowing they would all need to be silent while Keith took the call and invariably had to leave on a call.
Keith devoted an incredible amount of time to the band, I don’t think any of us really know the extent of this. I am sure though he wanted us to understand the fun and enjoyment that playing music in a group can bring. When I was about 16 Keith organised a trip for police colleagues and some of the band members to go to a concert at Knellar Hall the royal military school of music. It was the most amazing concert I had ever seen, the massed bands performing on “the Rock” and then a meal in the officers mess. Over the years there have been so many memorable occasions that as a young girl I don’t think I realised how special they were. Amongst these of course were the many tours abroad: Canada, Germany, France, Gibraltar and Cyprus.
How many civilian bands can say they were guests of a Regimental band overseas and were even provided with an Army chef for the week. Also the concerts in Tenbury with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, The Prince of Wales Divisional Bands, Royal Corp of Signals and of course the Coldstream Guards. Keith was rightly so proud of that concert. What an amazing opportunity for all those that took part and watched that day. Again something that would be incredibly difficult to replicate today.
I know there are great many people here today not only sat in the band, but also in the congregation that have experienced the fun and enjoyment of playing with the band and this is largely down to one person, whose commitment and enthusiasm has made all these marvellous things happen. Keith.
In the precious few weeks before he died we were able to take Keith to see the Coldstream Guards in Hereford. With the very kind help of David Marshall formerly the Director of music of the Coldstream Guards, we were able to get Keith’s regimental march played and a dedication announced. He was so incredibly proud and stood to attention as it was played. That night he didn’t seem to want to leave the concert hall, but wanted to enjoy the moment and later asked if we could find anymore concerts. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be the case and hence the reason for the concerts we did on June 2nd. Keith chose all the music and as always gave instructions to the nth degree in list after list. Always the policeman!
Many people in Tenbury and the surrounding area over the last few weeks have talked about Keith being so very special and that words just can’t explain everything he meant. Friends have also commented that “was he like a brother or uncle to me”, my response to this has always been “no not really”, but that
Keith was Keith and that only by knowing him could you understand how very special he was."