Bands unite for grand finale in the castle

Millie Masterson 2

The entertainment at the annual Tonbridge Carnival and Charity Fair promises to be as varied as ever this year.

The day will burst to life at 11.30am at the Watergate entrance to Tonbridge’s Norman Castle, when the summer air will fill with the melodically wonderful sounds of the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band.

They will deliver an eclectic mixed repertoire of original works, arrangements of orchestral pieces, military band items and light music.

At 12.15pm the Southern England Parade Band Contest 2016 launches in Avenue Du Puy.

Hosted by the town’s own 17th Tonbridge Scout & Guide Band, who have had a successful year following a complete change of instrumentation in January 2015. They are looking forward to a summer performing around the south east and showcasing their talents on Sunday, as well as at Disneyland, Paris later the year.

Other bands competing are the Hertfordshire Showband, with around 60 performers playing a range of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, Burgess Hill Marching Youth, who are a traditional, Light Infantry-style band with a distinctive Gurkha-inspired uniform, and The Haverettes All Girl Marching Band, who formed in 1965 and started out as a majorette troupe marching behind a Hornchurch boys’ band.

After leading the carnival procession through the High Street, the winning band will perform in the castle grounds, and an exciting new addition for 2016 is a magnificent massed band finale.

The procession itself is a vibrant and colourful array of local communities, clubs and charities who will sport a variety of costumes and themes to match this year’s main theme of ‘Countries of the World’.

The entertainment will continue in the Castle Grounds from 1.30pm, with local band Rosewood Drift playing popular classics throughout the afternoon in amalgamation with other great entertainment, such as the Marching Band and Carnival awards at 2pm. The event culminates in a musical performance by the winning band at 2.30pm, with a display from the award-winning Cannon School of Irish dancing in their beautiful national dress at 3pm. The day will ? nish with the CC Dance company at 3.35pm.

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